QT – YOUR GATEAWAY TO HA GIANG & CAO BANG

Can I Do The Ha Giang Loop With An Automatic Bike?

If you’re not an experienced biker, the idea of doing the Ha Giang Loop with an automatic bike might be tempting. It’s true: an automatic bike is easier to ride, but is it a proper option for the Ha Giang loop? Let’s find out!

So you’ve come all the way to beautiful Ha Giang, Vietnam. You’ve heard everyone talking about how amazing nature is here, and you are ready for take off! But maybe you aren’t 100% sure about your motorbike-driving skills. If that’s the case, then an automatic bike might be a great option for yourself. But the question remains: can I do the Ha Giang loop with an automatic bike?

Can I Do The Ha Giang Loop With An Automatic Bike?
Just some of hundreds of manual, semi-atuomatic and automatic bikes at QT

Before answering that question, let’s find out what are the main differences between an automatic and a semi automatic bike [This section is specially dedicated to those wondering what we’re talking about AT ALL!].

Differences between an automatic and a semi-automatic bike

1. Design

The design on an automatic bike prioritizes comfort. You sit with your legs on a flat surface and don’t have to do anything with your feet. The control of the bike lies in your hands only. Whereas the semi-automatic is more designed like a motorbike. You sit wider with your legs across the vehicle and have the control in both, your hands and your feet. Reason being, a semi-automatic have gears that need to be changed when driving, and this takes us to the next point.

2. Gears

Obviously, a semi-automatic has gears, while an automatic has none (that you are in control of, at least). The gears in a semi-automatic work the same way as they do in a manual motorbike, except the semi-automatic doesn’t have a clutch. With a semi, you start in a low gear and then work your way up to a higher gear the faster you go. But you can also use the lower gear when the engine needs more power. This happens when you’re driving up hills, when you’re taking someone on the pillion, etc. That’s why it’s can be crucial when doing the Ha Giang loop, but not so much when riding in Cao Bang area. But we’ll come back to this.

Can I Do The Ha Giang Loop With An Automatic Bike? honda vision
Honda Vision. One of the few automatic bikes you’ll find at QT in Ha Giang. You can see how comfy it looks, compared to other bikes.

Semi-automatic and automatic motorbikes have in common that you can start and stop in any gear. This makes it easier for you to handle the semi, as you don’t have to think a whole lot about the gears and when to change that much.

3. Engine

The engine is stronger in a semi-automatic bike than it is in a fully automatic. This explains why you have to be able to switch gear depending on how you drive. With a semi, you change gear with your left foot and control the break with the right one. Since a semi-automatic has a stronger engine, it’s required for the bike to have an extra break that can take more resistance. Sounds logical, right? So, while you only have a front brake (managed by your hands) in an automatic, you have both, a hand brake and a foot brake in a semi. 

Its stronger engine also makes the semi-automatic bike more suitable for more passengers on one bike.

4. Wheels

Automatic motorbikes have smaller and thicker wheels than a semi-automatic. This makes the automatic motorbike less suitable for rough surfaces, since the ability to grip the ground is poor. That’s why it’s better to use automatic bikes when driving in cities and on more plain surfaces.

5. Space

Automatic bikes have more storage to put underneath the seat, and they’re also wider than semi-automatics. This means automatic bikes are great for storage, both inside and outside. 

Can I Do The Ha Giang Loop With An Automatic Bike? Honda blade
Honda Blade. One of the smallest, easiest-to-ride semi-automatic bikes you’ll find at QT in Ha Giang.

So… can I do the Ha Giang loop with an automatic bike?

After this brief description of the differences between automatic and semi-automatic bikes, you might have a good idea of what I’m about to tell you. Technically, you can do the Ha Giand loop with an automatic, but I do NOT recommend it. However, even if you start the loop in Ha Giang with QT Motorbikes & tours, you’ll see there are a very few automatic bikes (about 3-4 in a fleet of more than 250), and you can rent one. If you do, the QT team will explain to you what you can and what you cannot do with it, and what precautions to take.

