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Ha Giang Loop: Guide For An Authentic Trip In Northern Vietnam

Ha Giang Loop in Vietnam

Have you heard of the Ha Giang Loop in Vietnam? If you love winding roads around majestic mountains and want to experience amazing adventure holidays in Vietnam, then do not miss this place. What is interesting about this road is that when you start at Km0, you pass through spectacular mountain passes and discover beautiful landscapes all along the way, finishing your journey exactly at the starting point, Km0, hence its name, the Ha Giang Loop.

I. What is the Ha Giang Loop?

The Ha Giang Loop is a road in Ha Giang province, over 300 km north of Hanoi, taking about 6 to 7 hours to reach by car. It is a 350 km long road, narrow and winding, with many sharp turns, forming a loop that starts and ends at the same point.
The Ha Giang Loop is a unique road with no final endpoint
Starting from Km0 in Ha Giang city, this road goes through districts like Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van, and Meo Vac, before returning to the starting point.
The Ha Giang Loop has been named one of the seven best road trips in Vietnam by the Australian travel guide Lonely Planet. Along the way, you will see magnificent valleys, dangerous passes, deep cliffs, and rocky plateaus. This route is perfect for tourists who love motorcycling.

II. How long does the adventure around the Ha Giang Loop take?

To fully enjoy the Ha Giang Loop and discover all the surrounding tourist sites, you should spend at least 4 days. Here is the estimated travel time for the reference itinerary:

  • From Ha Giang to Yen Minh: 100 kilometers, 3 hours of driving
  • From Yen Minh to Dong Van: 50 kilometers, 1.5 hours of driving
  • From Dong Van to Meo Vac: 30 kilometers, 1 hour of driving
  • From Meo Vac to Du Gia: 70 kilometers, 3 hours of driving
  • From Du Gia to Ha Giang: 70 kilometers, 2.5 hours of driving
You can consult the detailed itinerary to explore the Ha Giang Loop in Vietnam in 4 days and 3 nights here > Ha Giang Loop Vietnam Tour.

III. What to See in Ha Giang Loop ? Top 9 highlights to explore

1. Quan Ba Heaven Gate & Twin Mountains

Quan Ba Heaven Gate is the first stop on the Ha Giang Loop adventure. Located in the highest mountain range on the route from Ha Giang to Quan Ba, Quan Ba Heaven Gate is a symbol of majestic natural beauty.
Twin Mountains or Fairy Mountains in Ha Giang

Especially when standing at this gate, you have a direct view of the Twin Mountains or Fairy Mountains (Vietnamese name: Núi Đôi Cô Tiên). These two mountains are a masterpiece offered by nature here, with their rounded and alluring shapes amidst the surrounding towering mountains.

2. Lung Khuy Cave

Besides the mountains and forests, the caves here provide a special experience when exploring the Ha Giang Loop. Among them, Lung Khuy Cave (Vietnamese name: Lùng Khúy) is renowned for its mysterious beauty and is considered the most beautiful cave in Ha Giang.

This cave was formed by the crystallization of rocks and stalactites over hundreds of millions of years. Upon entering the cave, you can marvel at limestone formations of various shapes and colors, creating a breathtaking spectacle.

3. Tham Ma Pass & Chin Khoanh Pass (Nine circle pass)

Continuing on the Ha Giang Loop, passing through Yen Minh, you will reach Tham Ma Pass. This place attracts you with its winding turns along the slopes of the majestic mountains.
Tham Ma Pass - Winding Route in the Ha Giang Loop

Following Tham Ma Pass, you will reach Chin Khoanh Pass (or Nine Circle pass/Nine Turn pass) on your way to Dong Van District. This is a steep pass with sections of road that are challenging even for experienced drivers. However, this difficulty provides unforgettable experiences for thrill-seeking tourists.

