Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark is located in the Ha Giang province bordering China and located in the far north of Viet Nam. Its scenery is remarkable, with high limestone mountains and deep canyons. Mieu Vac Mount (1971m) is the highest peak while the deepest canyon, Tu San, is at 700-800 meters deep.
The park is an extension foot mount East of the Himalayas. This world UNESCO heritage site reflects important events in Earth’s history and paleontological diversity with ancient organisms.
There are two natural conservation areas rich in fauna and flora such as conifers, Asian black bears, Southern serow, a mountain goat, and many bird species. But most importantly, the rare Tonkin snub-nosed monkey lives here, the only such place in the world. This endangered primate had been considered extinct until it was seen in Ha Giang in the early 1990s.
Seventeen ethnic groups live here, creating the distinctive and rich cultural heritage of this area. The park seeks support from organizations to develop sustainable tourism, conservation of heritage values, and Earth science research to improve the quality of life of the ethnic groups. The UNESCO Global Geopark’s educational program has steadily increased the number of visitors every year, contributing positively to changing the lives of the 17 ethnic groups and decreasing their poverty.
The park covers 2345 square kilometers spreading across four districts, and is best explored by motorbike, following the famous Ha Giang Loop that usually takes three days to complete. You can do this on your own or join organized tours, which is more convenient, as you are sure you will not get lost. You will stay in local guesthouses and try regional food while meeting with other people on tour. This is an unforgettable experience and sometimes scary driving via narrow paths close to the edge of cliffs, through valleys, rivers, and ethnic villages, and is considered by many people as the number one adventure in the whole of Vietnam. Plan your trip as the province has two seasons, rainy and dry, and the coldest months can have average temperatures of only 5 degrees Celsius. The best time to visit the area is from February to April, but it is recommended to check the average temperatures, rain, and sunny days to pick the best time to travel for you.