Blogs from Ha Giang, Northeast, Vietnam, Asia


Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Ha Giang June 1st 2022

Nathan here, staring down the clock at leaving this pristine, verdant gem of an island known as Cat Ba, the forgotten staging ground to all things Ha Long Bay, 5 minutes off the mainland coast of Vietnam's Haiphong province, due east and downriver about two hours from Hanoi. Renting a scooter instead of opting for organized tours was the way to go for us, whipping around the immaculate roadways that impressively cover most of Vietnam's rural interior, blasting tunes on bluetooth as we've yet to hit one dead spot in our $22/mo unlimited coverage mobile plans. (Side note: the Vietnamese take no issue with abusive karaoke volumes or any unresteicted decibels of Latin hip hop (its hot with the kids here, too) when it eminates from a sound stage, but roll up on a scooter and ... read more
This kinda stuff is everywhere.
Hoan Kiem Bridge at night
Honeymoon suite at Oasis Bungalows Cat Ba

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Ha Giang April 1st 2017

Nous avons quitté Dong Van pour retourner à Ha Giang "comme des VIP", presque seuls dans le minibus, sans marchandise, avec vue spectaculaire sur les vallées et montagnes qu'on traversait. De Ha Giang nous sommes allés dans un petit village thai à 4 km de la ville. La population fait des grands efforts pour préserver leur coutumes traditionnels et les familles sont impliquées dans un projet de tourisme responsable. C'est comme ça que nous avons séjourné 3 jours chez la famille Thien, dans une maison sur pilotis avec toit en feuilles de palmier. La chambre à coucher était à l'étage, un grand dortoir séparé par des rideaux, avec matelas au sol et moustiquaire car les murs arrêtaient 50 cm en bas du plafond (on dormait donc presque dehors). C'était comme un refuge en montagne, les thai ... read more
vue devant la maison
paysage quotidien
autour du souper avec le jeune Tham Thien

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Ha Giang March 25th 2017

Un couple de motards suisses nous a tellement vanté l'extrême nord du pays que nous avons décidé de modifier notre itinéraire et aller dans ce coin pas encore envahi par les touristes. Après 6 h de bus ( il faut dire que dans le nord du pays les bus, en faite des minibus, ne sont pas pour le transport des personnes mais pour celui de marchandises, alors les passagers sont accessoires et ils doivent se tasser a côté, en dessous ou en dessus des sacs, boîtes, plantes, corbeilles et autres sans jamais protester) a travers plusieures chaînes de montagnes magnifiques et terrasses de riz vert éclatant nous sommes arrivés à Ha Giang, capitale du nord, petite ville provinciale sympathique. Le lendemain nous avons repris un autre minibus ( même conditions) pour aller sur le plateau karstique ... read more
Sur un sentier de montagnards
La ville vue du sentier
Paysage typique du plateau karstique de Dong Van

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Ha Giang June 8th 2016

Deux mois après la décision de commencer une aventure en solitaire au coeur de ce grand et beau voyage, le plaisir de se retrouver est immense. La tête remplit de souvenirs, nous ne savons même pas par quel bout commencer pour ce le raconter. Du paysage, on en a vu! Des kilomètres, on en a avalé! Des expériences, on en a vécu! Des souvenirs pour la vie, on s'en ai fait, c'est certain. Au coeur de notre voyage, nous sommes parti nous perdre - ou nous retrouver - dans les montagnes remplis d'Histoire de la fameuse route d'Hô Chi-Minh. Puis nous nous sommes plongé dans la fourmilière géante qu'est la capitale, Hanoi. De la baie d'HaLong aux mystérieuses montagnes du Nord, dans les familles, avec les enfants, nous avons dévoré le Vietnam! Dans un pays qui ... read more
Ultime Moto Tour
Louca's Favorite
Happy Water

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Ha Giang November 10th 2015

Well, I had to squeeze that last one out (of the way) was from my 'perfumed' garden...chooks, wet dogs, roosters, bodily waste.....not the real one in Beijing...but you've got to choose a location...and it's really all about the is a rearview mirror, so frustrating, trying to catch 'now'... and zing! slips right past you.... I just got back from a 3 day epic road trip with the boss and some of his old friends. Up to the most Northern part of Viet Nam, along the Chinese border. I'd been thinking how amazing a flight would be and then I got it....not airborne but driving, around the ribbon lip of vertical mountains. Another twist in the road and a heart stopping vista, a bit like Copper Canyon where the enormity of the scale just leaves your ... read more
China on yr left, VN on yr right
it's a long way too the top...
Kilometre 0 at Ha Giang city(?)

