Mat Than Mountain (Thach Mountain), “Eye of God” Mountain, is now one of the enchanting destinations for all travelers coming to Cao Bang. This place is favorably called by tourists by the name ‘absolute cup’. Not only locals but also tourists who want to visit Ban Gioc Waterfall also want to visit here to see this strangely named mountain. So what is interesting about Mat Than mountain?
“Eye of God” mountain (called also One Angel Eye mountain), right on the Nam Tra waterfall.
The mountain is located in the valley of Ban Danh, in Quoc Toan commune (Tra Linh), at about 2 km from the scenic province of Ho Thang Hen. with majestic and wild beauty. Newly discovered but has attracted many visitors to visit and explore.
The mountain is situated directly in the Cao Bang UNESCO Global Geopark. It’s a mountainous area in the northeast of the country. Geologically Cao Bang Geopark can be divided into two distinct parts by the so-called Cao Bang-Tien Yen deep-seated active fault. The eastern part of the area is composed of Palaeozoic limestones. The western part features sedimentary rocks, pillow basalts, ultra mafic and granitic intrusions rich in minerals and hydrothermal alterations. The majority of its population belongs to one of nine different ethnic groups with distinct, rich cultural identities and traditions.
The mountain is located in the area of Thang Hen Lake system with 36 interconnected lakes, some dry and some full. This gives the place beauty through the harmony between sky and water. Every season of the year, the scenery surrounding the mountain brings a different beauty. All combine to create a masterpiece’s scenery.
Coming here in the early morning, visitors will have the opportunity to admire a unique sunrise. At that time, the light rises from the east behind the mountain, shining brightly through the ‘Angle Eye’ at the top of the mountain to create a unique sparkle that creates a kind of natural magic.
Every year, during the rainy season from June to August, the water from the headwaters fills the valley, forming a large lake of about 15 hectares. This is when carp and catfish go from the underground cave to swim to the surface of the lake to feed, meaning it’s the fishing season for locals. During this time days, the mountain proudly reflects itself with its giant ‘angle eye’ printed in the water’s bottom in the space of the mountains, far away from the blooming wildflowers spread across the valley.
Through to September, the lake suddenly burst into bubbles, and the water quickly retreats underground. This phenomenon is usually seasonal, but sometimes can be quite sudden, creating an indescribable mystery. During the dry season when winter is over and spring comes, at the foot of the Angle Eye Mountain, there is a green grass carpet like velvet. Horses and cattle leisurely graze and between the rocky mountains coinciding with the white dew and sunshine, the mountain stands out in the poetic, peaceful landscape like a nomadic steppe.
After an hour of climbing, Thủng Cave which is about 45m high, 50m wide and nearly 100m long, appears after a huge rock. The unique feature of the mountain is the forest of iron trees that grow rampant inside the cave. Their cluster of roots cover the limestone rocks or crawl on the cave foundation like a bunch of snakes. However, the forest is not dense enough to block sunlight, so the space is airy.
It’s very interesting to sit on a large rock in the middle of the cave and gaze around, with the door to the southeast in Quốc Toản Commune in which the scenery is wide open with many low, rolling green hills stretching until the misty mountain ranges. If you look at the northwest door of Cao Chương Commune, you can see the wooden houses of the Hmông people lying in the middle of the mountains.