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  • Ha Giang

    Nestled far to the north, up against the Chinese border, the mountain region of Ha Giang is one of Vietnam’s least accessible areas. Until very recently, it was considered out of bounds for all but the most resourceful traveller.

    Aside from its sheer geographical remoteness and lack of transport infrastructure, Ha Giang’s politically sensitive proximity to the Chinese border led authorities to actively discourage foreign visitors. However, the doors to this remarkably beautiful area are slowly opening.

    Lush rice terraces stretch for miles along green valleys and misty hill-sides. Shielded from western and ‘Viet’ influence, traditional life here has changed little. Subsistence is still based around agriculture, as it has been for centuries.

    Small settlements and villages dot the mountains. Ha Giang is home to many of Vietnam’s 54 ethnic minority groups, some so remote that their representatives are only ever seen on the most important market days. As travel within the region grows easier, we are offered a profound chance to witness their unique ways of life. The marketplace is the centre of social activity, the place to trade, talk, socialise, eat, drink and generally put the world to rights. Villagers come to trade buffalo, horses, pigs, dogs and chickens, alongside a huge range of vegetables, fruits, spices, intricately hand-made jewellery, home-made liquors, tools and hardwear.

    In Ha Giang, you will be able to experience an exciting ‘home stay’ in some of the rarest minority villages in Vietnam. The region offers excellent walking, trekking and startlingly beautiful photographic opportunities. The basic amenities and lack of western food may deter many, but more determined and intrepid travellers will be well rewarded, with a truly ‘off the beaten track’ adventure.

    Traditional houses
    Visitors to Hà Giang are beguiled by the range of cultural diversity, never more exemplified than in the traditional houses. In Sung La, it is possible to explore a LoLo house, home to one of the least common ethnic minorities in the country – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

    The Tan Trao Historical Relic
    Tan Trao is the site of the Vietnamese Communist party conference in 1945, where plans for the uprising were made. Here, in a perfectly maintained garden compound, visitors can explore Tan Trao Communal House, Hong Thai Communal House and admire the Tan Trao banyan tree.

    Vuong Family Mansion
    Combining a number of building styles from northern areas including Yunnan in China, the Mansion of the Vuong Family is a beautiful example of the unique architecture of Vietnam’s upland regions. It was classified as a historic relic in 1993 and visitors from all over the world come to explore its three stilted houses.

    Local Markets
    A great way to experience local life in Hà Giang Province is to join the hustle and bustle of the various ethnic groups coming together to trade their goods, clothed in their traditional dress; The Nung, the White Hmong, the Po Y, the Dao and the Tay come regularly to Quyet Tien Market while at Meo Vac, tribes from more than 15 miles around bring their pigs and cows to sell.

    Trekking
    A visit to Hà Giang is not complete without a mountain hike. The Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark is home to a vast range of flora and fauna including endangered species of monkeys. Meanwhile, trekking tours through the stunning landscape of Meo Vac reveal tiny and charming mountain villages.

    Ma Pi Leng Pass
    Ma Pi Leng Pass belongs to Ha Giang province; it is dangerous road with 20 kilometers length. Over the Ma Pi Leng, there has a mountain with 2.000 meters height located on the ‘Happiness’ road connecting Ha Giang, Dong Van and Meo Vac town. Ma Pi Leng began building from the 60s of the 20th century by workers who almost are the H’mong.

    Dong Van Karst Plateau
    Dong Van karst plateau has an area of 2.350 square kilometers, spreads over four districts of Ha Giang province: Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van and Meo Vac at an average height of 1.400 – 1.600 meters with a number of beautiful limestone and winding road. Here, scientists have found 33 tectonics heritages, 45 geomorphology heritages and many unique fossils in sedimentary rock, which creates opportunities for the tourist attraction, brings income for indigenous people.

    Quan Ba Twin Mountain
    Twin Mountain is located along Highway 4C, it is far about 40 kilometers from Ha Giang town, belongs to Quan Ba district, Ha Giang province. From a distance, Quan Ba Twin Mountain looks like two cherries as an art of nature. The mountain associates with a touching legend.

    Khau Vai Love Market
    Khau Vai love market belongs to Khau Vai commune, Meo Vac District, Ha Giang, province. This is a unique market of Vietnam in particular and the world in general. The Khau Vai fair is located in the village of the Nung, in a wide valley and full of people. There have colorful costumers of the ethnic H’Mong, Dao, Giay, Nung… The girls, boys even elder are not hiding restless in the face.

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