Ha Giang located right on the border with China and spread over rolling hills, impress karsts, green valleys, Ha Giang is known as Vietnam’s last frontier. Actually, this place is not easiest to reach, it’s less busy and offers travelers the chance to explore Vietam’s raw beauty in way few other places still do. Ha Giang will attracted the nature – lovers and adventures for its unsullied nature and the diversity of the ethnic minorities living in the town.
History of Ha Giang
With over 3000 year of history, Ha Giang is home of large number of ethnic minorities, this area has seen rulers from several different tribes including the Hmong and Dao tribes.
When the French came to set up one of the biggest military bases in northern Vietnam in 1886 they were soon met with resistance from the local people. Initial rebellions were quickly suppressed but the region always remained opposed to the influence of the French.
Today, Ha Giang is a quiet province in the northeast of the country. Ethnic minorities still make up most of the population and make this area an exciting and interesting place to visit for travelers wanting to learn more about rural Vietnam and the country’s cultural diversity.
What is the best time to visit Ha Giang?
Ha Giang experiences two main seasons: the rainy season from April to October and the dry season from November to March.
Apart from these seasons, Ha Giang offers a different perspective at different times of the year. For example, if you come between January and March, you will immerse in peach and plum blossoms add dots of white and pink to the green hills, making for a wonderful view and beautiful scent. In September and October, the rice ripens in the fields and is almost ready for harvest. At this time, the paddies turn yellow and weave through the mountains like golden ribbons.
What to see in Ha Giang?
In addition to the triangle flower circuit, visitors to Ha Giang should not overlook the beautiful landscape that characterizes this rocky plateau. In Ha Giang, travelers can find many incredible spots to visit, visitors could spend several weeks here without seeing it all.
– Thon Ta Village and Waterfall
Only around 500 people live here but since tourist have been visiting for many years, there are plenty of nice homestays and many locals who speak English and are eager to be your guide. Visitor have chance to see how people live in this part of Vietnam and sleep in an authentic stilted house, overlooking verdant rice fields and waving good morning to buffalos when you wake up.
A short trek from town, you will find a beatiful waterfall which offers wonderful refreshment after a hike.
– Ma Pi Leng Pass and Heaven’s Gate
Ma Pi Leng pass is also called Happliese Road, connects Dong Van and Meo Vac. This is the most beatiful and famous of rocky plateau. The feeling of driving between the majestic space, the difference between the rocky side of a deep pool and Nho Que river will be a memorable experience.
– Dong Van
It is the largest town in Ha Giang province. It’s worth it to spend some time here as there are plenty of things to see and do. Travelers can start by exploring the Old Quarter, Dong Van’s city center. It resembles a courtyard surrounded by traditional coin-roof buildings.
In Dong Van, visitor can climb a nearby hill to find the of French fort called Don Cao. From there you will also have breathtaking views of Dong Van and the surrounding countryside.
Beside this, not far from Dong Van, visitors can visit to Lung Cu Flag Tower. It’s a huge flagpole set very close to the Chinese border. You can climb up and enjoy stunning views of the green hills, jagged mountains and steep drop-offs from there. If the visibility is good, you will even get a glimpse of China!
– Sa Phin
This is an important historical site, the Hmong King Palace. It was built in the 1920s for Vuong Chinh Duc who was known as the Hmong King. He was on good term with the French during their colonial rule.
The palace is an interesting building with elements of European and Chinese style elements and was one of the most luxurious homes in the area. Richly decorated with beautiful carvings of flowers and decked out with the era’s most modern facilities, the palace was often the site of visits from dignitaries and important businessmen.
– Explore local market
Towns around Ha Giang are known for their colorful, interesting market. Usually, they take place in the morning on Saturdays or Sundays and maybe one weekday.
Usually, people from several villages gather for a market, making it a melting pot of Hmong, Dao, Tay and other ethnic groups. They all come wearing their traditional dresses, so get ready for an unparalleled display of local fashion and textiles.
Market are also the perfect place to try some more local food and see how some of your favorites are made. Especially, coming to Ha Giang, you should taste food. The cuisine in the north is quite different from anything you will have tasted in southern Vietnam or even Hanoi. Each tribe has their own specialties, so get your taste buds ready for a unique experience such as cháo ẩu tẩu, trứng cuộn, thắng cố, cơm lam Bắc Mê,…
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