Click here if you would like to read an overview of my 3 months experience in Vietnam.
Check out my Ha Giang Road Trip video here. :)
Ha Giang is one of the most spectacular place in Vietnam. I did a 4 days roundtrip with my god brother and it is definitely one of the highlights of my Vietnam trip. Though it is rather dangerous - small and slippery roads, big trucks, long hours of riding, I am so glad that we did it. To anyone who is deciding on a route trip in Vietnam, don't miss it out.
We took an overnight sleeper bus from My Dinh Bus Station in Hanoi to Ha Giang and arrived at 4am. It cost about $13. You need not alight when you arrive at 4am, you can ask the driver for permission to sleep till 7am, instead of roaming around the empty streets. That's what we did, and we were so thankful for it.
From the bus station, we took a cab to Johnny Nam Tran (Motorbikes): 181, Phòng Giáo dục Thành phố, Lâm Đồng, Trần Phú, tp. Hà Giang. Johnny speaks excellent english because he used to live in California. He gave us a map, recommended us the routes to take, places to stay, and things to beware of. The motorbike rental for 4 days is about $50.
You can also check out www.qtmotorbikesandtours.com.vn for bike rental. A couple that we met during our trip rented their bike from them and they mentioned about how warm and friendly the owners are.
Day 1: Ha Giang to Quan Ba (~4hrs).
We decided to cover a short distance on our first day because we didn't sleep well on the bus. Johnny recommended us a homestay at Thon Nam Dam, Xe Quan Ba. Very nice family but they can't speak much english. The son of the family brought us for a walk around the village and also to swim in the river. We had such a great time that we decided to stay there again when we head back to Ha Giang. It cost us about $15 per person for the stay including very delicious dinner and breakfast.
Day 2: Quan Ba to Yen Minh (~2hrs) -> Break -> Yen Minh to Dong Van (~3hrs) -> Lunch Break -> Dong Van to Lung Co (Vietnam's north pole) (~1hr) -> Back to Dong Van.
We made a mistake here, we should have gone directly to the north pole first before heading to Dong Van. Do take note of it. It was a tiring day of long hours riding, but the view was absolutely amazing. You definitely have to go to the North Pole, the view from the top is the prettiest! Let me show you some pictures:
It's best to be at Dong Van on weekends because there's a huge weekend market and i heard it's very interesting to see. It's a pity that we missed that.
Day 3: Dong Van to Meo Vac (~1hr) -> Meo Van to Yen Minh (~3hrs) -> Lunch Break -> Yen Minh to Quan Ba (~2hrs).
The route from Dong Van to Meo Vac is probably the most beautiful path in the North East Loop. The weather weren't that good the day we were there, but it was still stunning. We chose to cover more routes on our 3rd day because the weather forecast stated that it will rain on our last day.
Day 4: Quan Ba to Ha Giang (~4hrs)
Indeed it rained on our last day and it was so scary! We skidded and fell off our bike. I was in shocked for awhile. We were turning on a downslope and i lost control of the bike. Thankfully we only had minor cuts and bruises. We kept going despite the rain because we had to catch a bus back to Hanoi. So guys, please be extremely careful when riding.
We arrived in Ha Giang ahead of time so we chilled at Cafe KM 0. The lady boss there speaks excellent english and she recommended us to go to a Waterfall near Hai Giang and even allowed us to shower at her bathroom! Such a kind lady! I'm sorry i forgot the name of the waterfall, you should ask around and try to go there. We had such a fun time swimming and the route there is pretty too!
Overall, Ha Giang trip was such an adventure. I'm so glad that we did it and i'm thankful that my god brother came to visit me in Hanoi and was spontaneous enough to join me on this. It wouldn't have been that fun without him.
If you are keen on route trip, you should also check out Hai Van Pass! Amazing coastal view! A whole different experience from Ha Giang.