Some Tips and Tricks for Newcomers to Ha Giang
Traveling to Ha Giang brought you many interesting experiences. Ha Giang is famous for its majestic landscape, endless winding roads and huge flower fields. Besides, the kindness and friendliness of the people there also contribute greatly to its attraction. Visitors are easily overwhelmed by the colorful mosiac of yellow kale flowers, purple buckwheat flowers (Tam Giac Mach), or pure white of plum flowers. Focus Asia Travel share some tips and tricks for newcomers to Ha Giang.
How to get to Ha Giang from Hanoi
You can travel to Ha Giang by bus or motorbike. However, taking a motorbike is the better option. This enables travelers to admire all the scenery and landscape of the stone highland more freely. You can travel to Ha Giang city by bus and then hire the motorbike to visit some travel sites in Ha Giang as well. If you travel by motorbike, you need to bring along a repair kit including tire and tube in case something goes wrong and there is no repair shop nearby. These are tips and tricks for first comers to Ha Giang.
From Hanoi, you can catch buses leaving the My Dinh bus station (which is 10 km, 6 miles west of Hoàn Kiếm Lake). The day buses start at 5.30AM till 12.30 with close to hourly departures, and the night buses begin departing from 6.00PM till 9.30PM. Both the day and night buses are sleeping couches with no toilets inside. The bus journey takes roughly 6 hours with one mid-way stop. If your bus reaches Ha Giang in the wee hours of the morning, you are can sleep inside till dawn.
What to wear for Ha Giang:
It’s often cold at night and in the early morning, hence, remember to also bring a warm jacket. This is also helpful if you take the sleeping buses as people often describe them as moving refrigerators. Plus, during buckwheat season, the winds get quite chilly. So a good windbreaker will make you happy.
Where to stay in Ha Giang:
You should book your hotel stay early in case they run out of rooms. The prices for some services in Ha Giang are usually higher than those in other places. Popular hostels include Ha Giang Cotton Hostel, Du Gia Backpacker Hostel, KiKi’s House Hostel. You can find more information from Travel Guide Book of Focus Asia to know more about Ha Giang.
Staying in Ha Giang
From Ha Giang, you can visit some of the area’s popular sights and enjoy the beautiful landscape and scenery. After a long day out and about, stop at Bông Hostel and Café for a restful night and enjoy some local food there. The staff speaks some English and are always happy to give advice on what to see and do next. For a fancier stay, you can go to Ha Giang Resort. They have spacious rooms with views of the river which might be a welcome change after several days on the road.
Staying in Dong Van
To be close to sights like the Lung Cu Flag Tower or the Hmong King Palace, stay at the Lam Tung Hotel which is outside of town. To be near the center, you can get a room at the Hoang Ngoc Hotel in downtown Dong Van. Several guest houses are also available, and you can often get a room without a booking. If they are full, they can always recommend another place which still has vacancies.
Staying in Meo Vac
In Meo Vac, you have some more upscale options besides the typical homestays and hostels. To experience one of Ha Giang’s most modern hotels, go to Hoa Cuon Hotel and for a nice place decorated in traditional local styles, stay at Auberge de Meo Vac (a pricey but beautiful choice).
Ha Giang’s Top Homestays
If you opt for a homestay, be mindful of the fact that the rooms might not offer the comfort you are used to at home or at hotels in places like Hanoi, Danang or Ho Chi Minh City. The best thing you can do is embrace that, be respectful of the differences and just go with it. You never know, maybe your hosts will point you to some unique spots you never even read about online!
There are many homestays to choose from and the service you’ll receive can vary. Before agreeing to stay, feel free to ask to see the room, check if they have hot water (Google Translate can help you!) and find out if meals are included. Rates are usually around 100,000 VND per night.
Set in a small village in Quan Ba district, this homestay offers large rooms and facilities similar to those of a hotel. You can choose from double, twin, single and dorm rooms depending on the size of your group or your budget.
If you’re coming to Ha Giang directly from Sapa, you should absolutely spend a night at this homestay. It overlooks endless rice fields and the hosts are known to be kind and hospitable. Stop here for a good night’s sleep before getting back out on the road.
Tien Thang Homestay
Just a few kilometers from Ha Giang’s center, this homestay is currently one of the favorites among international visitors to the region. Set in a village inhabited by the Tay community, Tien Thang Homestay is surrounded by traditional stilt houses and offers a great experience of local culture and lifestyle.
What to Eat in Ha Giang:
Some delicacies that you should not miss are: mèn mén, corn cake, corn wine, thắng cố, etc. Remember to try all those buckwheat delicacies!
You should ask the owners of the fields for permission before wandering in these buckwheat flower fields. Do not tread on flowers and remember to pick up trash before leaving. Keep our beloved Vietnam clean