The trip features the North-east mountainous area of Vietnam which is famous for magnificent landscapes. We explore Dong Van karst plateau Geopark consisting of four districts, namely, Meo Vac, Dong Van, Yen Minh, Quan Ba and on the way we cross Ma Pi Leng, known as “one of the four greatest and most challenging passes in Vietnam”.
The trip will take us to some of the most untouched areas and off the beaten track destinations. Enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Ba Be Lake, recognized by UNESCO as the third Ramsar site in Vietnam and an important wetland of the world. Visit Lung Cu Flag Tower, which is Vietnam’s northernmost point. We will have many opportunities to learn about ethnic minority groups and cultures.
Ma Pi Leng Pass
Ba Be lake
Ethnic minority traditional dresses
Ethnic minority children
At Dong Van local market
Lung Cu Flag Tower
On the Road
Quan Ba Mountain
Hanoi – Ha Giang – Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark – Lung Cu – Meo Vac – Ba Be Lake Day 1/ Hanoi – Ha Giang Day 2/ Ha Giang – Dong Van – Lung Cu (Breakfast) Day 3/ Dong Van – Meo Vac – Ba Be Lake (B,D)
Morning start our adventure by driving from the capital to Ha Giang. The drive takes us around 7-8 hours but is one of the most breathtaking scenery trails in Vietnam. Along the way you will stop as often as you like to visit small villages and take photos. After the long drive, stretch your legs with a short walk around in a Tay village, set in a picturesque valley near town in Ha Giang. Overnight in Ha Giang.
Travel distance: approximately 300 kms
Driving hours: 7-8 hours
Huong Thao 2 Hotel / Guest house
We travel through many of the Heaven Gates such as Quan Ba, Yen Binh, and Dong Van. They are so called because one gets the feeling of touching the sky, the heaven gates. This is the best time and place to enjoy the wonderful sightseeing of the vast limestone mountain range and perpendicular rock walls which give a feeling of adventure while being lost in a magic land. Here we are surrounded by many rocks of all shapes and sizes. Then we continue our trip to visit the infamous Vuong Palace, a H’mong high-rank family during French colonial rule. This palace attracts keen interest from architecturally minded visitors due to its mixed style of European and Chinese architecture. The more you go north, the further “normal” Vietnam seems to vanish and most people you see wear their traditional, extremely colorful clothes. But you won’t be the only one who is amazed, so are Ha Giang’s inhabitants who seldom see a foreigner. In Dong Van we spend the night in a simple, government run “nha khach” (guesthouse).
Travel distance: approximately 250 kms
Driving hours: 6-7 hours
Lam Tung/ Mini hotel
Early morning we start to drive through the rolling hills and the picturesque scenery to Ba Be National Park. The roads are very bumpy and zigzagging however we will have a chance to meet the Hmong, Dao, Tay and Nung ethnic minorities who make for the main population of this region. We are sure to attract their attention as this part of the country receives very few visitors. Depending on road and traffic conditions we arrive in Ba Be by late afternoon or early evening, but it is still an interesting day. Overnight at Ba Be Homestay.
After breakfast, we visit the legendary lake of Ba Be. The lake itself is formed by three small lakes joined together – Pe Lam, Pe Lu and Pe Leng. The area was established as a national preserved forest and tourist centre in 1978, before being established as Vietnam’s eighth national park in 1992 and was recognised by UNESCO as the third Ramsar site in Vietnam. We embark on a boat cruising down the Nang River which is the main water source of the lake. Drive back Ha Noi. Arrive Ha Noi late afternoon. Drop off at your hotel.
Hanoi – Ha Giang – Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark – Lung Cu – Meo Vac – Ba Be Lake
Day 1/ Hanoi – Ha Giang
Day 2/ Ha Giang – Dong Van – Lung Cu (Breakfast)
Day 3/ Dong Van – Meo Vac – Ba Be Lake (B,D)