Ha Giang - Land of Adventures

Ha Giang Province is located to the far-north of Vietnam. The capital of the province is Ha Giang City, 320km north of Hanoi. Ha Giang has mountainous terrains and is ideal for the travellers who seek thrilling adventure travel experiences.

 From Hanoi to Ha Giang City, the roads are hilly and in good conditions. The trip takes full day by car or by motorbike. The scenery is especially beautiful near Tam Dao Mountain (Vinh Phuc) and along the Lo River at Tuyen Quang which you may like to stop every now and again for taking photos. Tuyen Quang is a good place for lunch.

Bucolic landscape at Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam
Bucolic landscape at Tam Dao, Vinh Phuc, Vietnam - A road to Ha Giang

 

Landscape by the Lo River at Binh Ca, Tuyen Quang
Landscape by the Lo River at Binh Ca, Tuyen Quang

From Bac Ha, there is a small road to Ha Giang that could only accommodate travellers on motorbike or on foot earlier, but now it is passable by jeep and 16-seater van. The road conditions may change dramatically after each rainy season, make sure you check carefully with locals before departure on this route.

Some adventure travellers can go on trekking tours for three or four days from Bac Ha (Lao Cai Province) to Hoang Xu Phi (Ha Giang Province). This route is fairly off-the-beaten track by far; therefore the landscapes and the local culture are untouched, the overnight stays are at local ethnic houses which are in very poor conditions.

Mountains at Xin Man, Ha GiangMountains at Xin Man, Ha Giang

 

Hoang Su Phi Market
Hoang Su Phi Sunday Market

For those who decide to travel by motorbike from Bac Ha to Ha Giang, the road offers spectacular mountainscape with stunning rice terraces. Again, some parts of this road may not be that good in the rainy season, it is necessary to have an overnight stay at Xin Man or Hoang Xu Phi, then the next day to Ha Giang City.

If you travel from Cao Bang to Ha Giang, then it is more likely that you'll have to spend a night at Bao Lac; else it'd be a very long day and you'll arrive late at Meo Vac. The road is fairly good and the journey offers spectacular landscape. It is very hilly at Nguyen Binh and more or less flat from Bao Lac to Meo Vac.

Scenic mountains at Nguyen Binh, Cao Bang
Scenic mountains at Nguyen Binh, Cao Bang

The terrain changes abruptly as you make your way higher and higher up into the Dong Van Karst Plateau with charming and sublime landscape. Say, if you make it in one day from Cao Bang to Meo Vac then you'll miss this beauty of your trip as it should have been dark by the time you get here. Your hotel in Meo Vac can arrange the permit for you to travel into the Dong Van Karst Plateau the next day.

Unreal scenery at Meo Vac, Ha Giang
Unreal scenery at Meo Vac, Ha Giang for those who come here from Cao Bang

It is also possible to travel to Ha Giang from Ba Be (Bac Kan Province) via Route 279, but this is for experienced bikers only. The road is horrendous and may get much worse after heavy rains; it is not possible to travel by jeep as of writing. Do check carefully before departure as there are several bikers coming out of the area completely wrapped in bandage. Pay special attention to the high pass between Ba Be District (Bac Kan Province) and Na Hang District (Tuyen Quang Province). Those that manage to get through this route successfully are awarded with an adventure of a lifetime and with staggering sublime landscape. On this trip, you'd have to stay overnight at Bac Me or Yen Phu Town. The next day you can choose to access the Karst Plateau via Ha Giang City or take the off-the-beaten path via Route 176B passing through Minh Son, Du Gia,…

Breathtaking mountains at Bac Me, on the way from Ba Be to Ha Giang
Breathtaking mountains at Bac Me, on the way from Ba Be to Ha Giang

In the case you take the less-traveled route from to Dong Van Karst Plateau of Ha Giang from Bac Me, then you'll surely have something to remember for the rest of your life. The area is untouched and very very captivating. The road goes up all the way from Bac Me to Du Gia, then you'll travel your way on high altitudes with sublime landscape. The scenery of the Dong Van Rock Plateau on this side is ethereally beautiful.

Now, let's come back and explore Dong Van Karst Plateau and Ha Giang via the most popular route – Route 4C from Ha Giang City.

 

Impressive mountainscape at Quan Ba, Ha Giang
Passing through Ha Giang Town and traveling further northwards, the landscapes are more stunning with steep gradients and breathtaking mountain views.

 

 

Quan Ba District, Ha Giang Province
Quan Ba District offers great trekking adventures and breathtaking motorbike rides. There are some villages offering homestay with local ethnic families.

 

 Yen Minh - Ha Giang
Passing through Quan Ba, you'll be in Yen Minh where the landscapes get more and more sublime...

 

Nho Que River, Ha Giang, Vietnam
From Yen Minh Town, you'll travel along the Nho Que River northward to Dong Van. For over ten kilometers, the road travels through mountain gorges echoed with music of the winds.

 

Dong Van Rock Plateau, Ha Giang
Then all of a sudden, the world around turns into grey and black colors, that means you are in the rock world of Dong Van, listed on Global Geo Parks by the UNESCO.

 

Ploughing on rocks in Dong Van
At Dong Van, the Mong ethnic minority do their agriculture on rocky mountain slopes...

 

Dong Van Rock Plateau, Ha Giang
Dong Van Rock Plateau offers great adventures and great experiences. Here, you can spend the whole month trekking, staying with the local hill tribes, ride your motorbike...or just wander around to get lost in the endless world of just rocks.

 

Ma Pi Leng Pass, Ha Giang

Just outside of Dong Van Town, there's the Pass of Ma Pi Leng where you'll be dumbfounded by the unreal scenes of nature...

If you plan a trip to Ha Giang, keep it in mind that it's still a secret, and it's for the adventure seekers only...