Insider guide to explore Ha Giang loop on motorbike

Is motorbiking through Ha Giang an exciting experience? Absolutely! This is undoubtedly an exhilarating and enticing adventure for young travelers. Motorbiking through Ha Giang allows you to have more control over your time, activities, dining, accommodations, and more. Ha Giang captivates tourists with its majestic beauty of limestone plateaus, rugged mountains, and challenging terrains. To help you gain more experience in conquering the Ha Giang loop, Jackfruit Adventure will share with you what you need to know when motorbiking through Ha Giang.

ha giang loop visiting

About Ha Giang loop

Located in the northernmost part of Vietnam, Ha Giang is a captivating destination that showcases the stunning beauty of nature and the rich cultural heritage of its diverse ethnic groups. Often referred to as Vietnam’s last frontier, this region boasts rugged landscapes characterized by majestic mountain passes and verdant valleys stretching under the open sky. 

However, Ha Giang’s allure extends beyond its scenic landscapes to its diverse cultural tapestry. The province serves as a melting pot of ethnic diversity, with groups such as the Hmong, Tay, Dao, Nung, and others contributing to its vibrant cultural mosaic.

Among these ethnic groups, the Hmong people stand out with their vibrant attire and intricate handicrafts, reflecting their deep connection to the land and traditions. Each ethnic community in Ha Giang preserves its distinct customs and way of life, from the Tay’s iconic stilt houses to the Dao’s traditional medicinal practices, offering travelers a rich tapestry of experiences to explore.

ha giang loop travel

Exploring Ha Giang provides an opportunity for both cultural immersion and adventure. Travelers can immerse themselves in the local culture by staying in homestays hosted by ethnic families, participating in traditional festivals, and wandering through bustling markets filled with the aroma of local delicacies and the vibrant colors of handwoven textiles.

Is It Worth It to Take the Ha Giang Loop?

Absolutely! Otherwise, we wouldn’t be sharing our experiences with you. The Ha Giang Loop is undeniably one of the most remarkable (and demanding) destinations we’ve ever explored. It’s not just a mere journey; it’s a celebration of Vietnam’s natural beauty and timeless traditions. Whether you’re conquering its winding roads on a motorbike or admiring the breathtaking landscapes from the back of a jeep, the Loop promises an adventure that’s both fulfilling and unforgettable.

How Can You Take a Ha Giang Loop Tour?

The Ha Giang Loop epitomizes adventure and liberation for travelers seeking to uncover the wonders of northern Vietnam. While the thrill of navigating its twisting roads on a motorbike attracts many, the Loop accommodates all types of adventurers, providing varied ways to traverse its stunning landscapes.

Driving a motorcycle on your own at Ha Giang Loop 

Exploring Ha Giang by motorbike is definitely an incredible experience for you. Travel experiences in Ha Giang suggest that the most challenging passes and slopes for you to conquer when traveling independently in Ha Giang are: Chín Khoanh Pass, Bắc Sum, Thẩm Mã, and Mã Pí Lèng Pass.

ha giang loop travel

You can totally rent a motorbike to freely travel according to your preferences at rental points or even at your accommodation. Motorbike rental prices range from about 100,000 to 150,000 VND per day.

To rent a motorbike in Ha Giang, travelers need to find reputable rental addresses by searching through websites or reviews from experienced travelers. Additionally, it’s important to consider choosing the appropriate type of motorcycle. Generally, manual transmission motorcycles (commonly known as “xe số”) tend to be more powerful than scooters, but scooters are more suitable for those with weaker riding skills. As for manual transmission dirt bikes (“xe côn” or “xe cào cào”), they are only suitable for experienced riders.

Below are some reputable motorcycle rental addresses in Ha Giang

Giang Son Motorcycle Rental – Ha Giang

Giang Son has been a prominent rental shop in Ha Giang for several years. They maintain excellent quality bikes by regularly inspecting crucial components like mirrors, brakes, tires, and engines. Any signs of wear or damage are promptly addressed with replacements and repairs. Despite offering top-notch service, Giang Son’s prices remain affordable, catering to those with budget constraints while ensuring a reliable bike.

