Hà Giang is a city in the northeast region of Vietnam, on the banks of the Lô River. Its surroundings (and Hà Giang province in particular) can impress visitors with its high karst plateau, steep hills, winding roads, and ethnic diversity. It is ideal for outdoor activities such as trekking and camping.
Hà Giang is the main city of Ha Giang province, which is located in the far north of Vietnam and shares a long border with southern China. The weather can vary greatly from hot, dry and windy to cold and rainy quickly.
By bus from My Dinh, Gia Lam and Giap Bat bus stations in Hanoi#By bus (300 km, 200,000 dong). Or you can book the bus and it will pick you up at your hotel.
Motorbikes are the usual method of transportation around Hà Giang. A semi-automatic bike is preferable for navigating the steep, hilly terrain here. The road surface will vary from newly completed concrete to mossy asphalt and packed dirt.
Police often camp the start of the Hà Giang loop and sometimes issue tickets for unlicensed drivers. If you are unlicensed, or prefer not to drive yourself, ask your hostel for an "easy-rider" to drive the bike for you. Some hostels will also offer to escort you through the start of the loop for this reason.
You can't rent a car without driver in this area, even Vietnam. So you should think about hire a car with driver, it's the best option for travellers. You can ask your hotel, hostel or homestay about it, but they will give you higher cost more than you find it by yourself.
Ha Giang is surrounded by typical Vietnamese countryside that includes rice fields terraces, green natural caves, cascading waterfalls and green tea fields. While wandering through the high mountains of Ha Giang you will be surprised to see such a variety of plants in one area, firs growing next to banana trees. The city of Ha Giang is the beginning of a famous journey called the "loop" that is a road that goes through the very top of the mountains of Ha Giang, next to the border with China. To fully immerse into the landscapes of Vietnam it is advised to travel by motorbike.
- Ma Pi Leng Pass: The road is quite difficult but a stop in this pass will have a panoramic overview of the province. Scenery in Ma Pi Leng pass is unique with majestic and wild beauty. Looking to the north and northeast, thousands of gray mountains concatenate to the horizon. Over the Ma Pi Leng, there has a mountain with 2,000 m height on the 'Happiness' road connecting Ha Giang, Dong Van and Meo Vac town.
- Quan Ba Heaven Gate: about 1,500 m above sea level, this is the entrance of Dong Van Plateau. The road to Quan Ba Heaven gate is winding, twisty crossing limestone mountains. From the top of the Heaven Gate, you could look down across a large valley of unending terraced fields, displaying a charming beauty like a paradise dimly visible through the clouds.
- Dong Van Plateau: Situated north of Ha Giang, near the Sino-Vietnamese border, this plateau is covered by karst mountains. Dong Van is an ideal place for trekking and mountain climbing, where grandiose mountains may challenge your spirit for real. In return, breathtaking landscapes, meetings with local ethnic minorities and learn from their life’s stories are nowhere can be found in the world.
- Rice terrace of Hoang Su Phi: an upland district of Ha Giang Province, it takes around 100 km by bus from the center of Ha Giang to Hoang Su Phi. recognized as National Heritage in 2012, Hoang Su Phi terraced rice fields is an ideal destination for sightseeing as well as photographers.
- Hmong King Palace: in Xa Phin Village of Dong Van District, which is around 24 km away from the district’s centre. With an area of 1120 m², this edifice was built in the early twentieth century in the form of the letter 王 (meaning "king" in English). This is not only a historical relic but also a fabulous architectural landmark of local ethnic groups. This edifice is also a destination always interested many visitors.
- Lung Cu Flag Tower: Built on the top of Dragon mountain, in the district of Dong Van and modeled on the flag tower of Hanoi. Plug in the 12.9-m flagstaff is a national flag with an area of 54 m², representing for 54 ethnic groups of Viet Nam. At the foot tower, there is a commemorative house, where displays production tools, costumes and cultural products of the ethnic groups in Ha Giang. The staircase that leads to the summit has 389 stone steps but to reach the top of the tower, you must also climb a spiral iron staircase of 140 steps.
