Specialties of Yen Tu Mountain

However, for those looking for a more gentle ascent, a gondola is also available and allows for a great birds-eye view of the mountain.

Yen Tu attracts thousands of visitors and pilgrims each year thanks to its breathtaking natural beauty and relic areas relating to the Vietnamese King Tran Nhan Tong (1258-1308).

The third emperor of the Tran Dynasty came to the area after his abdication and began a new life as a Buddhist monk. He also founded the Truc Lam Zen School, the first Vietnamese Buddhist Zen institution.

During the Yen Tu Festival in spring, hundreds of the area’s inhabitants journey up the mountain’s steep rock steps, slopes and perilous pathways to sell local specialties to visitors. They sell many of the natural resources found in the mountain’s forests including bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and medicinal herbs.

In particular, tourists visiting Yen Tu Mountain will notice a plethora of bamboo-shoot sellers on the way to Giai Oan Spring.

Those who sell the shoots, medicinal leaves, roots, lingzhi mushrooms and other plants and herbs begin their workday early in the morning when the first visitors sets foot on the mountain.

Yen Tu bamboo shoots are normally packed in bags and sold for VND10,000-20,000 (US$0.60-1.10). They are also preserved and packed in jars to sell to tourists and many local restaurants feature them in their menus.

The shoots release a distinct flavor if they are boiled and eaten with salt and sesame seeds and it is said that bamboo grown high on the mountain is tastier than that grown at the foot.

Locating the shoots in the forest is difficult work, however, and can take up to a week. But the hard work is worth the effort and locals can earn up to VND10 million ($560) from selling forest products during the Yen Tu Mountain festival.

Source : VietNamNet/Thanh Nien