Hoang Su Phi

How To Travel To Hoang Su Phi For Your Best Experience
Hoang Su Phi Travel Guide  – What to do, when to visit, and more…

Terraced fields are a form of cultivation on sloping land of many people in the world. Due to the scarcity of upland mountains for cultivation, people choose the slopes of the ridge to form terraces. And then drain water from the high mountains to form terraced fields for rice cultivation.

When travelling to Ha Giang, no one can ignore the beautiful beauty of terraced fields in Hoang Su Phi. The array of colours lying on the precarious mountain ranges, gently hugging the undulating rock slope like enchanting smooth lines.

Frequently asked questions

Hoang Su Phi, an upland district located on the west side of Ha Giang province which is a distance of about 300km from Hanoi, the hotspot of Northern Vietnam’s tourism, apparently attracts adventurous tourists the most nowadays. Traveling 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. 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.

Whether seeking an outdoor adventure or simply a view on how the locals live, Hoang Su Phi is absolutely the place to satisfy your appetite for a hard-to-forget journey. For your best experience traveling Hoang Su Phi, let’s take some tips from our complete guide on what to do, when to visit, and more…

1. Visiting Phung Village
Covered by the mighty Tay Con Linh and Gia Long mountain chains, Phung Village presents an amazing sight of pristineness and romanticity that must be on top of your to-do-list in Hoang Su Phi. Traveling to Phung Village, tourists may enjoy seeing breath-taking scenes of the terrace fields spanning vertically across the mountains like steps to heaven of the giants. Although the irrigation and drainage system is centuries old, farmers still remain using bamboo infrastructure to transmit water around the mountainside to maintain the terrace floor’s fertile artfully.

If visiting Phung Village during the harvest season, tourists may withhold their breaths before the stunning views of the scene, when the fields spread all over the valley to create a brilliant yellow circle, alternating with streams and forests behind the floating clouds like the garden of God looming large. These beautiful pastures mark the uniqueness all over Hoang Su Phi and give Phung Village a special appeal as a picture of how people live and get harmonized with the sky.

When trekking along a pathway toward the village nestling at the mountainside, tourists may see a cluster of houses of La Chi people, who will greet visitors with warmth and friendliness. Aside from sharing stories and shelters, one may get lucky enough if visiting Phung Village at festive seasons, when the very local Tet holiday, ceremony of maturity, rain praying, season blessing… taking place. That would be the unique experience visiting Phung Village as the top thing to do when you are at Hoang Su Phi.

2. Visiting Nam Hong Village
Visiting Nam Hong, which is a small hamlet in the mountainside, tourists may get an opportunity to stay with a local Man Ta Pan (Red Dzao ethnic minority group). Nam Hong village has some great roads offering some fantastic rides for enthusiastic mountain bikers. This region of Hoang Su Phi provides some options for someone who wants some mountainous challenges and who prefer long flat rides.

3. Visiting Nam Khoa Village
Tourists follow trails winding through rice terraces across Nam Khoa village, a place inhabited by the Long Tunics Dzao and Man Ta Pan ethnic group also. It is a good time to admire the stunning views of the green terraces and discover the lives of locals. The trek itself was not difficult but the weather conditions made it tougher than normal. Therefore, you should search for the weather forecast before trekking.

4. Visiting Phin Ho Village
Continuously, travelers can experience the differences between the Red Dzao and the Long Tunics Dzao, as well as enjoy an amazing meal with garden-produced ingredients. And also not to forget to visit tea fields in Phin Ho village to learn about the oldest Shan Tuyet tea trees (more than 100 years old – giving the famous tea in Vietnam), of which buds have white hairs, and its importance in locals’ culture and lives.

5. Joining the Hoang Su Phi village fair
The fair opens every Sunday, which offers tourists a great opportunity to learn about the life of the local people.

Ethnic groups of the Tay, Nung, H’mong, Ha Nhi and others usually gather early at 6 o’clock in the morning, busily trading products and exchanging information until dusk. They look nice in their beautiful traditional dresses, selling or buying things, talking and drinking happily. In fact, many boys & girls have become husband & wife thanks to their dating in those markets’ meetings. Surely that it will be a very authentic travel experience when joining the weekend local markets in your journey to Hoang Su Phi region.

6. Climbing Chieu Lau Thi and Tay Con Linh mountains
If you love more adventure treks and conquering the peaks, there are some in Hoang Su Phi for you to climb, in which the famous one named Chieu Lau Thi at 2,402 meters high (the second-highest one in Ha Giang) and Tay Con Linh at 2,427 meters high (the highest one in Ha Giang, and the second-highest in Vietnam – after Fansipan in Sapa at 3,143 meters).

These great mountains offer breathtaking views of the surrounding nature and primeval forests, but tourists must keep in mind a thorough preparation should be made before departing since the route is not going through locals’ village and may take hours for a round trip.

7. Home-staying with locals
Home-staying in a local family is a great choice for tourists with an affordable budget while they could also enjoy the real atmosphere of lives around there. Expect no convenience as a high-grade hotel, but living with locals, who are willing to share their traditional customs and daily activities, and tasting the host’s home-cooked dishes, tourists may learn and feel the warmest hospitality in their travel journey at Hoang Su Phi.

8. Enjoying the specialties
Being like a goddess to help dispel the fatigue of a long day and bring a good night’s sleep to the diners, rice soup “Au Tau” is also a specialty that visitors can hardly ignore. Boiled rice soup after adding chicken eggs, onions, peppers, chili, and coriander will rice a sweet smell that diners cannot forget.

Besides the specialties like many other districts of Ha Giang, Hoang Su Phi also has a unique food, made up in particular one is the rat meat of the La Chi people (who stay at Phung Village). For La Chi, rats are not only spiritual but also closely linked to their daily lives. They can process the rat into various delicious dishes such as grilled, fried, and barbecued are most popular.

