Ha Giang Vietnam: Top 10 things to see and do
- on Jan 13, 2020       By: BN
Located in the far Northeast of Vietnam, Ha Giang province, which borders China, is an off-the-beaten-path destination of breathtaking beauty. It is perhaps the spectacular province of all of Vietnam that we suggest discovering through the 10 activities unmissable when you stay in Ha Giang.
Top 10 of Ha Giang
* * *
Listed as a world geological park by Unesco, the Dong Van karst plateau geopark, a true natural wonder, is a must-see in Ha Giang province. Covering more than 2,000 km², this karst plateau covers the four districts in the Northeast of the province: Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van and Meo Vac. It is characterized by a succession of barren limestone peaks which gives a spectacular landscape. You will have the opportunity to appreciate it by taking the road from Ha Giang to Dong Van and continuing towards Meo Vac. It is in this grandiose setting that myriad ethnic minorities live, including the Hmong, Tay, Nung, Dao and Lolo.
>> Read more: Dong Van stone plateau, the terrific beauty of Ha Giang
Meet this incredible ethnic mosaic by going to one of the many ethnic markets in Ha Giang province, a change of scenery is guaranteed! It’s a festival of colours on the stalls but even more in the aisles with women elegantly dressed in their traditional costumes with shimmering colours. The most important markets of the province drawing a significant number of ethnic minorities are those of Hoang Su Phi, Dong Van and Meo Vac which are held on Sunday morning. Note that once a year, according to the lunar calendar, is held the "love market" in the Khau Vai village. It can’t be missed!
>> You would also like to read: The mountain markets in Ha Giang, colours of the karst mountains
The mountainous terrain and their spectacular landscapes are particularly suitable for hiking. For a walk of a few hours to a trekking of several days with homestays, Ha Giang province has something to satisfy all hiking appetites for all levels. A trek in Ha Giang offers the unique opportunity to discover exceptional panoramas from a different angle and to meet mountain tribes.
The fabulous rice terraces of Hoang Su Phi, a true masterpiece shaped by the hand of man, have been classified as national natural heritage. The vision of its amphitheatres of rice terraces never leaves the travellers indifferent. It is a striking sight that you can only contemplate from May to October when the rice has been planted, then when it ripens and finally, when they are being harvested, in late September to early October.
This is a travel experience that will leave you with an unforgettable memory of your stay in Vietnam. Even if the conditions of comfort can be limited, in particular during the stages of trekking in the remote villages, sleeping at the inhabitant remains a great moment of conviviality and sharing with the inhabitants, often ethnic minorities who welcome you in their beautiful houses in traditional wood. It is also an opportunity to encourage responsible and united tourism and to stimulate the local economy.
The road from Dong Van to Meo Vac has been dubbed by Ho Chi Minh the "road to happiness". And the happiness you feel when you contemplate such magnificent landscapes. The road offers spectacular views of the limestone valleys, the terraces planted with hemp and corn, the houses on stilts of ethnic groups and the breathtaking canyon where the emerald Nho Que river flows. It’s like entering a world out of the ordinary that will capsize your heart.
Rich in its ethnic diversity, Ha Giang has an original and quality traditional craftsmanship. In the ethnic markets, you can buy the unique embroidery of the ethnic minorities that populate the region. In Lung Tam village, you can buy beautiful fabric objects made from hemp and dyed with natural pigments. You can also observe all the manufacturing process of these objects which could be the occasion to buy original souvenirs.
Knock on Quan Ba Sky Gate and it will reveal a breathtaking view. This gateway to the Dong Van karst plateau offers a unique panorama. We can admire the twin mountains of Quan Ba, resembling a proud woman's breast, placed on a superb checkerboard of rice fields. Local legend has it that these two twin mountains were created by a fairy and a titan. The fact remains that one never tires of this astonishing landscape which announces others even more marvellous.
An architectural marvel blending traditional Hmong and Chinese art, the fortified palace of the former Hmong king was the residence of the Vuong family, whose member Vuong Duc Chi was crowned king of the Hmong people in 1900 in order to establish his authority over the Chinese border with the help of this ally. Built according to geomantic principles, this magnificent palace consists of three houses on stilts, 2 storeys each, built of stone, precious wood covered with animal sculptures and traditional tiles in the form of Yin and Yang. A visit not to be missed before reaching the Dong Van mountain village.
>> You would also like to read: The most beautiful setting for the Hmong King in Ha Giang
To go to Lung Cu flag tower is to access a sacred place for the Vietnamese since it marks the most Northerly point of Vietnamese territory and it symbolizes the standard of Vietnam’s territorial sovereignty. The Lung Cu flag tower was erected at the top of Rong (literally "Dragon") mountain, which rises to 1,700 meters above sea level. From above, there is a superb panoramic view of the countryside, its rice fields and its small villages of ethnic minorities.