Ha Giang at night holds a unique allure. While exploring Ha Giang during the day impresses with its pristine and majestic beauty, Ha Giang at night takes on a more mysterious vibe. Let’s delve into the nighttime experience in Ha Giang through the activities and recreational spots I will share in the following article.
Campfire in Ha Giang at Night
Engaging in a campfire during the evening is a distinctive cultural activity that you shouldn’t miss when traveling to Ha Giang. The crackling flames of the campfire elevate the spirit of togetherness as everyone gathers around, harmonizing in rhythm.
During this time, people come together to sing characteristic songs of the Northwest region, cheerfully and enthusiastically. It provides an opportunity to set aside weariness and worries of daily life and truly embrace joy.
Moreover, according to local beliefs, the campfire gathering is a place where destinies are intertwined for young men and women.
If you’re staying in a cultural village or a traditional stilt house of the local people, you can suggest organizing a campfire with the host, provided there are at least 10 participants. For those who go camping, you can set up your own campfire at your camping site. While enjoying the warmth of the fire, you can engage in conversations, cultural exchanges, and even grill some food like chicken, potatoes, cassava, and more.
However, for travelers staying in guesthouses or hotels, it might be more challenging as there are fewer places that provide campfire services. You can inquire with the hotel staff or local residents to see if there are suitable areas nearby to organize one. The expenses will depend on your dining preferences but typically range from 300,000 to 700,000 VND.
Participating in the Fire Dance Festival of the Pa Then People
If you visit Bac Quang, Ha Giang during the Lunar New Year or the harvest season around the 10th and 11th lunar months (October and November), you will have the opportunity to join the unique Fire Dance Festival of the Pà Thẻn ethnic group. The local people believe that the fire dance ritual expresses gratitude to the heavens, the earth, and the deities for providing them with a bountiful and prosperous harvest, while also seeking good fortune for the upcoming year.
The festival consists of two parts: the ceremony and the fire dance. In the first 30 minutes, the shaman performs rituals to find the “spirit” and calls it to possess the participating young men. Each person takes turns sitting face-to-face with the shaman.
The ceremony concludes when the bodies of the young men start trembling, signifying their strength and bravery to jump into the glowing charcoal. Following the rhythmic beats of the shaman’s drum, each person jumps gracefully into the fiery coals. Despite the absence of any protective layers, the feet of these young men remain unharmed and unaffected by burns.
Only when the fire subsides and the coals cool down do the young men stop, and the shaman performs rituals to bid farewell to the “fire spirit” and the possessing entity. Everyone returns to their normal state. Additionally, any brave-hearted tourists can also request to participate. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to visit Bac Quang, don’t miss out on this unique festival.
Gathered around the fireplace of the indigenous stilt house, they enjoyed each other’s company
Gathering around the traditional fireplace of the indigenous people’s stilt houses, in the freezing cold climate that sometimes drops to 0 degrees in winter, the fire plays an important role for the people of Ha Giang. They consider the fireplace as a symbol of steadfast men and a support for the whole family. And it is the women who keep that kitchen warm and radiant. Thus, the image of the fireplace becomes more sacred than ever.
You may have heard of the story of people gathering around the fireplace, chatting, and enjoying hot tea. It is truly wonderful when you can experience that by choosing to stay at a local homestay in the stilt houses. In winter, the fireplace is almost kept burning all day long.
Usually, after dinner, the host will invite guests to sit and rest, gather around the fireplace, and enjoy tea and local snacks such as hazelnut cake, peanut candy, etc. This is the best opportunity for travelers to learn more about the culture and the people through interesting stories shared by the hosts.
Exploring Dong Van Old Quarter at night
If Dong Van is your place to stay at night, don’t forget to explore this beautiful land. Unlike its ancient charm during the day, Dong Van Old Quarter at night is a space filled with romance with shimmering golden lanterns in the misty weather. Perhaps that’s why it is known as a miniature Dalat in Ha Giang.
When visiting Dong Van Old Quarter, you will be amazed by the ancient colors of the yin and yang roofed houses. While strolling in the Old Quarter, you definitely shouldn’t miss the Old Quarter Café due to its classic allure. It is one of the few houses that still retains its ancient and original charm.
If you have the opportunity to travel to Dong Van on the weekend, you can enjoy the specialties of the Northwest people at the night market in Dong Van Old Quarter, such as thang den cake, au tau porridge, corn wine, lam rice, etc. Besides, the market also offers some fast food options like french fries, sausages, rice paper, etc., suitable for the taste of tourists.
Visit the 26/3 Square in Ha Giang City
You may have heard of the milestone 0 of Ha Giang, a famous check-in spot for tourists when traveling to Ha Giang. Right next to it is the 26/3 Square – the symbol of Ha Giang City with an area of nearly 3000 square meters. Next to it is the poetic Lo River, the legendary river of the Northeast region.
With such a prime location, this place is often the venue for important and large-scale festivals and events of the province. If you visit from September to December, you can participate in the buckwheat flower festival with many Northwest-themed activities.
Therefore, if you stay in Ha Giang City at night, don’t forget to visit the 26/3 Square. In addition, in the evening, the square also offers electric car racing with prices starting from 15,000 VND for 10 minutes. Going on a trip to Ha Giang and bringing your group of friends here for fun will definitely be enjoyable!
Enjoy drinks at cafes
In the chilly weather, sitting with friends and family, admiring the mountainous scenery, and sipping hot tea is incomparable. Due to the surge in tourist numbers and high demand, almost every district in Ha Giang now has cafes. To make it convenient and economical, it is recommended to Ha Giang motorbike rental for transportation.
The criteria for choosing a cafe in Ha Giang are quality, ambiance, and price. Don’t forget to research before you go, read reviews on Google and travel websites. Some cafes you can consider are Nui Cam Cafe, Cuc Bac Cafe, Dong Van Bar, etc.
Explore Ha Giang’s cuisine at night
Culinary experiences are definitely an essential part of night travel in Ha Giang. However, only a few places have developed more such as Ha Giang City or Dong Van Town, where there are restaurants open until late at night. If you are in other areas, you can refer to the activities mentioned above!
For those who stay overnight in Ha Giang City, you can choose from a variety of options, from au tau porridge, thang den cake to snacks, grilled skewered meat, fried vegetables. Some famous eateries are Ngan Ha au tau porridge, Anh Xuan snack shop, 320 Ly Tu Trong barbecue shop, etc.
For tourists in Dong Van, you can both explore Dong Van Old Quarter and enjoy the local specialties. There is one recommended place by the locals that you should try at least once, which is Moc Mien Porridge near Dong Van petrol station. This place is famous for its au tau porridge with a sweet and refreshing taste, tender chicken meat, firm pork knuckles, and a subtle bitterness, creating an unforgettable flavor.
The above are my experiences for enjoying Ha Giang at night that I want to share with you. My advice is that you should not go too far and too late to save energy for your trip. Have a pleasant journey!