Suggestions for a perfect backpacking tour by motorbike to Ha Giang
If you are a travel addict who want to discover and keep beautiful memories on all the ways, conquering Ha Giang is a must.
Ha Giang, which is the North borderland of Vietnam, is a unique tourist destination which has been popular, specifically with younger visitors over the last few years. This may be as a result of tourists travelling to Ha Giang through many passes and mountains before you can completely discover the land. “Conquering” Ha Giang requires you to have both stable endurance and good driving skills. While this may be a problem for some, it did not discourage senior students My Giang and her other two friends; Nguyen Hoa and Phuong Anh from exploring the land themselves.
The journey of “conquering” Ha Giang was shared in detail by 3 senior students with Nem-vn.net:
Time to travel to Ha Giang
Sharing with Nem-vn.net, My Giang said: “We are at the end of our student days, but we have never had a chance to have a trip together. Ha Giang was chosen as the destination because all of us are passionate about traveling and want to challenge ourselves to conquer mountains and hills. Even though we are small girls who have never driven a motorbike for a long distance, we dared to make the journey to the border of the country as expected".
The three girls chose to conquer Ha Giang in the last days of the year, which were in the freezing cold winter. The cold in Ha Giang is bearable as long as you choose to avoid travelling on rainy days, because the mountain roads are difficult and treacherous.
The ideal time for the trip is probably the days of both early and late winter. Noticeably, the last days of winter with some sunshine are suitable for you to take photos and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Traveling to Ha Giang
Studying in Hanoi, My Giang said that she and her friends chose to travel by bus at My Dinh station to the center of Ha Giang city, with the price ticket for each turn of VND 200,000/person. Departing from Hanoi at 8pm, they arrived in Ha Giang at 3am in the next morning.
In Ha Giang city, there are many motorbike rental services available and most of them offer you a place to rest with a full breakfast. Ensure that you contact the people you plan on renting motorbikes from in advance so that you are welcomed and rest before beginning your journey. The rental cost is about VND 180,000/motorbike each day. From the center of Ha Giang city, the girls chose to conquer the border-land of Vietnam by motorbike. My Giang also shared that everyone should have a detailed schedule for your trip, because there were so many mountains and passes in Ha Giang; you will only have the opportunity to refuel your motorbike in the town. If you do not have such plans, it is possible to get stuck in the mountains.
Conquer the North borderland - Ha Giang (4 days and 4 nights)
Day 1: Hanoi - Ha Giang City - Quan Ba - Lung Tam - Yen Minh - Pho Bang
Departing from My Dinh station in Hanoi at 20:00, they set foot on Ha Giang city center at dawn, which was also the coldest time. Remember to be well-prepared with a warm scarf and clothes to avoid thermal shock or sickness. Most buses in Ha Giang will stop at their designated destinations.
At 6am, the journey of three girls began! Leaving the city center and going through many mountains and passes, they stopped at Quan Ba Heaven Gate first. From here, you can see the panoramic view of mountains, forests and a winding road ahead.
Tham Ma slope with the winding road.
After visiting Quan Ba Heaven Gate, they moved to Lung Tam weaving village, which is a destination that not only attracts backpackers, but also international tourists. On the way to Lung Tam weaving village, My Giang told Nem-vn.net her favourite thing she saw: "Despite Ha Giang being in the cold season surrounded by mist, mountains and hills, we were very surprised at seeing buckwheat flowers. It turned out that the blossom season was not over yet and they were blooming white all over the paths we travelled through! Every field was covered white with the flowers which allowed us to take lots of beautiful photos without worry".
Buckwheat flowers are regarded as "specialty" of Ha Giang
After that, the girls continued their journey to Lung Tam. Weaving is the famous profession of the H’Mong people, passed down through generations in this region, where you can learn about the unique features of the Vietnamese ethnic culture.
Lung Tam weaving village of the Mong people
While at Yen Minh, you should take the opportunity to rest, recharge your energy and enjoy a dish full of Northwest flavour. After lunch, the three young girls chose to visit Tham Ma slope - a special slope which has the “bold flavor” of Ha Giang. Standing from the high position, you can see a very special and strange road with continuous curves up the mountain.
Tham Ma slope is also a must-see attraction
At the end of the first day, they rested at Pho Bang, which still has a lot of wild features because this area has not been touristized and very few backpackers choose to stay here. If this is your upcoming destination, you should self-prepare some food because there are almost no restaurants.
The pristine Pho Bang town is close to the Vietnam-China border
Day 2: Pho Bang Town - Lung Cu
The new day started at 6am. Outside there was nothing but the freezing cold and frost covering the land and the motorcycle, which excited the girls a lot. Before leaving Pho Bang, they chose to visit Ta Kha village - an area that is not on the map yet. Along the way to Ta Kha, you can see the sunrise on the top of the mountain, the houses in the mist with an incredible peaceful beauty.
