Ha Giang is Vietnam’s final frontier, both literally and figuratively. It sits in the northeastern part of the country and on the edge of its border, neighboring China. Meanwhile, life for locals has changed very little since with cultures and traditions untouched by the rapid development of the county and the world around which it sits. It’s one of the few places that mass tourism has not touched – yet. So, this will be the most unique and truly cultural experience you’ll get when you visit this region.
September to December are the best times to visit because of the cool weather with November being the most popular among local tourists because of a flower bloom festival that is celebrated in the province. Getting to Ha Giang is possible via a 300 km bus from Hanoi but once there, public transportation is very limited so it’s best to rent a motorbike which is also the best way to experience Ha Giang.
Ha Giang consists of many different ethnic minorities and could be distinguished by the clothes they wear – a testament to how things have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. These people are the biggest reason to visit as their way of life is undiminished and is a great cultural experience. Various communities make for great dishes so do check out these popular ones – Thang Den (glutinous rice cake), Au Tau porridge, dried pork or buffalo meat, and Ha Giang steamed rice rolls.
The best thing to do here is to hop on your motorbike and do the Ha Giang Loop where you will see the Thon Tha Village; the Quan Ba Pass where you will see a lookout to what is called Heaven’s Gate and the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark where there are high limestone peaks and rick-strewn fields. Other attractions are the H’Mong King Palace which is unique because of its wooden frame and Long Cu where a gigantic flag of Vietnam blows proudly at the border shared with China.