​Life at Vietnam’s coldest inhabited place

At a height of 1,180 meters and temperatures reaching as low as -5oC in the winter, the Mau Son Peak in northern Lang Son Province is among the coldest places in Vietnam that is inhabited by humans. Mau Son Peak, a part of Mau Son Commune in Lang Son’s Loc Binh District, is situated about 170 kilometers northeast of Hanoi, close to the border of Vietnam and China. Thanks to its elevation and distance from the equator, Mau Son is among the few places in Vietnam where snowfall can be witnessed during winter. However, for the tight-knit community of dominantly Yao people that inhabit the mountains, cold weather and snow are rarely causes for celebration, as they herald another struggle with nature to survive in the unwelcoming habitat. A tree is covered in frost in Mau Son Commune, Lang Son Province. Photo: Tuoi Tre Where life freezes It was already late in the afternoon when Trieu Tran Sinh, dressed in a light windbreaker, stood on the side of a communal road on Mau Son hoping to find a willing buyer for one of his buffaloes. Sinh no longer had enough food to feed all his four buffaloes, and the one he was trying to sell would not make it through the winter. “Its health is too poor to survive the cold, so I will not make much from selling it. Even people fall ill in this weather, they let the catlle alone,” Sinh said. Trieu Tran Sinh stands on the… [Read full story]


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