QT – YOUR GATEAWAY TO HA GIANG & CAO BANG

My 3 day Ha Giang loop tour

Many people ask if the Ha Giang loop is really worth it. Cause yes, it’s a bit out of the way, actually close to the border with China. But that also means it’s in fairly untouched land, which makes it the trip any traveler’s dreams are made of. My boyfriend Alex and I did the 3 day Ha Giang loop tour with QT motorbikes and tours in March. And honestly, SPOILER ALERT, it’s unbelievable.

Our group

We were 7 people in total: our 2 Vietnamese guides, Kai and Thuong; Ben; Matt; Tomás; Alex and me, Paloma. Ben and Matt were from Texas (U.S.), Tomás was from Chile, Alex from the U.K. and me, from Spain. Certainly a very diverse group, but by the end we felt like we had known each other for years!

Day one: From Ha Giang to Dong Van

Backpacks, checked. Motorbike (Yamaha 125cc), checked. And rain-proof gear… checked. We left the QT garage with excitement in the air, past Ha Giang city and into the mountains. The first stop was Heaven’s Gate, and in our trip it really did feel like ‘Heaven’: all we could see was a big pane of white fog. Next to it was a big photo of how it was supposed to look like, as if saying ‘look at what you’re missing!’. We all laughed and made jokes, and the guides reassured us we would come back on the third day, so no problem! Instead we sat down for a nice cup of Vietnamese ‘Phin’ Coffee and some hot cocoa – perfect for our cold bones.

2 travelers drink coffee in my 3 day ha giang loop tour
Nothing like hot chocolate and vietnamese coffee when it’s cold!

The first day was foggy and at some points we couldn’t see past the motorbike in front of us. My boyfriend Alex was driving, and I was on the back, and at that moment I was so thankful to be part of a group tour! Not that I don’t trust my boyfriend’s driving, but riding with 5 meters of visibility is enough to scare anyone. Our guides were the ones heading the group, so they knew exactly where every turn and bump was. They were also regulating the speed of the group, so we knew when to slow down ahead of a curve.

Having an experienced rider leading the group is one of the 7 reasons to do the Ha Giang loop with a local guide you can find in this article!

In the afternoon we drove past the village where our guide Kai’s grandparents are from. It was a tiny village, and we visited his grandparents’ house. His grandmother was wearing the traditional clothes of the H’mong ethnic minority of Vietnam. Their house was very simple but we felt very lucky to visit it!

Next up, we payed a visit to the H’mong King’s palace. It’s a wooden palace in the mountains, where you can see the typical housing arranging of the time.

Hmong Palace, a stop in my 3 day ha giang loop tour
Visitors taking pics in the H’mong Palace (Photo by Natalia Boquet)

A night in Dong Van

We arrived in Dong Van at around 5pm, in time for a ‘siesta’ before dinner. We stayed at the Green Karst Guesthouse & Hostel, which is in the heart of town. The rooms were cozy and comfortable

At 7pm we met downstairs in the lobby to head out for dinner. But before we left, we were invited to try the tobacco ‘pipes’ that we had seen the locals using. And by pipe I mean a massive bong worthy of Bob Marley’s personal arsenal. You see one in basically every local restaurant/guesthouse/coffee shop. They put some green tea at the bottom of the bucket (to make it taste better), and some local, unprocessed tobacco in the bowl. A few members of our group gave it a try, with good results.

For dinner, we headed out to the Green Karst restaurant, a venue 2-3 minutes walk away from the hostel/guesthouse. Before we ordered, we were invited to some ‘Happy Water’ aka Corn Wine, by our guides. It tasted delicious, and us thinking it wasn’t strong we did a few too many shots… By the time our meal arrived we were already quite ‘happy’. Absolutely no regrets though! We learnt how to cheer in Vietnamese and every other language represented on the table. An hour later, we had taken over the karaoke downstairs, and were singing Whitney Houston so badly everyone in the restaurant left… Oops!

happy water in my 3 day ha giang loop tour
We tried a local spirit distilled from corn, called ‘happy water’.

If you want to know more about Dong Van, you can read my Short guide to Dong Van.

Day two: Lung Cu, Meo Vac, Du Gia

After recovering from the previous night, the guides took us to an eatery nearby for Pho. Honestly, I would’ve never found a place like that had I gone by myself. Not because it was hidden, but because sometimes it’s easier to go for the Western, comfortable option… And breakfast soup is not everyone’s first choice. But I had some very authentic, steaming bowl of delicious vegetarian Pho (everyone else had meat). The noodles were fresh, the broth was nourishing and the tofu was 100% delicious!

Finally, coffee time! We went to a traditional coffee house for some lovely Ca Phe Den (black coffee), mango smoothies and hot cocoa. Sipping on these delicious drinks, we shared and reconstructed our memories of the previous night. 

