Ha Giang used to be an unknown destination only visited by adventurous backpackers has grown enormously over the past few years into a real hotspot in Vietnam. Fortunately, it is still raw, authentic and genuine.
Ha Giang is located in the far north of Vietnam, about 280 kilometers from Hanoi. The impressive mountains in combination with the unique culture of ethnic minorities are attracting more and more tourists.
1. The most impressive mountain scenery
The whole of the north of Vietnam is known for its beautiful mountain area, but the most impressive mountains can be found in the province of Ha Giang.
There are several mountain passes that you have to overcome when driving through this area. The most famous mountain pass is the Ma Pi Leng pass which runs between Dong Van and Meo Vac.
2. Unique cultures
The province Ha Giang has the biggest population of ethnic minorities. You will find here mainly the Dao, Lo Lo, Giay, Nung, Tay and Hmong ethnic groups.
Because tourism has only been on the rise here for a few years, everything still feels very authentic. When you drive around you will easily spot the beautiful and colorfully dressed minorities.
Visit local villages and the weekly markets in the larger cities such as Meo Vac and Dong Van to learn more about these unique cultures. For a real experience you can stay overnight in a minority homestay and by this also support the locals.
It may not be as well organized as Sapa, also in Ha Giang you can make beautiful trekking tours. Since the mountains in this area are made of limestone, it is not suitable for terraced rice paddies in most places. The hiking routes mainly promise mountain views and visits to local remote villages.
In addition, a walk through the mountains is a wonderful change after days of sitting on a motorcycle or in a car. If you are looking for terraced rice fields, you can also combine the Ha Giang loop with Hoang Su Phi.
4. The most northern point of Vietnam
At the very northernmost point of Vietnam you will find Lung Cu and the flag tower, which you can climb. To be fair, the views along the way are more exciting and perhaps the best in the province, but it is of course nice to wave to China.
The flag tower is located on top of a hill that you can reach by walking up 300 steps and the views across rural countryside and villages are stunning.
5. Motorbike loop
To see the most special sights, a route has been mapped out that starts and ends in Ha Giang city, the provincial capital. This route is also called the Ha Giang loop. The most popular way to get around this loop is by motorcycle.
The Ha Giang Loop usually takes three to four days and takes you across the QL4C from Ha Giang to Bao Lam, and the QL34 that takes you from Bao Lam to Ha Giang.
It is dubbed the best motorcycle tour in Vietnam by many local and foreign tourists.
If you don’t have a driver’s license or are confident enough to drive through the dangerous mountains of northern Vietnam, it’s best to go with a guide. For these tours to Ha Giang on the back of a motorbike or by car visit localvietnam.com.