Ha Giang Travel Guide
- on Jun 24, 2018       By: LucyH
As a matter of fact, Ha Giang is one of the top wonderful tourist attractions in the northern region of Vietnam. Let’s once come to this gorgeous place to be astonished by the magnificence of nature of the highland that marks the farthest north point on the Chinese-Vietnamese border.
A. Geographical feature and location
B. The most suitable time to visit Ha Giang
C. How to get to Ha Giang
D. Attractive tourist destinations in Ha Giang
E. Must-try foods when traveling to Ha Giang
A. Geographical feature and location
Located in the North Pole of Vietnam, Ha Giang consists of a numorous number of high mountains and rivers. Due to its complicating geographical features this area can be divided into 3 mains regions.
♦ First, the northern highland rocky region located closely to the tropic of Cancer with rather high slope. Besides, with the geographical features, valleys and rivers here are divided in small parts. Although it located in the humid subtropical zone Ha Giang has features of temperate climate as a result of its high terrain.
♦ Second, the western highland region belongs to the mountain range inwhich the upstream of Chay river starts has high mountain slope and mountain pass, narrow valley and stream bed.
♦ Third, the lowland region includes the hills and mountains of Lo river and Ha Giang city.
Ha Giang has imposing mountains including extremely high peaks such as the Tay Con Linh peak which is 2,419 meters tall and Kieu Lieu Ti with 2,402 meters tall, the two highest mountain in this area. It also have a variety of flora with lots of primeal forests, several precious types of wood and there are up to 1,000 kinds of medicinal plant. Tiger, peacock, pheasant, pangolin and many other kinds of bird and animal are the typical example of fauna in this highland.
Tourists can visit Ha Giang at any time in the year as we can be overwhelmed just by looking at the beaurtiful curves of the road on the rocky highland surface. Here are some suggestions of time in order to help tourist can fully enjoy the beauty of Ha Giang.
♦ January | Season of beach blossom, plum blossom and rape flower
When spring comes, many places such as Quan Ba (Quyet Tien, Minh Tan), Yen Minh (Lao Va Chai, Na Khe, Bach Dich), Dong Van (Pho Bang, Pho Cao, Sung La, Sa Phin, Thai Phin Tung), Meo Vac (Sung Tra, Sung Trai, Lung Phin) are covered with the beautiful colors of peach blossoms, plum blossoms and rape flowers on the black ground of the rocky highland surrounding the mud-walled cottages which is locally called “trinh tuong” house.
♦ April | Season of Khau Vai love market
Every year, in 27th of March in lunar calendar, people of different ethnic groups from high mountain areas in their tradittional clothes gather at Khau Vai singles market which is only held once in a year.
>>> Related topic Khau Vai Love Market in Meo Vac, Ha Giang
♦ In May | When people fill terrace fields with water to start new crop
Most of the terrace fields in the northwest part of Vietnam are filled with water from May to June, some in July, some even store water in the field ealier during April; but the most suitable time is from May to June, when people transplanting rice.
♦ In September and October | Season of rice harvesting season
Rice can be harvested from the end of September to the begining of October. The scenery changes into a new image when the terrace fields are filled with the golden color of the ripe rice.
♦ In November | Season of Buckwheat blooming season
Buckwheat, the symbol of the rocky highland Ha Giang with small flowers and light purple color that can easily attracts people who love flower and those who love taking picture at the first sight. In this period of time, Ha Giang has two main colors. One is the grey color of the rocky mountain, the other one is the light purple of the buckwheat flowers. The combination between the cold grey of reason and pink that represents dream. This combination is somewhat incompatible at first but surprisingly created a wonderful beauty for this highland.
♦ In December | When snow falls over the Ha Giang trail
In Meo Vac province (Dong Van rocky highland) there are many places that are often covered in snow at the end of December. Many tourists from different countries have luckily had chance to see this imcomparable event in the year.
>>> Read more: 4 seasons in Ha Giang
There are two main ways to come to Ha Giang
♦ By mortobike: One of the ways to discover Ha Giang is go by motorbike which may takes about 8 to 10 hours defending on the speed that the driver controls bike. Unfortunately, the scenery from Ha Noi to Ha Giang is not beautiful enough to attract attentions from travelers. Ha Giang is about 300 km far apart from Ha Noi so there are numorous types of transportation for tourists to choose that suit them best.
