Heading toward but wonder what are the best things to do in Ha Giang? Save your time by reading our article for a complete guide on where to go, what to do and what to eat in Ha Giang, if you are expecting a perfect trip to the legendary destination of Northern Vietnam.
Ha Giang is the North pole of Vietnam, the final frontier bordering China, which is shaped with mighty forested limestones and granite mountains. Being famous for the picturesque scene of vast pink buckwheat flower covering the entire stone plateau, Ha Giang is a fascinating place for both local and international tourists to watch. In terms of natural beauties and indigenous culture, Ha Giang is inferior to no other. However, due to its high-altitude location and traveling difficulties, reaching Ha Giang might be challenging for some, but it is definitely worth your visit at last.
Best places to visit in Ha Giang
Hoang Su Phi – Wherein the marvel golden terraced fields shine
Hoang Su Phi is a district in the west of Ha Giang Province, at the foot of Tay Con Linh Mountain. Getting to Hoang Su Phi, visitors will be charmed by the mighty pristine beauty of wild mountains and terraced fields at the altitude of 1.500m above sea level. This is also a long-term residence area of Dao, Tay, Nung, Mong, Co Lao, La Cha minority.
During the harvest season, the fields cover all over the valley with a brilliant yellow circle. In the afternoon sunlight, everything seemed to be dyed a warm yellow, whereas, at the sunshine, visitors can easily catch the clouds floating high at eye level, layering over Hoang Su Phi a fanciful view of peacefulness and tranquility. A true photographer wishes he has known about this place before.
Authenticity, tranquillity, and preservation – these are the best words to describe Hoang Su Phi. Especially, the authentic traditions of the local ethnic minorities are truly amazing for anyone who loves to discover the hidden lives of the less known world.
Lung Cu flagpole – The first stroke that drawing Vietnam’s map
Being known as “a high forehead of the motherland”, where marks the extreme North of the country, Lung Cu is an interesting place for those who love to learn history because it’s where the sacred flagpole is placed on the highest ground. From a distance, Lung Cu is a spectacular sight with the view dominated by giant boulders and the national flag flying above Dragon Mountain, all set to the backdrop of magnificent forests. The flagpole has become an iconic tourist attraction of Ha Giang since it inspires a deep sense of pride in Vietnamese.
The route to the northernmost Lung Cu flagpole from Ha Giang’s center takes over the distance of 1.5 kilometers, then overcoming 389 stone steps and climbing more 140 spiral stairs right at the flagpole’s heart. Sound quite challenging, right? But the views on the top will reward your effort. From its top, visitors can see the whole of the beautiful and spectacular landscape under, like a watercolor painting with paddy fields and earthen-walled houses dot the sumptuous panorama.
Ma Pi Leng Pass – Get here if you dare
Ma Pi Leng means literally “Horse’s nose bridge”, describing the look of its shape. This 20mk-length pass has such high steep that makes horses stop breathing when climbing, but is a dream to drive down for brave adventurous travelers. It winds its way past shapely karst mountains, through tiny villages and allows for some outstanding views of the green Vietnamese countryside.
Riding on this pass, you’ll be amazed by the immense scenery of majestic and wild beauty. Along the way, there are almost vertical farms on the mountainside, thousands of gray mountains concatenate to the horizon and abyss underneath. Have long been ranked by locals, Ma Pi Leng is among the top 4 passes in Vietnam which are both beautiful and dangerous.
Happiness Road – the legendary path of blood and flower
Opened in the year 1965, Happiness Road has a total length of 185 kilometers, which has a long and heroic history of itself starting from the days even before its birth. Many volunteers, workers from several ethnic groups had joined hands to open the toughest mountain road in Vietnam, the very first road in Ha Giang. Some of them even sacrificed their lives in the span of 7 years of making this road. The name of the road is also the wish for happiness that the local people here sent to the future. Without Happiness Road, Ha Giang would be so remote to travel to that no one ever thought of coming here for tourism purposes.
This is also the road that those who love adventure, exploring the desire to visit is to admire the beauty of nature in the land of the country. Going down the steep slopes, you will enter the more picturesque area of Ha Giang with a sight of mountains dotted with few villages. Though the road is meandering and the bends of the sleeves are hard, but in front of the eyes is always a peaceful scene, beautiful to the heart of the rock mountain that makes everyone broach.
Happiness Road brings a change of beauty in each season. In the winter, the road is grayish-black patches of a clouded sky, misty mist. In the summer, the road glows with the sunbeds of the dawn on the rocky plateau or the rainbow after the sudden rain. From September to November, this road diminishes visitors by the yellow rice season, purple-pink of the buckwheat flowers and wild daisy flowers. Whoever comes here will surely treasure the unforgettable memory about Happiness Road.
Dong Van Stone Plateau – the mysterious karst plateau geopark
Located on the height of 1400 – 1600 meters above sea level, Dong Van features a vast area of limestone which covers most of the four provinces of Ha Giang. The geographical characteristics of Dong Van Plateau are just as dramatic as it can get with sheer mountain cliffs running to the horizon. There’re huge mountains and deep canyons to be found here of which the highest peak is Mount Mieu Vac (1,971m) and the deepest canyon is Tu San (800m).
The town is also a good base for day treks around nearby minority villages and nearby sights such as the Lung Cu flag tower and the Lung Cam Cultural Tourist Village.
This is not only a tourism destination but also a mysterious place for scientists to discover. One of the mysterious things in Dong Van Rock Plateau is the scripts found on many rocks – ancient letters but until now, the meanings to these letters are left unknown. In December of 2010, at last, this was recognized by UNESCO and become a wonderful heritage of the world.
