MAU SON MOUNTAIN IN LANG SON
To the north is Ninh Minh, China, to the east is Na Duong and to the west is Dong Dang, all merging beautifully into one spectacular landscape. The winding narrow mountain path, like a snake, lies tucked between 2 steep mountains.
About seventy years ago before this path existed, there were only two ways to the top, walking or on horseback. At that time, this panoramic area attracted the French to Mau Son for relaxation. The weather was cool all year round and in addition, the Dear Mountain View of the northeast was the gateway to China, and the French built a military base there at the early of the 20th century to guard the border. The site’s original inhabitants, members of the Dao ethnic minority, were moved to make way for the French settlement. Only authorized personnel were permitted to enter the French base.
Later, Mau Son tourists were also welcome to the hill station. In January 1936, Dr.O.Pflot, a student of the famous bacteriologist Dr. Alexandre Yersin, visited Mau Son. Some local people say that the doctor first came to Mau Son to collect traditional medicinal herbs, which were cultivated in die region. And then, he petitioned Mr Tholace, then French governor of the North, for permission to build tourist villas at the site. In 1936 he got the goaded to buy land and to start the construction.
There were thousands of local people working on the project, all mining, breaking and carrying stones to bad a number of massive villas, all in all it took seven years of work to accomplish this task. There were no bricks available to build with; the only materials available were stones, bled to ruins. Blocks of orange moss-covered stories are scattered throughout the site, lying dead amongst the old foundations, where even now, it is possible to identify the houses former kitchens, fireplaces and staircases.
Like sleeping beauty, after almost five decades, it was all but forgotten. Until 1987 motorbikes were not even allowed onto the torturous road up the mountain.