The Mã Pì Lèng Road

The road through the pass. The road can be seen looping its way around the slopes of the gorge where there had been no road - an engineering feat six years in the making The road cuts into the hillside. The road was cut into the rock of the hillside... The challenge of building a road through this pass, in a remote corner of northern Vietnam, in the 1950s was enormous. The French had left the country devastated and economically impoverished after their occupation, and in those days there were no machines that could get near these precipitous slopes - the road was built by hand. The road hangs on the side of the gorge. ...and in places seems to be hanging on a wall Road near the monument. The black dot on the bend ahead is a monument commemorating the building of the road Monument viewpoint. The monument sits on a small balcony with spectacular views The original monument. The new monument in marble The new monument. The original monument with gold on black The photographs above and to the left show the approach to the viewpoint with its original memorial in gold and black. This has now been replaced with the gold and marble one seen to the right within a larger balcony. The monument retains the same wording introducing the "Happiness Road of Meo Vac District in the Province of Hà Giang". It linked 16 ethnic communities who joined in its building which started on 10th of the 9th month 1959 and was completed on the 10th of the 3rd month 1965. Photographs at the Viewpoint. The new viewpoint doing its job, although the safety features may cause doubt A dead craash barrier. A crashed crash barrier... The crash barrier hanging. ...hangs in space People looking at view. A working crash barrier allowing everyone to enjoy the view Youth and Jeep. Youth with pannier admiring our jeep at the viewpoint Children looking at Jeep. Other children also enjoy the jeep Boys with billhook and sweets. Billhook and sweets Village below viewpoint. A village below the viewpoint The viewpoint provides a focus for local children to gather and to marvel at the sight of strange foreigners marvelling at the sight of their lands. Village and river. The village in the image above sits high above the river The road above the gorge. The road, ... The road to China. ...with its spur into China, ... The road was built to provide a connection between two of Vietnam's remotest provinces, but also aids communication in a part of the country that China has regarded as its own. Whatever the political shadows, life goes on between local people across borders and here a spur can be seen, from the road though the pass, which goes off into China - however, it is not for use by foreigners. The road leaving the gorge. ...then continues its journey towards Mèo Vạc at the south eastern end of the pass The next page is the last about the Mã Pì Lèng Pass. As can be seen in the picture above the pass turns away from the gorge and the River Nho Quế, and heads towards the next town, Mèo Vạc, at the turn, the valley is dominated by this massive hill with twin peaks. Twin peaks in the Ma Pi Leng pass. line
Saturday 17th September 2016 Murphy on duty

Go to the Picture Posting contents page Return to the top