The thin footpath on the way to the summit of Ta Chi Nhu (Phu Song Sung)
The thin footpath on the way to the summit of Ta Chi Nhu (Phu Song Sung)

Ta Chi Nhu Mountain (Phu Song Sung) - Yen Bai

The Ta Chi Nhu Mountain (aka Mount Phu Song Sung) in Tram Tau District of Yen Bai Province, which is 2,979m above sea level, is the 6th highest mountain peak in Vietnam.

 The best time to climb Ta Chi Nhu is from November to early April. If you want to take photos of an ocean of clouds at the mountain peak, then you may want to take the trip from November through the first half of March. It is freezing cold from late November through early February.

Breathtaking mounain peaks on the way to the summit of Ta Chi Nhu
Breathtaking mounain peaks on the way to the summit of Ta Chi Nhu

 It can rain a lot in the area from late August through October, climbing the mountain during this time is extremely slippery and dangerous. From May through July, the strong sun along with unexpected summer rains can make the adventure to Ta Chi Nhu very difficult, too.

Lovely grass-covered hill side on the trek
Lovely grass-covered hill side on the trek

 The mountain is 240km from Hanoi and the adventure to Ta Chi Nhu normally takes 3 days, 2 nights of which 1 night at Tram Tau and 1 night in a camp at 2,400m above sea level. The first leg of the trip is to take a transfer by motorbike for 9km from Tram Tau Township to the base of Chung Chua Nha Mountain where the trek starts.

Taking a break before summiting Ta Chi Nhu
Taking a break before summiting Ta Chi Nhu

 The second part of the adventure, which on average takes 1 hour, is a hike on gently steep mountain slopes. There are very few trees on the way which means you'd need a sun hat should it be a sunny day.

A "prairie" in the sky
A "prairie" in the sky

 The third part of the journey which on average takes 3 hours and a half or 4 hours involves trekking on extremely steep mountain slopes which just go up all the way. Some groups have reported it took them a full day to get to the campsite from the mountain base. You do not normally feel there is a place with even surface where you can rest your two feet fully! There is a small patch of forest left here, while most of the time you'll hike on a small footpath with low trees.

The footpath is steep and slippery even in dry weather. Should it rain, it is fatally dangerous. The tricky point is that you do not have anything to cling to hiking up or down on this footpath and the ravine is just by your side all the time! The winds start getting very strong the closer to your campsite at 2,400m above sea level.

The higher the more stunning view of the mountain peaks
The higher the more stunning view of the mountain peaks

 The fourth part of the journey is the most beautiful of the adventure which takes from 2-3 hours. You'll trek on mountain slopes which are tolerably steep; the path is amid large hill sides which are covered in green grass; you do not find it dangerous anymore here. You'll feel you climb uphill a prairie with a family of mountain peaks around you! If you come here at the right time, you'll get sensational landscape of milk-white clouds wrapping around the mountain peaks which bears an unreal appearance.

A little bit of the ocean of clouds, view from the campsite
A little bit of the ocean of clouds, view from the campsite

 The only thing which may annoy you here is the winds. They are very and very strong which may even blur your vision. They blow so hard that you can't hear anything except for the howling sound! Holding your camera to take photos could be very difficult. A windproof jacket with wind hood/full head covering is especially helpful here.

Wonderful landscape on the descent
Wonderful landscape on the descent

 The descent from the summit to the campsite takes around over 1 hour. The strong winds make the cooking of your dinner a difficult job, as everything is in the open. When it rains then it's more likely that you'll have to consume whatever food you have brought along.