Ngoan Muc Pass – A Challenging Route for Adventurers

July 12, 2020 6 mins to read

Known as one of Vietnam’s most beautiful mountain passes, Ngoan Muc Pass is always an attractive destination for travel enthusiasts. Stretching 18.5 km with a steep slope of up to 9 degrees and featuring numerous hairpin turns, twists, and curves, this mountain pass promises to satisfy adventurers who seek both exploration and a touch of thrill.

Đèo Ngoạn Mục ở đâu? (Ảnh ST)

Where is the Spectacular Pass? (Photo ST)

Ngoan Muc Pass – The Steepest Southern Mountain Pass

Ngoan Muc Pass is situated on National Highway 27 and is considered a vital transportation route connecting the two provinces of Lam Dong and Ninh Thuan. This route is also known by various names, such as Song Pha Pass (Krôngpha). The mountain pass spans 18.5 km with numerous winding curves, twists, and turns. The lowest point of this pass is at an elevation of 200m above sea level, while at the summit, it reaches approximately 980m above sea level. With an average slope of over 9 degrees, this pass is the steepest in the southern region.

In 1893, French doctor Alexandre Yersin discovered Da Lat. By 1897, Governor-General Paul Doumer and a research team devised a plan to build a road connecting Phan Rang (Ninh Thuan) to Da Lat to transport construction materials for the city. Ngoan Muc Pass and a parallel railway were constructed in 1917. Following two phases of construction by the French and Japanese and one renovation by the Vietnamese government, Ngoan Muc Pass is now spacious, safe, and highly trafficked. Moreover, it is recognized as a natural conservation area.

Quang cảnh tuyệt đẹp từ trên cao (Ảnh ST)

Beautiful views from above (ST Image)

Ngoan Muc Pass: What Attracts Travelers?

Remarkable Climate Variations

This route stretches from the coastal plains of South Central Vietnam to the highland plateau of Da Lat. Consequently, despite being the same pass, it exhibits diverse climatic characteristics. You’ll sometimes encounter the typical hot and windy weather of Ninh Thuan’s sunlit land. Other times, it’s a cool breeze and the enchanting veils of mist blanketing the plateau.

As you ascend from the base of Ngoan Muc Pass, you’ll witness thick fog blankets. Midway up the pass, everything becomes drier and more refreshing. Reaching the summit, you’ll be greeted by radiant golden sunlight. Along the nearly 20km pass, you’ll experience remarkable weather changes across all four seasons.

Admire the Spectacular Nature

Along both sides of the pass, travelers will witness the abundant forests, picturesque mountains, and cascading streams cutting through the cliffs. Lush vegetation unfolds before you, transforming from regenerating forests to deep green pine forests and wild coconut groves swaying in the wind.

As you ascend, you’ll marvel at vast fields of vibrant yellow wild sunflowers – a distinctive flower of Da Lat. Amidst the windy heights, drifting clouds make you forget about time. Feel free to stop anywhere, raise your camera, and capture the breathtaking scenes.

Cung đường đèo hấp dẫn mọi dân phượt (Ảnh ST)

Pass road that attracts all locals (Photo ST)

Đỉnh đèo là nơi bạn có thể chiêm ngưỡng khung cảnh thiên nhiên lý thú nơi đây (Ảnh ST)

The top of the pass is where you can admire the interesting natural scenery here (Photo ST)

In addition to traveling and exploring this road, this is also an opportunity to admire the immense beauty of the Da Nhim hydropower plant – the first hydroelectric project in Vietnam. Built from 1962 to 1964, it was completed and put into operation. This plant provides modest power with a capacity of 160 MW.

Những cung đường theo đúng nghĩa "ngoạn mục" (Ảnh ST)

The roads in the sense of “spectacular” (Photo ST)

Visit the Da Nhim Hydroelectric Plant

Da Nhim Hydroelectric Plant is one of the oldest hydroelectric plants across both Lam Dong and Ninh Thuan provinces. The plant supplies electricity to Lam Dong, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, and Khanh Hoa provinces, contributing to the national power grid. On your journey exploring Ngoan Muc Passfascinatings, take the opportunity to visit this hydroelectric plant!

Đường ống dẫn nước về thủy điện Đa Nhim (Ảnh ST)

Da Nhim hydropower pipeline (Photo ST)

Da Nhim was the first hydroelectric project in Vietnam. It was built in 1962 and operational in 1964 with financial support from the Japanese government. Travelers passing through the hydroelectric area will see two large pipes responsible for conveying water from Da Nhim Lake on the mountain peak to the hydroelectric plant. These pressure pipes, each over 2000 meters long, traverse the mountains and descend to the foot of the pass.

Visit Fruit Orchards

Not far from the pass, there are large fruit orchards. If you visit around June or July, explore the fruit orchards to witness the ripening fruits and indulge in the unique fruits of the highland region. Some famous fruit orchards that many tourists visit include Sakai Ecotourism Area, Bon Tao Fruit Orchard, Quang Lai Fruit Orchard, and Be Teo Fruit Orchard. Whether it’s jackfruit, durian, avocado, rambutan, or mangosteen, each tree has branches to comfortably take photos or buy as souvenirs.

Cung đường đầy nắng nhưng không khí vẫn rất mát mẻ (Ảnh ST)

The road is sunny, but the atmosphere is still very cool (Photo ST)

If you visit the Sakai Ecotourism Area, you’ll get to admire the picturesque Sakai waterfall. The calm and refreshing waterfall creates white foamy cascades as if washing away all worries. You’ll feel peace and tranquility before this serene and beautiful nature.

Tips for Conquering Ngoan Muc Pass

Travelers from afar can reach Da Lat by bus, personal car, or booking a flight to Da Lat. You can rent a motorbike from the city center to explore Ngoan Muc Pass. Here are some important notes:

1. Renting a Motorbike:
– Choose a reputable rental service and opt for a relatively new motorbike.
– When picking up the bike, thoroughly check the brake system to ensure safety during the journey.
– Ensure that the headlights are bright, the fuel tank is complete, and carry extra fuel if necessary.
– When traveling on the pass, choosing a manual bike is safer than a scooter.

2. Weather Considerations:
– The climate on the pass can be pretty chilly, so make sure to wear warm clothing.
– Be prepared for changing weather conditions, especially during different seasons.

3. Maintain a Safe Speed:
– Maintain a reasonable speed, not exceeding 40 km/h, to ensure safety.
– On rainy or foggy days, reduce your speed even further.
– Avoid overtaking or riding too close to other vehicles.

4. Time Considerations:
– It’s advisable not to travel on the pass after 5:00 PM due to reduced visibility and potential fog, which can compromise safety.

Đoạn đường khi mới lên đèo có khá nhiều mây mù (Ảnh ST)

There is a lot of cloudiness when going up the mountain pass (Photo ST)

Những khúc cua hiểm trở trên đèo (Ảnh ST)

Risky turns on the mountain pass (Photo ST)

Ngoan Muc Pass is one of the beautiful mountain passes in Da Lat and remains an attractive destination for adventure enthusiasts. If you love exploring and have a passion for discovery, start planning to conquer this pass with the highest slope in the southern region!

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