Ha Giang is home to some of the country’s most breathtaking landscapes and diverse ethnic cultures. In this guide, let’s find out the most amazing things to do in Ha Giang to make the most of your visit.
From challenging hikes to vibrant markets, Ha Giang offers a unique travel experience you won’t find anywhere else in Vietnam.
Explore Ha Giang loop on motorbike
Ha Giang Loop is one of the most fascinating experiences in Ha Giang!
The scenery is simply breathtaking, with towering mountains and lush valleys stretching as far as the eye can see.
Riding a motorbike along winding mountain roads can bring an exhilarating adventure that leaves you feeling alive and invigorated.
The people in Ha Giang are some of the friendliest and most welcoming I’ve ever encountered, and it was fascinating to learn about their unique cultures and traditional way of life.
Moreover, the food was simply delicious, with local specialties like corn wine and grilled chicken that left my taste buds dancing with joy.
See rice paddy fields in Hoang Su Phi
Hoang Su Phi rice terrace is a must-see for any traveler visiting Ha Giang. The terraced fields are a masterpiece of farming and engineering, with mesmerizing colors.
Walking through the fields is peaceful, calming, and offers great photo opportunities.
Be amazed at Quan Ba Heaven Gate
This stunning viewpoint offers amazing panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, and it’s a great spot to take in the area’s natural beauty.
The Quan Ba Heaven Gate is located atop a hill, and you can reach it by climbing some steep and winding stairs. But the climb is well worth it, as the top view is breathtaking.
You can see for miles in every direction, and the lush greenery and jagged peaks of the mountains will leave you in awe.
Capture the views from Tham Ma pass
Another must-see spot on my Ha Giang trip was Tham Ma Pass.
As you ascend the pass, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, with plenty of opportunities to pull over and take photos along the way.
If you’re lucky enough to visit Tham Ma Pass during the golden hour, the views are even more magical. The warm glow of the setting sun casts a beautiful light over the landscape, creating a truly unforgettable experience.
Visit Pao’s House
Pao’s House is a traditional Hmong house turned museum in Ha Giang. The house is decorated with traditional Hmong textiles and handicrafts. The museum displays a wide range of artifacts related to Hmong culture.
See the rocky Dong Van Karst Plateau
The Dong Van Karst Plateau is a stunning UNESCO Global Geopark in Ha Giang. The landscape is unique and fascinating, with limestone peaks and deep canyons.
The plateau is home to ethnic minority communities, including the Hmong, Tay, and Dao. So you may spot them walking along the path on your trip.
Stroll around Hmong King Palace
Hmong King Palace, which dates back to the early 20th century, is an impressive wood structure in Ha Giang.
It’s decorated with intricate carvings and traditional Hmong textiles, with over 100 rooms and a large courtyard.
The palace has been turned into a museum displaying many Hmong culture and history artifacts. I enjoyed learning about the Hmong way of life, their traditions and customs, and their role in Vietnamese history.
Stay in an ethnic homestay
Staying in an ethnic homestay offers immersive experiences of your Ha Giang trip. You can oft for staying with a Hmong family in their traditional stilt house, and they were incredibly welcoming and hospitable.
It’s also a great way to learn about the local culture, customs, and traditional way of life. Plus, the food is delicious, with all meals prepared using fresh, local ingredients.
Reach Lung Cu flag tower
The Lung Cu flag tower is a must-visit spot in Ha Giang, located at the northernmost point of Vietnam.
Reaching the tower requires climbing a steep hill, but the panoramic views of the surrounding landscape are worth it.
The flag tower is an impressive structure and a great spot for photos. The area is also home to ethnic minority communities, offering a chance to learn about their cultures and traditions.
See China from the Northernmost Point of Vietnam
From the spot, you can view sprawling hills and valleys of both Vietnam and China, with the border demarcated by a river in the distance. It was a surreal experience to see another country from such a remote and rugged region of Vietnam.
Wander Dong Van ancient town
Dong Van Ancient Town is known for its well-preserved traditional architecture and is a great spot to wander through narrow streets and alleyways.
I love the intricate carvings and designs on the buildings, some dating back hundreds of years.
The Dong Van market, held every Sunday, is a bustling hub of activity and a great spot to experience local culture.
Cruise Nho Que river
Cruising down the Nho Que river is a great activity to consider while visiting Ha Giang. The river is known for its stunningly beautiful scenery, including towering cliffs and lush greenery along the banks.
The experience is peaceful and relaxing, allowing visitors to take in breathtaking views of the Ma Pi Leng Pass and Dong Van Karst Plateau.
One of the highlights of the cruise is the Tu San canyon, where the river flows through a narrow gorge between imposing cliffs.
Conquer Ma Pi Leng’s pass
Conquering the Ma Pi Leng pass is one of the most thrilling things to do in Ha Giang.
The pass offers some of the most scenic and challenging roads in Vietnam, with steep inclines and hairpin turns that provide breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Reaching the top offers a sense of accomplishment that stays with you for a long time.