Dawn at Pho Bang
The pristine peaceful Ta Kha village behind
On the way to Lung Cu, there are many famous attractions in Ha Giang that you should not miss such as the filming set of "Pao's Story" with the ticket price of VND 10,000/person, and “Vuong family’s mansion” with the ticket price of VND 25,000/person.
The filming set of “Pao's Story”
Visiting the ancient “Vuong family’s mansion”
In the early afternoon, the 3 girls moved to Lung Cu, which is the northernmost point of the country with the must-see destination called Lung Cu Flagpole with the ticket price of VND 20,000/person. You have to go up the stairs to reach the top and enjoy the grandeur of nature.
Successfully conquering the northernmost point
You should wait for the sunset at the cafe called “Northernmost point Cafe” while enjoying a cup of coffee in the cold weather. The coffee here has a completely unique flavor that, according to what Giang shared, you cannot find elsewhere in the entire city.
The “Northernmost point coffee” has a unique taste that is not available anywhere else!
When the long day ended, the 3 girls chose to book a room at Homie Homestay. You can make your choice from a variety of room types with different rates and have dinner there. After that, everyone sat together by the fire to roast potatoes, chat and warm up. Those who are passionate about travelling can meet many new people and become extremely close after a night of participating in cultural activities here.
Day 3: Lung Cu - Dong Van - Meo Vac
Dawn appeared on the top of the Lung Cu flagpole. After enjoying the sunrise and breakfast, they left for the morning market in Dong Van, which often opens on weekends. As a highland market, it is full of unique dishes and familiar items such as dogs and cats. The gorgeous outfit colors make visitors feel like they are immersing in the bustling festive atmosphere.
Dong Van market full of colors
After having a full meal at Dong Van market, they continue their journey to Nho Que - Ma Pi Leng. In addition to the roads full of mountains and passes, Nho Que River is a highlight of Ha Giang. You can contact the people who offer the boat rental service in advance to have someone pick you up with the price ticket to visit Tu San alley and Nho Que river of VND 100,000/person.
Below the mountain peak is Nho Que River
Tu San Alley - Nho Que River
The next destination, called Ma Pi Leng Pass, is the place that impressed the 3 girls most. Ma Pi Leng is known as one of the four great mountain passes which is very difficult to conquer due to the extremely small road surrounded by cliffs and mountains. Most people choose to go hiking, but the 3 girls risked conquering the pass by motorbike. The way to Ma Pi Leng is a small continuous winding slope, so many adventurers have chosen to take photos at the cliff of white god when conquering the great height!
Four great passes - Ma Pi Leng
In the afternoon, they chose to stop at Dong Van Bar to end the journey and rest. In the middle of the wild mountains and forests located a cafe with aromatic fragrance and full view of the Nho Que River. At Dong Van Bar, you also have the opportunity to enjoy flute songs of the Mong people performed by A Pao, the owner of the cafe. At dawn, they moved and rested at Meo Vac.
“Mountain” coffee at Dong Van bar
Day 4: Meo Vac - Duong Thuong - Ha Giang City - Hanoi
On the last morning in Ha Giang, the 3 girls moved to Pa Vi village in Meo Vac to have breakfast and enjoy coffee before coming back to Ha Giang city. It is noted that Pa Vi is a cultural village of Mong people with houses bearing their own unique architecture.
There are two options to move to the city center, but the 3 girls chose the longer way that fewer people travel. My Giang shared: “The reason for choosing Thuong Road is because we found out that its beauty of mountains and forests is totally different from other roads in Ha Giang. While we had the opportunity to go there, we had to visit at least once".
Conquering the M-shaped slope on the way back to Ha Giang
It was evening when the girls arrived at the center of the city. The last destination of their journey was the Milestone Zero, where a lot of photos were taken. The girls returned their motorbikes, packed their luggage and waited for the bus, and thus that was also the end of the trip to conquer the northernmost point of My Giang, Nguyen Hoa and Phuong Anh.
Don’t forget to take photos at Milestone Zero in Ha Giang city!
Each season will have its own beauty, but the mountains and nature will never change. If you are young and healthy, together with Nem-vn.net, you should try to get your backpack and experience “winding” along the roads, watching sunrise and sunset every day. It is too wonderful to have a trip that only costs VND 2.1 million/person. Just make sure to have a detailed schedule in Ha Giang to be able to conquer all the roads!
Photo: My Giang, Nguyen Hoa, Phuong Anh