Top 11 Things To Do In Ha Giang
Visit Ha Giang city
Ha Giang City is the capital of the province, and marks the entrance way to all manner of landscapes and experiences. It serves as the base station for a small but savvy tourism industry that delivers motorbike tours, hiking adventures, and authentic interactions with the local community and their traditions.
Drive the Ha Giang loop
The holy grail of any trip to the north of Vietnam is to complete the Ha Giang loop. Stretching through mountain passes for more than 350kms and skimming the Chinese border, the Ha Giang loop is a monster of a trail that splinters off into deep valleys to serve sparse communities of the local people.
Witness Heaven Gate & the Quan Ba twin mountains
Heaven Gate is simply a stretch of winding roads with views that are immensely beautiful. It also marks the start of the Quan Ba Pass where the highway peaks at a dizzy 1500 km in altitude. A visitors station offers accommodation and viewing platforms of the majestic mountainscapes.
Explore the Lung Cam cultural village
The village of Lung Cam sits around 25 km from Dong Van. It’s a good spot for a coffee break after driving through the epic Heaven Gate. It also has a house of special interest that featured in an award-winning Vietnamese movie called the ‘Story of Pao’. A tour allows visitors to explore in detail the craftsmanship that goes into these wonderful houses.
Wander through the H’Mong King Palace
The H’Mong King Palace once served and protected lord Vuong Chinh Duc and the influential Vuong Family in the 19th Century. A tour of the villa demonstrates the unique design that originated from both Chinese and French Baroque influences. It’s a great opportunity to delve into the ancestral history of the people in this region.
Witness the Lung Cu flagpole
The Lung Cu flag tower sits on the 1,400 meter high Dragon Mountain, also known as Long Son. It marks the northernmost point of Vietnam with a grand monument made out of stone. The Lung Cu flagpole, which brandishes a whopping 53 square meter flag, is a tribute to the 53 different ethnic groups that inhabit Vietnam. A visit to Lung Cu tower challenges tourists to a 300-step climb to the top before being rewarded with sweeping vistas of the entire region including China.
Conquer the Ma Pi Leng Pass
The Ma Pi Leng Pass is one of the world’s most spectacular mountain roads. It extends for more than 20 km of the 4C highway giving users wide-eyed vistas of deep canyons, the Nho Que River, and towering grey mountains. Drive through Ma Pi Leng and see plumes of mist envelop the winding roads and provide an experience of biblical proportions. At an altitude of 2000 m above sea level, make sure you have enough clothing for temperatures close to zero, especially in the winter.
Try a steaming bowl of thang co
A signature dish of the Northern highlands. This dish originated over 200 years ago when the H’Mong, Tay, and Nung people brought it back with them from modern day Mongolia. Original Thang co recipes see horse meat stewed for hours over a charcoal fire. Seasoning such as cinnamon, grilled lemon leaves, and cardamom is added for a deep flavor. In many a market, you will see large cauldrons of steaming broth being ladled into the bowls of Tay and tourists alike, signifying the community of shared culture that these markets were built on.
Capture huge rice fields in Hoang Su Phi
A trip to Hoang Su Phi during harvest time (September) will grant photographers with snaps of golden rice terraces carved out of the foothills of the Tay Con Linh Mountain. This mountain range is ideal for hiking and off-road motorbike tours. For accommodation and to book tours, look to the township of Vinh Quang for authentic homestays and hotels.
Trek through valleys and villages
A short day trek goes from Ha Giang City to Khuoi My village. An abundance of homestays in this area allow for days of trekking through the valleys and rolling hills.
With a broad level of ethnic diversity, Ha Giang markets are full of fascinating fabrics, fresh produce, and other weird and wonderful things.
Meo Vac Sunday market, Dong Van Sunday market, Khau Vai love market