Ha Giang represents the best Vietnam has to offer in terms of serene untouched natural landscapes. Here in the country’s final frontier, nature loving travellers arrive wanting to travel the famous “Ha Giang Loop”, either on their own with a motorcycle, or a guided trip with a car and driver.
Winding mountain roads are everywhere in Ha Giang.
Any tour of the region will almost certainly start with transport from Hanoi to Ha Giang City, a roughly 6 hour long trip by car or bus. From here, you should arrange for transportation, either a car with a driver or individual motorcycles for the adventurous types.
While the city itself doesn’t offer much, the nearby village of Thon Ta is a great first stop for any tour of the loop, and can act as your base for trekking up Tai Con Linh Peak.
Next you’ll start ascending the Dong Van plateau, and it’s now that the nature will truly start to shift into what you’ve seen in the pictures of Ha Giang. As the elevation rises, giant peaks burst into the sky, the majestic Quan Ba Heaven Gate will be the first of many amazing natural sights here.
Ma Pi Leng Pass has some of the most beautiful views anywhere in the country.
The village of Yen Min, surrounded by beautiful rice terraces, is a natural first stop on the plateau. From here you can continue on to Meo Vac. The village itself has become sadly touristic, but it’s a great place to rest for the night before continuing on through Ma Pi Leng Pass. Here the road is carved into the rock cliff-face, and a drive through it is equal parts terrifying (in a good way!) and gorgeous.
Dong Van is likely to be your next stop after Ma Pi Leng, and it’s the biggest city in the province. There’s more to do in the town here than in most towns in Ha Giang, but for nature-focused tours it might be best to rest for a night and then head north to Lung Cu. Here, near the immense flag pole near the Chinese border, you can enjoy more of the mountain views, and on a clear day even see all the way into China!
Some minority women at the market with their livestock.
While not part of the traditional “Ha Giang Loop”, Hoang Su Phi, instead located to the southwest of Ha Giang proper, it’s nonetheless a worthwhile stop while you’re in the area. Here the sprawling rice terraces reach staggering proportions, and make for amazing backs to peaceful countryside hikes.
For a tour focusing exclusively on treks and nature sights, 3 days is probably enough time in Ha Giang, but should you wish to add some diversity and enrich the experience for your guests, you can take some extra days to visit the more remote corners and many ethnic minority villages of the region, easily filling up a week-long package. The best time to visit is during the dry season from October to April, though it may be a bit cold, this is when you get the most out of your treks.
Traditional Ha Giang rice-fields.
There are amazing trekking opportunities in pretty much every single town and village in Ha Giang, so no matter what specific route to take, you’re sure to have plenty of options for your guests in terms of treks and sights.