The thing is, in Ha Giang mountainous terrain, an automatic bike is not as safe and environmental as a semi-automatic or manual. The roads here feature a lot of ups and downs and rough turns. And the engine of an automatic bike simply has a harder time managing to adapt itself to the road, which eventually ends in a broken bike. Another main thing for an automatic being less safe here is that, since they don’t have any gears, the bike won’t be able to engine break.

Can I Do The Ha Giang Loop With An Automatic Bike? Challenging roads
Challenging, mountainous roads. A semi-automatic bike might be a better choice.

To sum up, it’s technically possible to do the loop with an automatic but, as mentioned before, at QT Motorbikes & Tours in Ha Giang, they’ll strongly recommend a semi-automatic instead. However, if you choose to rent at QT Motorbikes & Tours in Cao Bang, there are around 40 bikes in total, and around 10 of those are automatic. Why? Because the roads around there are way flatter. That’s why it’s much easier to ride in Cao Bang, which is a fact to consider if you don’t have that much experience with motorbikes.

In order to make it easier for you to make up your mind about what bike to ride, here comes a list of Pro’s & Con’s of using an automatic bike:

Pro’s & con’s with using an automatic

Pro’s

  • Easy to use if you aren’t experienced;
  • Ideal to use in town and plain surfaces, where you don’t need more features than the ones this bike offers;
  • More space under the seat than the other motorbikes;
  • More comfortable.
Can I Do The Ha Giang Loop With An Automatic Bike? Honda future
Honda Future. A bigger, semi-automatic bike, more suitable for intermediate riders.

Con’s

  • The wheels are smaller than any of the other bikes. This makes it less suitable for the rougher parts of the road, and for any unexpected issues on its surface (wet, sand, gravel);
  • The engine is less safe since it has no gears: the engine will not automatically break for you.
  • It wastes more fuel than it would with an engine break. Since you can’t shift gears and the roads are shifting up and down, the engine can’t adapt. Thereby, you can’t choose the most optimal gear for the road, speed and tilt.

So even if you’re not super experienced, the QT team will strongly suggest you ride a semi-automatic in Ga Giang -in Cao Bang, you can easily go for an automatic one. Bear in mind if you don’t feel confident enough, you can try any bike you choose for as long as you want before starting the loop -no extra costs. And if you don’t feel ready yet after your trial, you can always opt for sitting in the back of one of QT’s drivers.

Still hesitant? Why don’t you read Am I Skilled Enough To Ride The Ha Giang Loop? Besides, do not miss these 8 Tips To Stay Safe In The Ha Giang Loop!

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OUR WRITER

Beatrice Enström
Beatrice Enström
Student
Sweden

Beatrice loves plants, minimalism and self development. She left her home in Lund, Sweden, together with her boyfriend Max, for a taste of the world. Their first stop took place in Vietnam. 3 months passed and they still can’t get enough of everything this country has to offer.

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… unless you’re ready to hire a tour, rent a bike or book accommodation with us.
Bear in mind we might have some answers to your questions in our FAQ!

MONTHLY BUDGET NORTHERN HA GIANG LOOP

3 days/2 nights

Price & Inclusion

At QT Motorbikes and Tours the tour prices differs due to several factors; the model you choose to drive, the number of riders, if you self-drive or decide to ride behind guide/driver. To give the most correct price please click ‘Book Now’ and we’ll get back with correct price.

Price includes (All-inclusive tour)
  • English Speaking Tour guide
  • Breakfast and dinner, only (local Vietnamese food)
  • Accommodation (ethnic minority homestay in common room sleeping layout)
  • Quality genuine Japanese Motorcycles
  • Full cover bike damage insurance
  • All fuel cost
  • Full or half-helmet, protective knee and elbow gear, basic rain clothes
  • Bungee cords & plastic cover for your bags
  • Free storage of excess luggage
  • Free dorm bed, when arriving on a night bus, at QT Guest House (03.00-08.00)
Price excludes
  • Gratuities & tips
  • Lunch and all drinks
  • Entrance tickets
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel insurance

