QT – YOUR GATEAWAY TO HA GIANG & CAO BANG

Info & tips about ethnic minority groups in Ha Giang, Vietnam

Ha Giang is rapidly becoming a precious gateway for adventure seeking travelers. That has brought more and more tourism to the city. Naturally, the local economy will accommodate and expand with this change. This fact can help ethnic minority groups in Ha Giang improve their life conditions, implying many favorable outcomes for those who are willing to adjust and cater for the new flow of visitors.

But what does all this mean for the ethnic people who have lived here long before adventure seekers turned up on motorbikes? What can you do, as a traveler, to visit their lands with respect? Can you make a small contribution to their lives? This post tries to help you understand local life in the region, so you can travel while getting to know and respecting different ethnic minority groups in Ha Giang.

ethnic minority groups in ha giang vietnam

What ethnic minority groups live in Ha Giang?

There’s a large number of tribes and groups who live among the mountains in Ha Giang. Uncovering their intricate lifestyles and identities is just fascinating! Each district in the province differ in subtle ways, all steeped in mythical folklore and historic rituals. Depending on the area, each group have their crafts and skills they specialize in, such as:

  • weaving, knitting, embroidery, wax printing;
  • casting and jewelry making;
  • carpentry, masonry;
  • livestock and husbandry;
  • traditional building;
  • rice production and milpa;
  • tea, bamboo, sugarcane;
  • dancing and traditional songs and instruments.

These are the main ethnic minority groups that live in Ha Giang:

The H’Mong Ethnic group

They’re the largest, making up for 32% of the population in Ha Giang. They arrived originally from China around 300 years ago. The H’mong families have different ways of ancestor cult. The Door Ghost worship and the Great Mother Ghost worship are two of the main ones among these people. Mong’s literature and art show their community psychology and awareness, and other issues about nature, society and history. They build and play several wind instruments, such as pan-pipes, flutes, leaf-horns and lip-horns.

ethnic minority groups ha giang
H’mong woman in Dong Van Sunday market (photo by Natalia Boquet)

The Dao Ethnic group

Dao people live in traditional natural stilt houses, usually close to water. They retain a complex religious culture, demonstrating community spirit. The Dao folkloric literature is very rich in legends, myths, narrative stories, pop songs, quizzes and proverbs. All these are great sources to understand their communal perception of the universe and human life.

The Pu Peo Ethnic group

The Pu Peo ethnic group ranks 53rd in the Vietnamese community in terms of population. They live scattered on high mountainous areas along the Vietnam-China border.

Their house building process follows very strict religious procedures. These affect the selection of the land, the trees that can be used for pillars and the building itself.

The Pu Peo worship three generations including Pe, or parents, Te Ngan, or grandparents, and Te Gao, or great grand-parents.

The Lo Lo Ethnic group

Living in Lung Cu since ancient times, the Lo Lo people have made many efforts in reclaiming virgin lands and grasping to this northernmost part of the country. 

The decoration on their turbans, shirts, skirts and pants are particularly colorful. A very curious fact: the Lo Lo calendar divides a year into 11 months, each corresponding to an animal’s name.

ethnic minority groups in ha giang vietnam

The Giay Ethnic group

Giay people live mainly on planting water rice and farming milpa. Every year, they organized the Roong Pooc ceremony to begin their farming season. Giay people built pigsties and hen-coops far away from their houses to fields. Their noteworthy handicraft making are weaving and bamboo knitting.

The Nung Ethnic group

Nung people mainly live in Quan Ba district, usually in valleys near rivers, streams or hills. They live on farming rice, with high cultivation technique. Their animal husbandry is also highly developed. Handicraft making among these people is very diverse, including forging, casting, carpenting, knitting, paper making and cloth weaving.

The Tay Ethnic group

The Tay is the second largest ethnic minority in Ha Giang, accounting for 25% of the total population of the province. They live in houses of stilt that are thatch roofed using palm leaves or grass.

