(Last updated: March 3rd, 2017)
In this Complete Ha Giang Travel Guide article I’ll cover the following topics:
- Best time to visit Ha Giang
- Travel to and around Ha Giang
- Accommodations in Ha Giang (plus List of hotels in Ha Giang and List of homestays in Ha Giang)
- Suggested Itinerary for a trip to Ha Giang (4 days 3 nights)
- Summary of tips for travelling to Ha Giang
- Tip for solo travelers to Ha Giang
Feel free to comment below if you want to share any other tip you have about traveling to Ha Giang This Ha Giang Travel Guide will be updated regularly, so it’ll be great if you can contribute with any tip or information regarding travelling to Ha Giang.
You might also want to check out these articles before reading this Ha Giang Travel Guide
5 of my best travel experiences in Ha Giang
Attractions in Ha Giang that will leave you amazed
When to visit Ha Giang?
The best time to go to Ha Giang is … anytime. Yes, Ha Giang is beautiful all year round. There are certainly more popular times when travelers flock here and accommodations tend to run out, such as:
- September – October: when the yellow rice terraced fields are ready to be harvested
- November – December: when buckwheat flowers bloom all over the valleys
- January – February: when plum and peach flowers bloom
- In April on the day of the Khau Vai Love Market (27/03 Lunar Calendar) and during the time water is poured all over the rice paddy terraced fields
However, even if you visit Ha Giang when it’s less inundated with tourists (such as during the summer months), you will still find Ha Giang’s beauty intact. Rain or shine, the awe-inspiring mountains are always there to wow you.
Please note: Check Ha Giang weather forecast well before you travel to Ha Giang. Usually there is light rain in September-October and there can be storms during the summer months. In January and February, thick fog can make it dangerous to drive here.
How to travel to and around Ha Giang?
Get to Ha Giang from Hanoi
From Hanoi, you can go to Ha Giang either by motorbike (which takes from 8 to 10 hours as the distance from Hanoi to Ha Giang is 300 km), by coach or by night bus (with berths).
Coaches from Hanoi to Ha Giang: I’d recommend booking your coach ticket via vexere.com, where you can compare the price and time of different buses and pay online using Visa or Mastercard. Coaches and night buses from Hanoi to Ha Giang mostly run from My Dinh station.
Travel around Ha Giang
After arriving in Ha Giang city the next morning, you can take another bus to Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van or Meo Vac depending on your travel itinerary. Remember to ask the bus driver about the return time, in case you want to get back to Ha Giang city.
Then, you need to catch a motorbike taxi (xe om) to the attractions in these districts. You’d better have your itinerary ready by the time you find a xe om in Ha Giang city. You can then show him places in your itinerary that you want to go to. The main disadvantage of xe om (motorbike taxi) is that most of the time, you will find it hard to communicate to the driver without knowing Vietnamese.
Here are some buses from Ha Giang city to Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van and Meo Vac. (Source: cungphuot.info)
Ha Giang City – Quan Ba
CƯỜNG THÚY (Runs from Ha Giang at 5-6am) – Tel: 0915 407522
THẮNG PHƯỢNG (Runs from Ha Giang at 11:30am) – Tel: 0915 185434
TÂN YÊN (Runs from Ha Giang at 12:00) – Tel: 0912 369134
Ha Giang City – Yen Minh
NGỌC CƯỜNG (Runs from Ha Giang at12:00-13:00) – Tel: 0904 256279
HOÀNG TUYÊN (Runs from Ha Giang at15:30) – Tel: 0912 120566
Ha Giang City – Dong Van
CẦU MÈ (Runs from Ha Giang at 5:00-12:00) – Tel: 0915 448933
A SINH (Runs from Ha Giang at 5:00-12:00) – Tel: 0984 520371
TRUNG YẾN (Runs from Ha Giang at 12:30) – Tel: 0979 682261
Ha Giang City – Meo Vac
HOÀNG TÀI (Runs from Ha Giang at 5:00-11:30) – Tel: 0912394082
CẦU MÈ (Runs from Ha Giang at 5:00) – Tel: 0167 2116226
NGỌC KHÁNH (Runs from Ha Giang at 9:00) – Tel: 0987 382992
QUANG NGHỊ (Runs from Ha Giang at 10:30-12:30) – Tel: 0946744733
Alternatively, you can rent a motorbike in Ha Giang city and ride by yourself. Prepare a photocopy of your passport for the motorbike owner to keep. Here are some addresses where you can rent motorbike in Ha Giang:
QT Motorbikes and Tours (English-speaking)
Add: Lam Dong St., Phuong Thien, Ha Giang city
Tel: 097 527 87 11
Mr. Nam (English-speaking)
Tel: (0219) 3846129
Add: To 18 phuong Nguyen Trai, close to the bus station
Tel: 094 171 99 55 / 0988 470863
Add: 218 To 15, Phuong Nguyen Trai
Tel: 0973 695 983 / 0976 290 839
4 Cau Me, To 18
0918 656 838 / 0964 056838
To rent 4-seat to 29-seat cars in Ha Giang City, contact Mr. Vinh (Tel: 01646115115). This option is suitable for groups of 3 or more people.
