There was an authenticity to the type of experience set up for us that made every city we visited special and gave us countless moments we will never forget.
Jessika and David, Los Angeles

The Way to Heaven's Gate: Hanoi to Ha Giang

Explore Vietnam’s northernmost province and experience the true local culture. Home to endless rocky plateaus and romantically-named mountains dotted with tiny villages, Ha Giang is a less-traveled land of beauty and adventure.

Highlights   Pricing
  • Discover the charms of colonial Hanoi Stroll through local market towns in Ha Giang province and see the traders in action
  • Trek through the unparalleled mountain scenery of Dong Van
  • Discover beautiful and unique architecture, from grand mansions to humble homes
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Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1

Touch down in the beautiful city of Hanoi, with its old-world Vietnamese culture mixed with colonial influences. Relax and enjoy the sights as your guide whisks you from the airport and through the colorful streets to your luxury hotel. We recommend the stunning and award-winning Sofitel Legend Metropole, where you’ll bed down in sumptuous French-inspired luxury before your big adventure.

Day 2

After a refreshing sleep and a delicious early breakfast, embark upon the first leg of your journey. Hop in your awaiting car and set out on the scenic eight-hour road trip north. Along the way, stop off in the charming town of Tuyen Quang for a traditional Vietnamese lunch at a local restaurant. Pay a visit to the Tan Trao Historical Relic which includes Tan Trao Communal House, Hong Thai Communal House and the Tan Trao banyan tree, before arriving in Ha Giang, where you’ll check in at the clean and modern Cao Nguyen Hotel.

Day 3
Dong Van

Get your first look at the stunning scenery of Ha Giang province with a view of Heaven’s Gate and Fairy Mountain at Dong Van. Next, explore the Vuong Family Mansion, a dynastical house exhibiting traditional architectural features. In the afternoon, take in the bustling Quyet Tien Market, the center of trade for local minority groups, and visit an authentic house of the Lolo people - whose numbers are fast dwindling - in Sung La. Finally, after a busy day, rest for the night at the Lam Tung Hotel in Dong Van.

Day 4
Meo Vac

Continue your discovery of northern Vietnamese culture and scenery after a hearty breakfast at your hotel. Spend the day trekking through the mountainous villages of Ma U, Ma Tia and Po Lo - homes to the ethnic groups of the white Hmongs and the Hans, and take in the stunning vistas of the Dong Van plateau. Later, transfer to Meo Vac and check into the charming and rustic Auberge de Meo Vac where you’ll enjoy home-cooked food and beautiful views.

Day 5

Take the day to explore the foothills and the beautiful mountain town of Meo Vac, home to one of the prettiest weekend markets in the area. It is the meeting place for ethnic groups from miles around to gather and trade their goods and livestock, and as such, a unique window into local life. In the afternoon, head back to Ha Giang and check back into Cao Nguyen Hotel for a comfortable night’s rest.

Day 6

After a traditional local breakfast in Ha Giang, jump in your car and relax as the gorgeous scenery glides past, all the way back to Hanoi - about a six-hour drive. From here, you can continue to enjoy Vietnam or connect to your departure flight at Hanoi airport.


Suggested Accommodations

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

This richly historic 364-room French colonial masterpiece built in 1901 is one of Vietnam's finest hotels, with luxuriously appointed rooms, attentive staff and gracious service. It is ideally located in central Hanoi and houses a beautiful interior garden. Excellent French cuisine is served at Le Beaulieu, and Hanoi specialties are offered at Spices Garden. The hotel has a well-equipped fitness center with cardio machines and weights, as well as a swimming pool and spa offering massage treatments. All of the guest rooms have broadband Internet access and are decorated in an opulent, neo-classical style.

Cao Nguyen Hotel

Cao Nguyen Hotel

Ideally located near the center of the pretty city of Hà Giang, on the banks of the River Lo, Hotel Cao Nguyen, otherwise known as Rocky Plateau Hotel, is one of the newer hotels in the town. Surrounded by the bustle of the town and stalls selling steaming bowls of Pho, the hotel - while not a luxury outfit - is clean, welcoming and well-equipped. Twin and double rooms are spacious with flat-screen televisions and free WiFi, while the private bathrooms with running hot water are better than most, though the smell of smoke is a tad off-putting. After a day exploring the stunning scenery around the area, guests will look forward to a hearty meal. The hotel restaurant serves up traditional Vietnamese fare that should hit the spot before weary travelers bed down for the night, to prepare to continue the adventure the following day.

Lam Tung hotel

Lam Tung hotel

In the perfect spot between the old market and the new market in the small and charming town of Dong Van, the Lam Tung is the ideal place to make a pit stop. While perhaps not opulent or luxurious, the hotel is new and clean with good quality fittings and appliances, and guests are made to feel very welcome. The rooms are spacious, and feature individual water heaters for the private bathrooms as well as flat screen televisions. What’s more, those with windows boast stunning views of the surrounding area in all its glory. 

Auberge De Meo Vac

Auberge De Meo Vac

This rustic little gem of a guest house is a shining example of northern Vietnamese charm and hospitality. Nestled in the foothills with the valley of Meo Vac beneath and within a short,  pleasant walk to the local town, guests will be delighted from the outside in. The rooms, while simple and humble, are spotless with very comfortable beds and windows with sweeping views. Under a covered walkway, the bathrooms are clean, with running hot water. The homey restaurant serves up traditional authentic Vietnamese food and, for a tempting colonial twist, good French wine or pastis is also available to complement the dishes. On chilly evenings, a roaring log fire is lit and guests will find themselves sitting around sharing stories with fellow travelers and the friendly, welcoming owners. 

Meet An Asia Expert
From Travelogues
Our General Manager Victoria Hilley lived in Hanoi for a year, where she enjoyed motorbiking through the villages & rice terraces of Vietnam's mountainous north.
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