Everything came off smoothly as planned. All the Remote Lands guides were excellent, polite and attentive to our needs.
Home to Vietnam's most northern point, Ha Giang, on the border with China, is a stunning area of natural beauty, from lush green rice terraces, to rocky mountains with limestone springs. The eight hours from Hanoi are undoubtedly worth it for travelers in search of something spectacular and out of the ordinary. Most notable is Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark, an area of vast geological heritage including ancient fossils and evidence of millennia of activity within the earth's crust.
Much of the region is too mountainous to sustain farming and as such the region is largely untouched by heavy development or tourism, allow it to retain its historic qualities and authenticity with quaint villages dotting the hillsides and rich cultures thriving within. Indeed, Ha Giang province is home to more than twenty ethnic groups, co-existing and creating a colorful palette of language and tradition. Ha Giang's capital city shares its name and is arranged along the banks of the River La, dissecting the clean, urban oasis from north to south. Visitors to Ha Giang will be delighted by the opportunities to explore true Vietnamese history, and explore some of its most breathtaking scenery.
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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.
Visitors to Hà Giang are beguiled by the range of cultural diversity, never more exemplified than in the traditional houses. In Sung La, it is possible to explore a LoLo house, home to one of the least common ethnic minorities in the country - a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The Tan Trao Historical Relic
Tan Trao is the site of the Vietnamese Communist party conference in 1945, where plans for the uprising were made. Here, in a perfectly maintained garden compound, visitors can explore Tan Trao Communal House, Hong Thai Communal House and admire the Tan Trao banyan tree.
Vuong Family Mansion
Combining a number of building styles from northern areas including Yunnan in China, the Mansion of the Vuong Family is a beautiful example of the unique architecture of Vietnam’s upland regions. It was classified as a historic relic in 1993 and visitors from all over the world come to explore its three stilted houses.
A great way to experience local life in Hà Giang Province is to join the hustle and bustle of the various ethnic groups coming together to trade their goods, clothed in their traditional dress; The Nung, the White Hmong, the Po Y, the Dao and the Tay come regularly to Quyet Tien Market while at Meo Vac, tribes from more than 15 miles around bring their pigs and cows to sell.
A visit to Hà Giang is not complete without a mountain hike. The Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark is home to a vast range of flora and fauna including endangered species of monkeys. Meanwhile, trekking tours through the stunning landscape of Meo Vac reveal tiny and charming mountain villages.
A glorious loop of discovery and adventure, taking in the sights, sounds, tastes and cultures of northern Vietnam. From the city bustle, through beautiful national parkland and up into the green highlands and back again, this is an unforgettable journey into rarely explored territory.
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.
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.
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
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.