Plan for a family adventure in Vietnam and get tired of boring and touristy places? Would like to take your family to a rural paradise which is full of nature, beautiful landscape? Then in post, I will introduce you a top of the world destination in the far-north of Vietnam where you can not only immerse yourself in nature, keep from the tourist traps, take amazing photos to feed your Instagram, but you will also have the chance to mingle with the local ethnic minorities with unique lifestyles and cultures. It is Ha Giang — a hidden gem of Vietnam. Now be ready to get inspired by the best Ha Giang travel guide for an awe-inspiring family adventure in Vietnam.
I. What To See In Ha Giang?
1. The Local Villages Of Ethnic Tay People
The first destination in Ha Giang that most travelers would like to visit is the local communities of ethnic Tay people. The villages are just 5 km from the center of Ha Giang city. At the village you will have the chance to see the local wooden stilt houses with unique roofs tiled with palm leaves. The houses are big enough for three to four generations of the family living together. Each house locates peacefully in the middle of lush rice fields. The villages are surrounded by mysterious palm forrests and stream where you can have a short walk or cool off in the water.
Most people will choose to stay one night with the family host to explore the local culture, lifestyles, and especially their delicious traditional food. To tell the truth, Tay people are really good cook!
2. Quan Ba Heaven Gate
Now we visit the most important destinations in Ha Giang — Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark, including 4 districts: Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van, and Meo Vac. The first place you will stop to admire is Quan Ba Heaven Gate with the unique Fairly Bosom.
You will then climb up to the top at the Heaven Gate and have an awesome panoramic view of the whole area with little town, mountains and rice fields. The picturesque landscape is sure to conquer the heart of any nature lover.
The most interesting at Quan Be Heaven Gate is the Fairy Bosom. It is actually two twin little hills at the bottom of the valley. Looking from afar, it looks like a bosom of woman. This is the reason why they call the twin hills a lovely name Fairy Bosom.
After the photo hunt, you can get down and enjoy the local coffee there which is also very tasty, or wandering around to look for a suitable souvenirs from local ethnic people in Ha Giang.
3. Yen Minh Rice Terrace
After up and down turning mountain roads from Quan Ba, you will arrive Yen Minh — the second district in Dong Van Geopark. Here you will have the chance to witness the stunning beauty of rice terraces stretching from the top to the bottom of mountains.
Compare to other places like Mu Cang Chai, Hoang Su Phi, Sapa, etc, the rice terraces in Yen Minh are smaller. But they have their own unique look that you can not find anywhere else. It is the combination of forests, mountains, rice fields and mist that forms the mysterious beauty of the area.
4. Dong Van District
Located right in the heart of Dong Van Geopark, the district offers a lot of interesting places for you to visit like Dong Van Old Quarter, The King of Hmong Palace, Dong Van Market, Thien Huong village,etc.
Dong Van town is the place where most people stop overnight after a long day from Ha Giang. The town is colorful at night with Dong Van Old Quarter — the small town with blocks of Chinese houses dating back to nearly 100 years ago. And if you are lucky enough and the next day falls in Sunday, wake up early and witness the unique and exciting weekly traditional market fair of Hmong people.
5. Lung Cu Flagpole
Known as the Far-north point of Vietnam, the Lung Cu flagpole is located right in the border of Vietnam and China. But the most amazing thing is the landscape you can enjoy on the way from Dong Van to Lung Cu.
The flagpole is such an ideal place for you to check-in, especially with a panoramic view of the whole area. Don’t forget to visit Lo Lo Chai village — a local village of ethnic Lo Lo people with colorful traditional dresses.
6. Ma Pi Leng Pass
The unmissable place in Ha Giang is Ma Pi Leng Pass. The pass is also named “Happiness Road” because when it was opened, it brought happiness and better conditions for all the people living in the rocky Dong Van Plateau.
The pass is 20 km long and surrounded by amazing landscape right in the border with China. From the pass, you can look down to Nho Que River and Tu San Canyon to enjoy the magnificence of nature.
You can also choose to walk 3-hour on the “Skypath Road” which leads you on the local trail up to the top, from which you can have better views and photos.
7. Weekly Market Fair Of Hmong People
One of the most cultural features in Ha Giang that you cannot miss is the weekly market fair of Hmong people. Because Hmong people they live up in the mountains and far from the centers, they cannot go to the markets everyday. Thus, they have their traditional weekly market fairs which take place on a set day in a month. Most markets will open on wekkend, from Friday to Sunday. Here you will see the local activities of Hmong, Yao and some other ethnic people going about to buy what they need for the whole week, and sell what they made.
Visiting the market you will have a deeper insight into the lives and cultures of ethnic local people in mountainous areas in Vietnam, as well as witness interesting and incredible things. It is such a must.
Some of the most market fairs are: Meo Vac market (Sunday); Dong Van Market (Sunday); Yen Minh Market (Sunday),etc.
II. How To Explore Ha Giang
If you would like to explore Ha Giang to the fullest, you need to spare 3 to 5 days. You can join a a 3-4 day trip to explore and enjoy the natural landscape of Hagiang and the local ethnic people. Most people will choose 4 days to have more flexible time for photo hunts on the way.
If you are a real adventurer and would like to get a deeper experience, why not choose a trekking Ha Giang tour? The trip will take you 5 days and you will get mesmerized with all the features this land offers.
Ha Giang is such an amazing destination for nature and adventure seekers. Our family did a 5-day hiking trip there and the tour was so amazing and beyond our expectations. Such a must-do in Vietnam!