Monthly Budget Northern Ha Giang Loop

3 days/2 nights

Itinerary

The tour is done anti-clockwise to ensure visit of the Sunday weekly market in Dong Van.
Day 1: Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Du Gia, approx. 120 km drive

After some breakfast, we go out on ‘Road of Happiness’ and start driving north out of Ha Giang City. We climb up the Quan Ba mountain pass and enter the Dong Van Geopark and reach the Heaven’s Gate and pass the Fairy Hills. In or around the small town of Tam Son we find our lunch. Thereafter we venture deep into Ha Giang mountains and reach the picturesque village of Du Gia. Here we will stay with an ethnic minority family at their homestay. We will have dinner and breakfast with the family. (Day includes Breakfast & Dinner)

Day 2: Du Gia – Meo Vac – (Ma Pi Leng) – Dong Van – Lung Cu – Dong Van, approx. 110 to 150 km drive

We say thanks to the family of the homestay and head north, passing some of the most magnificent mountain passes you will ever have seen, pass the town of Meo Vac (where we take lunch) and move up the majestic Ma Pi Leng mountain pass before reaching Dong Van, the most northern town in Vietnam. Depending on season (days are very short in December – February) and weather we may continue up to Lung Cu, the most northern point of Vietnam. The Lung Cu Flag Tower can be climbed for stunning views. Back to Dong Van where we take into a ethnic minority homestay as agreed for the tour. We will have dinner and breakfast with the family. (Day includes Breakfast & Dinner)

Day 3: Dong Van – Sa Phin – Yen Minh – Tam Son – Ha Giang City, approx. 150 km drive

As we are waking up on a Sunday in Dong Van the weekly big local market meets you directly after breakfast. More ethnic minority groups than you can count have travelled on Saturday or extremely early on Sunday to reach here. Really colourful and people from near and far to do their weekly shopping and gossiping. Thereafter, we start our journey south. Soon we reach Sa Phin where we find the one-hundred-year-old palace of Vuong Chinh Duc – the King of H’mong people. We go down the Highland of Stone and reach Yen Minh where we take lunch and then climb a mountain pass covered in pine forest and sweeping rice terraces along our drive. Down to the Song La river valley until the road takes us up to Tam Son, over the Quan Ba mountain pass and back to Ha Giang. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch)

Disclaimer: While above itinerary outline the broad and most likely inclusions. At QT we are no firm believers in absolute programs. There are many reasons why things might have to be modified to situations and facts that may be both within the control and beyond when we embark on a tour.

The Combo – Hoang Su Phi & Northern Ha Giang Loop

5 days/4 nights

Price & Inclusion

At QT Motorbikes and Tours the tour prices differs due to several factors; the model you choose to drive, the number of riders, if you self-drive or decide to ride behind guide/driver. To give the most correct price please click ‘Book Now’ and we’ll get back with correct price.

Our aim is to give you a quality tour and memory for life. To do so our tours might not be the cheapest you find in Ha Giang, but as the saying goes ‘you pay for what you get’

Price includes (All-inclusive tour)
  • English Speaking Tour guide
  • All meals, as indicated in the itinerary (local Vietnamese food)
  • Drinking water, water or soft drinks during lunch, coffee and a smoothie where they can be found
  • Accommodation (mix of ethnic minority homestay and hotel (shared by two – single room for extra fee possible)
  • Quality genuine Japanese Motorcycles
  • Full cover bike damage insurance
  • All fuel cost
  • All entrance tickets & permits
  • Full or half-helmet, protective knee and elbow gear, basic rain clothes
  • Bungee cords & plastic cover for your bags
  • Free storage of excess luggage
  • Free dorm bed, when arriving on a night bus, at QT Guest House (03.00-08.00)
Price excludes
  • Gratuities & tips
  • Alcoholic beverages if not served on behalf of third party like homestay
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel insurance

The Big Loop – Ba Be Lake, Cao Bang & Northern Ha Giang Loop

6 days/5 nights

Price & Inclusion

At QT Motorbikes and Tours the tour prices differs due to several factors; the model you choose to drive, the number of riders, if you self-drive or decide to ride behind guide/driver. To give the most correct price please click ‘Book Now’ and we’ll get back with correct price.

