Why Visit Ha Giang?
During our holiday in Vietnam, we decided to travel to the far north of Vietnam – Ha Giang Province for 3 days 2 nights. Ha Giang has been an unpopular destination among foreign tourists, so we were really excited to discover this mysterious place.
Ha Giang has been certainly beautiful to appeal to us and offered an exciting experience you couldn’t find in other tourism destinations in Vietnam. Unlike Sapa, the beautiful Ha Giang has been removed from trappings of over-tourism, which has made it become a paradise and attracted travelers. I just could say that “please don’t ignore Ha Giang, it’s extremely a dramatic landscape.”
How to get to and around Ha Giang?
We started our journey to Ha Giang from Hanoi by going with a shuttle Limousine. Actually, you can go to Ha Giang by coach, private car, or motorbike; however, we decided to use a Limousine because it was comfortable, cheap and safe as well. We had our travel agency confirmed this transfer service a few days before the travel date. The driv
er picked us up from our hotel, then it took us around 6 hours to get to Ha Giang. Once we arrived at Ha Giang, we hired a motorbike to adventure all the most famous destinations there. It was really an amazing experience to drive a motorbike on the sloping, narrow, and bent roads of Ha Giang. It was worth to enjoy the spectacular mountain views while you were driving. However, you should drive carefully.
You can consider other below means of transportation to travel to Ha Giang. It depends on your budget and interest.
- By coach
Most of coaches and night buses to Ha Giang Province run from My Dinh Station. This is a cheap and comfortable way to get to Ha Giang. The coaches feature reclining berths to help us feel more comfortable and easier to sleep at night. You should book the tickets in advance on the websites, where you can find a reasonable price and time. Otherwise, purchasing tickets at the station is another good way.
Normally, the buses or coaches reach Ha Giang at around 03.30 am, so you should book the hotel or homestay in advance to take a break before exploring Ha Giang on your first day there. Buy a tourism map, hire a motorbike or a car and you can start your plan in Ha Giang.
- By Motorbike
If you are an adventurous traveler, try the 300-kilometer ride to Ha Giang on your own motorbike. By using the motorbike, you can stop at any beautiful stop on along the way to take pictures. There are many shops for renting a motorbike for a few days. You should ask your hotel assistant to find a good one. Please be careful as riding on the mountain roads are dangerous and you shouldn’t drive in the dark.
- By Private Car
If the budget is not your concern, you should choose to travel to Ha Giang with a tour guide and a driver. From Hanoi, your hotel assistants are always willing to help you book a private car to take you to Ha Giang. However, most drivers cannot speak English, so looking for an English-speaking tour guide will help you much with explaining everything about Ha Giang and dealing with all problems on the road.
Our 3-day Ha Giang Tour Itinerary
Before we decided to go to Ha Giang, we had looked for everything we needed to know about Ha Giang and planned for a perfect 3-day 2-night trip. Here is our experience during 3 days 2 nights in Ha Giang:
Day 1: Hanoi – Ha Giang – Ha Thanh Village
Our travel agency had booked tickets for Bang Phan Limousine Bus. We were really impressed with the services they provided us. The driver was kind to drop us off at Ha Thanh Village, about 6 kilometers far from Ha Giang center city. Ha Thanh was not a popular village to everyone, but the atmosphere and the Tay people here were really nice to us. We stayed here for one night to enjoy the peaceful beauty of the mountainous area. We enjoyed our great time to see the terraced rice fields, small streams running through the village and the architecture of houses on stilts. No crowd and no noise!
We stayed at the home of Ms. Luyen and Mr. Long. They were hospitable and sociable to share with us many interesting things about Ha Giang and their village. Especially, Mr. Long cooked very well to serve us the best dishes of Ha Giang. We had a delicious dinner with the nice hosts.
Day 2: Ha Thanh – Quan Ba – Twin Mountains – Yen Minh – Tham Ma – Dong Van
On the second day in Ha Giang, we said goodbye to the family of Ms. Luyen after the breakfast to start our journey today on the bent roads to Quan Ba Valley. We checked in the Heaven Gate and the Twin Mountains, and then follow the old route to Yen Minh, which passed through the Yen Minh Pine Forest. The new one was easier to ride, but we couldn’t visit the pine forest if we followed this route.
We arrived at Yen Minh Town at noon, so we stopped here for lunch at a local restaurant. You should full-fill your stomach to have enough energy for your afternoon. We would pass through many more bent roads than ones in the morning.
Tham Ma Pass was the most well-known one in Ha Giang because of its beauty and challenge. Check-in there before we visited Pao House and Meo King Palace. You should learn the historical stories of Tham Ma Pass and other historical sites here. They were so wonderful.
Continue our trip, we drove to Dong Van. We must leave Yen Minh soon because we wanted to arrive at Dong Van before it was dark. It was so dangerous to drive on the mountain roads at night.
We stayed at a hotel in Dong Van center to be convenient to visit the old town and Dong Van night market. You can have dinner at the restaurant or try to enjoy some local food at the market.
Day 3: Lung Cu – Ma Pi Leng – Nho Que River – Hanoi
It was such a long day with us. We woke up in the early morning to visit Dong Van Market. The atmosphere in Dong Van was more animated than the first day we were in Ha Thanh Village. After that, we visited the Lung Cu Flag Tower – the northern point of Vietnam’s territory, which was around 26 kilometers from Dong Van.
After check-in at Lung Cu Flag Town, we moved to a boat trip along Nho Que River. There were two different ways to reach the river: the 7-kilometer first driving route was very sloping and really hard to drive, and the other was the walking route of 2 kilometers. On the way to Ma Pi Leng Pass, we could see the panoramic views of Nho Que River from the top mountain. Really impressive!
In the afternoon, we continued to drive to Meo Vac and then Ha Giang Town to get back the motorbike and wait for our Limousine Bus to Hanoi. We still had some time to walk around the town and buy some souvenirs before the bus came to pick us up in the late afternoon. We all felt that 3 days in Ha Giang were not enough for us to explore everything about this beautiful landscape. We wished to have 2 more days there but we had to back.
Tips for traveling to Ha Giang
After our wonderful trip to Ha Giang, we would like to give you some useful tips for your plan:
- Ha Giang is a great destination for anyone, even you are a solo traveler or you go with a group. Just read about Ha Giang and make your plan before you start.
- You should book hotels or homestays, and transportation a few days before your journey. With the help of your hotel in Hanoi, it is easier for you to overcome the language barrier and complete your booking with the host in Ha Giang.
- Bring your passport with you along the trip. Sometimes, you are required to show your passport when you traveling near Vietnam’s territory.
- Ask your homestay’s host or hotel staff in Ha Giang to help you apply for a permit when traveling to Ha Giang before you go.
- Check the weather forecast before you go to avoid the bad situation. It is not good if you drive to Ha Giang on a rainy day.
- Bring a first-aid kit and a warm jacket. It is colder when you reach mountainous areas, especially in the winter.
Ha Giang should be a must-see place when you travel to Northern Vietnam. Trust me, you will have a remarkable experience once in a lifetime. I hope that our shared experiences are useful to help you plan and prepare for your trip. Let’s go and enjoy the spectacular views and ethnic beauty in the mountainous areas of Ha Giang!