Like the Kinh eat pork, La Chi people consider the rat meat as a daily food and can be eaten all year round throughout the month. So, if there is a chance to travel to Hoang Su Phi, the rat is the food you definitely have to enjoy.

For those who wish to experience the most out of vibrant culture, characteristic tradition and impressive landscape in Hoang Su Phi, you may want to check out our suggested a 2-day & 1-night itinerary below.

Day 1: Hoang Su Phi Arrival – Nam Hong Village
Depart from Hanoi and get to Ha Giang in the afternoon. Visit Nam Hong Village after a 5-hour trekking passing rice terrace fields, mountainous scenery, bamboo forests and houses of the hill tribes. Overnight at home stay in a Man Ta Pan or Dzao house and enjoy dinner with specialties from the mountainous area.

Day 2: Phin Ho Village – Hoang Su Phi Departure
Take another 5-hour trek to the village of Phin Ho, an area of Red Dao known for its special herbal teas. Enjoy the lush valleys en route. Have lunch with locals and learn their culture until late afternoon. Then get back to Hanoi.

If you are a veteran backpacker, please feel free to manage the trip your own and alter it when needed, else, we recommend you join a tour organized by a professional company, that can free you from hassles and keep you safe throughout the journey.

The climate in Hoang Su Phi typically divides into two seasons: the rainy season is from May through October with torrential rains and landslides – the dry season is from November through April with low temperatures which may be less than 10 degrees Celsius. While being famous by the terraced fields, the unique picture tourists are eager to see, ones may want to know in advance the alternation of seasons affecting local practices and their travel planning.

The best time to visit Hoang Su Phi and contemplate the beauty of the rice terraces is in summer because this it harvesting time, which may be classified as three periods:

From May to June: During this time of falling-water starts, terraced fields in Hoang Su Phi make the northern mountainous region become warm and rich by the golden of the ripe rice, and the locals are busy starting a new crop. They float and flood terrace areas with their irrigation systems. Rice grew up, this time their subjects have various green shades with different tones. This is really a masterpiece that you cannot take your eyes off. If you are a photographer or someone who likes to play with cameras, then this is an ideal time to witness the scene.

From June to September: The rice-growing time with the immense layers of green color to the horizon. At this point, the fields look like curved mirrors that stretch from the toes to the top of the hill. The mountains undulating, lush valleys, the endless sky as beautiful as the pictures, promising a bumper harvest. This is certainly one of the most beautiful sceneries in the world and a dream for those who love exploring the hidden land.

From September to October: When the rice, in the fullest beauty, changes its green color to golden yellow that looks like a garden of God. At this point, the terraced fields are the most favorite, spoiled for taking photos of long terraced fields on the slopes. You will admire the majestic natural scenery and scenic beauty of the terraced fields at this special period.

In other months, locals will keep the land rest due to the cooler and cold weather from November to March (not much rainwater for rice plantation). The months of October until April, though being in cold climate, the weather is dry so it is safer for trekking trips than the months of May till September when it is constantly with heavy rains, sometimes resulted in landslides blocking the roads and dangers.

There are two ways to get to Hoang Su Phi, which is a distance of about 300km from Hanoi via Route 2: by public transportation (bus), or by self-driving motorbike. The safest and most convenient move that tourists should choose is to catch the bus from Hanoi to Ha Giang at My Dinh bus station.

By bus: Tourists can take a public bus at My Dinh station in Hanoi, spending about 6-8 hours to approach Ha Giang city. There are both overnight buses and day buses from Hanoi to Ha Giang city. One suggestion for you is to set the overnight buses to save time and have relaxed on the road.

Route Hanoi – Ha Giang: You can easily pick one with a fare of 200,000 VND per turn, from My Dinh bus station every day, of which departure time is usually around 8-9 pm until about 5 am the next day, you will be at Ha Giang bus station.

Route Ha Giang – Hoang Su Phi: After getting to Ha Giang bus station, you can then take the shuttle bus to travel to Route 2 to Tan Quang, then turn to Hoang Su Phi. Every day from Tan Quang there are only two trips to Hoang Su Phi at 7 am and 1 pm, therefore, you should arrange a reasonable plan so that you do not have to wait too long.

By self-driving motorbike: For those who use personal vehicles, there are many options to discover Hoang Su Phi. The route is from Hanoi, through the Thang Long Bridge and the Thang Long – Noi Bai Highway to get to Vinh Yen. After that, continue moving to Viet Tri – Doan Hung – Phu Tho and Tuyen Quang to Ha Giang. At Tan Quang Township of Ha Giang Province, you’ll turn into a small road that keeps going up into the mountains. The landscape is sensational around here.

There is another route that can run a motorbike to Hoang Su Phi to go to Thanh Thuy border gate and cross Tay Con Linh to Hoang Su Phi. After going to Hoang Su Phi, turn to Xin Man, Bac Ha and return to Hanoi by Yen Bai road. Going this schedule will be a circle, no need to return to the original path.

Caution in driving my motorbike: Traveling by motorbike can be exciting, however, it is more dangerous than traveling by bus because of the traffic jam and some problems may happen on the road. When hiring a motorbike, you should test its quality to ensure safety and don’t forget to bring your personal identification, also strictly follow the road traffic law to ensure safety when traveling a long distance.

Throughout this article, we wish you to have an idea of how to travel to Hoang Su Phi for your best experience. In case you are looking for your own travel agent, who can offer a wonderful and hassle-free trip to Hoang Su Phi, please feel free to let us know. We always commit our best to make it your once-in-a-lifetime journey.

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