Ha Giang: What’s In The Country’s Northernmost Rocky Plateau?

Ha Giang is a mountainous province in the Northeast region of Vietnam, with a complex and challenging terrain primarily composed of hills and high slopes. However, despite its ruggedness, Ha Giang is blessed with magnificent natural landscapes, making it a popular destination for tourism in recent years.

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Ha Giang is as beautiful as a picturesque landscape amidst mountains and forests

Introduction to Ha Giang, the frontier land of the nation

Ha Giang is a province in the Northeast region of Vietnam, bordered by Cao Bang, Yen Bai, Tuyen Quang on three sides, and sharing a border with China on the remaining side. Ha Giang is known to many as one of the poorest provinces in the North, but it is blessed with favorable natural conditions, including a diverse climate and numerous famous landmarks.

In recent times, Ha Giang has emerged as a popular tourist destination. Surrounded by majestic mountain ranges and winding passes that captivate the soul, each mountain range, river, and road has become a stroke in the magnificent painting of the Northeastern mountains and forests.

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Ha Giang has recently emerged with a developed tourism service

Ha Giang is known not only for its scenic beauty but also for its people and culture, which attract tourists from far and wide. This land is home to many ethnic groups, making Ha Giang’s culture diverse and rich.

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Ha Giang is not only beautiful in terms of scenery but also in terms of its people

Ha Giang is dubbed the land of “flowers blooming on rocks,” showcasing the unique characteristics of its landscape and the resilience of its people who have adapted to challenging living conditions. The people of Ha Giang are hospitable and friendly.

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The difficult, simple, and humble lives of the people in Ha Giang

Ha Giang will be a new destination for tourism that you shouldn’t miss. This land will surely make you cherish the saying “love is felt inside while hesitation remains outside,” and you won’t want to take a step away from it.

Ha Giang, a land of ethnic diversity and culture

According to statistics, Ha Giang is currently home to over 20 ethnic groups living and working here. When you visit Ha Giang, you will witness the beauty of culture crystallized from various cultural backgrounds.

It can be said that on this land in the Northeast, the beauty of its people and culture is hard to erode. The simplicity, modesty, and rusticity of the people “living in rocks, buried in rocks” have created unique imprints.

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The traditional costumes of the ethnic people in Ha Giang

Currently, with a specific number of 22 ethnic groups residing in Ha Giang, the largest ethnic group is the H’Mong, followed by the Tay, Dao, and Kinh ethnic groups. The remaining ethnic groups have lower proportions, such as Pa Then, Giay, Phu La, Co Lao, Lo Lo, and others.

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The ethnic diversity has given Ha Giang its own distinctive features

The ethnic diversity has given Ha Giang its own distinct characteristics

The diversity of ethnic groups is also one of the advantages that have made Ha Giang a land of diverse cultures, with dozens of traditional festivals organized annually, attracting thousands of tourists to participate.

Some of the major and unique festivals held annually in Ha Giang include:

  • Khau Vai Love Market of the H’Mong ethnic group
  • Long Tong Festival of the Tay ethnic group
  • Gau Tao Festival of the H’Mong ethnic group
  • Cau Trang Festival of the Tay ethnic group
  • Cap Sac Festival of the Dao ethnic group
  • Nhay Lua Festival of the Dao ethnic group
  • Goat Fighting Festival of the H’Mong ethnic group
  • Buffalo Fighting Festival
  • Lo Lo New Year Festival
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Cap Sac Festival of the Dao ethnic group

Ha Giang’s climate is cool and refreshing

Located in the northeast region of northern Vietnam, surrounded by mountains, Ha Giang’s climate differs from the central and delta regions. The average temperature in Ha Giang is around 21 to 23 degrees Celsius, with high humidity and abundant rainfall throughout the year.

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Ha Giang is surrounded by clouds throughout the year

Similar to other mountainous provinces in the northern region, Ha Giang experiences four distinct seasons:

  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Winter

If you visit Ha Giang during the winter or spring months, it may be quite cold, and there have been years when Ha Giang witnessed snowfall, which is a rare phenomenon in our country, especially considering its tropical monsoon climate.

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The weather in Hà Giang is always fresh and cool

However, if you visit Ha Giang during the summer and autumn seasons, it is truly an ideal destination. The temperature in Ha Giang during these seasons is cool and refreshing. I have heard many people say that they only need to spend one night in Ha Giang to escape the heat before returning. That alone is enough to experience its beauty.

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Hà Giang is at its best in March and April

Ha Giang is beautiful in every season, so you can visit here at any time of the year. Each season adorns Ha Giang with captivating beauty.

Different areas in Ha Giang may have variations, so before visiting, it’s advisable to check the weather forecast for your intended destination to avoid getting sick.

The diverse landscapes of Ha Giang attract visitors from far and wide.

Ha Giang is known as a land of beauty with no dead corners. Wherever you go in Ha Giang, there are famous attractions that attract tourists to visit. All the landmarks in Ha Giang are diverse, offering unique experiences for travelers rather than conforming to a common model.

