Ha Giang Travel Guide
Ha Giang is located in the northeast of Vietnam and a mountainous province with a variety of historical, cultural and scenic attractions that help to attract tourists on the Vietnam tour packages.
This city is the country's northernmost province that protrudes into China's Yunnan province to give a perfect opportunity to witness the local ethnic minority cultures, soaring rice terraces, and breathtaking mountain views. Ha Giang is said to be one of the finest places for a trekking trip in Vietnam. On a trekking or motorbike tour it is possible to get the most authentic feel of the country and see the traditional ethnic hamlets with locals that are very friendly, and will often welcome guests with a bowl of Thang Co (horse meat hot-pot), which is their special dish.
Even with the great list of attractions, this province hasn’t attracted the most travellers in the past, but with road improvements making the travel experience a lot safer and more guesthouse and hotels opening, it is seeing a turn in fortune.
Other regions like Sapa (200 km west of Ha Giang) is currently one of the most popular places for the tourist to explore on the Vietnam adventure tour. However, the remoteness of Ha Giang is certain to appear to those travellers that are looking to experience a similar trek into the wilderness.
The preferred time to visit Ha Giang on the Vietnam travel packages is the months of October to April which is the dry season. Travellers should think to avoid this mountainous region from May to September when the weather turns and the rainy season is experienced. On average, the temperature in Ha Giang ranges from 5° to 28° C, but with the mountainous climate there is a great risk of seeing sudden changes in the weather. Plus, the roads can become quite dangerous throughout the rainy season.
Similar to most other northern mountainous regions in Vietnam, the temperature is cool and pleasant in the summer, but changes to quite cold in the winter with the risk of snow.
How to get there
The most practical travel option to Ha Giang is by motorbike or tourist bus. For the independent travellers the motorbike is most likely the preferred choice. A motorbike tour through the mountains is certain to give the stunning view of the rock plateau, and more easily able to navigate the roads leading up the mountain (compared to the bus).
The travel distance between Ha Giang and Hanoi is in the region of 300 km. By motorbike, this can take nearly 9.5 hours to complete, but may take longer if stretches of the road aren’t in the best condition.
The cost for the tourist bus is about $5 for a one-way ticket.
The preferred means of travel on arrival in Ha Giang is motorbike with plenty of options to hire a decent quality bike in town.
Where to stay
The guesthouses and hotels in Ha Giang are still quite limited even though this region is developing into a popular tourist attraction. Because of the lack of development, the shortage of rooms can mean the prices are remarkably higher in the peak season.
A stay at the Huong Thao 2 Hotel provides a decent hotel with well-kept rooms with features like a seating area, TV, and free Wi-Fi. This hotel also has a gift shop on site and can help with hiring a car for a day or more.
The Golden Stone Hotel has plenty of comfortable and spacious rooms with basic features like a TV, kettle, and private bathroom. Plus, this is another hotel that can help with organizing car or bike hire.
For the budget traveller on the Vietnam private holidays, the Bong Backpacker Hostel is great with small, yet clean rooms with free Wi-Fi throughout the hostel. Guests have to use a shared bathroom and an on-site restaurant is available with very acceptable food.
Eat and drink
Lime's Coffee is well-located in a quiet neighbourhood that puts it away from a lot of the noise coming from the built up areas of Ha Giang. It is a great café with a stylish design that is clean with a friendly owner and delicious smoothies and iced coffee.
Thang Ly Restaurant is an incredibly friendly place with an English speaking owner with a varied menu that is clearly posted on the wall. A delicious bowl of pho costs in the region of $1.50.
KM0 Café is a great café that is well-decorated with a great range of food and drinks at reasonable prices. It has a great selection of coffee, smoothies and cold chocolate milk.
A great place to shop in Ha Giang while experiencing the Vietnam travel is Trang Kim Market. It is easily found in the Quan Ba district at Tam Son town and opens really early in the morning. This is a great place to learn more about the charming cultural traditions while also getting to barter for local goods.
This market has plenty of commodities on offer, ranging from souvenirs to staples with popular products that interest the tourist including the local products such as vegetables, brocade, medicinal and corn liquor. The local items are great gifts or souvenirs for family or friends.
A visit to Dong Van makes it possible to explore a market town that is approx 16 km from Sa Phin, and mostly inhabited by Hmong and Tay people. It has a highland location that is appreciated for its production of fruits such as persimmons, peaches and Hau plums. Other things to buy include medicinal plants like anise, cinnamon and ginseng.
The high altitude of Dong Van means the temperature is quite cold throughout the winter (0° C), but a more acceptable 24° C in the summer.
Things to see and do
A trip to Ha Giang in northeast Vietnam gives a perfect opportunity to see the untouched nature and the beauty of the country. Beyond the beautiful natural scenery, there are plenty of opportunities to learn more about the culture and lifestyle of the ethnic communities living in the highlands.
You may like : Top destinations in Ha Giang
Quan Ba Twin Mountain
Quan Ba Twin Mountain is approx 40 km from Ha Giang town and easily reached by travelling on Highway 4C. A visit to this mountain makes it possible to wonder at the unique natural scenery, while also learning more about Fairy Mountain which has an interesting legend associated with it. A visit to Quan Ba Twin Mountain is possible at any time of the year, and is surrounded with lush green rice paddies.
Tam Giac Mach Flower
One of the most rewarding sightseeing tours on a visit to Ha Giang is to explore the fields of buckwheat flower. The buckwheat flower is a symbol of the northern mountainous region; the best place to witness these flowers is in Ha Giang. The best time to visit the region to see the buckwheat flower is late October to early November annually.
Dong Van Karst Plateau
A further great tour on the Vietnam family vacation while in Ha Giang is to visit the site of the Dong Van Karst Plateau. This a vast rock garden that spans an area of nearly 2,356 sq km and at a height of 1000 to 1600 m about sea level. Dong Van Plateau is spread across an area that includes four districts: Meo Vac, Dong Van, Quan Ba and Yen Minh. This region of limestone formations is one of the most unique in Vietnam. Many of the rocks are in different stages of development and a great place for the tourist to admire this type of natural landmark.
Vuong Family’s Mansion
Vuong Family’s Mansion is a very inspiring destination to visit on the tour of Ha Giang with special and beautiful architecture that sits at a height of nearly 1,600 m above sea level. This mansion has been built with blends of H’Mong and Chinese styles, and includes sophisticated carved features that have been shaped to resemble bats, dragons and phoenixes.
Hoang Su Phi
A great place to visit for majestic and unspoiled landscapes is the Hoang Su Phi terraced fields. Beyond the beauty of the landscapes that are completed by the relaxed atmosphere, there is also the option to learn about authentic Vietnam by visiting one of the traditional villages, such as Lang Giang, Giang Thuong, Nam Hong and Phin Ho.
Phuong Thien Cave
Located about 7km from the township of Ha Giang, the Phuong Thien Cave is a great natural cave and grotto system that is well worth exploring. Most of the area that surrounds the caves is known for the production of apples, pears and plums. There are several caves to explore in the area, including the Chui Cave, which is set into the hill face at a height of about 100 m.