  • Phone: 0941 719 955
  • Address: Km 3 Cau Me, Ha Giang City, Ha Giang. Turn right 400 meters from Ha Giang bus station.

Motogo

Motogo operates a network of professional motorcycle rental outlets across northern provinces. Presently, they have branches in Hanoi, Ha Giang, and Ninh Binh. Motogo employs a professional management model to deliver outstanding service both before and after renting. An impressive feature is the flexibility to return the bike to any of the aforementioned branches, albeit with additional fees, not limited to just Ha Giang City. This offers great convenience if you intend to explore other destinations immediately after Ha Giang.

  • Contact: 0338023344
  • Address: To 1, Cau Me Hamlet, Phuong Thien, Ha Giang City

On the Back of Another Motorbike (Easy Rider)

If you’re not quite ready to tackle the rugged roads of the Ha Giang Loop on your own, the Easy Rider option offers a perfect solution. This alternative allows you to fully immerse yourself in the adventure while comfortably seated in the passenger seat, relieving you of the navigation and challenges of riding.

Ideal for those seeking to experience the region’s stunning landscapes and rich cultural diversity without the stress of driving, the Easy Rider option provides a relaxing way to explore Ha Giang. With an experienced rider leading the way, you can unwind and admire the beauty of the region, ensuring a safe and comfortable journey through its breathtaking scenery and cultural highlights.

Various Easy Rider tours of the Ha Giang Loop are available, ranging from 2 to 4 days and including accommodations with local tribes and families.

By Bus Option

There are numerous bus routes operating within Ha Giang province, departing from Ha Giang city to various districts and vice versa. Here are some popular routes:

 

Ha Giang – Quan Ba Route:

  • Operator: Cuong Thuy

Departure from Ha Giang: 5 – 6 AM

Departure from Quan Ba: 12 – 4 PM

Contact: 0915 407 522

 

  • Operator: Thang Phuong

Departure from Ha Giang: 11:30 AM

Departure from Quan Ba: 6 AM

Contact: 0915 185 434

 

Ha Giang – Meo Vac Route:

  • Operator: Hoang Tai

Departure from Ha Giang: 5:30 – 11 AM

Departure from Meo Vac: 6:30 AM – 1 PM

Contact: 0912 394 082

 

  • Operator: Cau Me

Departure from Ha Giang: 5 AM

Departure from Meo Vac: 5 AM

Contact: 037 211 6226

Ha Giang – Yen Minh Route:

  • Operator: Ngoc Cuong

Departure from Ha Giang: 12 – 1 PM

Departure from Yen Minh: 5:30 AM

Contact: 0904 256 279

Ha Giang – Dong Van Route:

  • Operator: Cau Me

Departure from Ha Giang and Dong Van: 5 AM – 12 PM

Contact: 0984 520 371

By bicycle mountain bike

Exploring Ha Giang by mountain bike is a journey that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. It’s not just about witnessing the majestic natural beauty of the mountainous region, but also about embracing the fresh and serene atmosphere of the Vietnamese countryside. Facing winding roads, you’ll feel the strength and perseverance required to conquer each stretch, from towering mountain passes to vast terraced fields. Exploring Ha Giang by mountain bike is more than just an adventurous expedition; it’s a profound and meaningful experience that makes every step of the journey memorable and cherished.

ha giang loop travel

If you’re keen on experiencing the Ha Giang Loop by mountain bike, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Jackfruit Adventure to join their cycling tour and embark on the journey of exploring Ha Giang.

How Long Does It Take to Do the Ha Giang Loop?

