Dong Van - Ha Giang - Highlight and Travel Guide

July 19, 2023

Situated in the middle of a quiet space of highland rocky mountains, Dong Van Ha Giang ancient town is already a bright spot that many people desire to explore. It’s established and built in the early 20th century in Dong Quan, Tuong Yen district, Tuyen Quang province.

This is also one of the 11 most prominent tourist destinations of Ha Giang which converge much cultural beauty, people and especially unique cuisine.

How Dong Van Is Unique?

Located at an altitude of 1000-1600m, Dong Van ancient town is a famous place in Dong Van district. With the inherent characteristics, with the beauty in the colourful traditional culture, infact the ancient town of Dong Van has created an impressive and unique highlight on the Dong Van – Ha Giang rocky plateau.

Nestled in the middle of the valley surrounding Rocky Mountains, the old town has only 40 roofs stacked together. These old houses are about 100 years old, especially those with nearly 200 years. The old town was formed in the early 20th century. Initially only a few Hmong, Tay and Chinese families lived, gradually more and more residents came.

In general, the old town bears a strong impression of Chinese architecture with two-storey houses with yin and yang tile roofs. Decorated with red lanterns hanging high, dispelling the harsh cold of the Stone Plateau.

Dong Van, located in Ha Giang province, offers a range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Here are some things to do and places to explore around Dong Van:

1. Dong Van Old Town

Take a stroll through the charming Dong Van Old Town, known for its well-preserved traditional houses. Admire the unique architecture and immerse yourself in the local history and culture.

2. Dong Van Market

Visit the bustling Dong Van Market, where you can witness the vibrant local life and browse through a variety of goods, including fresh produce, handicrafts, and local products. It’s a great place to experience the authentic market atmosphere.

Not only is the place of trading of goods of the upland ethnic minorities but also a place to have fun and make friends of highland boys and girls. Especially, if you come to Dong Van Ha Giang ancient town on 3, 14, 15, 16 lunar calendars (held every 3 months), you will enjoy art performances. The people here will show more costumes brocade. Besides, highlights are the unique food area where you can come to eat Thang Co, drink corn wine and listen to people chat as well.

3. Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark

Explore the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark, a UNESCO Global Geopark renowned for its geological and cultural significance. Discover unique rock formations, stunning landscapes, and learn about the rich cultural heritage of the ethnic communities residing in the area.

4. Ma Pi Leng Pass

Embark on an unforgettable journey along the Ma Pi Leng Pass, one of the most scenic mountain passes in Vietnam. Marvel at the dramatic cliffs and breathtaking views of the Nho Que River winding through the deep valley below.

5. Ethnic Minority Villages

Visit nearby ethnic minority villages, such as Lung Cu, Lao Va Chai, or Pho Bang, to experience the local way of life and learn about their customs, traditions, and handicrafts. Engage with the friendly locals and gain insights into their unique cultures.

6. Hiking And Trekking

Dong Van offers excellent opportunities for hiking and trekking enthusiasts. Explore the picturesque countryside, traverse terraced fields, and enjoy the pristine beauty of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Don’t miss the chance to hike to the peak of Ma Pi Leng for breathtaking panoramic views.

7. Traditional Festivals

If you’re fortunate to visit during traditional festivals, such as the Khau Vai Love Market or the Buckwheat Flower Festival, you can witness colorful celebrations, cultural performances, and traditional rituals that showcase the region’s rich cultural heritage.

8. Pho Co Coffee

Coming to the ancient Dong Van spectrum, it is difficult to cross the old town without sipping a bit of coffee in the highlands, it is worth a visit. It is also one of the few ancient houses currently retaining the ancient beauty and “original” as before.

These are just a few highlights of the activities and attractions you can enjoy around Dong Van. Plan your visit accordingly, immerse yourself in the local culture, and savor the natural beauty and cultural diversity of this remarkable region.

How To Go To Dong Van?

To go to Ha Giang, you can search the route Ha Hoi – Ha Giang city on Google. This is an easy way to go. Since Ha Giang has become a leading tourist destination in the North. This route has also been upgraded and improved. To ensure you won’t be exhausted, you can choose to go by bus to Ha Giang, just sleepover 1 night in the morning to arrive. If you decide to ride a motorbike straight to Ha Giang like many backpackers, it is quite exhausting.

In contrast, Ha Giang – Dong Van route only takes more than 100km but is quite time-consuming, because this road mainly passes, cliffs which are quite dangerous. To be able to finish the trip to Dong Van Ha Giang old town smoothly, you should take the time to come here before the evening. After that, find a place to “stay” at the ancient spectrum and then continue tomorrow for the journey to conquer Meo Vac.

The 4C Highway can be said to be the “artery” route linking 4 districts of Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van and Meo Vac. It creates a famous road by many famous landmarks and landscapes.

From Ha Giang, to get to the old town, we must first set a journey to Dong Van district. You should follow this schedule will be fast and also the most beautiful route.

Ha Giang City – 4C Highway – Tam Son Town (Quan Ba) – Yen Minh Town – Meo Vac – Dong Van.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Dong Van?

The best time to visit Dong Van is during the months of September to November and March to May. These periods offer pleasant weather with mild temperatures, making it comfortable for outdoor activities and exploration.

In September to November, you can witness the vibrant colors of autumn, with the surrounding landscapes adorned in golden hues. The weather is generally clear, and the temperature is cooler, creating a pleasant atmosphere for sightseeing and hiking.

From March to May, the region comes alive with the blossoming of flowers, particularly the enchanting pink buckwheat flowers that carpet the fields. The weather is mild and refreshing, perfect for outdoor activities and enjoying the scenic beauty of the area.

It’s important to note that Dong Van experiences distinct seasons, with hot summers and cold winters. The summer months (June to August) can be quite hot and humid, while the winter months (December to February) can be chilly, especially in the mountainous areas. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid extreme weather conditions and plan your visit during the recommended times for a more enjoyable experience.

Additionally, if you’re interested in attending traditional festivals or cultural events in Dong Van, such as the Khau Vai Love Market or the Buckwheat Flower Festival, it’s recommended to check the specific dates of these events as they may vary each year. It’s will be great ideal during your Truly Ha Giang will makes exhausted after the long way to come to Dong Van

Overall, the best time to visit Dong Van is during the transitional seasons of spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant, and the natural beauty of the region is at its peak.

Recommended Accommodation

Homestay Ma Lé

  • Address: Ma Le Commune, Dong Van town

Homestay Tuyen Ha

  • Address: Group 1, Dong Van town

Thuong An Hostel

  • Address: No 13, Group 4, Dong Van Town, Dong Van District

Quoc Toan Hostel

  • Address: No.52, 3/2 Street, Dong Van town, Dong Van District

Hoang Ngoc Hotel

  • Address: Dong Van Town

Tam Giac Mach Hotel

  • Address: Group 7, Dong Van Town

What To Eat In Dong Van?

Come to Dong Van ancient town, don’t forget to sit at a small shop along the road to sip some specialties of this place. If you are lucky enough to come here during the festival seasons, or on the weekends, you will have the opportunity to eat all the typical highland dishes. They are Thang Co, corn wine, Au Tau rice soup, egg rolls, five-colour sticky rice, smoked buffalo meat, Bac Me blue rice, etc. In particular, Dong Van Ha Giang ancient town at night also sells many fast foods.