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Ha Giang May 18th 2015

Hanoi >> Ba Be National park >> Bao Lac >> Meo Vac >> Dong Van >> Yen Minh >> Quan Ba >> Ha Giang >> Hanoi After some deliberation we decided to go with a friend's recommendation to visit the northern mountains instead of Sapa in the northwest, which has become a tourist attraction appealing to large tour groups. We read a detailed online blog in the Vietnam Coracle that also inspired our Tonkinese mountain route. Before we left Hanoi for our week in the north we made some motorbike adverts to display in backpacker hostels in the hope of generating some interest for when we returned to Hanoi. We quickly realised there was a lot of competition from other travellers who had also completed the route from Ho Chi Minh and were also looking to ... read more
Ba be lake
Irrigation path through the sweetcorn crop
Family at the homestay

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Ha Giang October 14th 2014

From Sa Phin we began the long winding route to Ha Giang where we were to sleep that evening. Despite Tuin not being our official guide he certainly took it upon himself to find us accommodation each evening. That evening he said that we were to stay in a homestay outside Ha Giang city. We stopped to wander a couple of the villages - one appeared to be deserted but I guess mid morning most people would have been out working in the fields. I did discover two full back baskets, both loaded with wood, outside one house. We started to pass low terraces of tea plantations and in some of the smaller towns we saw the dried tea leaves - which were quite large in size - piled onto plastic sheets for sale on the ... read more
The river which flowed through Ha Giang city
Small vegetable market - looking from our hotel window in Ha Giang city
Breakfast stall - baguettes, eggs and precessed pork sausages

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Ha Giang October 12th 2014

The highlight of today's driving was to travel over the 1500 meter high Ma Pi Leng pass. One of the most spectacular parts of this road covers a distance of only 22 kilometers which begins soon after you leave Meo Vac headed towards Dong Van. The road was originally built by the ethnic groups in the area - the H'mong group that were that we saw at Meo Vac, Zao and Tay minority and the LoLo group that we would see when we visited the Sa Phin markets later in the day. However it was rebuilt in 1994 after suffering severe damage from the Chinese military. Unfortunately the photos I took that day do not do the spectacular scenery any favours, due to the smoke haze and my camera's ability. Though the distance wasn't great it ... read more
Taking food home for the water buffalo
The wonderful karst scenery
The area was covered with a wild red stalky flower

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Ha Giang July 29th 2014

As you may or may not know, Ha Giang city is the capital of Ha Giang province which is the northern most province of Vietnam and it borders with China. Having lived in Hanoi for almost 2 years now, I have heard whispers and great stories of this province. I finally got my chance to come explore this area by accepting a short teaching contract for some summer classes! What I didn’t know is what this city had to offer. Most only do a brief stop off before and after the “Ha Giang motorbike loop” which goes from HG city, to Quang Ba, Dong Van, Meo Vac and back to HG city. This loop is for the adventurous and those looking for something more authentic than the over developed Sa Pa. The scenery here is arguably ... read more
Thon Tha
The way to Thon Tha
The way to the "other villages"

Asia » Vietnam » Northeast » Ha Giang October 9th 2013

***English text below*** In der kleinen Stadt Ha Giang war eigentlich nur ein Zwischenhalt geplant, aber wir sind trotzdem 5 Tage geblieben. Der Grund war, dass wir plötzlich Tanzlehrer geworden sind. Es hat nämlich so angefangen: Am 1. Abend als wir mit Abendessen fertig waren, machten wir eine Stadtrundfahrt und was hörten wir plötzlich? Salsamusik!!! Frauen machten Sport auf einem öffentlichen Platz und werden von einer Tanzlehrerin von der Gemeinde geschult. Um ein bisschen Takt zu haben, liessen sie Salsamusik laufen. Wir entschieden am nächsten Abend früher vorbei zukommen. Als wir am nächsten Abend vorbei gingen, sassen wir zuerst auf den Mauern um zu zuschauen. Leider fanden wir keinen einzigen Mann, der mit den Frauen tanzte. Deswegen war es auch schwer Jan zu überzeugen mit Vy zu tanzen. Als ein Salsa Lied gekommen ist und die ... read more
Schule ist aus
Haus mit Lehmwand

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