See the colorful local markets
Visiting the local markets in Ha Giang is a unique and immersive experience that offers a glimpse into the rich traditions and customs of the region’s diverse communities.
Dong Van market
The Dong Van market is a bustling and vibrant hub of activity that takes place every Sunday in the heart of the Dong Van ancient town.
The market is known for its wide variety of fresh produce, traditional handicrafts and clothing, and unique local delicacies.
Meo Vac market
The Meo Vac market in Ha Giang is a fantastic place to experience the unique culture and vibrant atmosphere of the local ethnic communities.
You can find many fresh produce, handmade crafts, and traditional clothing, all sold by friendly vendors who are happy to chat and share their stories with you.
Khau Vai loves market
Khau Vai love market is a unique cultural event that takes place on the 27th day of the third lunar month in Khau Vai commune, Meo Vac district. It’s a gathering place for couples who have had a secret love affair throughout the year.
You can witness the unique customs and rituals of local ethnic groups, who dress in traditional clothing and sing and dance throughout the day.
Visit minority villages
These villages are home to various ethnic groups, each with distinct cultures, languages, and ways of life.
From learning about traditional handicrafts to trying local cuisine and participating in traditional festivals, visiting the minority villages is an excellent opportunity to better understand Ha Giang’s diverse cultural heritage.
Lo Lo Chai village
I loved exploring Lo Lo Chai’s traditional stilt houses and observing daily activities like farming and weaving.
The homestay experience was also amazing, allowing me to live with a local family and learn about their customs and traditions.
Don’t miss the annual Cau Mua festival, featuring traditional music, dance performances, and a buffalo fighting competition.
Lao Xa village (Sung La)
This charming village is located in the heart of the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark, which is a UNESCO-recognized site famous for its stunning natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage.
Lao Xa is home to the Hmong ethnic minority and intricate embroidery, which you can see being made by skilled artisans.
I recommend taking a trek through the surrounding hills and mountains, which offer breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and rice paddies.
Lung Tam weaving village
If you’re interested in traditional crafts and textiles, the must-do activity in Ha Giang is visiting the Lung Tam village in the Quan Ba district.
Watch skilled artisans at work using traditional techniques to weave intricate patterns onto hemp and flax textiles.
Purchase textiles directly from the artisans or visit the local market on Sundays to take home a unique and beautiful souvenir while supporting the local community.
Dip in Du Gia waterfall
Get ready for an unforgettable adventure at the Du Gia waterfall in Ha Giang! This stunning waterfall is surrounded by lush vegetation and towering trees, creating a picturesque and peaceful atmosphere.
Take a dip in the cool, clear water and soak up the area’s natural beauty. For an even more immersive experience, I highly recommend a homestay in the Du Gia village to fully embrace the local culture and customs.
Explore the caves
For the adventurous at heart, exploring the caves in Ha Giang is a must-do activity.
The region is home to several stunning caves, including the Tu San Canyon and the Phuong Cave, which offer unique and exciting experiences for visitors.
Tham Luong cave
Visit the impressive Tham Luong cave near the town of Tam Son to admire the towering stalactites and stalagmites.
I recommend taking a guided tour to learn about the history and geology of the cave and spot unique species of bats and wildlife.
Lung Khuy cave
You simply must visit the Lung Khuy cave in Ha Giang! It’s truly a natural wonder, with underground rivers and unique rock formations that will take your breath away.
Stop by Yen Minh Pine Forest
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Yen Minh Pine Forest. This natural area is excellent for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, with towering pine trees, lush vegetation, and a peaceful atmosphere.
You can take a leisurely walk through the forest or enjoy a picnic in one of the open spaces.
Additionally, Yen Minh is home to several cultural and historical sites, including the Binh Lu Market and Lung Cam Cultural Village.
See buckwheat flowers
I cannot recommend enough seeing the buckwheat flowers in Ha Giang! The best time to visit is in the fall when the hills and valleys are covered in a gorgeous blanket of pink and white flowers.
The districts of Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van, and Meo Vac are the perfect places to witness this stunning display of nature.
I particularly love exploring the area on my own, taking in the breathtaking scenery and snapping photos of the colorful flowers. It’s truly a magical experience showcasing Ha Giang’s natural beauty.
Enjoy delicious local dishes
If you are a foodie, Ha Giang is definitely a destination you don’t want to miss.
One of the must-try dishes in Ha Giang is the black chicken hotpot, a spicy and flavorful broth made with locally-raised black chickens and a variety of herbs and spices.
Another popular dish is Thang Co, a traditional soup made with horse meat, organs, and bones, which is slow-cooked for hours to bring out the rich flavors.
For something a bit lighter, you can try steamed rice rolls filled with pork and mushrooms, known as Banh Cuon. These delicate and delicious rolls are a popular breakfast or snack food; you can find them at markets and street stalls throughout the region.
Now, let’s plan for your epic trip to Ha Giang!