♦ By coach: You can save both time and strength by going by passenger car from My Dinh Bus Station to Ha Giang city. The ticket price for passenger car with beds is 200.000 VND per person and it takes from 4 to 5 hours to reach the destination. On reaching the city, you can hire a motorbike for about 120.000 VND each to explore the beauty of Ha Giang to the fullest or you can take the provincial bus to move from destination to destionation.
If you have chance to come to Ha Giang, you should visit Lung Cu flag tower, the place that marks the northenmost point of Vietnam on the China-Vietnam border. Standing under the giant flag with big yellow star on the red ground flag you can not only enjoy the stunning landscape of the highland, immersed yourselves in the nature but you can also feel the strong national pride overflowing in our body.
Ha Giang not only attracts tourist because of its beauty but also beacause of its ancient constructions such as Pao’s house, the Vuong’s residence, Dong Van ancient town and the terrace fields in Hoang Su Phi. Located in the centre of the valley surrounded by the rocky mountains, Dong Van ancient town is an unique beauty in a grandiose rocky highland. This town is one of the main tourist attractions in Ha Giang especially with Dong Van market that holds a vital historical value. Has been built mainly by rock in the 20s of the XX century, its original form is well-kept up until now.
>>> Explore Places you must see in Ha Giang
E. Must-try foods when traveling to Ha Giang
Whatever the place chosen, in a restaurant along mountainous street or simply in the sky market in Ha Giang, you will hardly feel regretful with the freshly local made food cooked with the ingredients from this highland.
1. Dong Van ancient town’s roll cakes
Ha Giang’s roll cakes in general and Dong Van ancient town’s in particular is a original dish that is totally different from other dishes in Ha Giang. This is the dish that most of the tourists choose for their breakfast when coming to Ha Giang. A combination between “cold” dish served with warm bone broth will warm up your stomach which is the most suitable dish in the cool weather of this rocky highland.
2. Thang Co - Soup of offal of horse, beef or goat
Thang Co is sold in every market-day or in stores and restaurants. Thang Co is an unique dish that is made with meat and internal organs of horse or cow, served with salt, bean flour and corn wine.
3. The poisonous Au Tau porridge
Au Tau porridge is mainly made with caltrop (sometimes people may call them with other names like monkshood or aconite), sticky rice planted on the mountainside and pettioes. The porridge is rich with special smell but quite difficult to swallow because it taste both spicy and bitter.
4. Smoked sausage
The mixture of rich flavour of Ha Giang’s pork and the smell of smoke from the burning charcoal stove in the mountainous area has created an unique taste for smoked sausage in Ha Giang.
5. Bamboo tube rice
Bac Me bamboo tube rice is a natural gift as well as a popular local dish of many ethnic groups in the northwest region. It is made with sticky rice planted in the mountainside then grilled in a long bamboo tube. The cooked rice has sweet smell, it is glutinous and give off a butery taste. Tourists not only enjoy the dish when come here but also buy bamboo tube rice as souvernir a lot.
6. Five-color steamed glutinous rice
Five-color sticky rice is an eye-catching as well as a delicious dish that has 5 different colors: white, yellow, purple, red and green. This sticky rice is made of glutinous rice that is specially grown by ethnic people. This dish is glutinous and sweet so there is no need to eat it with other spices but if we keep it for long time it will gradually turn into stiff state. The sticky rice is often bringed along by the local people when they go to work on the mountainsides to avoid tireness and time consuming as the distance from the place they work to their house is too far. Sticky rice can provide people with lots of energy to work for long time and it is very handy so it suits people’s lifestyle here very well.
>>> You may find interest 6 typical foods of Ha Giang
Ha Giang is a famous tourist attraction so it is quite easy for tourists to find a suitable place to rest such as homestays, motels and hotels. Homestay’s price is quite low, it costs only from 70.000 VND to 150.000 VND per day. On the other hand, hotel fee costs much higher (from 200.000 VND to 500.000 VND per day). Furthermore, camping is also another kinds of accommodation that should be tried when coming to Ha Giang if you are brave enough and really want to try the atmosphere and scenery of Ha Giang to the fullest. Let’s try choosing a high and flat ground where you can see the sun rises in the morning behind the mountain ranges or watch the sun sets and from the high place you can see thoroughly the beautiful scenery of Ha Giang.
>>> Related: Visit Ha Giang during the buckwheat season
>>> Read More: Thien Huong, a forgotten 100-year-old village in Dong Van
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