Ha Giang: Your alternatives to a busy Sapa (Part 2)
The launching of new highway helps Sapa become a much more approachable place to visitors. On the other hand, it’s getting more crowded and touristy especially on the weekend. So we want to introduce to you a series of the beautifully walkable destinations which will definitely knock you off your feet and take the stress level down to enjoy the hidden beauty. They may be not even on your list yet because you couldn’t even think about it. Now you can.
Last time, we led you to the pure tranquility and unspoilt local cultures of Pu Luong. To continue the series of Sapa’s alternatives, we will walk you through Vietnam’s last frontier. Nested along the Chinese border, there is a mysterious mountain region that remains pristine and well-preserved by the harmful effect of mass tourism and industries. As for me, Ha Giang is undeniably the heaven to set the compass and venture to the wild. Traveling to Ha Giang is a lot more easier since the road condition has been improved for the last few year, making it a more accessible place to visitors. There is no words can describe the incredible experiences in Ha Giang, but I try my best.
Take in the magnificent view of Karst Geopark
Being recognized by UNESCO – the only geo park in Vietnam and second in Southeast Asia, the karst plateau is created with endless range of limestone mountains and many fossils of ancient creatures species from four hundred – perhaps six hundred million years ago. The majestic Ha Giang scenery will definitely give you a veritable feast for the eyes with tower of limestone surrounded by terraced rice fields with change colors for different periods of harvesting. September is a perfect time to see people here working on the field surrounded with a vibrant colour of yellow.
Wind your ways through Ma Pi Leng pass
Being dubbed as one of the four highest passes in Vietnam, it has attracted many Vietnamese independent travels to conquer the pass and climb all the way up to highest peak of about 2000 meters above sea level. enjoy one of the most impressive viewpoint of the continent. Put simply, the scenic drive along the pass alone is enough to blow your mind away with the dreamlike surroundings to form striking natural images. Amazing folds in calcareous karst in Ma Pi Leng pass is an exceptional example of tectonic and geomorphic processes. From here you will see winding Nho Que river looking just like a thin thread crossing ravines. The experience is such a perfect for someone who yearn for adventure and exotic landscape and is best done one two wheels.
Legendary to be revealed
Getting tired, Ha Giang has tons of legendary to keep you excited throughout the day. Do you ever wonder the meaning of the name of Ma Pi Leng pass. There are different theories exist about the origin of the name. The most popular is that Ma Pi Leng means “horse nose”, implying steep slope, like a horse’s bridge of its nose.
The destination has also granted a wonderful art of nature which is “Nui Doi” – Double mountain. Shaped the same as two breasts of a female in the middle of the field of Quan Ba, it is associated with the legendary love story of a H’mong boy and a fairy. The fairy was seduced by the boy’s music and came down to earth to meet him and they fell in love without the acknowledgement of the gods. Later, the fairy was forced to return to return after having a child with him so she cut her breasts and left them on earth to feed the child.
Immerse in the culture
Similar to Sapa, Ha Giang is a hub of cultural diversity with 22 ethnic minorities. It is the human element, the people, that generates the true value of your journey and expand your mind. Having a fair share of tourist, it does not make the place any less content and welcoming. We love the kids here. They rush out of their homes to wave hands and say hello to us after hearing the sound of the engine coming down the road.
However, feelling welcoming is not only the thing we receive from them. “The family that I met at Hoang Su Phi market works for two days to earn just enough for a cup of coffee in Ho Chi Minh city” said by a Vietnamese journalist who has traveled extensively to Ha Giang to learn about local people here. She continued “They people here help me appreciate life rather than the the superficial so-called modern world”.
Explore the veritable markets
With the unspoiled culture where traditional markets and festivals are still remained well preserved, opportunities to observe and delve deep into their daily activities, traditional costume, performances and games are plenty. If you travel on weekend, market sessions at Quan Ba, Meo Vac, Dong Van or Hoang Su Phi – just to name a few, is not to be missed to discover the cultural uniquenesses of each ethnic minorities. Another famous one is Khau Vai love market that meets only once a year for couples from the Mong, Tay, Nung and Giay who love each other, but can’t marry.
Wander around Dong Van ancient town
The old houses In Dong Van were built in the late 19th century, when the French colonialists took control of the area and established the local administration. For me, the typical houses of Dong Van must have a dark grey roof, earth-pounded walls and a blossoming peach tree at its front. and the cozy atmosphere inside the house makes you never want to leave. You will be treated with their fresh foods and organic vegetables. and if it’s a cold evening, a glass of corn wine will break any distance.
Soak up the romance
There’s something breathtakingly romantic about flower fields here, dotted with the settlements of ethnic minority villages. Begin by imagining yourself floating in a fields of beautiful flowers, a light feeling can sneak up on you without your acknowledgement. Ha Giang from October to November is lovely when the mesmerising purplish sea of triangular (buckwheat) flowers and yellow daisy flowers blooms across an endless field. After the lunar new year, it is the time for peach and plum flowers to bloom. You can go to Ha Giang any time in the year because Ha Giang’s beauty changes with season change.
Consult with us now to plan your truly unique experience of beautiful Ha Giang with Footprint, fall in love with its natural beauty and people here. Our dedication is to help you embark on the unspoilt beauty of Ha Giang and explore other nearby destinations