4. Sung La Valley

After conquering these passes, you will arrive at the charming Sung La Valley on the Dong Van rocky plateau. This place is also the best destination to admire fields of brightly colored flowers. Moreover, at the end of the year, the Ha Giang buckwheat flower festival takes place here with many interesting activities.
Sung La Valley viewed from above

5. Lung Cu Flag Tower

As Ha Giang province borders China, the Lung Cu Flag Tower marks the northernmost point of Vietnam. The flag tower is located at the top of Lung Cu, at an altitude of 1,470 meters above sea level. When you arrive at this tower, you feel as though you are embracing the entire Vietnamese territory with your gaze. Immerse yourself in the heroic atmosphere of this place as you stand before the Vietnamese flag, always fluttering in the wind.


Lung Cu Flag Tower on top of Lung Cu mountain

6. Old Quarter of Dong Van

Located within the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark (the first UNESCO Global Geopark in Vietnam), the Old Quarter of Dong Van is a must-visit on the Ha Giang Loop. It has been inhabited by the Mong and Tay ethnic groups for over 100 years. Here, you'll have the chance to discover the life of Vietnam's ethnic minorities and the rustic, peaceful beauty of this village.

7. Nho Que River

The Nho Que River in Ha Giang is considered the soul of nature here. It's an essential destination on this journey. Seen from above, the Nho Que River appears like a green thread winding through the cliffs, forming a boundary between Ma Pi Leng Pass and Sam Pun Pass.
Poetic beauty of the Nho Que River in Ha Giang

8. Ma Pi Leng Pass

Ma Pi Leng is the next pass to conquer during your adventure trip to Ha Giang Loop. This 20 km long pass connects Dong Van and Meo Vac districts. Crossing Ma Pi Leng Pass, you can admire on one side towering mountains and on the other a deep ravine descending to the picturesque Nho Que River.

From the summit of Ma Pi Leng, you can overlook the entire rocky plateau of Dong Van. Especially if you visit Ha Giang in September and October, you can admire the Hoang Su Phi Rice Terraces in the ripe rice season, painting the mountains in golden hues.
Ma Pi Leng Pass in Ha Giang - One of the most beautiful roads in Vietnam9. Meo Vac Ethnic Market

The Meo Vac Ethnic Market is the largest market in Ha Giang. It takes place every Sunday in the village of Meo Vac, from 4 am to 4 pm. Most of the goods sold here are agricultural products grown and made by the locals themselves, such as vegetables, agricultural tools, fabrics with typical ethnic patterns, spices, medicinal herbs, etc.

If you have the opportunity to visit this market, you can experience the lively culture of one of the most famous ethnic markets in northern Vietnam.

IV. Ha Giang Loop FAQs

1. When is the best time to visit Ha Giang?

Due to its geographical location and mountainous terrain, Ha Giang enjoys a cool climate, making it suitable for travel throughout the year. However, the best time to visit the Ha Giang Loop is from September to December.

In September and October, you can admire the golden rice terraces during the harvest season. In November and December, it's buckwheat flower season, bringing a poetic beauty to Ha Giang valleys.

2. How to get to the Ha Giang Loop?

If you are in northern Vietnam, there are many bus options to get to Ha Giang. If you are coming from the central or southern regions, you should fly to Hanoi first, then continue by bus to Ha Giang.

For detailed information on routes, car rental, and tours to explore the Ha Giang Loop, please contact Autour Asia - Vietnam travel agent Hanoi.

3. What to prepare? Packing list for the Ha Giang Loop

What do you need for the Ha Giang Loop?

When exploring the Ha Giang Loop, here are some essential items: sports shoes and clothing, a windbreaker jacket, sunscreen, and insect repellent. Especially if you are traveling by motorcycle, do not forget to wear a helmet. Opt for a full-face helmet with a visor to ensure your safety.

4. What is the difference between the Ha Giang Loop and the Happiness Road in Ha Giang?

As you know, the Ha Giang Loop refers to the roads and mountain passes that connect, forming a loop. Among these routes, the Happiness Road is the name of a 200 km itinerary within the Ha Giang Loop. It starts from kilometer zero in the city of Ha Giang and crosses four mountainous districts: Yen Minh, Quan Ba, Dong Van, and Meo Vac.

Started in September 1959, the Happiness Road is the result of the strength and unity of 16 Vietnamese ethnic groups over 8 years, aimed at connecting the remote ethnic villages in this region.


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