Our aim is to give you a quality tour and memory for life. To do so our tours might not be the cheapest you find in Ha Giang, but as the saying goes ‘you pay for what you get’

Price includes (All-inclusive tour)
  • English Speaking Tour guide
  • All meals, as indicated in the itinerary (local Vietnamese food)
  • Drinking water, water or soft drinks during lunch, coffee and a smoothie where they can be found
  • Accommodation (mix of ethnic minority homestay and hotel (shared by two – single room for extra fee possible)
  • Quality genuine Japanese Motorcycles
  • Full cover bike damage insurance
  • All fuel cost
  • All entrance tickets & permits
  • Full or half-helmet, protective knee and elbow gear, basic rain clothes
  • Bungee cords & plastic cover for your bags
  • Free storage of excess luggage
  • Free dorm bed, when arriving on a night bus, at QT Guest House (03.00-08.00)
Price excludes
  • Gratuities & tips
  • Alcoholic beverages if not served on behalf of third party like homestay
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel insurance

The Hurry, Hurry Northern Ha Giang Loop

3 days/2 nights

Price & Inclusion

At QT Motorbikes and Tours the tour prices differs due to several factors; the model you choose to drive, the number of riders, if you self-drive or decide to ride behind guide/driver. To give the most correct price please click ‘Book Now’ and we’ll get back with correct price.

Our aim is to give you a quality tour and memory for life. To do so our tours might not be the cheapest you find in Ha Giang, but as the saying goes ‘you pay for what you get’

Price includes (All-inclusive tour)
  • English Speaking Tour guide
  • All meals, as indicated in the itinerary (local Vietnamese food)
  • Drinking water, water or soft drinks during lunch, coffee and a smoothie where they can be found
  • Accommodation (mix of ethnic minority homestay and hotel (shared by two – single room for extra fee possible)
  • Quality genuine Japanese Motorcycles
  • Full cover bike damage insurance
  • All fuel cost
  • All entrance tickets & permits
  • Full or half-helmet, protective knee and elbow gear, basic rain clothes
  • Bungee cords & plastic cover for your bags
  • Free storage of excess luggage
  • Free dorm bed, when arriving on a night bus, at QT Guest House (03.00-08.00)
Price excludes
  • Gratuities & tips
  • Alcoholic beverages if not served on behalf of third party like homestay
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel insurance

The Standard Northern Ha Giang Loop

4 days/3 nights

Price & Inclusion

At QT Motorbikes and Tours the tour prices differs due to several factors; the model you choose to drive, the number of riders, if you self-drive or decide to ride behind guide/driver. To give the most correct price please click ‘Book Now’ and we’ll get back with correct price.

Our aim is to give you a quality tour and memory for life. To do so our tours might not be the cheapest you find in Ha Giang, but as the saying goes ‘you pay for what you get’

Price includes (All-inclusive tour)
  • English Speaking Tour guide
  • All meals, as indicated in the itinerary (local Vietnamese food)
  • Drinking water, water or soft drinks during lunch, coffee and a smoothie where they can be found
  • Accommodation (mix of ethnic minority homestay and hotel (shar by two – single room for extra fee possible)
  • Quality genuine Japanese Motorcycles
  • Full cover bike damage insurance
  • All fuel cost
  • All entrance tickets & permits
  • Full or half-helmet, protective knee and elbow gear, basic rain clothes
  • Bungee cords & plastic cover for your bags
  • Free storage of excess luggage
  • Free dorm bed, when arriving on a night bus, at QT Guest House (03.00-08.00)
Price excludes
  • Gratuities & tips
  • Alcoholic beverages if not served on behalf of third party like homestay
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal travel insurance

