Places you must see in Ha Giang
- on Jun 25, 2018       By: Hai Anh
Located in the Northern border area of Vietnam, Ha Giang is home to 23 peoples of Vietnam. Its hidden geographical beauty is distinguished with different parts separated by high mountain ranges. Although they may prevent Ha Giang’s commercial economy from growing, there exist many an element of tourism development. With favorable natural factors, combined with traditional cultural values, Ha Giang can develop various forms of cultural tourism and ecotourism such as climbing, cave and historical and cultural relic exploration.
1. Hoang Su Phi
Approximately 50km away from Ha Giang city, Hoang Su Phi is a highland border district attracting adventurous travelers with arduous roads up to the land. Terraced fields reaching the horizon, ripening rice season and falling water season there all have their own beauty.
2. Ma Pi Leng Pass
Ma Pi Leng is a dangerous road in Ha Giang with 20 kilometer length. The pass is part of the 'Happiness' road, that is on a 2000-meter high mountain, connecting Ha Giang city, Dong Van district and Meo Vac town. In Quan Hoa’s language, Ma Pi Leng means “nose bridge of horse”. Literally, we can understand the words that the pass is so high that horses breathe their last when they go over the pass, or the pass is walled up, which shapes like nose bridge of horses. The road snakes through gorges, flies over Ma Pi Leng pass at 2000 meter height. Under the pass lying down deep Nho Que river. At the view from the Ma Pi Leng pass, such a river suddenly looks like a tiny thread. In a poetry sentence of “Not come to Great Wall, not a swashbuckler”, which means if a man has not been to Great Wall yet, he is not a washer; then for this mighty pass along with the most dangerous road, the sentence becomes “Not come to Ma Pi Leng, not a backpacker”.
3. Dong Van karst plateau – the mystery of grey rock
The wonder of Dong Van karst plateau has made the area the park of rocks. In this special location of Ha Giang, people “live with rocks and pass away with rocks”. In a fun way of saying, birds has sacrificed theirs wings twice times to reach this northern farmost province of Vietnam – Ha Giang. Being one of the oldest areas in the earth, Dong Van geopark has been recognized as International Geopark by UNESCO in December, 2010.
4. Dong Van old quarter
Dong Van old quarter, also called Dong Van ancient town or Dong Van market is nested in the heart of Dong Van town, Ha Giang. The market was constructed in 1920s and till now is nearly intact. In the journey of those who want to find their own self in the remote forest areas, the old quarter is an indispensable marker. Ancient ying-yang symbolled tiled roofs of old house, crowd and busy weekend market-day fully carrying cultural identity of hill-tribe people, colorful hanging lanterns and diffusing corn wine are all blend together to bring you a complete soul of the old market. For a panorama of the town, you can go to Don Cao fortress and see a picturesque town.
5. Lung Cu flag tower – Viet Nam’s northernmost point
Lung Cu flag tower is the peak that marks the first point of Vietnam map. Visiting the northwest without climbing Lung Cu peak? No one would believe it. The tower is national flag tower that stand at Lung Cu peak, also known as Dragon Mountain peak of about 1,470meter altitude in Lung Cu commune, Dong Van district, Ha Giang, the northernmost province of Vietnam. From parking place amid the mountain, trekkers have to get over 286 stone steps to reach 1700-meter-high peak of Lung Cu where Vietnam national flag of yellow star in red is flying.
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6. Pho Bang town
The town is in the center of Dong Van karst plateau, surrounded by Rocky Mountains. Noticably, colorful roses are grown here. Pho Bang’s roses are small but beautiful in red, crimson and rosiness. They are delivered to Ha Giang city for business every day. It is those enchanting roses amid denuded rocky land that charm and drive visitors into a forgotten town.
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7. Sung La
From Yen Minh to Dong Van town and Pho Bang T-junction exists a beautiful pass embracing the whole green valley - Sung La. Looking down from a high place, you will be breathless for a picturesque winding trail, mountain ranges covering cool green spaces.
8. Pao’s house
It is an ancient house located in cultural tourism village community at Lung Cam, Sung La. The house was the place where four generations of a H’mong ethnic family lived in years ago. Lying in the middle of the barren karst plateau, Pao’s house seems like a scale-down picture of Mong ethnic minority’s life that is beautifully mysterious and enchanting.
