Most of the people who have been to area swear it is the most beautiful place in South East Asia. Ha-Giang has the most impressive scenery which you can only find in picture books.
It is in Ha-Giang where you will see huge limestone mountains, endless rice paddies, beautiful rivers, and quaint villages. It’s a mixture of natural beauty, exciting culture and a fantastic landscapes.
One of the most popular ways to get to Ha-Giang is by motorbike and riding along the Ha-Giang Loop. The loop is a 400 km highway that will take you to this beautiful province. Because the Ha-Giang Loop gives you an eyeful of the beauty of the area, most tourists that visit travel using a motorbike.
With a motorbike you will be able to cruise along the impressive mountain roads with the wind blowing in your face. Along the way, you will be able to make new friends. Because it will take more than two to three days to complete a tour of Ha-Giang, stay in a small indigenous village where everyone is treated like family.
Get to know what it was like to live in rural Vietnam and appreciate their amazing culture. Ha-Giang’s residents are hospitable and very welcoming but would instead remain under the radar.
Good to Know Before You Go
Consider the following when you are visiting Ha-Giang for the first time:
- Learn a few key phrases in Vietnamese.
- Most locals don’t speak English so must have Google Translate on your Android phone or use a Vietnamese travel guide book.
- Load the latest Maps on your phone.It’s a struggle to maintain cell phone signal while traveling so be sure to download the newest version of Google Maps so you can use this offline.
- Wi-Fi is available in hotels and dining establishments. Wi-Fi is available in most hotels. Ask the concierge or hotel staff for Wi-Fi service once you arrive.
Where To Stay
Although there are so many places to stay in Ha-Giang, the following are the best:
- Ngan Ha Homestay
- If you are looking for a quiet and affordable place to stay in Ha-Giang, this is it. Nga Han Homestay has private rooms and offers free breakfasts. It is also near bike rentals, so it’s popular among tourists.
- Bong Hostel
- One of the hostels found before you start your journey. It is also near bike rentals and accessories plus the staff is accommodating when it comes to preparing your itinerary. The hostel is also an excellent place to meet fellow riders and companions who can journey with you to Ha-Giang.
Important Things To Bring
Don’t forget the following when you visit Ha-Giang:
- A medium-sized backpack good for 3 to 5 days of clothing and accessories
- A daypack
- Clothes for at least 3 to 5 days and a bag for laundry
- Closed-toe shoes like hiking boots or trainers
- Towel and swimsuit
- Waterproof jacket
- Backpack cover
- Mobile Phone
- Extra batteries and chargers
- Emergency contact information
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap
- First-aid kit
- Cash in local currency (there are ATMs along the way though)
Best Way To Get To Ha-Giang
From Hanoi, take a bus to Ha-Giang. This is a 6 to 7-hour ride that starts early in the morning or evening. Make sure to bring earplugs or headphones because this ride can get very noisy with so many passengers.
Best Time To Travel To Ha-Giang
The best time of the year to visit Ha-Giang is from October to April. This is the dry season in Vietnam; therefore roads are safer to ride mainly in a motorbike.
Bike Rentals In Ha-Giang
You will find some motorbike rentals located in Ha-Giang town, but the rental shop found in Bong Hostel is most receommended. Bikes here are in the best working condition, therefore, are safer to ride. You will also be able to rent accessories here such as gloves, helmets, straps and more.
Bong Hostel also provides information about the Ha-Giang Loop route as well as many good establishments along the way. If you are new to riding a motorbike, you can take lessons here too.
You can rent a 135 cc automatic motorbike for 200,000 VND, a 110 cc semi-automatic for 150,000 VND and a 135 cc manual for 150,000 VND.
A semi-automatic is the safest and the most efficient motorbike for the Ha-Giang Loop. This will give you better control over this challenging road. Staff from the Bong Hostel will provide you with a short-lesson on driving an automatic motorbike.
Driving tips on the Ha-Giang Loop
- Some parts of the Loop can be narrow, and some may scale off the edge of a cliff. You may even be on the same narrow road as a construction vehicle so be prepared.
- Depending on the weather, you may come across lousy road conditions so be prepared for this as well. The Loop is also famous for sharp hairpins and steep inclines; you should always expect the unexpected at these areas.
- Every part of the Loop has a breathtaking view so take your time and enjoy. Stopping to check out the view will also slow you down, which makes the trip safer and more memorable.
- If you don’t want to drive a motorbike, you may hire a guide that doubles as a driver. You will ride in a buggy at the back of the bike. For this, contact the hostel in advance to check if a driver and a carriage is available on the day of your trip.
Start with a budget of 4,600,000 VND or $20 a day if you are a regular backpacker. This includes the following expenses:
- Motorbike rental: 150,000 VND
- Fuel: 4,000,000 VND
- Accommodations: 100,000 VND
- Food: 120,000 VND
- Snacks and water: 50,000 VND