The Combo – Hoang Su Phi & Northern Ha Giang Loop

5 days/4 nights

Itinerary

The tour may start with either Hoang Su Phi (2D) or the Northern Ha Giang Loop (3D) [possibility to extend the northern loop with more days]
Day 1: Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Du Gia, approx. 120 km drive
After some breakfast, we go out on ‘Road of Happiness’ and start driving north out of Ha Giang City. We climb up the Quan Ba mountain pass and enter the Dong Van Geopark and reach the Heaven’s Gate and pass the Fairy Hills. In or around the small town of Tam Son we find our lunch. Thereafter we venture deep into Ha Giang mountains and reach the picturesque village of Du Gia. Here we will stay with an ethnic minority family at their homestay. We will have dinner and breakfast with the family. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 2: Du Gia – Meo Vac – (Ma Pi Leng) – Dong Van – Lung Cu – Dong Van, approx. 110 to 150 km drive

We say thanks to the family of the homestay and head north, passing some of the most magnificent mountain passes you will ever have seen, pass the town of Meo Vac (where we take lunch) and move up the majestic Ma Pi Leng mountain pass before reaching Dong Van, the most northern town in Vietnam. Depending on season (days are very short in December – February) and weather we may continue up to Lung Cu, the most northern point of Vietnam. The Lung Cu Flag Tower can be climbed for stunning views. Back to Dong Van where we take into a hotel or homestay as agreed for the tour. Maybe a Hot Pot for dinner?! (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3: Dong Van – Sa Phin – Yen Minh – Tam Son – Ha Giang City, approx. 150 km drive

If we are waking up on a Sunday in Dong Van the weekly big local market meets you before or after a breakfast. More ethnic minority groups than you can count have travelled on Saturday or extremely early on Sunday to reach here. Really colourful and people from near and far to do their weekly shopping and gossiping. Thereafter, we start our journey south. Soon we reach Sa Phin where we find the one-hundred-year-old palace of Vuong Chinh Duc – the King of H’mong people. We go down the Highland of Stone and reach Yen Minh where we take lunch and then climb a mountain pass covered in pine forest and sweeping rice terraces along our drive. Down to the Song La river valley until the road takes us up to Tam Son, over the Quan Ba mountain pass and back to Ha Giang where we stay the night in hotel. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4: Ha Giang – Tan Quang – Ban Phung, approx. 140 km drive

After breakfast we go 50 km down on highway QL2 to Tan Quang where we turn right onto road DT 177 and in and up a road that envelop us in the astonishing terraced landscape of Hoang Su Phi district. We explore some of the less travelled side roads and take in the landscape, the labour behind it and the daily life of the many ethnic minorities that populate the area. The night we spend close to the Chinese boarder in the picturesque village of Ban Phung at an ethnic minority homestay (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 5: Ban Phung – Tan Quang – Ha Giang, approx. 140 km drive

Breakfast in the homestay after which we take time to walk the village and observe the daily life and great photo opportunities of landscape and people. In an easy pace we drive the valleys back down taking in the natural beauty. We arrive back to Ha Giang City around 4 pm where the tour ends. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch)

Disclaimer: While above itinerary outline the broad and most likely inclusions. At QT we are no firm believers in absolute programs. There are many reasons why things might have to be modified to situations and facts that may be both within the control and beyond when we embark on a tour.

The Big Loop – Ba Be Lake, Cao Bang & Northern Ha Giang Loop

6 days/5 nights

Itinerary

The tour may be done clockwise or anti-clockwise around the loop and will depend on driving skills, seasons and market-days.
Day 1: Ha Giang – Bac Quang – Na Hang – Ba Be Lake, approx. 245 km drive

