Ma Pi Leng: Impressive Pass In Ha Giang Vietnam

Ma Pi Leng Pass is one of the most majestic passes in Vietnam. With dangerous winding roads with steep cliffs, it is a challenging experience for travelers.

About Ma Pi Leng Pass

Ma Pi Leng Pass is a famous mountain pass in the Northwest mountains. It was constructed by tens of thousands of volunteers from 16 ethnic groups in 6 years (1959-1965).

Ma Pi Leng Pass has a length of about 20 km and is located at an altitude of about 1200m above sea level. It helps connect Dong Van and Meo Vac districts.

Ma Pi Leng Pass in Ha Giang, Vietnam.
Ma Pi Leng is one of the four awe-inspiring peaks in Northern Vietnam.

Tips: You can sign up for a Ha Giang loop tour to join a motorbike tour conquering Ma Pi Leng Pass.

Along the way to the top of the pass, you will have the opportunity to see the impressive natural scenery of the Northeast mountains, rivers, terraced fields, and idyllic houses.

Nho Que River in Ha Giang, Vietnam.
Nho Que river is like a silk strip adorning the pass.

You’ll also encounter ethnic children walking along the road or H’Mong people carrying goods on their backs.

Nho Que river and Tu San Alley Ha Giang Vietnam.
You can enjoy a panoramic view of the Dong Van rocky plateau, Nho Que river, and Tu San Alley from Ma Pi Leng.

How to get to Ma Pi Leng Pass

To avoid tiredness, it’s best to travel by bus from Hanoi to Ha Giang. Usually, buses depart at 9 pm and arrive in Ha Giang early in the morning.

You can rent a motorbike in Ha Giang to conquer the pass. Don’t forget to fill your gas tank whenever you see a gas station (quite rare in Ha Giang).

Recommended routes: Ha Giang – Dong Van – Ma Pi Leng – Nho Que River.

Ma Pi Leng Pass in Ha Giang, Vietnam.

Things to do at Ma Pi Leng Pass

Boat ride on Nho Que river

Taking a boat ride on the Nho Que River is a must-try experience. You’ll go through Tu San Canyon, the deepest canyon in Southeast Asia.

Tu San Alley in Ha Giang, Vietnam.
Tu San Canyon is a unique canyon with high cliffs up to 800 m.

See the views

Ma Pi Leng is a legendary road with a wild, rugged, and majestic beauty. The pass consists of 9 bends with cliffs and deep abysses on both sides.

Ma Pi Leng Pass view in Ha Giang, Vietnam.
From the top of Ma Pi Leng, the majestic mountain scenery appears. One side is a cliff, while the other is the deep abyss of Nho Que river with jade green water.

Best time to visit Ma Pi Leng Pass

Ha Giang has a different beauty in every season, so you can conquer Ma Pi Leng Pass any time of the year except the rainy season (June – August).

January to March is the season of apricot flowers, plum trees, and canola flowers. The scenery paints a vibrant picture of a spring day, full of life with brilliant colors.

If you want to participate in Khau Vai Love Market, April is the time. On this occasion, the couples, who used to love each other but did not have a predestined relationship, will come here to meet, chat, and share about their current lives.

Ma Pi Leng Pass in Ha Giang, Vietnam.

September is a ripped rice season when you can see the golden fields between the green forests and rocky mountains.

October to November is famous for buckwheat flowers – a symbol of Ha Giang.

What to wear

If you travel to Ha Giang in the summer, you should pack light clothes such as T-Shirt and a light jacket. Do not forget to bring long pants because Ha Giang has many insects.

If you travel from October to February, bring warm clothes, gloves, and jackets to keep warm. At night the temperature in Ha Giang drops quite low.

Also, pack a comfortable pair of sports shoes and sunglasses.

Things to pack

You should pack light for Ha Giang Loop.


There are not many restaurants or cafes serving food on the pass. So you should bring some snacks and water.


Medicine is always important for traveling. Bring a first-aid kit and some necessary medicine such as fever-reducing, diarrhea, and stomachache medicine. Allergies medicines, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent cream are also essential.

Other items

If you ride a motorbike, you must bring a driving license and spare gasoline (1.5l bottle). Ha Giang road has many bad sections and not many car repair shops.

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Read this Ma Pi Leng Pass travel guide for useful information about Ma Pi Leng Pass, including how to get there, things to do, the best time to visit, what to wear, things to pack, and tips.

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