Travel Blog - Challenge of Conquering Ma Thien Lanh Brian Vu Monday, May 22, 2017 No Comment

After hours, with painful legs and arms, we passed each new stone with increasing difficulty, as it is a problem that needs to be solved, and the only way is to overcome.

I have climbed mountains in Japan, Afghanistan, England and Canada, but Ma Thien Lanh on Ba Den Mountain is very special to me, and also one of the most difficult mountains.
I started my journey in Ho Chi Minh City, driving an hour to An Suong Bus Station. From there I found a bus to Ba Den Mountain in Tay Ninh, then took a taxi to Ma Thien Lanh. And from here, I started the adventure.
After eating late at the restaurant at the foot of the mountain, I followed the jungle path about 200 meters, then went off to the left jungle and started to climb the rock.
This was the first part of the story - when challenges come. At the foot of the mountain, I climbed hundreds of stones with at least double height, 20 kilograms of camping, food and water on the back. The starting moments are very important: either keep a positive attitude, or risk falling into despair and back down the mountain, before it's too dark and too late to return.
There are many red arrows on the rock to guide you up the mountain. Nevertheless, both times when I climbed this mountain, after about two or three hours, I went to a place where I could no longer find the arrows and made a decision: continue to search for the arrows, pear Step back on the mountain, or just judge and go ahead in the hope that I will find the arrows later.
When I first climbed Ma Thien Lanh, I went with three friends. The night came very early and we had to set up the overnight tent. We were not prepared for climbing overnight. The information on the Internet was misleading, and we did not have enough drinking water to climb further, and not enough days off, to get back to work. So we went down the mountain - the first defeat in Ma Thien Lanh.

In the second time, I only had a companion, along with 10 liters of water, tents, and lots of dry food and fruit. We determined to win, conquer the mountain and become heroes in our own journey.
Again, we did not see the arrow, we were not sure about the line we chose. And when we found it, the arrow made us more confused, because the arrows pointed in two different directions. So, we decided to move up, facing up to win.
We climbed and found the best path, continued to think positively by leaving the hard concrete buildings of the city, and we were enjoying the beautiful nature. We slept in the tent and continued the next day.
Many hours passed, painful legs and arms, we passed each new stone with increasing difficulty, as if it was a puzzle to find the solution, the only way is to pass. Moreover, this is an extremely dangerous problem. Just a little carelessness will lead to broken leg, injured, no one to save us, or worse, fall down and die.
Even so, something strange happened. On the way up, we met a person who was going down. He said, "Well, what are you doing here? You’re far away from the correct path, guys".
The man is 56 years old but he looks much healthier than the young ones I met. After a while, we got to know each other. The local people, named Dzung, has been climbing this mountain every day for over 20 years. He led us back to the exact path. He was kind.
He lives here, close to nature, goes up the mountains every day to earn herbs, and returns to the city in the evening. He guided us briefly but succinctly, which can only be a man living with this mountain for 20 years to know, a man of the mountain like the palm of his hand.
He said we had to be careful with the red tail snake, because they were all poisonous. He was bitten by snake, his arm became white and infected. Some plants also contain many toxins, we also had to be careful.
We cooked with a small kitchen, ate some fruit, and continue on the road, then exhausted. However, there was a funny thing about all my journeys, every time when I am close to the goal, I always feel exhausted. However, I have confidence that I will win.
Passing through the bushes, we almost reached the top but there was a barbed wire there. We had to crawl through barbed wire, a television tower and a dog barking.
"Hey dog, eat me! I'm too tired to resist," I told him.
However, a man came out and pointed us the direction back home. We asked the cable car to descend the mountain, but it was not at the place we were.
We were shocked. After a two-day trek, we were exhausted and we still had to walk down the mountain.
The man laughed and told us that: "It only takes an extra two hours and then the cable car will take you half way. Good luck!"
Advice after the trip and from uncle Dung
1.  Always bring your phone and backup charger. The best solution is carrying many SIM of many networks, in case of emergency that a network does not work, there are still other to alternative.
2. Bring food, water, especially water, because you can live without food for some days but you can’t do anything without water in a day and no strength to climb out of it.
3.  Always wear long clothes to avoid insect, animal bites, poisonous trees ... There are some trees which are very poisonous in Ba Den mountain, which can make human feel burning or even fever.
4. Thoroughly prepare essential life necessities such as climbing gloves (this is the most important), knives, lighters, torches, tents, medical instruments, medicines, mosquito repellent (going to Ba Den without mosquito repellent is in big trouble).
5.  Always tell your friends or relatives the current location if possible.
6. When it is dark, quickly find the place to set up tents, do not try to go to the campsite, because dark mountain is very dangerous.
7. Before stepping on any plane or plan to cling to something, you have to look and try to see if it's solid enough. Many branches look great but the item is empty inside, clinging is dangerous. Many places are covered with leaves, but there are holes.
8. Do your best to choose the right path for you. For example, Ma Thien Lanh in Ba Den Mountain is really not for the amateurs, who are weak and untrained.
9. Get to know the terrain: how many roads up there, what dangerous animals in the mountains to know how to prepare ...
10. Ask people around the phone number of the local people, in case of getting lost, you can call for help. Anyone who goes to Ba Den mountain should save uncle Dzung's phone number: 0912757129. He knows every stone and tree branch of Ba Den mountain. If you get lost, describe the place and he will be there after 2 hours later to rescue.

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