After some breakfast, we on a ‘marathon loop’, but even if there are many kms to cover it is for a large part on easy roads where we make up distance at quite a speed. We go south out on highway QL 2 till we reach Viet Quang where we turn into road TL 279 and we will reach the small town of Na Hang where we stop for lunch. After lunch we ‘finally’ meet beautiful mountains roads taking us over a spectacular mountain pass before reaching the town of Cho Ra in late afternoon where we branch of and go down Ba Be Lake. Here we check into a nice Homestay by the lake and which will provide us a wonderful dinner, bed and breakfast. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 2: Ba Be Lake
We will spend the full day on and around the lake. After breakfast we will enjoy a boat ride and explore the lake and its surroundings. The lakes have a lot to offer, including waterfalls, rivers, valleys and caves all set amidst picturesque landscapes. Lunch and dinner at the Homestay. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3: Ha Giang – Cao Bang – Ban Gioc Waterfalls, approx. 205 km
After breakfast we travel north up and down the ‘snake pass’ and stop for our lunch in Cao Bang City. We continue towards the Chinese boarder where at the end of the day meet the breath-taking Ban Gioc Waterfall which spans over 300 meters, split half and half between Vietnam and China. We spend the night in a Nung ethnic homestay and enjoy some traditional home-cooked dinner. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4: Ban Gioc – Cao Bang – Bao Lac, approx. 210 km
After breakfast we start the morning to discover the Nguom Ngao Cave, an impressive natural wonder with a cave that stretches for 2,144 meters underground and is brimming with incredible stalactites and stalagmites. Then it is time for a ride through beautiful landscape and nice roads until we reach the small town of Ba Lac where we take into a hotel for the night. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5: Ban Lac – Meo Vac – Ma Pi Leng mountain pass – Dong Van – Lung Cu – Dong Van, approx. 145 km
From Bao Lac town we continue north and connect to QL 4C or ‘Road of Happiness’ and start driving north towards Meo Vac where we take lunch. After that we will climb up the majestic Ma Pi Leng mountain pass. 22 km of stunning beauty and a road that just hangs off the mountainside. We will reach the most norther town of Vietnam, Dong Van, but we continue on to reach the North pole. Anyway, that is what the most northern point of Vietnam is jokingly called – Lung Cu and its famous flagpole tower which we climb and view China from the top. We return towards Dong Van where we stay in a hotel or homestay as what has been agreed. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6: Dong Van – Sa Phin – Yen Minh – Tam Son – Ha Giang City, approx. 150 km drive

If we are waking up on a Sunday in Dong Van the weekly big local market meets you before or after a breakfast. More ethnic minority groups than you can count have travelled on Saturday or extremely early on Sunday to reach here. Really colourful and people from near and far to do their weekly shopping and gossiping. Thereafter, we start our journey south. Soon we reach Sa Phin where we find the one-hundred-year-old palace of Vuong Chinh Duc – the King of H’mong people. We go down the Highland of Stone and reach Yen Minh where we take lunch and then climb a mountain pass covered in pine forest and sweeping rice terraces along our drive. Down to the Song La river valley until the road takes us up to Tam Son, over the Quan Ba mountain pass and back to Ha Giang. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch)

Disclaimer: While above itinerary outline the broad and most likely inclusions. At QT we are no firm believers in absolute programs. There are many reasons why things might have to be modified to situations and facts that may be both within the control and beyond when we embark on a tour.

The Hurry, Hurry Northern Ha Giang Loop

3 days/2 nights

Itinerary

The tour may be done clockwise or anti-clockwise around the loop and will depend on driving skills, seasons and market-days. For the tour to include Dong Van or Meo Vac weekly Sunday market it needs to start on a Friday morning.
Day 1: Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Du Gia, approx. 120 km drive

After some breakfast, we go out on ‘Road of Happiness’ and start driving north out of Ha Giang City. We climb up the Quan Ba mountain pass and enter the Dong Van Geopark and reach the Heaven’s Gate and pass the Fairy Hills. In or around the small town of Tam Son we find our lunch. Thereafter we venture deep into Ha Giang mountains and reach the picturesque village of Du Gia. Here we will stay with an ethnic minority family at their homestay. We will have dinner and breakfast with the family. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 2: Du Gia – Meo Vac – (Ma Pi Leng) – Dong Van, approx. 110 km drive
We say thanks to the family of the homestay and head north, passing some of the most magnificent mountain passes you will ever have seen, pass the town of Meo Vac (where we take lunch) and move up the majestic Ma Pi Leng mountain pass before reaching Dong Van, the most northern town in Vietnam. Depending on season (days are very short in December – February) and weather we may continue up to Lung Cu, the most northern point of Vietnam. The Lung Cu Flag Tower can be climbed for stunning views. Back to Dong Van where we take into a hotel or homestay as agreed for the tour. Maybe a Hot Pot for dinner?! (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 3: Dong Van – Lung Cu - Sa Phin – Yen Minh – Nam Dam, approx. 120 km drive

