The Village of Lũng Cú

Hill with flag at Lung Cu. At the apex of the triangle of land that reaches up into China is this small hill surmounted by a very large flag This page is about the most northerly tip of Vietnam which is like a triangle pushing up into China. At the apex of the triangle a small hill has Chinese territory east, north and west of it. And here the village of Lũng Cú Go to another site. has developed catering for visitors to this northern tip of Vietnam. On top of the hill the Vietnamese have built a tower some 100 feet high and on top of it placed an enormous flag Go to another site. that has an area of 54 square metres - one metre for each of the ethnic groups in the country. Flag tower on its hill. The flag sits on top of a 100 foot (30 metre) tower The village of Lung Cu. The village of Lũng Cú with the flag on its hill to the left Village from Tower. The view of the village of Lũng Cú from the hill Curved fields by village. Apart from the complex of government buildings near the hill the village has the usual fields between houses that so often characterises rural villages - here making a artistic pattern Panel about trilobite. As part of the Đồng Văn Geopark these information panels have sprung up, this one preserving in situ a trilobite, Go to another site. see next picture Trilobite in situ. In the white box through the murky glass can just be seen the dark lines of a trilobite Old mud walled house. Like the house shown being built in the last page, the houses in this village too, are made of mud; and so decay back into the ground leaving no trace Decorative rock. The whole district of Đồng Văn has become a 'Geopark', Go to another site. and everywhere the rocks are not shy of proclaiming the interest they hold Driver resting in cafe. One of our drivers putting his feet up in a cafe at the bottom of the steps - leaving the climb for visitors Kiosks at entrance. The line of flags on the hillside shows the way the stairs take up to the tower - looking an insignificant assent for the unsuspecting The climb is in three parts starting at the ticket office by the road. Here a number of motor bike taxis wait offering to take the unsuspecting 'up'; but up is only as far as some kiosks and a car park, from where the visitor must ascend most of the climb on foot! Ticket office sign. The ticket office sign literally reads: "Place registration and selling tickets visiting" so actually not a bad translation. Unfortunately in English we say "Ticket Office" and the Vietnamese do not Labouring up steps. Altogether there are 850 steps in three sets: two main stairs and the tower. Going up needs concentration... Selfie on the steps. ...but coming down allows energy for the necessary selfies or just to enjoy the view The second flight of stairs takes visitors from the upper kiosks and car park to the observation platform at the base of the tower on which the flag sits. Most people are content with the fine views from here across the neighbouring hills of China and do not ascend the tower. Road to rest area. Below the road that allows vehicles to reach the rest area on the stairs, so some visitors can start from there saving most of 300 steps View north into China. The view from the bottom of the tower into China Flag hill casting shadow The triangular shadow, cast by the hill on which the tower sits, falls into China View from platform. The view to the north-west at sunset - the pieces don't actually meet so it is only a putative diptych! View into China. Admittedly its an awkward shot, trying to get the tower in behind the person, but such lengths... Tower from platform. get the tower in like this, from on the viewing platform Viewing platform from tower. Looking down on the viewing platform from the tower; this is not recommended for those in the least susceptible to vertigo it being over 500 feet to the houses you can see below Bas relief on tower base. Bas relief on tower base Group by plaque. The memorial stele on the observation area below the tower is a favourite place to be photographed The flag. The flag on the tower has an area of 54 square metres - it is huge. But because of the height, and the air currents induced, flutters like any ordinary flag The patriotic nature of the whole site is dominant. The massive tower to support the huge flag pushing as far as possible into the foreign territory attracts Vietnamese in waves to photograph and be photographed against the backdrop and especially against the stele shown above. The flag and tower The giant flag on its tower; a person is just visible on the balcony below the flag The next page returns to markets. And in this case the one at Phố Bảng right beside the Chinese border; indeed so close is it that much trade is conducted in Renminbi. Woman sawing lynx bones at the market in Pho Bang. line
Saturday 14th January 2017 Murphy on duty
While travelling these pages are produced using a Microsoft system.
Colour consistency and quality is sadly much diminished until my return to my Mac.

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