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You can check-in at any place in Ha Giang

However, all types of landmarks here share a common characteristic that distinguishes them from other landmarks outside of Ha Giang, which is their simplicity and rusticity. They carry the strong cultural characteristics of the ethnic groups in this area. Therefore, no matter where you go, you can never mistake the landmarks of Ha Giang.

Most of the districts in Ha Giang have landmarks that you should visit at least once in your lifetime.

Ha Giang City

Ha Giang City will be the first stop for most tourists when they arrive in Ha Giang and also the final gathering point to end their journey. Compared to other districts, Ha Giang City doesn’t have many famous landmarks, but you can easily find entertainment venues. It’s even more interesting if you can find a Ha Giang motorbike rental to explore the whole city.

When you visit Ha Giang City, don’t miss out on the following landmarks to make the most of your time:

  • Milestone 0
  • Cam Son Mountain
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The milestone of Zero Point in Ha Giang

Milestone 0 is one of the famous landmarks where everyone who sets foot in Ha Giang stops by to check in and mark the milestone of their visit to this region in Northeast Vietnam.

Quản Bạ District

The closest district to Ha Giang City is Quan Bạ District, where you can admire the magnificent natural landscapes and enjoy the fresh climate. Quan Bạ is also the gateway to the famous landmark known as “Đong Van Karst Plateau”.

The notable landmarks in Quan Bạ District include:

  • Quan Bạ Sky Gate
  • Quan Bạ Twin Mountains
  • Bat Dai Son Commune
  • Solitary Tree
  • Bac Sum Slope
  • Lung Tam Traditional Weaving Village
  • Quyet Tien Market
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Bac Sum Slope

By visiting Quan Bạ Sky Gate and Quan Bạ Twin Mountains, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the entire Ha Giang region within your sight.

Yen Minh District

Compared to Quan Bạ, Yen Minh District has fewer tourist landmarks. However, if you visit this area, you can explore some famous destinations that are sure to impress you with their stunning scenery and unique culture.

The notable landmarks in Yen Minh District include:

  • Yen Minh Pine Forest
  • Na Luong Cave
  • En Cave
  • Bach Dich Market
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Bach Dich market session

The Yen Minh Pine Forest is the most famous landmark in Yen Minh, often described as a miniature version of Da Lạt in Ha Giang.

Dong Van District

Dong Van is the largest and most famous district in Ha Giang in terms of tourist landmarks. Visiting Dong Van is like entering a labyrinth with captivating and unique destinations that will enchant you.

When you come to Dong Van, you will have the opportunity to experience various types of landmarks, offering rich and memorable experiences, including mountain passes, historical sites, and immersing in the local ethnic cultures.

The notable landmarks in Dong Van District include:

  • Tham Ma Slope
  • Dong Van Karst Plateau
  • Lung Cu Flagpole
  • Dinh Vuong Palace
  • Pao’s House
  • Cao Market
  • Pho Bang Village
  • Sung La Cultural Village
  • Lung Tao Valley
  • Milestone 428
  • Northernmost Point
  • Dong Van Old Quarter
  • Dong Van Market
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The northernmost point.

The road to Dong Van District is quite challenging with many winding mountain passes and steep slopes, so it requires a skilled and experienced driver. Currently, there are many convenient and safe motorbike tours available for travelers to choose from when visiting Ha Giang. You can consider these tours to have a safe and complete experience in Dong Van.

Meo Vac District

Meo Vac is also an important district that has contributed to the remarkable development of tourism services in  Giang in recent years. Like other districts, it is characterized by mountainous terrain, but Meo Vac stands out with its limestone mountain landscape. Therefore, Meo Vac has distinct landmarks compared to other districts.

  • Ma Pi Leng Pass
  • Nho Que River
  • Than Rock Wall
  • Tu San Alley
  • Ma Pi Leng Viewpoint
  • Ma Pi Leng Panorama
  • Lo Lo Ethnic Village
  • Meo Vac Night Market
  • Sam Pun Border Gate
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Meo Vac District

Ma Pi Leng Pass and Nho Que River are two must-visit landmarks for anyone traveling to Ha Giang. Standing at Ma Pi Leng, one can easily admire the panoramic view of Nho Que River and the entire Northeast region.

Hoang Su Phi District

Hoang Su Phi is a district located in the western part of Ha Giang with a special position at the upper source of the flowing river. It is a long-established settlement of many ethnic minority groups such as Nung, Dao, Tay , Mong, etc. When you visit Hoang Su Phi, you will experience completely new feelings compared to other districts in Ha Giang.

  • Thong Nguyen
  • Nam Ty Route
  • Ban Luoc
  • San Sa Ho
  • Ban Phung
  • Ho Thau
  • Tay Con Linh Mountain
  • Chieu Lau Thi
  • Hoang Su Phi Gate
  • Hoang Su Phi Market
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Ripe rice fields in Hoang Su Phi.