If we are waking up on a Sunday in Dong Van the weekly big local market meets you before or after a breakfast. More ethnic minority groups than you can count have travelled on Saturday or extremely early on Sunday to reach here. Really colourful and people from near and far to do their weekly shopping and gossiping. Thereafter, we start our journey south. Soon we reach Sa Phin where we find the one-hundred-year-old palace of Vuong Chinh Duc – the King of H’mong people. We go down the Highland of Stone and reach Yen Minh where we take lunch and then climb a mountain pass covered in pine forest and sweeping rice terraces along our drive. Down to the Song La river valley until the road takes us up to Tam Son, over the Quan Ba mountain pass and back to Ha Giang. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch)

Disclaimer: While above itinerary outline the broad and most likely inclusions. At QT we are no firm believers in absolute programs. There are many reasons why things might have to be modified to situations and facts that may be both within the control and beyond when we embark on a tour.

The Standard Northern Ha Giang Loop

4 days/3 nights

Itinerary

Day 1: Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Du Gia, approx. 120 km drive

After some breakfast, we go out on ‘Road of Happiness’ and start driving north out of Ha Giang City. We climb up the Quan Ba mountain pass and enter the Dong Van Geopark and reach the Heaven’s Gate and pass the Fairy Hills. In or around the small town of Tam Son we find our lunch. Thereafter we venture deep into Ha Giang mountains and reach the picturesque village of Du Gia. Here we will stay with an ethnic minority family at their homestay. We will have dinner and breakfast with the family. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 2: Du Gia – Meo Vac – (Ma Pi Leng) – Dong Van, approx. 110 km drive

We say thanks to the family of the homestay and head north, passing some of the most magnificent mountain passes you will ever have seen, pass the town of Meo Vac (where we take lunch) and move slowly up the majestic Ma Pi Leng mountain pass before reaching Dong Van, the most northern town in Vietnam. If one is up to it we can climb up to the ruins of the French fort and get a stunning view of the towns and its surroundings. Exploring the Old Quarter of Dong Van might be what others may enjoy after a long day on the bike. Stay in hotel or homestay as agreed for the tour. Maybe a Hot Pot for dinner?! (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 3: Dong Van – Lung Cu - Sa Phin – Yen Minh – Nam Dam, approx. 120 km drive

If we are waking up on a Sunday in Dong Van the weekly big local market meets you before or after a breakfast. More ethnic minority groups than you can count have travelled on Saturday or extremely early on Sunday to reach here. Really colourful and people from near and far to do their weekly shopping and gossiping. Thereafter, we go to the North pole. Anyway, that is what the most northern point of Vietnam is jokingly called – Lung Cu. We can climb the Lung Cu Flagpole and view China from the top, then we turn south and when we reach Sa Phin we visit the one-hundred-year-old palace of Vuong Chinh Duc – the King of H’mong people. We go down the Highland of Stone and reach Yen Minh where we take lunch and then climb a mountain pass covered in pine forest and sweeping rice terraces along our drive. Down to the Song La river valley until the road takes us towards the village of Nam Dam where we check in with a lovely Dao ethnic minority family in their home and enjoy dinner and breakfast with them. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 4: Nam Dam – Lung Khuy – Tam Son – Ha Giang City, approx. 70 km drive

We enjoy village life after breakfast, walk around the village and might go up to the local waterfall. Then we go and explore the Lung Khuy cave. We take lunch in Tam Son after which we will explore a stunningly beautiful side-loop that connect us back to Road of Happiness and back to Ha Giang City where the tour ends. (Day includes Breakfast, Lunch)

Disclaimer: While above itinerary outline the broad and most likely inclusions. At QT we are no firm believers in absolute programs. There are many reasons why things might have to be modified to situations and facts that may be both within the control and beyond when we embark on a tour.