VCN - At 2000m above sea level, Xin Man is the western border gate of Ha Giang province, which is covered by fog around a year. It is promised that in the future, this border gate will no longer be infrequently used and pristine, because it is now wearing a new coat with the expectation of a breakthrough for the border economic development of Ha Giang province.
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|Customs force and Guard force at Xin Man go on a border patrol. Photo: T. Trang|
I have been been to Yen Minh, Dong Van and Meo Vac several times, which are famous for rocky plateaus, lush forests atop craggy hills, sharp and black stone fields. At this time of coming to the west, there are rocky rivers, rocky streams and soaked rocky outcrops. The stones and rocks in the west of Ha Giang are usually round or have a flat surface, light color, and there are many strange shaped large rocks. People and cars are shrouded with clouds in the mountains. Running parallel is the Chay river which has a milky white water color, and is in a deep abyss. The river – bed is also crowded with stones. Hard road We went to the west of Ha Giang Province - Xin Man District in eager anticipation, waiting, curious of the warnings about this place, which is reputably the hardest road in Ha Giang, with a lot of challenges and terrible weather.
Just a moment away, a little further on, the clouds become thicker and thicker. The higher the road is, the colder the air is, and what we are most worried about happens – it is fog and rain. It's not really rain, it's just "too foggy that turns to rain”, which makes the car skid and slide down the slopes.
The warnings are not wrong. From Tan Quang town (Bac Quang) to Hoang Su Phi with a length of 64km with more than 1,000 twisting sections (a drive the Ha Giang Customs Department introduce us to), there are no straight roads that exceed 50m. Sitting in the car, we are enjoying a scary but adventurous game that makes us shake constantly.
And so, the car continuously turns right and left. Although I have traveled many mountain roads, I was defeated by this one, and sometimes I couldn’t stand it, I had to stop to regain my balance. Fortunately, floating in the silvery mist are the houses of the H'mong and Nung people, with colorful skirts like bright butterfly wings, which transform me out of my anxious spirit.
The road from Hoang Su Phi to Xin Man is nearly 40km. We gazed appreciatively on green rice terrace fields. Sometimes on the way, we saw towering waterfalls, with the flow of water like a white thread flowing from the top of the mountain.
Perhaps, there is a nearly hundred large and small waterfalls. Xin Man is here. We received the welcoming wind of Xin Man. The wind from the land slopes along Chay river, to the Coc Pai town. The wind carries the aroma of Nan Ma’s and Nan Xin’s corn chalk. The wind carries the sweet taste of honey from Pa Vay Su and Che La. In the wind, I heard the soft sound of H'mong pan-pipes and La Chi’’s flutes calling for lovers. Fog brought us in the spring to this western part of Ha Giang province.
From Coc Pai, the road going to the border market (Xin Man border gate) is 25km, although it is high and steep but it is not as difficult as before. The paved road led to the gate. The majestic road along and across the mountains is like a silk ribbon leading up to the sky, with bends and increasing altitude.
I was instructed that in the Chinese language, Xin Man means “ Door opens””. Along the paved road to the border, Xin Man Customs Branch appeared before us. In the afternoon in the border it is not too cold, and there’s a silky shine covering the rice terrace fields of Then Phang and Chi Ca.
Change to new clothes
After 5 hours of passing along 100km of mountainous roads, we arrived at Xin Man district. Xi Man Border Gate Customs Branch is located right in the middle of a hill and hidden in the mist, Xin Man Customs border officers welcomed us with strong handshakes.
Mr. Le Hong Quan - Deputy Director of Xin Man Customs Branch shared that: “Xin Man district still has many difficulties in traveling, so import and export goods through the border gate are still limited, being mainly business goods temporarily imported for re-export. Import and export activities are mainly goods exchange by border residents including fertilizers, vegetables and consumer goods to serve consumption for peoples’ lives.
To ensure political tasks, especially at the end of the year, the Branch has implemented a coordination with the Border Guard force and the local authority to focus on the fight against smuggling, trade fraud and illegal cross-border transportation of goods. Although the smuggling activity is not complicated, the unit always upholds vigilance. Every day, the unit arranges its officers 24 / 24h to supervise goods and cooperate with the competent forces to patrol and control the border area and Customs management area.
Taking us to visit the border gate, the leader of Xin Man Customs Branch said that over the past years the Customs units here, besides cooperating well with the competent authorities in the area to carry out the Customs management, have engaged in a lot of activities to build and develop the locality such as: donating materials for making inter-village concrete roads, giving gifts to disadvantaged households. Along with that, each customs officer at the unit also participates in labor day to build and re-build inter-village roads, and build houses for poor households.
The good news for the locality and the Customs unit here, is that from March 2018, agreed by the governments of the two countries, Vietnam and China announced the official opening of the Xin Man bilateral border gate between Xin Man (Vietnam ) - Do Long (China). It can be said that this is a big "push", creating a boost for border trade development in Ha Giang province. This is also the basis for Ha Giang province to promote import-export, immigration and border economic development.
Always in readiness, Xin Man Customs Branch has invested in facilities, as well as equipment to serve the customs management here. Besides, there are also favorable policies, solutions to reform administrative procedures, modernize customs as well as strictly implement the client service charter, apply online public services., etc... Each Customs officer here is always proactive to receive more busy work.
It can be seen that, the official opening of Xin Man - Do Long bilateral border gate will continue to strengthen and further promote the cooperation between the two sides. However, in order to attract importers and exporters carrying Customs clearance through Xin Man border gate, a complete transport system is needed. In the past years, being supported by the Central Government to local authority in developing mechanisms and policies to encourage the border economic development and attract investment in the economic zones in the province, at border gate, pathways and border markets, with conditions to satisfy the trade activity at Xin Man – Do Luong has been improved step by step.
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Looking at the beautiful and large expanse of Quoc Mon, reminds me of a close feeling of the frontier domain. Pictures of villages nestled under trees, trade activities and cultural exchange by the border residents of the two countries, and Mong girls wearing colorful dresses and scarfs at the market make me feel peaceful ! Xin Man is in Spring.
By Thu Trang/ Huyen Trang