Ha Giang,  VietNam

A detailed Ha giang Vietnam travel guide by a Vietnamese !

Ha Giang Vietnam is a place that people easily get attracted by its wonderful wild beauty. Ha Giang is not only famous by winding roads, steep hills but also with colourful flowers and interesting traditional culture. It is indeed ideal for outdoor activities such as trekking and camping. Lets come to Ha Giang to get the most interesting experiences about this upland area. Hope that my Ha Giang travel guide can help you fully discover this wonderful highland.

1. Some interesting facts about Ha giang Vietnam :

  • Ha giang Vietnam shares a long border with the south of China. This province has Lung Cu flagpole- the northernmost point of Vietnam. It has been said that  the first flagpole has existed here for almost a thousand years as a symbol of Viet nam sovereignty. The flag itself is a gigantic 54 square meters, symbolising the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam.
  • Ha giang Vietnam has various species of flowers however the most outstanding flower is buckwheat flower. It is considered as an icon or an indispensable specialty of Ha Giang. Annually, buckwheat flower festival taken place in autumn attracts a lot of tourists from all over the world to enjoy this incredible landscape.
  • Ha giang has a variety of beautiful terrace field especially Hoang Su phi.
terrace rice field in Ha Giang
terrace rice field in Ha Giang
  • Ha giang Vietnam is famous for Ma pi leng pass which is known with its breathtaking view of high mountain and lovely valley. Ma Pi Leng Pass is indeed the king of all mountain passes in Vietnam. Many tourists have said that this pass is truly an unknown stunning geography treasure in the world.
  • Besides majestic mountains, Ha giang also has many spectacular caves. The most well-known is Lung Khuy cave and Na Luong cave.
  • Ha Giang Vietnam consists of various ethnic minorities (Chechens, Tay, Hmong, Dao, Nung, Cao Lan, Hoa, Lo Lo, etc). They can be distinguished by their clothing. However, most of Ha Giang’s population is H’Mong- an ethnic minority  group. They are very enthusiastic and hospitable. If you have arrived in Ha Giang city, dont forget to try  living at local’s accommodation to know more about their life. Definitely recommend!
Children in Ha Giang
Children in Ha Giang

2. Is Ha giang worth it ? Ha giang vs Sapa .

Whether you are a truly nature lover or enthusiast traveler, travel in Ha Giang is always a fascinating experience that you should not ignore. For me, Ha giang is always in my must list when telling about Vietnam tourism places. Ha noi or Ho chi minh city even dont attract me that much comparing to this stunning land.

Many people ask me how do I think about Ha giang vs Sa pa. In my opinion, both town have their unique beauty and even some similarities. You can see wonderful passes, beautiful terrace rice fields and flower gardens in both Sapa or Ha giang Vietnam.

However if you are seeking for an unknown places with not many tourists then Ha giang would be my answer. Ha giang is just a completely charming area and a must-do for visitors that want an authentic and unique travel experience. The wild beauty of Ha giang Vietnam is only recognised during 400km journey with majestic mountains, terrace rice fields, flower gardens, steep hills, winding roads… so I would highly recommend adding Ha Giang Vietnam to your holiday itinerary if you are an adventurer seeking for unknown land .

Unlike Ha giang,  Sapa is much more touristy right now. Sa pa is far more accessible than Ha Giang, with more accommodation options and better tourist infrastructure. There are various attractions in Sapa Vietnam which is easily reached by foot . Sa pa would be your choice if you travel with kids or seeking for an easy and comfortable trip.

See more: A comprehensive Sapa travel guide !

3. Weather in Ha giang, which season is the best time to visit?

Weather in Ha giang Vietnam differs from time to time and every season has its own unique beauty. The climate is divided into two distinct seasons: rainy and dry season. The climate also changes depend on the altitude. Rainy season is from late April to early October. Ha giang weather is normally hot & humid with constant rainfalls. Whereas in the dry season, there is not big shower like in rainy season and the shower is cooler down.

 In my opinion, i would recommend you to travel to Ha giang anytime from September to November. At This time, the temperature is most pleasurable, in their mid 20’s. October and November is peak season for local Vietnamese tourists. It is the time when the buckwheat fields in full blossom and expect that hotels and tourism service can be very busy. Remember to book your stay and activities in advance in the peak season in Ha giang Vietnam.

