Trekking up Co To Mountain
2009-11-10 (GMT + 7)
Phung Hoang Son, or Co To Mountain, is the most beautiful among the several mountains of the That Son Range in the mountainous area of the Mekong Delta province of An Giang. The mountain is acclaimed as an ideal destination by pilgrims and tourists to experience the feeling of conquering the peak of a mountain and to take in a panoramic view of An Giang Province.
Co To Mountain is in Nui To Commune, Tri Ton District. It is about 5,800m long, 3,700m wide and rises 614 meters above sea level. Seen from afar, it looks like a phoenix, so people call the mountain Phung Hoang Son, which means “mountain of a phoenix”.
The That Son Range offers ancient relics, temples, pagodas and spectacular landscapes such as Cam Mountain, Ket Mountain, Van Linh Pagoda and Tuc Dup Hill. After experiencing all this, tourists should trek to the top of Co To Mountain.
It takes about 90 minutes to get to the top, longer if you stop to take pictures or bring small children. It is recommended to start the climb at 9 a.m. when the mist melts and the view is clear.
The path to the top of the mountain is a tortuous stone stairway winding up the mountain wall but shaded by dense green groves. Tourists should prepare equipment such as a mosquito net, hammock, flashlight, lighter and knife as well as dried food such as bread and noodles and some medicine. Do not forget water and a pair of good shoes.
Co To Mountain is home to just some dozens of households that farm for a living. They grow mangoes, jackfruit, durians, bananas, papayas, pineapples and avocadoes, so there are orchards and also farms growing vegetables, beans and pumpkins.
At mid-day, after some tiring hours of climbing, tourists can take a rest at Nam Can, a small palace sheltered in the shade of rocks and seasoned trees.
When the sun gasps out its lasts rays of light on the face of the mountain, tourists who want to stay overnight can light a camp fire, sit down together and chat about the legends associated with the mountain and the forest which was once the terrain of lions and tigers. There are stories of hunters or seekers of treasure as well as monks who lead their life for Buddha on this mountain.
One of the special scenic spots of Co To Mountain is San Tien (Fairy’s Yard). It is a rock yard with an area of more than 300m. Near the far end of the yard below the top of the slope, there is a footprint in a rock which legends says was left by a fairy who stepped from Co To Mountain to Cam Mountain, about eight kilometers away.
At dawn, the mountain wakes up and the air is pure. Tri Thon Town sits below with houses close together next to the rice fields, and with orchards, ponds and rivers.
Co To Mountain offers nature at its finest. Sleeping on the top of the mountain and admiring the moonlight glistening through the trees is a remarkable experience.