Astonishing landscapes of Ma Phuc pass

Wednesday - 27/11/2019 15:37

Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark is also land of many tangible and intangible cultural heritage sites, especially historical monuments, of which there are two Special National Monuments: Pac Bo, where President Ho Chi Minh lived and worked the early days to lead Vietnam's revolution; and Tran Hung Dao Forest, where the Vietnam Propaganda Liberation Army (the predecessor of the present day Vietnam People’s Army) was established. The area is also well-known for its high biological diversity with abundant endemic flora-fauna species and ecosystems. Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark is an exceptional territory where it is possible to read the history of our Planet Earth for over 500 million years through protected sites. Here, fossils, marine sediments, volcanic and plutonic rocks, and minerals are the witnesses of this fantastic evolution and changes of our Planet and constitute an exceptional geological heritage. 

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The pass is about 3.5km long with lots of turns.

The third route “Experience of traditional culture in a wonderland” leading toward the east is a highlight for visitors. Visitors can visit the traditional craft villages, including Phuc Sen forging village, Khuoi Ky stone village, Phja Thap incense village, Cap Tao cake village; many festivals such as Quang Uyen firework festival, Nang Hai Phuc Hoa, Long tong by Tay, Nung, Dao, San Chi ethnic peoples; traditional garments of Tay and Nung People. The peaceful lifestyle brings visitors back to nature that is totally opposite to the hustle bustle of urban life. The “Truc Lam Ban Gioc Zen Monastery” Pagoda and Sai Gon-Ban Gioc Resort will nourish your experience after a long day. “Experience of traditional culture in a wonderland” is a one or two-day tour, or can be extended on demand. This route should be done after the prior two ones to fully experience the wonder of the geopark

 Ma Phuc pass, located along the National 3, a part of Quoc Toan commune, Tra Linh district. With more than 3.5km long at an altitude of 700m asl, the Pass has seven steps and is considered one of the most beautiful passes in Non nuoc Cao Bang UGGp.  The Pass is the first heritage site of the Eastern route “Experience traditional culture in a wonder land” of Non nuoc Cao Bang geopark. The pass winds between two high limestone mountain ranges and constitutes, at its bottom, an exceptional geosite. Apart from the opportunity to experience the breathtaking landscapes of the Pass, Visitors coming to experience can discover exceptional significances on geological evolution as well as the legend of the Pass.

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Beautiful landscapes of Ma Phuc pass.

According to legend, in the 11th century, a leader of the Nung people named Nung Tri Cao led the local people to fight against the Song army from the north. Once returning from a patrol along the border, at Quoc Toan commune of the present day Tra Linh district, he faced this high, winding and steep pass, and his horse was crippled and could not move on. The mountain was since named An Lai, literally meaning to stop, and the pass was named Ma Phuc, literally meaning a kneeling horse.

In this area, many submarine volcanoes were active c.260 million years ago. Erupted under sea water the lava cooled down very quickly to result in rounded, stacked pillows (pillow lava). The size and colour of the pillows vary depending on lava composition (basic, intermediate or acidic). More than often one sees blackish green, small-sized (commonly up to one metre in diameter) pillows of basic composition, which rock is, therefore, also called pillow basalt.

Today, a large number of submarine volcanoes are located near areas of tectonic plate movement, known as mid-ocean ridges. Although most submarine volcanoes are located in deep oceans (erupting basic lava), some also exist in shallower water (more acidic in composition), and these can discharge, in addition to lava under water, also ash, bomb and gases etc. into the atmosphere during eruptions. The total number of submarine volcanoes is estimated to be over 1 million.

 In spite of unfavorable topography condition, the Pass has been a place for people around this are coming to trade their commodities, meeting and socializing with each other, especially those are Tay, Nung, Dao ethnic minority groups living in remote areas. Visitors coming to vising the Pass on the 3rd, 8th, 13th, 18th, 23rd, 28th will have chances to experience the trading of local people here and try local cuisines.

With exceptional values on natural landscapes, culture and history, and geology, the Ma Phuc Pass geosite might be considered as one of the geosites that visitors should visit upon their visit in Non nuoc Cao Bang UNESCO global geopark.
Tran Thuy 

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