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Pilgrims’ progress: a new mountain hotel in Vietnam

Devout locals have trekked to the holy peak of Yen Tu for years but a new ‘village’ at its foot is drawing other visitors to its pagodas, pools and forests

We’ve all done it: fetched up somewhere so idyllic on our travels that we hate the thought of going home to stress and normal life.

More than 2,000 years ago, a Chinese wise man, An Ky Sinh, felt this way when he arrived at Yen Tu mountain in northern Vietnam. He had been sent by China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang (259-210BC), conqueror of six warring states and creator of the unified nation. Being such a splendid chap, he thought he deserved to live forever, so ordered his most learned courtiers to travel north, south, east and west and bring back herbs to make him immortal.

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