 Here are some standout feature in Ha giang travel guide in every season:

  • In the beginning of the spring ( after lunar new year- normally it is in February), people will have opportunity to participate in various traditional festivals in Ha giang Vietnam such as buffalo fighting festival, house racing festival or  special Khau Vai love market.
  • In March, it is one of the most beautiful time of Ha Giang with peach and plums blossom  along with its nice fragrance.
Peach blossoms in Ha giang
  • In May and June, you will have  chance to witness the charming Ha Giang Vietnam on the “falling-water season”. During this time, local get rainwater from mountain down right to their terrace field and start a new rice crop. The terrace field is filled with rainwater like a huge sparkling mirror. This season is the rainy season in Ha giang so you would better check Ha giang weather forcast in advance.
falling-water season in Ha giang
falling-water season in Ha giang
  • August and September is the season of ripe rice in Ha giang Vietnam. You will have a chance to witness the terraced fields with a golden colour of rice. Very stunning landscape however the early October would be the best time to capture those.  
Ripe rice terrace fields in Ha giang
Ripe rice terrace fields in Ha giang
  • Late October – November is the time when the buckwheat flower blooms with a purple colour on the hillsides like a  purple carpet spreads. An incredible landscape there.
Buckwheat flower in Ha giang
Buckwheat flower in Ha giang
  • After the buckwheat flower season, you will witness the brilliant yellow cauliflower season in December. The flowers fields are spreading a bright yellow colour on the slopes creating an unforgettable scenery.
yellow cauliflower season in ha giang
yellow cauliflower season in Ha giang
yellow cauliflower season in December
yellow cauliflower season in December

4. How many days I should spend in Ha giang Vietnam?

In my opinion, 3 days 4 nights is the most reasonable time that people often take when traveling to Ha Giang Vietnam. If you dont have much time, then 3 nights 2 days is a ok but a little rush. If you a truly nature lover and want to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere here, then 5 or 4 days should be considered. We Vietnamese often take a 3 days trip to Ha giang as the most popular plan.

5. How to get to Ha giang Vietnam ?

5.1 From Hanoi to Ha giang .

The distance between Hanoi and Ha giang is around 300km and the closest airport from Ha giang is Noi Bai- Ha Noi airport. So the only way to get there is by bus or motorbike.

  • From Hanoi to Ha Giang by sleeper bus:

From Hanoi to Ha giang, it takes around 9 hours to go by bus. The bus go to Ha giang will depart from My Dinh bus station. The best bus brand is named Hai Van.

If this bus is gone, you can take the other one named  Bang Phan, Cau Me, Hung Thanh, Ngoc Son. There is one trip in every 30 minutes and  the latest one is from 21h30 at My Dinh bus station.

Ticket price ~ 150k-350k / person.

Particularly, Hai Van has 2 lines: the bed is usually 200k / person and the cabin line (350k / person – one cabin per person)

Ha giang travel guide : There are two ways to book a bus from Ha noi to Ha giang Vietnam:

  • Book the ticket via your accommodation in Ha noi and they will organise for you to be picked up at the front door by the bus company. Remember to pay the ticket only in the ticket counter in the bus station or pay to the bus conductor when the bus already move. Don’t pay them before departure .
  • Book online ticket here.
  • From Ha noi to Ha giang by motorbike:

For those who like to explore and experience, they can choose to go by motorbike. With a distance of nearly 300km, traveling by motorbike to Ha giang can take 8-10 hours. You can choose one of the two routes as follows:

Road 1: From Hanoi to Trung Ha bridge via Son Tay direction, follow Thao river to Phu Tho  and then go to Tuyen Quang via Highway 2 to Ha Giang.

Road 2: From Hanoi, follow the direction of Thang Long Bridge, turn to Vinh Phuc, go towards Viet Tri, Phu Tho and Tuyen Quang, and follow along Highway 2 to Ha Giang.

Ha giang travel guide: For those who do not have experience on the road by motorbike, carefully prepare the map, phone, personal papers,  … to get the best trip.

5.2 From Sapa to Ha giang

Its around 200km ( 7 hours) from Sa pa to Ha giang. However the road is quite difficult to go so I would prefer a bus more than motorbike. There are 4 buses running from Sapa to Ha Giang : Cuong Thinh , Quang Tuyen, Quang nghi, Trung bac.

Time of departure: 20h10 or 10.00

Pick up point: Sapa bus station

Ticket price: VND 150.000- 250,000 / ticket ( paid diretly to the bus driver).

The easiest way to book a bus is via your accommodation and they will reserve you a spot.

6. Transportation in Ha Giang Vietnam

Renting a motorbike is the best transportation in Ha giang Vietnam in order to explore this highland. If you dont have good driving skills, then i would recommend you to hire a local tour guide during your stay here.

Some good rental services:

  • Rental service in Mr. Hong Hao. In general, the service is very good. You can contact them via their fanpage.

Address : No. 15B, Pham Hong Thai Street – Group 17 – Minh Khai Ward – Ha Giang City.

Free : helmets, travel maps, 2 bottles of water, free accommodation and hot showers.

