How to travel to Ha Giang from Hanoi

Ha Giang is the northern most area of Vietnam. The provincial capital of Ha Giang is Ha Giang City, 300km north of Hanoi. Ha Giang was the last territory of Vietnam open to tourism as it had been closed to foreign visitors for security reasons.

Ha Giang is famed for the ethereal Dong Van Plateau and for jaw-dropping rice terraces at Hoang Su Phi. Ha Giang is a real popular destination for young Vietnamese travelers at weekends. But traveling to Ha Giang is not that convenient. Let’s find out how to travel to Ha Giang from Hanoi and the means of transport available between these two destinations, so that you can choose the one which suits you the best.

Dong Van Plateau, Ha Giang, Vietnam
Dong Van Plateau, Ha Giang, Vietnam

By private car: This is the most comfortable way to travel to Ha Giang from Hanoi. There are several spots that you may like to stop on the journey for photography. The trip takes 6 hours to get to Ha Giang City. If you do not want to stay a night at Ha Giang City, then it is possible to travel further to Quan Ba where there are simple accommodations. Quan Ba is 50km from Ha Giang City. The road trip from Ha Giang City to Dong Van offers amazing scenery and traveling by car allows you to stop now and again for lovely pictures.

By local bus: There are several local buses and vans from Ha Noi to Ha Giang City. The trip by bus takes 7 hours. Many bus companies have night buses with sleepers which depart Hanoi in late evening and arrives at Ha Giang City in early morning. For those traveling to Hoang Su Phi, then you’ll get off the bus at Tan Quang Town and travel by taxi motorbike to Hoang Su Phi.

For those who continue onto Dong Van Plateau, then you’ll have to take another bus from Ha Giang City. The buses which travel to Dong Van leave Ha Giang City in the early morning only. The trip takes 5 hours for the 150km from Ha Giang to Dong Van Town. The scenery on the latter leg of the journey is spectacular. Alternatively, you can hire a motorbike from Ha Giang City and ride yourself uphill into the Dong Van Plateau. This allows you to stop freely and hence possessing several beautiful photos of the wild landscape.

By motorbike: For adventurous travelers traveling by motorbike from Hanoi to Ha Giang is certainly a fun-filled adventure. The best route you should take is Route 2 from Hanoi to Vinh Yen, then turn into Route 2C along the Tam Dao Mountain Range with idyllic countryside, then join Route 2 again after Tuyen Quang City. From Tuyen Quang to Ha Giang City, you’ll travel along the Lo River with fresh landscape. After a night at Ha Giang, you’ll travel uphill on a spectacular road to Dong Van Plateau. Traveling around Dong Van by motorbike seems the best way to explore the plateau as you can take in the grandeur of the fantastic nature.

By bicycle: It is not convenient to travel from Hanoi to Ha Giang by bicycle but you can certainly have a great experience if you love slow travel. The route is like for motorbikes as above and the trip should take a couple of days for a really fit cyclist. The road from Ha Giang City to Dong Van Plateau has several steep gradients and it is more likely that you may have to get off your bike and travel on foot often.