10 Best Things to Do in Ha Giang Vietnam – Ultimate Guide 2024

Chin Khoanh Ramp, Ha Giang Loop, Vietnam

Planning a trip to North Vietnam? Don’t miss out on these 10 best things to do in Ha Giang.

The Ha Giang Province is one of the most impressive and adventurous destinations in Vietnam. You’ll experience some of the best landscapes in Southeast Asia, from limestone cliffs, and deep valleys to flowing rivers. 

You can do all of these highlights while riding the Ha Giang loop. That’s why we’ve arranged them in the order of the Loop. 

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Convince yourself of the Ha Giang Province

8 BEST Hotels in North Vietnam

North Vietnam has many amazing places to visit, each with its best places to stay. Here are some handpicked recommendations.

  • Ha Giang: Connect with adventurous travelers at the Lotus Hostel

Where is Ha Giang located?

Meo Vac Landscape, Ha Giang Loop, Vietnam

The Ha Giang province is located in the northernmost part of Vietnam, bordering China. Some cities and villages in this region are Ha Giang City, Yen Minh, Dong Van, Meo Vac, and Du Gia. 

Ha Giang is roughly a 7-hour drive from Hanoi, about 6 hours from Sapa, and 7 hours from Cao Bang. The journey might be lengthy, but the experience is truly worth it.

5 BEST Tours in North Vietnam

Check out our handpicked tours in North Vietnam and tick off some must-see attractions.

  • Ban Gioc Waterfall: Explore Ban Gioc Waterfall and more in Cao Bang with this 2D/1N Tour
  • Hanoi Streetfood: Join a local Food Tour in Hanoi with visit to Train Street
  • Ninh Binh: Discover Ninh Binh on this small-group guided Full Day Tour from Hanoi

When is the Best Time to visit Ha Giang?

Curvy Road, Ha Giang Loop, Vietnam

The dry season in North Vietnam spans from October to April, while the rainy season lasts from May to September. We highly recommend planning your visit for either end of September-October or April-May, when the weather tends to be warm and clear. It can be quite cold during the winter months and quite wet in the summer months. 

How to get to Ha Giang by Bus?

Hanoi to Ha Giang

From Hanoi, you can opt for a 7-hour sleeper bus or minivan. We recommend booking through 12GO to secure the best deal and to check the most highly recommended bus companies. Personally, we prefer to read traveler reviews before booking to ensure a smooth journey.

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TRAVEL TIP: The sleeper bus saves you a night’s accommodation and a day of travel.

Sapa to Ha Giang

From Sapa, you can take a 6-hour bus or minivan to Ha Giang. We recommend using 12GO for booking to secure the best deals and to check the reviews of transport companies.

Best Accommodations in Ha Giang

Booking in advance is recommended for the best deal. Here are our recommendations for different budgets:

Ha Giang

Yen Minh

Dong Van

Meo vac

Du Gia

Bao lac

10 Best Things to Do in Ha Giang

1. Quan Ba Heaven Gate

Misty mountains at Quan Ba Heaven Gate, Ha Giang Loop, Vietnam

The Quan Ba Heaven Gate is a stunning viewpoint with a breathtaking view of the Ha Giang mountains and the pass below. Sometimes it’s all misty and cloudy, which makes it feel kind of magical.

While there is a proper viewpoint with an entrance fee and a short climb up, you will have the same view from the parking lot, where there is also a little café. We enjoyed the view and took pictures from the parking, as many other people did.

If you’re coming from Ha Giang and going down the Quan Ba pass, you’ll find a place to park not long after the viewpoint. From there, you can walk up to another spot where you can see the Twin Mountains.

2. Tham Ma Pass

Chin Khoanh Ramp, Ha Giang Loop, Vietnam

The S-shaped mountain road is not just an exciting drive, but it also gives you really impressive views from the viewpoint. You might meet some local tribespeople there, sometimes kids with baskets of flowers, perfect for pictures.

3. Dong Van Karst Plateau

Cloudy Ha Giang Loop mountains, Vietnam

The Dong Van Karst Plateau is a UNESCO Global Geopark in the Ha Giang province. The karst formations create a dramatic and unique landscape. It’s like a sea of mountains with limestone peaks.

4. Trekking in Dong Van

Boy with buffalo, Ha Giang Loop, Vietnam

Many people visit Sapa for trekking, but you can also discover incredible hikes in the Ha Giang Region. These will focus more on exploring impressive mountains rather than rice terraces. Dong Van is the best destination for this. After spending a long time on a motorbike, a hike provides the perfect change.

5. Ma Pi Leng Pass

Ma Pi Leng River, Ha Giang Loop, Vietnam

The Ma Pi Leng Pass is like the superstar of the Ha Giang province. This pass is one of the most picturesque spots in all of Vietnam. The mountain road is carved into a tall mountain with steep cliffs, making it a challenging and thrilling experience. The spectacular view of deep canyons, the Nho Que River, and the mountains is truly breathtaking.