Price : range  150-250k/day

6. Getting your permit in Ha giang.

Getting your permit for Ha Giang Vietnam is very easy. Foreign visitors should go to the immigration office at 415a, Tran Phu Street. You will need to give them your passport, pay 210,000 VND and a few minutes later, your permit is ready. If you’re traveling by motorbike, you need to give them your registration number too. This Ha giang travel guide is asked whether its obligatory or not ? Actually you will be safe if no policeman or hotel staff ask you about this. However just in case of your safety, getting your permit in Ha giang is always recommended.

7. What to bring to Ha giang Vietnam?

Ha Giang is a climatic region with more differences than other regions, especially in the highlands.  When visitors come to Ha Giang, you should pay attention to some of the following Ha giang travel guide:

+ Should bring warm clothes when going up to the highland area because  the climate changes suddenly and the weather is getting colder at night.

+ Prepare some medicines to treat common diseases like flu , headache because visitors can get it when they do not adapt to high temperature and cold climate.

+ If visitors come to Ha Giang Vietnam between July and August, it is recommended to bring rain gear or umbrellas. It is the time of the rainy season, visitors may encounter continuous rainy days or rain showers suddenly.

+ If tourists participate in the type of sports tourism in Ha Giang, it is recommended to carefully prepare the protective equipment and medicines, first aid precautions.

8. Where to stay in Ha giang ( best place to stay in Ha giang)

If you are seeking for a homestay in Dong Van, then Trieu Nghi would be your best option. This homestay is in a good location with a rice fields and peaceful surrounding . The lady is very nice, food is delicious and the price is very affordable.

9. Ha giang loop route/map

Ha giang loop route/map
Ha giang loop route/map

Ha giang travel guide in Ha giang loop route: There is two popular roads from Ha giang city to Lung Cu flag pole. You should go both 2 ways in order to enjoy the wonderful scenery there. The first way is to go towards Quan ba, Lung Tam, Yen Minh and Dong Van district. Through this road, visitors will have opportunity to enjoy various breathtaking landscape in Quan Ba heaven gate, Yen Minh pine forest, Lung Tam line cooperative, Tham Ma slope. I would prefer you to go this road on the first day you come to Ha giang Vietnam. This Ha giang loop route is more than 200km, however you can stop and rest in Yen Minh overnight and continue for the next day.

The second way from Lung Cu flag pole to Ha giang city is through Ma pi leng pass, Meo Vac, Duong Thuong, Du Gia, Mau Due district. This Ha giang loop route is really beautiful with lovely terraced rice field and winding roads. However Mau due- Du gia road is considered as the most dangerous road in Ha Giang Vietnam so you should be very careful if you drive motorbike in rainy season. If you want to go for a shorter distance ( 20km less), from Duong Thuong, you can turn to Quan Ba and head towards Ha giang city.

See more: All you need to know about Sapa Travel guide.

 10. Ha giang tour – Ha giang travel guide

If you do not have driving experience and want to find a Ha giang tour. I would prefer you to book a Ha giang local guide more than Ha giang tour from Ha noi. This is also the way to support ethnic people in Ha giang due to the fact that the ethnic minority in Ha giang still have high level of poverty. I would recommend local guide by Ha giang road trip . They are a group of 4 young ethnic men who are very responsible, open-minded, and motivated about sharing their culture. Highly recommend !

11. What to do in Ha giang ?

  • Dong Van old Town: Dong Van Ancient Town was formed in the twentieth century, located right in the valley with surrounding cliffs. Ancient town has the architectural features of ancient Chinese people. In the 1880s, when occupying this area, the French had some important architecture plans towards Dong Van. Until now, those unique stone architecture are still remained.
lung cu flagpole
  • Lung Cu flagpole: Lung Cu flagpole is located on a mountain peak about 1700m above sea level. If you want to visit this place, you need to go through more than 500 stone steps. This is a great check-in place of the adventurers.
  • Ma Pi Leng Pass: Ma Pi Leng Pass is 20km long with a height of 1200m above the sea level. It’s said to be the most astonishing mountain road and the king of all mountain pass in all of Vietnam.

It’s the most difficult pass to build but also the most fascinating and beautiful pass to enjoy in Vietnam. The road was built in the 60s of the 20th century by a lot of workers who worked very hard for 11 years to build this road.

eMa Pi Leng pass


The road along the mountainside has romantic, stunning scenery that is ideal destination for riding motorbike. This is an exquisite winding mountain drive with sharp and blind curves and hairpin switchbacks leading the traveler over the mountains. At the top of the pass there’s a stone stele recording the marks in the construction process. The gigantic mountains offer blissful sights along with the Tu San Canyon between them.

