An Giang province’s Tà Pạ mountain is one of seven peaks named That Son, which means “seven famous mountains”. The gorgeous mountain ranges and lush green fields of the region touch the skyline of Tri Tôn, an An Giang Province district. The area is also one of the most scenic driving routes in the Mekong Delta for adventurous travelers. When we learned of the beautiful mountain landscape of Ta Pạ, we drove straight from the Can Tho  City center to Tri Tôn without hesitation to explore the natural beauty of the western side of the Delta. an-giang-rice-field Leaving the urban center and Ninh Kieu District, we drove slower than usual due to roadwork: bumpy roads and dispersed gravel greeted us; in some spots most of the road was fenced off for asphalt operations; the road dust was stirred up by running vehicles so often that it was almost impossible to see the road ahead of us. The route featured very heavy traffic, so we faced a crazy traffic jam and road chaos all the way from Thot Not, O Mon to Long Xuyen. “This is a challenging road trip for us, isn’t it?” my friend said. When Long Xuyen City appeared our tiredness disappeared: we were halfway to Tri Ton! We stopped to rest and grab a quick bite to eat. Being adventurous travelers, we prefer eating at casual roadside rest stops rather than at high-end restaurants. The food we discovered was delicious and affordable. When we left Long Xuyen and resumed our trip to Tri Ton, clouds began to gather and it started raining heavily. Soon we were wet and cold. The downpour brought strong winds which whipped against us and we could hardly see the road. The rain slowed us down. But after 2 hours of driving in the rain we neared our destination. By that time, the rain had almost stopped. Only a few droplets continued to fall. A wondrous landscape emerged before us, brightening our mood which had been dampened by the heavy rain. Magnificent mountain ranges emerged. TaPa towering mountain cliffs loom like castle walls featuring rough rock pillars. The rock walls vary in shape and size and seem quite peculiar. Atop the mountain is a deep, clear emerald lake named Ta Pạ. Seventeen meters deep, the lake is the by-product of a former mining operation. The surrounding mountain cliffs provide clear vistas of the lake’s blue depths. Lake-bottom rocks add many colors to the scene: light blue, black, dark orange and light yellow. When the sky is clear, the lake surface reflects the pastoral setting like a giant emerald-colored mirror. “Tà Pạ Lake is as beautiful as a young girl aglow in nature,” said my friend, enchanted by the scenery. From the  top of mountain, visitors can feast their eyes on the town of Tri Ton and relish the beauty of paddy fields in the foothills of the Tô mountain. The bright green paddies are typical of scenery in the southern countryside. During harvest season, the golden rice fields are highlighted by rows of vibrant green palm trees. Charming trails meander through the colorful fields. Rice plants in each patch ripen at different times due to micro climate variations, creating multiple shades of greens and yellows. The fresh air and beautiful Ta Pạ mountain scenery made our challenging road trip worthwhile. Our getaway trip to Tri Ton was very pleasant. It helped us release all our stress. And it heightened our interest in Viet Nam’s truly stunning landscapes. — VNS