Mau Son Mountain is located in Loc Binh
District, about 30km from Lang Son City. With the wind whistling up and the
cloud floating down, the sky seems within hands reach. The panorama from the
highest peak in Lang Son region is like a Chinese ink drawing.
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.