Quan Ba Twin Mountain – The gate to the Heaven
Located about 46 km north of Ha Giang town, which is considered as Da Lat of the north, Quan Ba is the scenic district with spectacular mountains, poetic valleys, winding roads as well as the unique local culture.
Amid the rolling mountains and terraced fields, it is outstanding by two mountains of which strange round shape looks like the sleeping fairy’s fully breasts called Quan Ba Twin Mountain, which surprise visitors at the magnificent beauty of the Creator.
Quan Ba Twin Mountains are a lovely sight to behold from the road. The two round-shaped green hills lying side by side in the middle of the rice field will surely catch your eyes because of its charming appearance.
Right near the Twin Mountains lies the Heaven Gate which is on a height of 1,500m above sea level, offering breathtaking views of the valley below. It’s such a wonderful experience to take in such scenery during your trip. To reach the Heaven Gate, you have to climb up a few dozen more steps to the highest peak which is the most ideal place to get a panoramic view of the Dong Van plateau, looking backward downhill and the zigzag road weaving between clouds and mountains.
Quan Ba Twin Mountain is a beautiful symbol of the Dong Van Highland, which is the crystalline beauty of nature and tectonic. With this value, the mountain is recognized as the national scenic spot by the Ministry of Culture Sport and Tourism Vietnam.
Sung La village – Where the flowers bloom on rock
From Yen Minh to Dong Van town, to Pho Bang fork, to where the pretty pass embraces a beautiful green valley, it is Sung La valley – “a rose” of stone plateau.
Sung La is like a peaceful and beautiful nature painting, located amid rugged mountains which is totally dark color, and the strong houses with its ancient roofs by time. The H’ mong in Sung La is planting a triangular and flowering plant on the uphill. But growing corn, rice in the land where the flat and bottom of the valley. You will have the chance to see the green of the corn, rice, purple flowers of triangular flowers and yellow sunshine is the dark blue of the forest.
Spring is also the most beautiful season of this land as the flowers bloom throughout the high plateau. The fields of flowers make the natural scene which is harsh, cold and turned into a beautiful picture.
Mansion of the Wang – The gem in the forest
Started building in 1019 and totally completed 10 years later, with a total cost reaching to 150,000 silver coins (equivalent to 150 billion Vietnam dong at that time), the Wang’s mansion looks beautifully surrounded by pine trees, which has been originally preserved after the rise and fall of history, under sun and rain, so it brings with itself a fascinating history story.
On the tortoiseshell-shape-hilltop with the rows of pine tree rising strongly, there is a house shaping Wang superbly growing as a print among blue space. This huge mansion is surrounded by high ancient green trees. Through long time and history, this Vuong mansion still keeps its mysterious beautiful nature. Visiting this precious mansion, you can find many treasures of Vuong family. Stable woods used includes great stories to tell, which stay still during times and ages. You can ask your local tour guide for Vuong family history to listen to their stories and immerse with the nature.
Best tourist activities in Ha Giang
While distances from one town to the next are probably a bit too by bicycle, it’s a fun way to get around in places like Dong Van. A bicycle is also a good way to explore the outskirts of a village and the surrounding rice fields.
Getting from one town to the next in Ha Giang is easy and fun by motorbike. Streets are winding and steep, but generally well-paved so you can drive comfortably. If you’re an inexperienced driver, don’t underestimate these roads. You might want to consider getting a driver to be on the safe side.
Best foods to eat at Ha Giang
Au Tau Porridge as known as bitter porridge is a specialty of Ha Giang, can be found everywhere from Ha Giang City to Dong Van plateau. A bowl of Au Tau has literally everything in it from all flavors of au tau and spice leaves to the balance of rice, herbs and meat…. This dish is also a medicine to cure sick and cold.
Dried buffalo meat is famous over northwest Vietnam, not only in Ha Giang. This dish is a specialty of Black Thai people. The buffalo meat will be marinated then hung on the wooden bars on top of the kitchen’s fire. The smell of charcoal remains with the flavors of peppers, ginger and “mac khen” – a kind of forest pepper in northwest Vietnam.
Buckwheat flowers food-made are Ha Giang’s specialty. Buckwheat is known not only for its beauty but also for its tastiness. You can find many food-stall selling coal grilled Tam Giac Mach cake near Lung Cam cultural village, Vuong King palace, Dong Van market and Old Quarter. Tam Giac Mach flower is also used to make wine, cookies and soft cake….
Thang Den is a popular sweet soup dessert in Dong Van and Meo Vac, when served hot can warm your body up in the cold night on the highland’s town. The small white balls made of glutinous rice are soaked in sweet syrup, topped with peanuts, sesame and coconut slices. This soup sure smells good.
Thang Co Dish is originally a traditional food of H’mong people, has become a common food among ethnic groups in the region. Thang Co’s main ingredient is horse meat. All parts of the horse are put in a big pan and fried. Men often eat Thang Co with wine while women eat the dish with com nam (rice balls) or men (ground maize). You can try the dish in Dong Van, there are some restaurants selling Thang Co, prices are varied.
Stuffed pancake in Dong Van is soft, full of onion and meat grinded. Using your chopsticks and take a taste of this, you can feel warm inside your body.
Above is our suggestion about the best things to do in Ha Giang. Are you thrilled to visit Ha Giang to witness the breathtaking scenes and enjoy amazing activities? Let hesitate not to contact us for more detail or make or your own request.