Out of all the places I visited in Vietnam, Ha Giang was by far my favourite for many reasons. The province has only recently popped up on the tourism radar; all the more reason to visit before it becomes flooded with tourists like the nearby region of Sapa. I spent my first night in an Air Bnb homestay with a super friendly host who helped me book a 4 day tour with a local company. The tour was incredible value for money and overall an amazing experience. There’s many different options depending on how much time you want to spend. You can book with the same company I used here.
The dramatic landscape will blow your mind.
Seriously. There are no photos that can do this place justice. The most scenic part of the route is Ma Pi Leng Pass, however we had pretty poor foggy conditions on the day we rode through there so we didn’t get to see the views we’d hoped for from there. Nevertheless the constant scenic views you will get from driving around will be more than satisfying.
The entire area is accessible by road.
To get around the region, you can either hire your own motorbike (not recommended unless you are really confident as some of the roads are in poor condition), go on a motorbike tour with your own driver (recommended), or hiring a car with your own driver. The downside of being in a car is that it’s not so easy to stop for photos as some of the roads are quite narrow.
You’ll learn about the ethnic minorities in the remote villages.
It’s pretty fascinating to learn about and experience the culture of the Hmong and Tay people, and they are incredible subjects for photography.
The local children and baby animals will melt your heart.
Make sure you check out the Sunday markets in Meo Vac while you’re there if you want to see loads of puppies and baby cows, pigs, goats etc.
You’ll have endless fun at Homestays.
The homestay experience made you really feel like you were at home with a group of friends, even though you’d never met half the people in the room before. The owners are always very friendly and you’ll get to taste loads of delicious local food with unlimited free “happy water” – a 35% alcohol made from corn.