Hoang Su Phi is famous for its ripe rice terraces in August, and you can easily admire this picturesque scenery in any village of Hoang Su Phi. Thanks to the vast and lush rice terraces of this place, Ha Giang has made its mark on the tourism map of Vietnam.

District Vi Xuyen

Some famous landmarks to visit when coming to Vi Xuyen District, Ha Giang are:

  • Phuong Thien Cave
  • Noong Lake
  • Tung Ba Cave
  • Thanh Thuy Border Gate
  • Sung Khanh Pagoda
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Sung Khanh Pagoda

Xin Man District

When visiting Xin Man, you can explore the following landmarks:

  • Nam Dan Rock Beach
  • Thac Tien Tourist Area
  • Gio Pass
  • Than Tien Cave
  • Quang Nguyen Mineral Spring
  • Thien Thuy Cave
  • Xin Man Border Gate
  • Gia Long Temple
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The milestone marking at the Xin Man border gate.

Bac Me District

Bac Me is a small district in Ha Giang with notable landmarks such as:

  • Bac Son Cave
  • Cang Bac Me
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Cang Bac Me

Bac Quang District

Compared to other districts, Bac Quang may not stand out, but if you happen to visit, you can consider exploring the following landmarks for an experience:

  • Thi Waterfall
  • Nam An Ecotourism Area
  • Quang Minh Lake Ecotourism Area
  • Nam Pau Cave
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Thi Waterfall

Top 20+ must-try specialties when visiting Ha Giang

Not only a land of stunning landscapes and diverse cultures of ethnic groups, Ha Giang is also famous for its unique and mouthwatering dishes that captivate the taste buds of visitors from near and far when they come to visit.

Local specialties to savor in Ha Giang

Due to its diverse ethnic communities, Ha Giang not only offers a variety of traditional festivals but also attracts many visitors from near and far with its culinary specialties.

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You cannot visit Ha Giang without enjoying the local specialties

Most of the ethnic dishes here are simple and not overly expensive, reflecting the challenging lives of the local people. However, these dishes go through intricate preparation processes and have unique flavors that are hard to find in other places.

Visiting Ha Giang without trying the following local specialties would truly be a missed opportunity:

  • Chao au tau (Tau Porridge)
  • Grilled Moss
  • Thang co
  • Men men (Sticky Rice Cakes)
  • La Chi Rat Meat
  • Banh cuon trung (Steamed Rice Rolls with Eggs)
  • Sour Pho
  • Thang den (Den Soup)
  • Xoi ngu sac (Five-colored Sticky Rice)
  • Lon cap nach (Stolen Armpit Pig)
  • Khau nhuc (Khau Nhuc Wine)
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Ha Giang’s ”Chao au tau”

Specialties to bring back as gifts

It would be a shame for anyone returning from Ha Giang without bringing gifts for their loved ones at home. Some of Ha Giang’s specialties can be preserved for a long time and transported over long distances. Therefore, they have become meaningful gifts that many tourists purchase to show their affection to their family members.

These are some of the specialties that are often bought as gifts when visiting Ha Giang:

  • Shan Tuyet Tea
  • Buffalo and Pig Meat Preserved in the Traditional Kitchen
  • Bac Ha Honey
  • Bamboo-tube Rice
  • Triangular Buckwheat Tea
  • Triangular Buckwheat Cakes
  • Sausages
  • Corn Wine
  • Gu Chung Cake
  • Dui Xin Man Aged Rice
  • Forest Acanthopanax
  • Seasonal Fruits: Bac Quang Mandarin, Chum Orange, Cat Apple, Ha Giang Pear, Seedless Crunchy Persimmon from Quan Ba.
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Ha Giang’s “Banh chung gu,” a specialty that can be bought as a gift

Ha Giang’s Cultural Beauty: Ethnic Markets

You will have a hard time finding any province with as many ethnic markets as in Ha Giang. This is a cultural beauty of the ethnic minority communities in general, and specifically the ethnic groups in Ha Giang province.

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The bustling trading session at the ethnic market

Almost all districts in Ha Giang have at least one market, while some districts even have 2 to 3 markets that are organized concurrently. Unlike fixed daily markets in other regions, Ha Giang’s ethnic markets are held only 2 to 4 times a month. Therefore, each market session is bustling and lively.

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The market sessions are only open 2 to 4 times a month, so people take the opportunity to go and eat Pho

During these markets, local people sell essential goods and food for the local community. Additionally, ethnic people showcase and sell their characteristic accessories to tourists, such as bracelets, traditional fabrics, and dresses,..

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The distinctive clothing of the local people in Ha Giang

When visiting Ha Giang, you can participate in some famous ethnic markets such as:

  • Meo Vac Market
  • Hoang Su Phi Market
  • Quan Ba Market
  • Du Gia Market
  • Yen Minh Market
  • Xin Man Market
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The market sessions are simple but strangely attractive

If you have a desire to explore this new land, I assure you that the information I provided will not disappoint you. I hope you will gain a better understanding of the magnificent land of Ha Giang. If you have the opportunity, I invite you to visit Ha Giang and discover its unique wonders.

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