Visiting Ha Giang province at this time, visitors will be overwhelmed by the imposing and picturesque scenery with the fields full of beautiful ‘Tam giac mach’ (buckwheat flowers) as well as the unique daily life and traditional culture of the ethnic minority people of this land.
Covering a total of more than 2,300 kilometres, Dong Van Karst Plateau in Ha Giang province is located at an altitude of over 1,000 metres and belongs to four districts – Dong Van, Meo Vac, Yen Minh and Quan Ba. There are now over 17 ethnic minority groups with 250,000 residents, of which Mong ethnic people account for 70% of the population.
One of the most famous destinations in Ha Giang is Nho Que river passing through the plot of the legendary Ma Pi Leng mountain pass. With an emerald green colour, the river creates a picturesque beauty.
The story of Ha Giang is in many ways the story of the proud and independent Hmong who, following the Tay and other ethnic groups, began migrating there in the late 18th century, fleeing unrest in southern China. This huge massif consists of limestone peaks, deep valleys and canyons, populated mostly by black Hmongs (70% of the population) but they are not the only ones. An estimated population of over 250,000 people live within the region, including 17 different minority groups. Here, Hmong, Hoa, Ray, Tay and Nung people have lived together for a long time.
Situated in the heart of the park, Dong Van city, whose old quarter is an architectural relic, includes forty old houses built during the 19th century after the French took control of the region and set up local government. Often composed of one or two floors, with Ying-Yang style tiled roofs and mud walls, these buildings have resisted time and weather.
Named the World Geological Park in 2010, Ha Giang province is experiencing a rise in visitors but it is still isolated compared to major tourist destinations. However, things could change in the coming years. Provincial authorities are constructing plans to build several casinos and a golf course on this natural site.
As the area is under military control, it is necessary to purchase a permit to visit Ha Giang at the Immigration Service, adjacent to the tourist office at 134 Nguyen Trai Duong. Travel agencies can also take care of this procedure. The cost is around 10 USD.- There is a bus connection at night between Hanoi and Ha Giang (150.000 VND): buses are leaving My Dinh bus station in Hanoi at 4am and 5am. The ride lasts 6 to 8 hours for 300 km.
There are three hotels in Ha Giang, Dong Van and Meo Vac. However, it is recommended to reserve a room in advance, especially if you arrive late by motorbike.