The Tay culture is very diversified. They feature different kinds of ceremonies, including weddings, funerals and new house celebrations, among others. Their folkloric literature is a rich treasure of legends, myths, ancient stories, verse stories and folkloric songs.

What is life like in Ha Giang villages?

Life in the small villages along the route is very different to what we could call Western life, and to urban Vietnam as well. These villages are home to groups who live slowly, in accordance to the land and nature. It’s wonderful to see family’s working closely and supporting each other, right through the generations. Young children take responsibility for their siblings, becoming role models quickly. It’s extremely important to respect their space and identity! Imagine how it’d feel if visitors continually passed by your home with a camera in your face… It’d surely become uncomfortable!

ethnic minority groups in ha giang

Can I take photos?

It can be challenging to stay reserved and mindful when that golden photo opportunity arises. And yes, there are many! The villages are a photographer’s dream in many respects. But you know, a real photographer should connect with their subject. So we recommend you not to steal photos, but to communicate with the people you want to take pics of, and respectfully ask for permission when you feel it’s appropriate. It will be worth the effort!

Can I find souvenirs

Yes! Different minority group hold onto traditional skills and crafts, such as weaving and dress making. Therefore, you’ll have plenty of options to buy beautiful souvenirs and thus contribute to local economies. When passing by Lung Tam, you can visit the women’s weaving cooperative. There, you can observe them create incredible clothing, bags and accessories from raw materials such as hemp. And of course, you can also purchase something from their small shop and support their fantastic craft.

Is it possible to try authentic food?

Farming and food produce are central to daily living in the area. It seems that every generation is tirelessly working with the land, crops like tea and livestock. Local markets, such as Dong Van Sunday Market, are an impressive spectacle and a real celebration. Here, you can witness the fruits of their labor. And of course, you can also purchase fresh products and freshly prepared food. It can seem shocking and truly eye opening, for western people, to see the unfiltered, unbranded realness of the farming trade. It’s well worth visiting!

ethnic minority groups ha giang local market
A local man preparing awesome snacks in Dong Van market (photo by Natalia Boquet)

What if I want to help the people?

The people you will encounter work for a living. They have built their homes in a traditional fashion, and live minimally. The children work from a young age and the elders work hard as well. To some, it may seem they have a hard life or are less fortunate than yourself. However, you should definitely not treat people as a charity. It’s unfortunate that in some areas, some children have associated foreigners as opportunity for money or hand out. We must understand the potential effects this could have on their own life and culture. It’s highly advised that people refrain from giving money or any gifts!

Encouraging children to beg could be very problematic. And you, as a foreigner, are a direct reference to the outside world. The engagement you have with them can have a dramatic effect. So try not to influence their behavior in this or any other way. Even if their lives can seem rough to us, we’re not to judge nor to take direct actions, especially not as mere visitors. You can still help by contributing to their local economies: purchase crafts and local food and stay in homestays and/or small hotels and guesthouses. Respecting their culture and environment is of great help too!

Will I be welcome into their world?

Some of the villages are truly breathtaking. They can be fabulous examples of harmonious agricultural living, collective effort and traditional architecture. Sometimes, it can feel as though you have stepped into a fairy tale or a timeless historic vision. Children energetically welcome you with smiles and high fives mostly! Their welcome can be one of the warmest you will experience. With mindful practice this should remain this way, it’s really up to you!

ethnic minority groups hi giang kids high five

If you want to learn more about ethnic minority groups in Ha Giang, and have the chance to engage with them, we highly recommend you to do the Ha Giang loop with a local guide.

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OUR WRITER

Alex Large
Alex Large
Bartender
United Kingdom

Music, nature and art are Alex’s language. He left his home in Liverpool to become a freestyle traveler. After four months in Vietnam this decision has led him to life changing experiences and crossing paths with friends for life.

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CONTACT US

… 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.