Ha Giang province is 300 km north of Hanoi, at the highest latitude in Vietnam. It shares a border with Yunnan province in southern China and is neighboring the provinces of Cao Bang, Tuyen Quang, Lao Cai and Yen Bai. It is a very mountainous area; its landscapes of limestone pinnacles and granite outcrops are among the most spectacular in Vietnam. 22 ethnic minorities, mainly the H'Mong, Tay, Dao, Nung, and Lo Lo, give a lot of colors and cultural value to visits in Ha Giang.
A travel to Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van and Meo Vac would make your journey marvelous, crossing a region where ethnic minorities predominate. You will be able to observe stilt houses and houses made of clay. This region is very poor and living conditions are very harsh, but it’s also a fabulous land with a unique charm, where you can find winding roads in the middle of a fantastic mountainous landscape, and where the inhabitants have kept their ancestral customs.
You can also find several weekly markets, such as the ones of Meo Vac, Dong Van, Hoang Su Phi and Lung Phin.
Lung Tam village
In this village, you will be able to discover more about the local brocade craft tradition, the H’Mong ancestral art of weaving linen.
The Dong Van karst plateau is 1,025 m above sea level. It hosts the Dong Van Geopark, classified in the Global Network of National Geoparks by the UNESCO. Besides its stunning landscape, grottoes and forests, it is well-known for its plum, apple, peach and persimmon orchards. Numerous medicinal plants are also found in the area.
The market town of Dong Van features a charming ancient quarter of 40 houses made of clay bricks and roof tiles. The Dong Van market has been held for more than 400 years and takes place every Sunday. This market is a perfect place for those wanting to learn more about the lifestyle and the culture of ethnic minorities by talking with them.
Lung Cu flag tower
Located at the northern extremity of Vietnam, Lung Cu is the most distant territory in the North. The Lung Cu flag tower is perched atop Mount Dragon. From the top of this tower, you can have a spectacular view of the landscape, made of mountains and rice terraces.
Nearby, you can find a village inhabited by the Flowers Lo Lo – an ethnic tribe with a strong identity.
Ma Pi Leng pass
Located at an altitude of 2000 m, the Ma Pi Leng pass connects Dong Van to Meo Vac district. This place is known for its fabulous roads winding through the mountains.
The name Ma Pi Leng literally means "horse's nose”, reflecting the danger linked to crossing the pass, where horses "would die of fatigue".
The road from Dong Van to the Ma Pi Leng Pass offers a picturesque views on the karst rocks. From Ma Pi Leng Pass, you can see also observe the Nho Que canyon and the surrounding mountains.
Meo Vac is a small, isolated town surrounded by high limestone peaks. Meo Vac in itself is only a mountain village like any other, but the road leading to the town is one of the most fabulous. The weekly market in Meo Vac, taking place every Sunday morning, is also greatly interesting for tourists.
Hoang Su Phi
This is a perfect destination for those who love breathtaking natural sights. Hoang Su Phi rice terraces are classified as National Heritage by the Vietnamese government.
In this place, you will be outside of the traditional tourist routes: the scenery is stunning and the roads going through mountain passes and gorges are just very impressive.
You can find several local markets, held once a week and extremely lively and colorful. They attract people of various ethnic tribes living in the region, and they remain exquisitely authentic. In Hoang Su Phi, you can either spend the night in a hotel or elect for a homestay. We can organize hiking trips and multi-day treks in Hoang Su Phi, for the discovery of its incredible rice terraces.
Hoang Su Phi is home to many ethnic groups: Tay, Man Ta Pan, Man of Long Tunics, La Chi, H'Mong, Nung, etc.
Xin Man district is at 40 km from Hoang Su Phi and 60 km from Bac Ha, right on the border between Vietnam and China.
Xin Man is a well-hidden haven completely surrounded by wild mountains and virgin forests. It has beautiful rice terraces and is home to many minority tribes (Nung, Flower H'mong, Tay, La Chi, Kinh, Hoa).
The local weekly market of Coc Pai takes place every Sunday morning. Hikes can be organized in the district.
Markets with “backward dates”
In Ha Giang, besides the weekly markets, you can also find the so called “backward dates” markets. In fact, those markets takes place every 6 days: if it is organized on a Sunday on any given week, it will occur on Saturday the next week, on Friday the week after, and so on. The reason behind this kind of peculiar schedule is that the King of the H’Mong tribe wanted that each day has its own market.
Highlights in Ha Giang region:
Admire fabulous karst rocks landscapes and beautiful rice terraces
Great ethnic diversity in the region
The weekly markets taking place every Sunday in Dong Van, Hoang Su Phi and Xin Man; the markets with "backward dates".
Hiking through off-the-beaten-tracks areas, far from tourist crowds