Vietnam has quickly evolved as one of the best travel destinations for people who love to explore the fun and enthusiasm at its optimum level. The country offers inexpensive, exotic travel destinations which can meet the expectations of all type of tourist. Fun, leisure, entertainment, historical museum, artifacts, art, culture, food, beverages, night life, you name it which can make your Vietnam tour a wonderful experience.
Apart from the popular Vietnam travel destinations, which are frequently selected and recommended your tour operators, there are many other destinations, which are less popular in the outer world, but offers an unforgettable tour experience. In this article, we are re-introducing Ha Giang, the northern province in Vietnam a popular tourist destination with attractive landscapes.
Ha Giang has been listed as one of the 11 up and coming destinations to visit in 2019 by Hostelworld. Hostelworld is a well-known brand amongst millennial tourists for featuring budget hotels and hostels all over the world.
Ha Giang and its popularity
Ha Giang shares its borders with China and is known for mesmerizing beauty. Located about 300kms from Hanoi, Ha Giang has been gaining popularity amongst tourists not only because of the landscapes but also due to the adventurous mountain passes and narrow knotted roads.
Ha Giang is often referred to as Vietnam's hidden gem and rightly so. Any person who loves nature and likes exploring new places will have to include it on his travel bucket list. While traveling to Ha Giang, there is no such thing as the best season to visit. It is an all-weather travel spot with incredible tour options.
While in winter, the trees adore white snow caps, in summer you will be amazed by the vast rice fields located in the hills. The spring brings with itself beautiful blooming flowers while autumn is our favorite. The paddy fields start to ripen during this season and the camouflaged hills with everything in yellow.
Ha Giang culture
Even though Ha Giang has been open to tourists for only about ten years, its history goes long back. Nearly 90% of its population constitutes of ethnic minorities and this is a must visit place for you if you wish to know more about raw Vietnam’s ethnic culture.
You wouldn’t say Ha Giang is luxurious. It’s still mostly untouched and unmapped. The locals as well as international tourists, have only started exploring the potential of Hi Giang in recent years and hence, you wouldn’t find it as a crowded Vietnamtravel destination. The fact that this place got so much unexplored beauty is what makes it more attractive. The reclusive nature of this place could be attributed to its remoteness and the fact that it is so close to the Chinese border.
Everything about Ha Giang will mesmerize you. The virgin nature, beautiful mountain passes, and the ethnic groups(Lo Lo, Tay, Hmong, Nung, Dao amongst a few). One of the most popular tourist destinations here is Dong Van Karst Global Geopark which has recognized as UNESCO as an area of significant cultural heritage.
Covered with Karsts formations, the park has more than 400 million years history.These beautiful landscapes occur due to the dissolution of stones like gypsum, dolomite, and limestone over many years. The geological park is home to 17 ethnic minority, which is a fascinating subject, especially if you want to know more about the ethnic groups living in and around Ha Giang.
Not only the natural landscape, but Ha Giang is also known for its mouthwatering dishes. Go for buffalo meat or Chinese sausage. For dessert, people love to have 5 colored sticky rice or mint honey. Shan Tuyet tea is grown all over the province and is not only delicious but also offer lots of health benefits.
Ha Giang people
The locals are friendly and hospitable. Hmong is the major tribe here, and they lead an exciting lifestyle. We'd recommend you to spend at least one day with them, and this would be a cultural experience you'd have etched in your memory forever. If you want to get a peek into how rural people live, this is the best place in Vietnam to visit. People here are very laid back and easy going, and you’d love this break from your usual hectic schedule
Reaching Ha Giang
Reaching Ha Giang is not easy. The province has no airport or train station. You have to catch sleeper bus from Giap Bat bus stop in Hanoi, and the journey will take about 8 hours.
Motorbikes are the best way to explore Ha Giang. Visitors usually bring their motorcycles to Ha Giang. Or you can also rent a bike from here. The narrow roads make up for the fun, adventurous part of the motorbike journey. The motorbikers have to cross Ma Pi Leng which is one of the riskiest passes in Vietnam. Even professional motorbikers find this pass hard to cross.
Though dangerous, Ma Pi Leng Pass is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ha Giang.The pass leads down to the old town of Dong Van which is small but got beautiful ancient buildings and a vibrant weekly Sunday market.In addition to this, there is also an ethnic market called the Love market in Khau Vai which happens just once a year in the third month of the lunar calendar. It is a different kind of market where eligible bachelors from ethnic groups come together to seek a life partner.
The tourism influx in recent years in Ha Giang has given a boost to motorbike rental agencies in this area as well. It will cost you around $7 to rent a bike for a day, and if you are a foreign national, you also need to surrender your passports with the rental agencies for the day. Tourists who are on a package tour, the tour organizer will arrange bike rental and other facilities.
Staying in Ha Giang would not be a problem. There are decent hotels, guesthouses and Airbnbs’ which will make you feel welcome and comfortable. The accommodations are not too luxurious but cleanand simple. If you want to experience native culture closely, you can opt for a homestay with a local family for a nominal fee.
Vietnam tourism has been on a high pitch in recent years. Every year it receives around 20 million foreign tourists who leave the country with a unique, unforgettable experience. Recently Vietnam was also acknowledged by Forbes Magazine as one of the top 14 best destinations to visit in the year 2019.
With many positive reviews coming it's way, Vietnam is finally coming out of the shadow of other Asian countries when it comes to tourism. With Ha Giang getting a place in up and coming 11 tourist destinations, it is indeed one of the potential tourist destinations in Vietnam.