Ha giang Vietnam travel guide: At the bottom of the Tu San Canyon is the deep green Nho Que river. You can have a trek from Ma pi leng pass to Nho Que river however it will take around 1 day in order to reach there. Nowadays there are also many tourism companies organising a boat tour in Nho Que river.

quan ba heaven gate
View from Quan Ba ​​heaven gate- Fairy mountain (twin mountain)
  • Quan Ba ​​heavenly gate: Quan Ba ​​heaven gate is about 1500m above sea level. The road to heaven gate must pass through the roads crossing the high mountain, covered by a thick layer of fog, one side is deep cliffs. Standing on the sky gate can see the fields of terraced fields.
Wang’s mansion
  • Wang’s mansion: The mansion was built in the twentieth century, located about 24km from Ha Giang city. This is a place to be visited by many tourists.
  • Market session: Ha Giang is famous for Quan Ba ​​market, love market Khau Vai. Market sessions are usually held on weekends, trading handicrafts of H’Mong ethnic groups. Khau Vai Market every year is only held once on March 27 of the lunar calendar. On this day, single boys and girls from different ethnic groups will come here to find their own half.
  • Buckwheat flower : Ha giang is well known for marvellous buckwheat flower fields. Normally, there is full blossom from the 3rd week of October to early November. Flowers are tiny white and mixed with a little purple and pink. Every year , Ha Giang welcomes a large number of tourists to visit the buckwheat field, or join the buckwheat flower festival.  It is the time that Buckwheat flowers are blooming around the slopes and foothills.

12. Ha giang itinerary ( 5 days, 4 days, 3 days)

Check the link above to know more about a detailed Ha giang motorbike loop itinerary that we Vietnamese often take. Hope this help !

13. Independent trekking Ha giang ( Ha giang trekking map)

The surrounding in Ha Giang is very spectacular with winding mountain roads, pine forests, terraced rice fields, steep hills, farming villages and wonderful views from every corner. And that’s the reason why Ha Giang trekking is considered as a must thing to do for adventurous travellers in Vietnam.

Independent trekking

I only suggest independent Ha Giang trekk for those who have trekking skills and experiences, because the terrain of Ha Giang is very rugged and dangerous . You should have a very detailed plan and prepare everything carefully before departure.

Ha Giang trekking with local guide.

As i have mentioned before, you can find a local guide for you to explore Ha giang. Ha giang local guide will help you to explore various wonderful places easily and avoid being lost. And if this is your first time of trekking in Ha giang, hire a local guide is absolutely the best deal.

14. What to buy in ha giang

15. What to eat in Ha giang

Check the link above to know more about Ha giang’s specialities and market’s meeting schedule in Ha giang.

16. Ha giang Vietnam travel guide

  • If travelling by motorbike from Hanoi to Ha giang, you should only stop in Ha Giang City to ensure safety. When you reach Ha Giang City around 4-5pm, if you move on to Quan Ba, it is likely that you will see foggy weather in Quyet Tien section. So be careful with this road.
  • Only self-drive in  Ha Giang Vietnam if you ride a motorbike quite well.  It is best to have experience in riding mountainous area before.
  • Always remember to check your motorbike before renting it. The vehicle must have at least one left mirror (two mirrors are recommended for good rear view).
  • Please use a good quality helmet to ensure your safety.
  • On days with lots of fog, you shouldnt  go on the road too late (about 5-6 pm), it is best to reach your accomadation when it is still bright. Ha Giang Vietnam has various road which is very dangerous to go under bad wheather condition.
  • During peak seasons, always book a hotel / homestay as well as a sleeper bus ticket  at least 5-7 days prior to departure to ensure a reservation.
  • You should wear hiking shoes or sports shoes when travelling to Ha giang Vietnam. It is advisable to bring warm clothes,  gloves (suitable for riding a motorbike) if traveling to Ha Giang by motorbike in winter
  • If you are not confident in the ability to ride, I would prefer you booking tour from Ha noi or Ha giang.
  • Do not give money or candy to children on the road. In Ha giang Vietnam, ethnic children often begin to support their families financially through selling trinkets to tourists. Do not encourage this by buying from children – buy from adults.
  • Children have poor or non-existent dental hygiene. So do not give them candy or sweets – it will cause dental issues. If you want to give them something, safe toys, book, pencil are highly appreciated.
  • Do not sit in the middle of the entrance door of the Mong people to take photos, sit on either side.
  • Ask for permission before taking photos of the local people.
  • Plan to spend 4 or 5 days on the loop if you want to enjoy the nature. Some travellers haven’t had much time and do it in 3 days. But with this way, you have to drive 150km in average every day.

Dont hesitate to ask me if you still have questions about Ha giang Vietnam travel guide. Vietnamese are the most suitable one that can help you fully explore this unknown land.

Ha giang Viet nam travel by Bay Tele:

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