Accommodations in Ha Giang
Ha Giang has become increasingly popular to Vietnamese tourists in recent years. During holidays and the weekend, it might be difficult to book accommodation here. My advice is therefore to avoid travelling to Ha Giang during these occasions.
There are more accommodations in Ha Giang City, but sometimes due to your own itinerary, it is more convenient not to stay in the city center, but rather in Dong Van, Yen Minh, Quan Ba or Meo Vac. Note that hotels in Ha Giang look more like motels, so don’t expect high standards of services. In addition, not many hotel staff there can speak English. Hence if you want to call the hotel to book a room, ask someone who can speak Vietnamese to do that for you.
In Ha Giang City, Ha Giang Resort (Truong Xuan) is a nice place with English-speaking staff, river-view rooms and motorbike rental.
List of hotels in Dong Van:
Lam Tung Hotel (with lift): To 3, Thi trán Dong Van (can be booked from booking.com)
Time to famous attractions (by motorbike): 20 min to Ma Pi Leng and The Vuong Family Mansion, 35 min to Lung Cu Flag Tower
Hoang Ngoc Hotel: (0219) 3856020
Distance to famous attractions: 24km to Lung Cu Flag Tower, 13 km to The Vuong Family Mansion, 16km to Ma Pi Leng, 24km to Khau Vai Market
Cao Nguyen Da Hotel: (0219) 3856868
Khai Hoan Hotel: (0219) 3856147
Xuan Thu Guesthouse: To 2, Thi tran Dong Van
Lung Cu Guest House: (0219)3856216
List of hotels in Quan Ba:
Nui Doi Guesthouse: (0219) 6510789
Anh Hoat Guesthouse: (0219) 3847189
Cao Nguyen Motel: 250 000 VND / single room, 350 000 VND / double or triple room –
567 Guesthouse: (0219) 3846129
List of hotels in Meo Vac:
Hoa Cuong Hotel (most modern hotel in Ha Giang until now): (0219) 3872888
Auberge de Meo Vac (authentic lodge with rooms decorated in local styles)
Nho Que Guesthouse: (0219) 3871322
Khau Vai Guesthouse: 0917 706503
List of hotels in Yen Minh:
Thao Nguyen Hotel (1*): (0219) 385 2287
Phuong Nam Guesthouse: (0219) 385 2174
Minh Hai Guesthouse: (0219) 3852109
Na Ma Hotel: (04) 44506070
List of homestays in Ha Giang:
Nam Dam Homestay
The most famous homestay in Ha Giang, Nam Dam Homestay is located in a beautiful Dzao Village in Quan Ba District.
A private Tay family’s homestay with magnificent views of the rice terraced fields, this new homestay in Ha Giang has received quite a few positive reviews from travellers. Tho Homestay is located between Ha Giang and Sapa, making it an ideal stop for those travelling by motorbike.
