Dong Van District in Ha Giang province. Photo by Jason Zullo
Drive Mã Pí Lèng Pass
The roads of Hà Giang serve up the ultimate motorcycle adventures. The drive into Đồng Văn is impossibly beautiful, however Mã Pí Lèng — where the road snakes past the Nho Quế River — is the jewel in Hà Giang crown.
Get lost in the hills
Trekking opportunities are plentiful in Ha Giang. The Quản Bạ Pass holds a lookout that lives up to its name: Heaven’s Gate. Quản Bạ is also the gateway to the lofty limestone peaks and rock-strewn fields of Đồng Văn Karst Plateau Geopark.
Visit the Sà Phìn H'Mông Palace
Near the border with China stands a H'Mông King Palace in the village of Sà Phìn. Built in 1902 during the French occupation, the wood-framed palace is done in the traditional Chinese style and oozes character.
See the king of flagpoles
Make time to journey north to Lũng Cú, where a gigantic Vietnamese flag blows proudly at the border. The best time to arrive is late afternoon as the heat subsides, making the climb of 200 steps a little kinder.
September through to November is a good time to visit this remote province, with cooler temperatures. In November, Hà Giang is hugely popular during the Buckwheat Flower Festival. April to June is pleasant and warm, July and August can be very hot with regular monsoons.
The small city of Hà Giang is the gateway to the province, and approximately 300km from Hanoi. Buses run day and night from the capital, ranging from sleepers to smaller VIP mini-vans. Depending on the vehicle and driver, the journey there takes around six hours. Public transport around Hà Giang Province is limited. Experienced drivers can rent a motorcycle in town. Another option is to book a tour either on the back of a motorbike or by private car.