How to visit Ha Giang in 3 days?
- on Jan 9, 2020       By: BN
Beyond its karst plateau full of breathtaking loops and picturesque valleys, let yourself be seduced by the history shared by the Hmong, Tay, Lolo... living in clay houses in the middle of the mountains. Located in the extreme North and comprising of more than 17 ethnic groups, Ha Giang is ideally visited in 3 days or more so as to take advantage of its tremendous natural and cultural wealth. Take a look at our tips for a successful first trek to Ha Giang.
How to go to Ha Giang?
For the distance of more than 300km, it takes around 6 hours to drive to Ha Giang from Hanoi, by bus or motorbike.
Some buses from Hanoi for your reference:
Hai Van bus, departure at 8:30 p.m. at My Dinh bus station
Hung Thanh bus, departure at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. from My Dinh bus station and at 9:00 a.m., 7:00 p.m. from Gia Lam bus station
Cau Me bus, departure at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 9 p.m. from My Dinh.
The ticket price for a bus with a berth for the Hanoi - Ha Giang route varies between 260,000 - 300,000 VND. When you arrive in the city, start the tour with a local bus. The more adventurous can rent a motorcycle on-site to improvise mountain hikes.
Two routes to go to Ha Giang by motorbike:
Route 1 (about 300 km): Hanoi - Son Tay (via national road 21 to Co Nhue) - Trung Ha bridge - Co Tiet - Phong Chau bridge and then turn left - follow the Thao river - chief town of Phu Tho commune- Doan Hung - Tuyen Quang - via national road 2 - Ha Giang.
Route 2 (about 280 km): Hanoi - Vinh Phuc - Viet Tri - Phu Tho - Tuyen Quang - Ha Giang (via NR 2C or national road 2).
The rental of a manual motorbike in Ha Giang city is around 200,000 VND a day, here are the most recommended addresses:
At Hang Thuong, 15B Pham Hong Thai street, Minh Khai district
At Quang Tan, 15A1 Nguyen Trai street, 200m from the bus station
At Bao Thanh, 31 Nguyen Thai Hoc street
At Giang Son, 170 Tran Hung Dao street
Motorbikes & Tours company, 01 Nguyen Thai Hoc street, 30m from the bus station.
Hanoi - Ha Giang tour program in 3 days:
Hanoi - Ha Giang - Quan Ba - Yen Minh - Lung Cu - Dong Van - Ma Pi Leng - Meo Vac - Ha Giang - Hanoi
Highlights of your journey
+ Trekking through the breathtaking scenery of the Dong Van limestone plateau: Quan Ba sky gate, legendary Ma Pi Leng pass and Lung Cu flag tower,
+ Visiting between myth and authenticity: old district of Dong Van and residence of the king of the Hmong,
+ Immersing in the varied ethnic colours and flavours of the Hmong, Dao, Giay, Lolo…
Day 1: Hanoi - Ha Giang (300km) - Quan Ba (50 km)
Arriving at Ha Giang city after 6 hours by car, you will continue to the Quan Ba mountainous district which is about 50 km from the city, to start the adventure. You can go through the winding loops to access the gate to the sky of Quan Ba at 1500m above sea level which offers breathtaking views of the majestic landscapes and from afar, the famous twin mountains. Going back down, the stop at the Kho My cave which means in the local language, a beautiful girl, is worth a visit to discover its many hidden stalactites and mystical figures.
It’s also the opportunity to explore the culture of the ethnic populations, such as Hmong, Dao, Tay, Bo Y... and taste the local specialities like seedless persimmon and corn alcohol from Thanh Van...
Have lunch at Quan Ba. After hours on the road, rest at one of the homestays or cheap hotels that are not lacking on site.
Day 2: Quan Ba - Yen Minh (70km) - Pho Bang (53km) - Residence of the Vuong family - Lung Cu flag tour (45km) - Dong Van (29km)
In the direction of Dong Van limestone plateau, the first geological park in Vietnam recognized by Unesco, cross the Can Ty valley and cross the pine hills forming Yen Minh. Along the way, the stop in Pho Bang town makes it possible to cross the earthen houses typical of the Hmong and of the people with Chinese origins. The hike continues with a beautiful valley of buckwheat flowers in Sung La, a meeting place for lovers of the emblematic flower of Ha Giang.
Then you can stroll through the palace of the Hmong King, unique architecture in the limestone region to appreciate. It tells the mysterious story of the Vuong family.
Take the loop leading to Lung Cu flag tower, the top of which gives you a panoramic view of a peaceful painting mixing mountains and rice fields. Let’s take the time to visit the Lolo Chai village living at the foot of the mountain to understand life far removed from the rest of the world.
At the end of the afternoon, head to the old district of Dong Van to soak up the special atmosphere amidst the old buildings of the Hmong, Tay, Nung and Chinese people who have inhabited it for two hundred years.
In the evening, try a bowl of Chao au tau or local soup of a particular taste at the Moc Mien Inn and then lounge in a corner of the Pho co café (Old Quarter) to enjoy a memorable night in the mountains.
Day 3: Dong Van - Ma Pi Leng pass (14 km) - Meo Vac (17km) - Ha Giang (160km) - Hanoi (300km)
To end your 3-day trip in Ha Giang in style, set off after breakfast for the legendary Ma Pi Leng pass which combines Dong Van and Meo Vac. You will enjoy the spectacular landscapes by triumphing over one of the hardest passes of the Northern mountains. It’s definitely a must destination for a trek in Ha Giang.
After lunch at Meo Vac, take a short rest to prepare well for the return to Ha Giang and Hanoi, with more than 450 kilometres to cover.
Attention of a trek in Ha Giang:
If the Hanoi-Ha Giang route, although practicable, does not pose any problem, the rest to be followed, Ha Giang - Quan Ba - Dong Van - Meo Vac - Ha Giang, requires real attention along the way for many extremely winding loops.
These include Bac Sum, Quan Ba Sky Gate, Quan Ba - Can Ty, Tham Ma, Chin Khoanh, Ma Pi Leng and Duong Thuong which are real challenges for any adventurer. It's just a matter of being careful at the wheel, any thorough preparation will be rewarded.
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