On the road again: to China and (not) beyond

The second day we were blessed with a clear sky! After packing our stuff, we headed out of Dong Van towards Lung Cu, sometimes also jokingly called the ‘north-pole of Vietnam’. The ride there was breathtaking, for lack of better words. Between the mountains and the sun on our face, our spirits were lifted!

We arrived at the border between Vietnam and China. You can identify it by a massive Vietnamese flag post on the top of a mountain. Alex also bought some Shan Snow tea, one of the local teas which you can only find in this part of Vietnam!

Souvenir’s in hand, and 2000 steps later (or what felt like) – we came up crawling through the stairs.

Lung Cu, one of the stops of my 3 day ha giang loop tour
Images don’t make it justice to how beautiful it is from up at the flag post!

So worth it! We took a few photos of the flag and China and headed back down past Dong Van, on our way to Meo Vac.

From then on the landscape became a series of ‘Oh my god…’ ‘Holy f***’. I have to confess, we even cried a bit. It was, hands down, the most beautiful landscape we had ever seen. Before we set out on this trip we had heard everyone talk about how beautiful the Ha Giang loop was, but we couldn’t imagine anything of this magnitude. Imagine driving for, literally, hours, and in every turn there comes a more stunning view. When we thought we had seen the most beautiful part, BOOM, there comes an even more vast and breathtaking landscape. As I said before, we cried. That’s how beautiful it was.

Lunch at Mèo Vac

On the second day of our 3 day Ha Giang loop tour, we stopped at Mèo Vac for lunch. The people running the eatery didn’t speak English, so Kai ordered for the group in Vietnamese. In Vietnam it’s common to order a few dishes for the whole table. Each person has their own bowl of rice and picks the food from the dishes they want – I call it “Vietnamese tapas”. I love this kind of eating! You get to try all the different delicious foods. The only downside is that you always end up really full because it’s hard to measure how much you’re eating… But this is hardly a downside at all.

Kai ordered for us an array of foods, including herb omelette, meat, green’s soup, sautéed veggies and tomato tofu. All Vietnamese style and cooked with local Vietnamese herbs. It was the perfect meal to recharge for the rest of our journey!

From Mèo Vac to Du Gia

Again, the landscape in this part was gorgeous. Dotted with rice fields and terraces, this part represents what most people imagine when they think of Vietnam: lush, green, vibrant rice fields.

Arrival in Du Gia (pronounced as ‘Zu-Za’)

We got to Du Gia around 5pm, and after riding all day, a relaxing evening was in order. The staff at QT Du Gia Homestay were really lovely and sweet, offering to make us coffee or tea on our arrival. For dinner, they cooked a super tasty shared meal for us!

Du Gia homestay, in my 3 day ha giang loop tour
The staff were super friendly and we got to know more about the local culture


Again, the ‘happy water’ was rolling but we decided to not go as hard as the night before. So we sat down to share stories of our travels over a few beers instead.

Day 3: From Du Gia to the Lung Tam linen cooperative

In the morning we woke up to eat some superb sweet banana pancakes with condensed milk. After eating, we took a few goodbye photos with the staff. Finally, we headed out to continue our (drumroll) last day of the 3 day Ha Giang loop tour!

Personally, the bit coming up was my favorite of the journey. We got into a very remote area of the loop, with barely any cars or motorbikes passing by. Then we passed through the villages and could see the local markets of the area. We were driving through all the mountains shaped as hills, one after another. After this, we faced a very tricky part of the road, which was more of a challenge. Thankfully, they were paving it at the time, so it won’t be tricky for long! Mind you, the challenge was absolutely worth it!

From this point, we headed to a village to visit the Lung Tam Linen Cooperative. There, they showed us the whole weaving process of the hemp and linen fibres, from stranding, to dyeing, to sewing, to ‘ironing’. They even let us have a go at their ‘ironing board’ – sort of like snowboard but on a big round rock.

Lung Tam cooperative
The Lung Tam Linen Co-operative make ethical clothing and accessories from scratch.

Ending the loop – it was a 360 experience

After a lunch stop at Quan Ba, where we ate delicious home-cooked food, we finally stopped at Heaven’s Gate, to see what we had missed the first day. Then, we slowly started to make our way back to the QT garage to end our adventure. It was with a mix of emotions – sadness that it had come to an end but ecstatic about what we had just lived – that we exchanged our contact numbers and said our goodbyes.

Overall, our 3 day Ha Giang loop tour was an unforgettable experience, and one we undoubtedly recommend. However, next time we know we will take more than 3 days, as there still are so many things to explore and experience!

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OUR WRITER

Paloma Miquel
Paloma Miquel
Student
Spain

Paloma is a long term traveler and vegetarian foodie from Valencia, Spain. Together with her boyfriend Alex, they both came to Vietnam in December of 2018 planning to stay for a month. 4 months later, they were still there...

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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.