- Pho Bang Village: peaceful and calm town, which is 117 km from Ha Giang city, Pho Bang Village is the home of Hoa and Mong ethnicities. The houses here embrace the traditional architecture. They have wooden columns and mud walls.
- Dong Van Old Town: in the middle of valley surrounded by rocks. The quarter is formed form the early 20th century, only has a few families of the H’mong, Tay and Chinese, gradually, more and more other local residents find it. The oldest house is the house of Luong family built since 1860. The common architecture here is the two-story house and yin and yang roofs. The lifestyle and daily life of ethnic people such as the Kinh, Tay, Mong and Hoa is very impressive.
Rent a motorbike or car to do the "loop" or to simply stroll around Ha Giang to experience have an authentic Vietnamese experience.
Car and motorbike rentals
A common price is 150,000 dong/day for a semi-automatic bike (110cc). You can find several rentals in Ha Giang. Some of them run out of motorbikes, but booking in advance is not necessary. It's better to have a look at the bike before renting.
- Car & Motorbike rental, N.10 Quyet Thang street, Ngoc Ha ward, ☏ , , ✉ email@example.com. 03:00-21:00. Cars and motorbikes to rent with or without a driver or English-speaking guide. Large, well-maintained fleet of bikes. Gives advice on roads and places to stay along your route. Always good to book your bikes in advance.
Vinh Quang village
- 1 Hoang Su Phi. Hoang Su Phi terraced rice fields is an ideal destination for sightseeing and for photographers. Around 100 km by bus from Ha Giang to Hoang Su Phi.
Tam Son town
- 2 Twin Mountains – Quan Ba, located in Na Khoang village, Tam Son town, Quan Ba district (49 km from Hagiang city in the North). Twin Mountains were formed from the geological movement processes of the earth’s crust, the fault of the limestone were about 400 million years ago. The perimeter of these 2 mountains are almost 1000 m², the area is approximate 3.6 ha. Twin Mountains also associated with some legendary stories which relates to the ambition and humanities of local people here.
- 3 Yen Minh. Yen Minh is a mountainous area, northern border of Hagiang (99 km from Ha Giang city in the north, along the highway 4C). There are many beautiful natural sceneries such as pine forest in Lao Va Chai commune; terraced rice fields Sa Ly (Ngam La commune), primary forest in Du Gia commune with diverse fauna and flora, Na Luong national cave, which are suitable for Yen Minh in developing eco and adventurous tourism.
Khu TĐC Bình Vàng village
- Trekking in ancient an tea forest (you can see huge tea trees)
At the top of the loop it is possible to see the border of China. Portions of the border are said to have landmines, so staying on established paths is important here.
Lũng Cú Flag Tower
An impressive stone flag tower with views of both Việt Nam and China.
- 1 Lung Tam Linen weaving products, Lung Tam village, Quan Ba district, ☏ (Ms Mai). Unique linen clothes, bags, handbags, scarfs, pillows, blankets, purses and many different things. Every linen cloth weaving have traditional patterns, with the images bring the culture and color of the Hmong ethnic people by complicated indigo dyeing and beewax batik drawing process. Mrs Mai is the leader of Lung Tam linen weaving cooperative.
- 2 [dead link] Shan Tuyet Tea (Snow Shan Tea), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Ha Giang is one of the provinces that has the oldest aged Shan tea of the Vietnam with a large leaf, bud and young leaf with snow-like white fur, good growth, high resistance of wetness, coldness, high productivity and good quality. Therefore, it is called snow Shan tea. This is the raw tea material of Hung Cuong Trading Company to produce organic tea products certified according to USDA, EU, COR, IFOAM standards.
Local delicacies: Thang Co, Au tau gruel (Au tau bulb), sausage (Lap suon).
Local drinks worth trying: corn wine, sugarcane juice, ancient Shan tea.
- 1 Mama's House Hostel, No 368, 20 thang 8 street, 1st group, P. Nguyễn Trãi, ☏ , ✉ ExploreHagiang@gmail.com.
Khu TĐC Bình Vàng village
- 2 [dead link] Huong Tra Hotel, Km17, Vi Xuyen district, Ha Giang province, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. From 250,000 to 400,000 dong.