Ha Giang, Vietnam is the final frontier province in the Northern region, containing Vietnam’s northern most point. It is an ideal destination for those who crave for adventures in the Far East: mind-blowing landscapes, well-preserved cultures and warm hearted people.
Ha Giang is about 320km north of Hanoi. The area features a rugged beauty with complex topography of rocky mountains, steep slopes, rivers and streams. The breathtaking limestone outcrops soaring skywards over the suburbs hint at the amazing landscape in the surrounding hinterland. Heading further north to explore the districts of Yen Minh, Dong Van and Meo Vac across the Ma Pi Leng pass is extremely mind-blowing. However you will need a travel permit which can be arranged directly with accommodation in those town or ideally at your hotel in the gateway city of Ha Giang.
It’s relatively simple to take a journey by public transport from Ha Giang city to Dong Van, however, you will need a motorbike to reach off the beaten track attractions like Lung Cu and the Vuong palace. Traveling to Ha Giang, it’s all about the trip north to the districts of Dong Van and Meo Vac, nestled against the border with China. It’s also now possible to complete an extreme north loop, continuing on from Bao Lac town towards High way 3 and Cao Bang.
Leaving Ha Giang, the road climbs over the Quan Ba Pass (Heaven’s Gate), and opens up on an awesome vista. Next is one of the most visited attraction in the province, the Dong Van Karst Plateau – one of UNESCO Global Network of National Geoparks. It is also the first recognized geopark in Vietnam. Dong Van town has a great Sunday market and make a good base for day treks around the nearby minority villages. It also features an interesting old quarter, including a beautifully restored 100-year-old trader’s house that now the funky Café Pho Co.
Beyond Dong Van the spectacular Ma Pi Leng Pass continues for 22km to Meo Vac. The road has been cut into the side of a cliff: far below are the distant waters of the Nho Que River, towering above, a mighty rock face.
Ha Giang has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: rainy and dry. The temperature is around 24-28 degree Celsius and may drop below zero in winter. The region is home to a great number of ethnic groups: Mong, Lolo,Tay… with unique traditions and customs. One of the most attractions that draws visitors to the region is local colorful markets which are held at weekends, including the Khau Vai love market. Perfectly, they are quite untouched.
- References or useful help
Zonitrip in Hanoi was a great help to us when it came to planning our Northern Vietnam motorcycle adventure. They gave us useful tips and advice and without asking for anything in return. We definitely recommend stopping by to talk with them before you drive up to the ha giang tour, to Sapa, Cao Bang, Bac Kan or anywhere else in Northern Vietnam.
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