Visiting the westernmost spot in Vietnam
Marking the westernmost spot on Vietnam's mainland, Milestone No Zero A Pa Chai on top of Khoan La San Mountain sits 1,864m above sea level in Sin Thau Commune, Muong Nhe District, the northern province of Dien Bien.
|Tourists take photos with the famous marker. — VNA/VNS Photos Xuan Tu|
The marker was installed with the agreement of three countries on June 27, 2005. Made of granite, it is two metres high and has three sides to face the three nations. Each side is engraved with information in each language and the national emblem of each nation.
This is the border junction between Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. People always joke that this is the place where a cork crows and people from three countries can hear.
The area is among the top destinations of backpackers and travellers.
In the past, in order to visit the milestone, border soldiers and tourists alike had to trek through the forest.
|Visitors climb a staircase leading to the scenic viewpoint and the marker.|
Now, a road and staircases have been built to make the trip easier.
A Pa Chai is located some 250km from the centre of the historic city of Dien Bien Phu, home primarily to the Ha Nhi ethnic minority group. In Ha Nhi language, A Pa Chai means a big flat land.
There are two different seasons in the area: the rainy season from April to October and the dry season from November to March with average temperature of 21-23 degrees Celsius.
A Pa Chai is also home to an old forest with diverse flora and fauna.
It is advisable for tourists to come to the area in the dry season between November and March, when it’s easier to travel without the risk of landslides and slippery roads.
The spectacular scenery of the site.
A carved stone stele provides information on the westernmost point of A Pa Chai.
A signpost gives direction to A Pa Chai and the milestone.