There isn’t just one spot to get a great view. You can stop anywhere, and you’ll have amazing sights. Don’t miss the Ma Pi Leng Pass Viewpoint and the Tu San Canyon Viewpoint, both marked in Google Maps.

6. Cruise Nho Que River

Ma Pi Leng River, Ha Giang Loop, Vietnam

When you drive along the Ma Pi Leng pass, you’ll come across the Nho Que River. There are secret paths from the mountain pass that lead to the river. There you can hop on a boat and cruise between the mountains for a different view of the landscape from below. It is a very peaceful and relaxing experience.

7. Secret viewpoint

Curvy Road, Meo Vac, Ha Giang loop, Vietnam
Curvy Road, Meo Vac, Ha Giang Loop, Vietnam

This is a beautiful viewpoint (GPS coordinates: 23°13’11.7″N 105°25’01.6″E) not marked on any maps. Save the exact location and check it out for yourself along the loop.

8. Local Culture Experience

Girls with Flowers, Ha Giang Loop, Vietnam

One of the best things to do in Ha Giang is to learn about the culture of local minorities. This province is home to the Hmong tribespeople.

As you drive through the beautiful landscape, you’ll catch glimpses of their daily lives. They are hard to miss, as they wear very colorful and impressive clothing. If you want to immerse yourself further in their culture, you have three options:

8.1 Eat and Stay overnight in a Homestay

Consider staying at least once in a homestay and sharing dinner with the family. Typically, homestays in the Ha Giang region are very simple, but it’s the experience that counts.

Dining with the family is the best way to get to know them better and learn about their traditional way of life. Plus, the local food is incredibly delicious, prepared with fresh and regional ingredients.

8.2 Visit the Colorful Local Markets in the Villages

Traditional Vietnamese girl ata market in Ha Giang.

Another great way to connect with the locals is by visiting the colorful local markets in the villages. On these occasions, various tribes from the entire Ha Giang Province come together to trade and socialize. You’ll witness people selling local goods like traditional clothing, fresh food, and even farm animals.

These mountain markets are typically held once a week, usually on Sundays, but it’s better to ask your accommodation for current information. Here are some markets you can visit:

  • Sa Phin Market
  • Dong Van Market: Sunday
  • Meo Vac Market (the biggest and most impressive market): Sunday
  • Du Gia Market: Saturday

8.3 Visit local villages

Mother and children with harvest in Ha Giang, Vietnam.

Discover the unique way of life by exploring small local villages. Here, you can witness how local tribespeople work and live. You will learn about traditional handicrafts and cooking. 

In the Ha Giang province there are numerous villages, each inhabited by different minorities. Each group has its own clothing, language, and style of house construction.

9. Navigating through herds

one of the best things to do in Ha Giang, see the buffalos in there herds

You’ll frequently come across herds of animals on the road, a very rural scene. Expect to see herds of cows, buffaloes, and goats. Always drive with caution and show respect for the animals.

10. Du Gia waterfall and rice terraces

Typically, Du Gia is a stop for those returning to Ha Giang on their final day of the route. It’s the perfect spot to peacefully relax among rice fields on your last day after a few days on the bike. There’s also the stunning Du Gia waterfall with clear water and lush green surroundings that many highly recommend visiting.

Ride the Ha Giang Loop

Thinking about riding the Ha Giang Loop in North Vietnam? We have the ultimate guide for you!

This Loop isn’t just a 300km motorbike round-trip, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. And if you’re not sure about driving a motorbike by yourself you can book a motorbike or car with a driver and still have an amazing experience.

We’ve completed this loop twice already, once in December 2019 and once in October 2023. Our guide is all you’ll need to plan your legendary Ha Giang Loop adventure. It’s filled with insider tips to make your journey as smooth as the mountain passes themselves.

Ha Giang Loop Tour Options

Book a 3 or 4 days tour driving a motorbike by yourself!

Book a 3-day tour with a motorbike “easy rider” or car driver!

Where to go after Ha Giang?

The Ha Giang Loop can be combined with some amazing destinations in the north. Here are some fantastic places in North Vietnam we’ve been to and highly recommend:

Depending on your next destination after Ha Giang, you may need to return to Hanoi first before catching a bus to your next stop. Check on 12GO to see if there’s a direct transportation option. If not, plan your journey via Hanoi.

If you enjoy riding a motorbike, you could ride the Ha Giang Loop as part of the North Vietnam Loop. Our 2-week motorbike tour in Vietnam was one of the most thrilling experiences of our two years of travel in Asia. 

 You can easily rent a motorbike in Hanoi for this adventure.

Conclusion

The Ha Giang province is a wild, hidden adventure. We promise it’s a paradise for people who love pure nature. You’ll witness amazing mountains and valleys and get a taste of genuine local life.

Do you have any questions or want to share your experience? Just drop a comment below!

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