The Ha Giang Museum is a good first stop on your discovery of this beautiful and diverse northern territory. It is in close proximity to the Ha Giang permit office and can give you some information about the area and the different ethnic minorities living there. It features many interesting pieces and showcases hand-made, traditional outfits ethnic minority communities. It also features ancient artefacts that have been uncovered in archaeological digs in the area. Let the museum spark your interest as you begin your exploration of this remote area of Vietnam.
The Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark is one of the main draws of this northerly region. Set over 2,346 km2 of rocky mountains and valleys, the incredible landscape is home to many ethnic minority communities. It also offers a great insight into the history of the area with fossils from 500-600 million years ago. The stone forests merge into real forests as the slopes of the mountains strike out into the sky. The mountains behind the long, flat plateau are jagged and dramatic but appear softened by the clouds that gather at the peaks. Spring is the best time to visit when the vivid yellow cai (kale) flowers and subtle pink peach flowers bloom en mass, their sweet hues contrasting with the rich, green forest and cold grey stone.
The view from Quan Ba Twin Mountains, located behind Quan Ba Town.
Tucked away in the valley village of Sa Phin, guarded by rows of tall trees, and encased by a stone wall, sits the regal Vuong Palace. Built in 1914 for Vuong Chinh Duc, a Hmong king, this palace has survived both the French and American wars. The large structure features intricate carvings of poppies which represent the opium that was once traded here. You can get a feel for the life of a rich H’mong king as you wander through the ornately decorated rooms and imagine the hoards of precious goods that were stored in underground rooms.
One of the best ways to take in the stunning scenery of Ha Giang is with a road trip either by motorbike or 4×4 vehicle. The mountainous roads will show you the amazing, unspoilt, natural beauty of this border region. One of the most popular routes is from Dong Van town to Meo Vac along the astonishing Mai Pi Leng Pass. This winding road appears to be perched precariously on the edge of the staggering mountains. The long thin road cuts through the cascading terraces of rice paddies. Driving along this stunning pass, among the towering mountains will make you feel incredibly small as if you are lost in the immensity of nature. From here you will have unrivalled views of the winding and glassy Nho Que river that snakes between the two sides of the mountain range.
Another stunning road trip runs along Quan Ba Pass which overlooks a Red Dao village. The view from this great height spans the karst geopark with the patchwork of the plateau in the foreground and the mountains fading into the distance.
Vietnam Travel – Kayaking on Nho Que River in Tu San valley.
As you drive along these dizzying mountain roads, you are sure to be captivated by the incredible artistry of the rice paddies that are sculpted into the soaring mountains. The best place to see this is the are of Hoang Sui Phi where the tiny scattered villages rely on rice agriculture to survive. The cascading paddies of this remote land are some of the most dramatic in the whole of Vietnam. Surrounded on either side by waterfalls of green that start high in the skies and tumble elegantly down the mountains, you can’t help but feel lost in the power of nature. This is the perfect example of how humans can interact with nature to create something beautiful and harmonious. This remote area, unknown to most tourists is also the perfect place to meet some of the local people living in the ethnic minority communities. The area is home to H’mong, Red Dao and Nung ethnic groups, who all have unique traditions and cultures. You can discover more about their heritages and uncover the secrets of rice farming as you travel through this remarkable area. You can even stay with one of the local families and discover their hospitality and kindness.
Another place with spectacular views of Ha Giang is the Lung Cu Flag Tower. This octagonal tower sits proudly atop a green carpeted mountain, flying a giant Vietnamese flag. This symbol of national pride demarcates the northernmost point of Vietnam. You can climb the tower for an incredible panoramic view of Ha Giang’s beautifully preserved countryside.