If you ask me whether you should take a short excursion to discover Ha Giang, my answer is definitely YES! You will fall in love with the beauty of Ha Giang right away.
Most Memorable Travel Experiences About Ha Giang
I truly glad that I have travelled Ha Giang on the motorbike FAM trip (familiarization trip) which was operated by Inside Travel, and now I can share with you about 5 most memorable experiences which vividly embedded in my mind (most of the experiences will be surrounding some of the awesome attractions following the route Ha Giang city - Quan Ba - Yen Minh - Dong Van - Meo Vac and back to Hanoi)
A bit introduction about Ha Giang
* Location: Situated on the Northeast region of Vietnam
* Distance from Hanoi: 7 hrs (~320km)
* Best weather to visit:
The best time: Dry Season (October – April)
The winter months: very cold (December – February)
Landslides on the roads: during the heavy rainy season which runs from May into September
* Capital: Ha Giang, including 10 districts: Bac Me, Bac Quang, Dong Van, Hoang Su Phi, Meo Vac, Quan Ba, Quang Binh, Vi Xuyen, Xin Man, Yen Minh
* A cosy nest of 90% of the population are ethnic minorities (Hmong, Tay, Dao, Nung, Lo Lo etc)
* Well known for breathtaking mountain landscapes, winding roads, friendliest people
5 Most memorable experiences from my own trip
1. So many winding roads
Sitting behind a local driver's back who was also the tour guide and travelling to Dong Van from Ha Giang, the first thing that caught my eye is so many winding roads there (Not so good for the person who has car sickness) but the views are stunning. Sometimes, I met some children and women in their traditional dresses working on the field, and they cast their friendly eyes in my direction and smiled. "The most interesting stays ahead, you will see the biggest snake here" - the guide said. When we got there, I did understand what he meant - the biggest zigzag path (Named Tham Ma Pass) which I'd never ever seen, it looks truly like a crawling-big snake from a distance.
2. The Vuong family's Palace
Famous with the name "Opium Palace of the H'mong" - this mansion was built by the reigning H' mong King in 1902, during the time Vietnam was still a colony of France. This is the home to Vuong Duc Chinh - a Hmong wealthy and powerful man thanks to trading goods, especially opium. H'Mong King Palace stands out of the crowd for its unique intricate design which was under the strong influence of Chinese architectural style. As the building served the function of protecting Vuong family from being attacked by enemies, this mansion was built mainly with solid stone, wood and terracotta tiles.
3. Lung Cu flagpole (Cot Co Lung Cu)
When people think of Ha Giang, they think of bucket flowers, stunning scenery and friendliest people. But above all, they think of "a high forehead of the motherland" where marks the extreme North of Vietnam. Lung Cu flag tower is located about 24km from the centre of Dong Van district and situated on top of the Dragon Mountain. Standing on the top of the tower, you will immerse yourself into the beauty of the alluring rice fields, remarkable mountains and winding valleys. The entrance fee at Lung Cu Point is around 20,000VND/person, remember to ask for the children fee.
4. Ma Pi Leng Pass
Ma Pi Leng Pass is one of the "4 breathtaking mountains passes" of Northern of Vietnam. This incomparable pass is located between Dong Van and Meo Vac, lies on The happiness road. Back to 60s of the 20th century, thanks to a great number of workers who worked very hard for 11 years to build this road. Once I have been here and seen its geographic characteristics of this area and its crazily dangerous mountainous location, I could not help thinking about the sacrifices and the courageous efforts of all those volunteers. Without them, we would not be able to ride here so conveniently.
In the photo was the viewing station on the Road of Happiness where I could view the whole landscape of Ma Pi Leng Pass.
5. Boat on Nho Que River - Tu San Canyon
This is one of the awesome experiences in my life. Tu San Canyon is considered one of the deepest canyons in Vietnam. Nho Que River flows from the mountainous area of Nghiem Son - Yunnan (China) into Vietnam through Seo Lung in Lung Cu Commune, Dong Van District and Tu San Canyon. Nowadays, the government have built a port to do this activity. But the last time I was there, there won't any port and my tour guide had driven me through one of the most dangerous roads I've been (See in the video) and arrived at the local house to get on the boat. Simply sitting on the boat and enjoy the verdant and grandiose mountains on either side.
"Whenever you travel, you are never truly alone. You meet so many people along the journey and have a load of unforgettable memories to tell"
I have travelled Ha Giang alone but after coming back from Ha Giang trip, I have so many great friends and still get in touch with them so far.
If you wonder if there is any private tour to discover Ha Giang Loop, take a look at some of the amazing itineraries have been created by experts team of Inside Travel.
So what about your memorable experiences in Ha Giang?