There are a lot of great things to do in Ha Giang, as this is one of the most impressive and authentic regions of Vietnam. We combined some of the highlights in a list of 10 best things to do in Ha Giang.
1. Ha Giang Motorbike Loop
Everything in this list of best things to do in Ha Giang can be combined into this one highlight: the Ha Giang Loop. The Ha Giang loop is a 3 to 5 day route that starts and end in Ha Giang City. Each day you visit a new place and the scene along the road between your destinations is getting better and better.
You will driver over high passes, enjoy landscapes with the most impressive mountains of Southeast Asia and discover the unique cultures of the local minorities. The best way to do the loop is on the back of a motorbike with an experience guide. If you prefer a bit more comfort and protection against the weather, you can also do the Ha Giang loop by car.
2. Stunning Roads & Mountain Passes
As mentioned, the best thing to do in Ha Giang is exploring the impressive mountains. There are dozens of mountain roads and mountain passes worth mentioning, and we could easily have used them to fill out the complete list of the 10 best things to do in Ha Giang. Instead we highlight some of the best.
The Quan Ba heaven gate is the first impressive mountain pass you wil pas starting from Ha Giang. From here you can enjoy stunning views on the Twin Mountains. Next mountain pass in the Tham Ma pass, with the iconic s-shape road. From here you drive through Sung La valley and have the option to either go straight to Dong Van or a detour via Lung Cu with some of the best mountain views you can wish for.
The Ma Pi Leng Pass is the king of the mountain passes of Vietnam. This road between Dong Van and Meo Vac has some of the most steep cliffs and impressive views. After Meo Vac heading to Du Gia via Mau Due you can expect lots of more scenic views with mountains.
3. Hoang Su Phi
Hoang Su Phi is one of the most off the beaten track destinations of Vietnam. It is not along the famous loop and there is hardly any transportation to this area. For this reason, most travelers have never heard of this place. And this is weird, because around harvest season, you can find here some of the most stunning rice fields of Vietnam. Very high terraced rice fields built in the mountains of Ha Giang. It is a great place for trekking and discovering the local minority villages that have cultivated the lands here for many generations.
4. Markets of Ha Giang
One of the other best things to do in Ha Giang is learn about the culture of the local minorities. In this province you will even find the highest number of ethnic minorities in Vietnam! While driving through this landscape they will not be difficult to see, as they often wear the most colorful and unique clothing. It is impressive to see them.
The easiest way to see these colorful ethnic minorities is to visit a market in Ha Giang. These mountain markets are often held once a week and hill tribes from all over the area come here to trade and socialize. It is a unique and colorful gathering, where people trade local goods, food, clothing and even farm animals. The largest market is the Meo Vac Market, which is held every Sunday.
5. Local Minority Villages
Another great way to discover this unique culture is to visit the small ethnic village. Here you can see their daily life, like work on the land and other different crafts. If you are traveling with a guide, he or she can help you communicate with them.
The villages can be found all over the province. Several different minorities live here, such as the Hmong, Dao, Lo Lo, Giay and Tay. They all have their own unique clothing, culture and language. You will also see various houses in these villages. Some minorities live in houses on stilts, while others live in stone or clay houses.
Sapa is the most famous place for a trekking in Vietnam. But not many people know that you can also do great trekking in Ha Giang. In the area around Hoang Su Phi you can hike through the terraced rice fields and spend the night in a local homestay. If you want to do a trekking during your Ha Giang loop, Dong Van is the best place. You won’t find many terraced rice fields, but hiking trails run through the most impressive mountains of Vietnam.
A walk is a wonderful change after sitting on the back of a motorcycle all day or in a car.
7. Historical Buildings
Ha Giang does not have large ancient cities such as Hoi An, Hue or Hanoi. Although there are some nice historical sites to visit along the way. The Hmong King Palace is where the former Hmong kings lived when they ruled much of northern Vietnam. In Sung La you will find the House of Pao (used in a famous Vietnamese movie). This house and the neighboring houses are also from the Hmong minority and about 100 years old.
You will also find buildings in the province that date back to the French colonial era. The old quarter in Dong Van is the best example of this. You will find an old French fort on a mountain behind the Old Qaurter where you now have a great viewpoint of the town. Between Meo Vac and Mau Due you will also find the ruins of a French guard post, set in a beautiful landscape.
8. Lung Cu Flag Tower
The Lung Cu Flag Tower is the tallest flag tower in Vietnam, indicating the most northern point in the country. The tower is nice to visit, but the road to Lung Cu makes this one of the best things to do in Ha Giang. You will pass some of the most stunning mountain scenery in Ha Giang and even the country. Make sure to stop at some of the local villages along the way to explore rural life.
9. Homestay Experience
Another great way to experience the local culture is to stay overnight in a local homestay. These homestays are often owned by an ethnic minority family. Some homestays can be a bit basic with facilities, but you do an overnight stay mainly for the experience. It is highly recommended to have a family dinner where you eat very tasty local dishes together with all other guests and the local family.
10. Relax in Du Gia
After riding motorbike for days or sitting in a car, it is nice to have a place where you can relax between the rice fields. The village of Du Gia is a great place for your last stop during the loop. It is mainly visited by people that do the loop in 4 or 5 days. Sit down to enjoy the views, walk along the rice fields or swim at the local waterfall.