Discover 5 mountains in Uong Bi perfect for winter treks and unwinding picnics
Nature has favored Quang Ninh with numerous beautiful landscapes. While Ha Long Bay is considered important attention draw thanks to the stunning natural scenery of limestone mountains scattered on the sea, the city in the western part of the province – Uong Bi, is such an off the beaten path with alluring color-changing grass hills and vast green pine forests, ideal for winter treks and camps to refresh yourself from the crowds.
If the East locates majestic mountain peaks of Binh Huong and Cao Ly that are interwoven with terraced fields in Binh Lieu district, the West of the city is adorned with the low green grass on Phuong Hoang peak.
I. About Uong Bi
Uong Bi city is located in the west of Quang Ninh province, about 120 km from Hanoi. The city was long known as the largest coal-mining region in Vietnam, equally the potential of spiritual tourism in Yen Tu mountain – which is considered the Buddhist land of Vietnam.
The typical terrain of high ranges gradually lower from the north to the south, along with the mountainous climate have contributed to the city’s multiple wild and beautiful natural peaks, suitable for climbing, trekking, and picnic activities.
The best time to get to these peaks in Uong Bi is in autumn, from September to November, when the weather is dry, a bit chilly, super fresh, but you still make it to a cloud hunting trip. All over the hills are green grass mixed with abundant reeds. On the contrary, tourists should avoid coming here in the rainy season, especially in June, July, and August, as the trails are quite slippery at this time.
II. Top 5 mountains with picturesque views in Uong Bi
1. Yen Tu Mountain
Yen Tu Mountain was originally a Buddhist resort for a few kings of Vietnam, later it became the nurturing place of Truc Lam Zen lineage and also where King Tran Nhan Tong practiced. Therefore, Yen Tu Pagoda was born with bold Buddhist architecture on top of this mountain.
Situated in the overlapping arc of the Northeast, the Yen Tu Mountain peak stands Yen Tu Pagoda, also Dong Pagoda, at an altitude of 1,068 m above sea level, surrounded by the majestic wild forest landscape of larch, pine, giant, bamboo, and apricot trees. To get here, you have to go through a harsh climbing route of 6km with thousand stone steps along the forest trail and precarious rocky mountains. Nowadays, tourists can use the cable car system to reach the peak easily.
From the top of the mountain, you will find it interesting when the floating clouds literally cover you. When the sky is clear, visitors will have a birds eye’s view of the charming scenery of the Northeast region and Ha Long city.
2. Phuong Hoang Mountain
Phuong Hoang Mountain, 8 km from Uong Bi city center, with green grass hills full of floating clouds in the early morning is an emerging camping spot. The route to get here from the city: depart at the cultural house zone 4, Bac Son ward, follow the directions to 12 slots, zone 6, and then climb to the top of the mountain.
This mountain range has an altitude of 455 m, so the weather is relatively cool, with dew in the early morning and sunny in the afternoon. Around the peak are rolling mountains of green grass which will turn yellow from November to January next year. The climbing path to Phuong Hoang Mountain is not too tricky, however, the slope is high, filled with rocks, so visitors should wear comfortable shoes and light clothes.
3. Binh Huong Peak
Binh Huong is a 470m high mountain range located in Vang Danh ward, 10 km from the center of Uong Bi city. To reach the peak, tourists need to pay a fee of 30,000 VND/person. The distance from the foot of the mountain to the top is about 4-5 km, you can rent a motorbike taxi to take you there for 100,000 VND or ride by yourself and pay 10,000 VND for parking. If you choose to walk, you will have gentle hikes through many mountainous areas; therefore, note to wear shoes with grip soles to avoid slippery grass. Also, don’t forget to bring some snacks and drinking water during the trip.
Binh Huong Peak is the most beautiful in the last months of the year. That’s when the weather is not too cold, still sunny, so you can see the surrounding scenery. If you plan to watch the sunrise, it’s good to arrive here at 5 am. Meanwhile, as for watching the sunset, it is reasonable to go from 3 pm.
4. Binh Lieu Mountain
Binh Lieu is also known as “the milestone paradise” as it has about 60 landmarks running along the 48km-long border between Vietnam and China. From October to November, the white reeds on the hillsides along the mount-conquering trail, especially at the milestone 1297 area, will bloom brightly. You will climb on a concrete walking path that is rather sloping yet easy to walk; the higher you go, the narrower the path will be. It even winds along the ridge and undulating on both sides of the mountain, forming the famous dinosaur back
The highest border marker in Binh Lieu is at milestone 1305 which is 1.8 km long from the foot of the mountain. Even in the cold weather, when walking to the mountain, you should wear light and warm clothes since the temperature changes constantly during the day. If you want to avoid groups of people taking pictures in the grasslands or at “the dinosaur back”, you should go here early in the morning or in the afternoon. Another note is that this is a border area, so make sure to bring identification along.
5. Cao Ly Mountain
Cao Ly Mountain, or Co Don Mountain, is a high mountain range stretching over an area of over 40 square kilometers with eight peaks over 1,000 meters high in the border district of Binh Lieu. This area has rich forest resources and is also a watershed protection forest, so the climate is fresh and cool all year round. With gentle hilly terrain, which is not too steep, Cao Ly is an ideal picnic spot for all ages, even families with kids. The camping site is about 30-40 minutes walking from the foot of the mountain, motorbikes, and cars can reach the campsite.
If around July-September, the mountain is covered with purple flowers, then by the end of October, it becomes more attractive with the sea of clouds floating around. Some places on the mountain have 1/3 of the days of the year covered with mist and clouds, creating a very dreamy vista.
III. How to get to Uong Bi – Quang Ninh
From the center of Hanoi, you can easily travel by different means, such as bus or motorbike, to Uong Bi city. The travel time is approximately 2-3 hours.
– Bus: You can catch buses of Kumho Viet Thanh, Phuc Xuyen, or Ka Long at My Dinh Bus Station to directly reach Uong Bi – Quang Ninh for 120,000 – 200,000 VND/ticket.
– Motorbike: You actively go in the direction of National Highway 1A to Bac Ninh city > Chi Linh (Hai Duong) > continue 25km to Pha Lai. Next, follow Highway 18 for about 30km to Dong Trieu and continue to go towards Highway 326 for about 32km to reach Uong Bi city. When traveling by motorbike, you should carry all the necessary identification documents and keep a safe speed.
Those destinations mentioned above can all be comfortable to pitch a tent and have a picnic for watching early sunrise the next day. If you have no tent available, you can rent a large shack at 700,000 VND/day for a group of 15 people, or a small shack of 250,000 VND/day for a group of 5 people.
Another option is to stay in Uong Bi city center or in Binh Lieu town to be more convenient to visit other places. There is a wide range of accommodation to choose from, with room rates ranging from 150,000 – 500,000 VND/day. The hotels and homestays here also come with a motorbike rental service, priced at 150,000 – 200,000 VND/day.
– Thanh Lich Hotel: Area 3, Uong Bi City
– Luffy Guesthouse: 26 Tran Hung Dao Street, Uong Bi City
– Tuyet Chung Homestay: Binh Lieu Town, Uong Bi City