Vietnam - Getting to know Ha Giang
Terraced rice fields stretch for miles along misty valleys and sunny green hillsides in the mountain region of Ha Giang in Vietnam's far north. Shielded from Western and modern ‘Viet’ influence, life here is still very traditional. Subsistence is based around agriculture, and the landscape is natural and picturesque. This is an excellent place to trek and meet people whose lifestyles have barely altered for centuries.
Nestled far to the north against the Chinese border, Ha Giang is one of Vietnam’s least accessible areas. Until relatively recently, it was considered out of bounds for all but the most resourceful traveller. Aside from its sheer geographical remoteness and lack of transport infrastructure, Ha Giang’s politically sensitive proximity to the Chinese border led authorities to actively discourage foreign visitors. Now, however, the doors to this remarkably beautiful area have opened.
What to do in Ha Giang
- Trekking, hiking and biking - the landscape in Ha Giang is just tremendous, and offers some of the most interesting and scenic vistas in the region.
- Visit tribal settlements. Small settlements and villages dot the mountains. Ha Giang is home to many of Vietnam's 54 ethnic minority groups, some so remote that their representatives are only ever seen on the most important market days.
- Attend a real hilltribe market. The marketplace is the centre of social activity, the place to trade, talk, socialise, eat, drink and generally put the world to rights. Villagers come to trade buffalo, horses, pigs, dogs and chickens, alongside a huge range of vegetables, fruits, spices, intricately hand-made jewellery, home-made liquors, tools and hardwear.
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Homestays in Ha Giang
You'll be able to experience an exciting ‘home stay’ in some of the rarest minority villages in Vietnam.
'Ha Giang is home to many of Vietnam's 54 ethnic minority groups'
As travel within the region grows easier, we are offered the chance to witness their unique ways of life.