A touch of heaven: chasing clouds on Vietnam’s roof

Hop on a motorbike and take a trip into the surreal world of Vietnam's northern mountains.


As a kid, many of us probably dreamed of touching the clouds, imagining what we could do with those white, soft bundles. As we grow up, that desire never dies, it’s still there, deep down in our hearts. Here in Y Ty, you can make that dream come true.


Y Ty is a commune in Lao Cai Province, which is home to the famous Sa Pa Town where you can find the roof of Indochina – Mount Fansipan. But let's just forget touristy Sa Pa for a while and explore Y Ty, one of the best known places for clouds in Vietnam’s northern uplands.


At the height of 2,000 meters (6,600ft) above sea level, Y Ty allows you to actually touch and immerse yourselves in the clouds.


To reach this “heaven's gate,” you can either travel by train or coach from Hanoi to Lao Cai Town, the capital of the namesake province, before hiring a motorbike and drive 100 kilometers (62 miles) to Y Ty. The road to Y Ty is quite challenging and it would be best if you only take this road when the sun is out.

It is highly recommended that you take the road that runs across Ban Vuoc and A Mu Sung communes in Bat Xat District of Lao Cai. Though it is longer than the other road which goes through Muong Hum Commune, this road is much safer and you would be rewarded with Mexican sunflowers.


This cliff has stolen the hearts of many travelers to Y Ty. The best time to chase after clouds in Y Ty is between October and April.


You would be so close to your childhood dream in Y Ty.


Y Ty is a rural commune which is still very poor and it would be difficult to find any tourism services here. There are just a few households in Y Ty that offer homestay services and several restaurants in the commune’s center.