Ma Pi Leng Pass is the most astonishing mountain road of Vietnam

Ma Pi Leng Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.202m (3,943ft) above the sea level, located in the Hà Giang Province of Vietnam. It’s said to be the most astonishing mountain road in all of Vietnam.

Ma Pi Leng Pass

Can you drive through Ma Pi Leng Pass?

Set high on the northern part of the country, near the Chinese border, the road to the summit is totally paved but bumpy. It’s called National Road No. 4C (QL4C), nicknamed as Hanh Phuc (The Happiness Road). It is known as the King of the Vietnamese mountain passes. The road along the mountainside has romantic, stunning scenery that is ideal destination for riding motorbike. The road to the summit, regarded as “Vietnam's Great Wall”, feels like a scene from a fairytale.

How long is Ma Pi Leng Pass?

The incomparable pass is 23.1 km (14.35 miles) long, running south-north from Mèo Vạc (Mèo Vạc District) to Đồng Văn (Đồng Văn District). The climb inspired many people to travel to witness its breathtaking beauty.

Is Ma Pi Leng Pass dangerous?

The road to the summit was built in 6 years (1959 – 1965). Atop of the pass is a stone stele recording the marks in the construction process. The drive is pretty steep, hitting an 8.1% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. In very rainy or foggy weather conditions you need to be extra careful. The more dangerous part is called Mỏm Đá Tử Thần (hanging cliff of death). The road has dangerous drop offs, cliffs and abysses almost everywhere and enough hairpin bends to get dizzy. Road barriers in many places are non-existent. A mistake leads to 500-meter plunge to the valley below.

Road suggested by: Zac Peterson
Pic: Nguyễn Tấn Tài