Unlike the heavily visited Sapa, Ha Giang Province is a hidden gem which has been hiding under the tourist radar. Located in a remote area in the mountains of northern Vietnam, it features some of the most strikingly beautiful scenery found anywhere in Southeast Asia. The rice terraces of Mu Cang Chai may exhibit the most stunning rice terraces made by man but here in Ha Giang Province we experienced some of the most stunning mountain scenes ever made by God. It seemed as though on every turn of the road we would be treated to a new view even more amazing than the last.
Ha Giang Province has been less frequented by tourists due in part to its distant location near the China border and also in part due to the poor road conditions which in the past has limited accessibility. But in recent years the Vietnamese Government has engaged in an ambitious project of road building resulting in a greatly improved access to the province. Accordingly the number and quality of accommodations in the town of Ha Giang has also greatly improved.
Besides the natural beauty, the attraction for many tourists lies in the fact that much of the province appears as it did over 100 years ago. The varied population is comprised of about 90% minority’s including tribes from the H’mong, Tay, Dao, Nung, and Giay just to name a few. To this day it is still a most authentic and fascinating rural mountain setting which is just waiting to be discovered by the more adventurous travelers who travel to this rough terrain. The traditional practices and local habits of these ethnic groups are diverse and interesting to visitors from the outside world.
As an example of the area’s uniqueness in the most northern part of Vietnam is the small village of Lung Cu. Here they proudly fly a large Vietnamese flag on the nearby Dragon Mountain as a show of their patriotism. The village is well known for its special food and beverages including the enjoyable and unique local alcoholic drink made from honey and corn. Thong Co soup, which includes cooking all parts of the animal, is another local favorite.