9. Vuong family’s palace - a gem amid barren rock park
The mansion of Vuong family that self-acclaimed as the King family of H’mong ethnic group stands in the middle of Dong Van geopark. The palace was design in the shape of the word “King” in Chinese writing (Wang) and surrounded by samu trees (cunninghamia lanceolate). All the complex mansion is, still in intact status in spite of time and natural power. Behind the relics existing an interesting story. Vuong Chinh Duc (1865 - 1947), known as the king of the H'mong or Meo ethnic minority group in the area, earned his fortune from growing and trading opium. The palace was started to construct by in 1019 and completed 10 years later. The total cost for construction was 150,000 Indochina silver coins equivalent to VND150 billion (USD 6.61 million). Covering a total area of 1,120 square meters, the palace was used as a residence and fortress during the Vuong Dynasty.
10. Pine forest in Yen Minh
Yen Minh pine forest is located about 100km northeast of Ha Giang city, alongside of 4C Road running from Can Ty to the center of the district and through three communes: Bach Dich, Na Khe, Lao And Chai. Owning pine forest holding up half of the sky, Yen Minh road is like "Da Lat in the Northeast of Vietnam". Drop by the Yen Minh pine forest to feel the sound of pine leaves in the wind and the signature smell of this place!
Besides the above attractions, if you have enough time in Ha Giang, you should visit some of these following destinations
1. Sung Khanh pagoda
Sung Khanh is a well-known temple located at the top of a small hill in Nung Village, Dao Duc Commune, Vi Xuyen District and 9km southwest of Ha Giang. The temple leans on the low mountain range behind and faces up to Thich Bich stream.
2. Quan Ba Heaven Gate twin mountains
Quan Ba is 46 km north of Ha Giang city. Just cross Bac Sum uprising and you’ll reach Quan Ba Heaven Gate. From the gate, you can enjoy the breath-taking view of the whole town Tam Son with cool climate all year round. Also, the stunning twin mountains just as charming as the breast of the fairy sleeping in the valley will blow your mind. The destination is a unique masterpiece that nature creates for the land of Ha Giang.
3. Thanh Thuy international border gate
Thanh Thuy border gate is the most major one and the only international border gate in Ha Giang. The border gate, where milestone no.261 marking Vietnam-China border, is 22km from Ha Giang city where milestone no.261 marking Vietnam-China border.
4. Cam Son mountain
Cam Mountain is an attractive destination in Ha Giang. The mountain is like an imposing lion with arduous mountains, deep caves and steep cliffs.
5. Noong lake
Noong Lake is a freshwater lake that is like the fairy land of Ha Giang. The lake is located in Phu Linh commune, Vi Xuyen district, about 23km from Ha Giang city. This natural water lake is distinctive with its floating forests which change during seasons.
6. En cave
En cave is located in Yen Minh district, about 60km away from Ha Giang city. The place still remains its prestine beauty with fantastic strange shapes of stalactites, which make the cave an attractive destination throughout the time.
7. Bac Sum pass
Bac Sum (Minh Tan commune, Vi Xuyen) is a majestic pass of Ha Giang and considered as the second Pha Din pass of the rocky plateau. The pass is several kilometers long and looks like curved polylines in the middle of wild and mysterious nature.
8. H’mong King’s Palace
H’mong King’s Palace, also known as Vuong family’s palace lies in Sa Phin Valley in Lung Phin Commune, Dong Van District, Ha Giang. It was built around the beginning of 20th century with the materials such as stone, fir wood and terracotta tiling in a combined Chinese, French and H'mong traditional architectural style.
9. Ha Giang scheduled trading sessions
In different time and locals, trading sessions in Ha Giang have different goods, commodities and draw different target buyers. These sessions offer buyers with typical goods of ethnic minorities in mountainous area. To understand their culture and life style of these hill-tribe peope, let’s take a visit to a market-day to fully understand.
>>> Realated: Ha Giang Travel Guide
>>> Read more: Thien Huong, a forgotten 100-year-old village in Dong Van
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