Tien Thang Homestay
Only 5km from Ha Giang City center, Tien Thang Homestay has become a favorite spot for foreign tourists who want a similar experience to Mai Chau’s. The locals here are the Tay ethnic minority, who live in stilt houses with an ancient style.
Tha Village Homestay
Tha Village is only 2km from Ha Giang City center. The homestays here also belong to the Tay ethnic minorities, with ancient stilt houses surrounded by picturesque rice paddy fields.
There is a number of homestay offers in Dong Van, too. However, services at these places vary. You should check the place before you agree to stay and ask if they have hot water and if the price includes any meal. The price is normally 100 000 / pax, but you can also negotiate with the owner for a reduced price.
Suggested 4-day Ha Giang itinerary
Ha Giang Travel Guide
This Ha Giang itinerary is for those who travel from Hanoi to Ha Giang for 4 days and 3 nights. This can be a bit rush, but is ideal for those with limited time. Check the map below for more info about the routes (click to zoom).
Day 1: Take a night bus from My Dinh Bus Station in Hanoi to Ha Giang. Spend the first night on the bus.
Arrive in Ha Giang city at around 4-5am. Have breakfast and rent motorbike in Ha Giang city, or find a xe om (motorbike taxi) and show him your intended destinations for the day.
Depart to Quan Ba (50km) and visit Quan Ba Valley. Visit Lung Tam Weaving Village.
Depart to Yen Minh: The route will be Quan Ba – Can Ty – Na Khe – Lao Chai – Yen Minh (40km). You will ride past the Yen Minh Pine Forest, which can be foggy during the winter months.
Stop at Yen Minh for lunch.
Depart to Pho Cao (10km) then to Sung La (10km). These are great places for photos, as you will be able to see villages of local ethnic groups where houses are built by stacking stones together.
Depart to Sa Phin (5km) and visit the Vuong Family’s Mansion
Depart to Lung Cu (22km) to visit the Lung Cu Flag Tower – the northernmost point of Vietnam’s territory. The distance is around 25km.
You should leave Lung Cu for Dong Van by 5.30pm lest darkness makes it harder to drive.
Spend the night in Dong Van
Visit Dong Van’s old town and Dong Van market
Depart to Meo Vac and behold Ma Pi Leng on the way
Have lunch in Meo Vac
Depart to Ha Giang City
Visit Tha Village with ancient stilt houses (2km from Ha Giang City)
Catch the night bus from Ha Giang back to Hanoi. Spend the night on the bus.
Arrive in Hanoi early in the morning
Any tip for a solo traveler to Ha Giang?
The more well-prepared you are, the better experience you will have!
Don’t be discouraged by the stereotype that Ha Giang is only meant for mass tourists and adventurous strong men on motorbikes. Ha Giang can be a great destination for anyone, including solo travelers. Just read about Ha Giang and plan as much as you can before departure, and you’ll be absolutely fine!
Summary Ha Giang travel guide:
- Book things (hotel, motorbike, etc.) beforehand when you’re still in Hanoi so as not to become too shocked by the effects of language barrier. Find someone who can speak Vietnamese to help you with the booking.
- Bring a list of essential Vietnamese phrases to communicate with locals (eg. How much is this? What time does the bus leave? Etc.)
- Bring along your passport! Foreigners occasionally get their identity checked when travelling near Vietnam’s border.
- Foreigners are also required to apply for a permit when travelling to Ha Giang. The cost is 230 000 VND. Hostel / hotel staff in Ha Giang can help you arrange this. Otherwise, you can visit the immigration office in Ha Giang city (415A Tran Phu St.) to obtain this permit.
- A first-aid kit will also come in handy
- Avoid the weekend and check weather forecast before you go
I wish you a great trip to Ha Giang, and as always, I’d LOVE to hear your own experiences when travelling here. This Ha Giang Travel Guide is meant to be updated regularly. Therefore, if you have any other tips about Ha Giang travel that you want to share, please don’t hesitate to comment below! Let’s help each other enjoy the beauty of Ha Giang (while it lasts)
The post The most complete Ha Giang Travel Guide (updated regularly) appeared first on Fiona Travels from Asia.