The Ha Giang Loop can be customized to fit your schedule, but we suggest dedicating a minimum of 3 full days to fully experience the loop. However, a 5-day itinerary is ideal for fully immersing yourself in all the sights and experiences that Ha Giang has to offer. This extended duration allows for leisurely exploration, deep cultural immersion, and ample opportunities for spontaneous adventures along the way.

Day 1: Ha Giang to Du Gia via Quan Ba

ha giang loop

Commence your journey in Ha Giang, embarking on a 120km ride towards Du Gia. Along the way, traverse the awe-inspiring Bac Sum Pass, where you’ll navigate through a series of sharp bends and steep inclines. Pass by the renowned Quan Ba Heaven’s Gate, celebrated for its geological significance and breathtaking natural vistas, characterized by rugged mountains, deep valleys, and unique karst formations.

Perched at an elevation exceeding 1500 meters above sea level, Quan Ba Heaven’s Gate offers sweeping panoramas of the surrounding mountains and valleys, including the famed “Twin Mountains” or “Fairy Bosom” hills, renowned for their distinct shape and associated folklore.

Upon reaching Du Gia and settling into your homestay, take time to explore the nearby village, immerse yourself in the tranquil charm of rice fields, and uncover the beauty of Du Gia Waterfall. If weather permits, indulge in a refreshing swim.

Day 2: Du Gia to Dong Van via Ma Pi Leng Pass

ha giang loop

On your second day, you’ll embark on a 135km journey through the Dong Van Geopark, renowned for its breathtaking views and iconic Ma Pi Leng Pass. As you traverse the 20km Happiness Road atop the pass, be prepared to be mesmerized by the stunning landscapes that unfold before you.

The Ma Pi Leng Pass, nestled between Dong Van and Meo Vac, sits at an altitude of approximately 1,500 meters above sea level. This pass is a highlight of the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark, recognized by UNESCO for its remarkable geological features. With winding roads that offer dramatic vistas of towering cliffs, deep gorges, and the meandering Nho Que River below, the Ma Pi Leng Pass is often hailed as the “king of the Vietnamese mountain passes.”

Driving or riding through the Ma Pi Leng Pass is a must-do for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. While the road may pose challenges with its narrow path, sharp turns, and steep drops, the unparalleled landscapes it reveals make the journey unforgettable.

Following the exhilarating traverse of the Ma Pi Leng Pass, your journey continues to the Lung Cu Flag Tower, a symbol of Vietnam’s sovereignty and unity situated at the country’s northernmost point. Perched at a lofty altitude, the tower offers sweeping panoramic views of the rugged mountains, verdant rice fields, and traditional villages of the Lo Lo and Hmong ethnic groups.

End your day’s adventure in Dong Van, where you’ll find comfort and hospitality awaiting you at a local homestay for the night.

Day 3: Dong Van to Ha Giang via Vuong’s Palace

ha giang loop

On your final day of the journey, prepare for a 150km ride back to Ha Giang, making memorable stops along the way, starting with a visit to the historical Vuong Chinh Duc Palace.

Vuong’s Palace, an architectural gem blending Hmong and Chinese styles, stands as a testament to the influence and prosperity of the Vuong family. This prominent family played a significant role in the region’s history during the French colonial era, particularly through their involvement in the opium trade. Constructed over nine years from 1919 to 1928 under the direction of Vuong Chinh Duc, the palace reflects the family’s status as revered leaders among the Hmong communities, acknowledged even by the French colonial administration.

Next, delve into the Sung La Valley to immerse yourself in the daily life of the Lo Lo ethnic group and visit “Pao’s House,” immortalized by a film depicting the life and traditions of the Hmong people. The Sung La Valley captivates with its rich floral diversity, especially during spring when peach and plum blossoms adorn the landscape, painting a vivid picture against the backdrop of lush rice terraces and imposing limestone peaks.

Afterward, enjoy a hearty lunch in Yen Minh before continuing your journey back to Ha Giang. By late afternoon, you’ll arrive back in Ha Giang, completing the loop and reflecting on the remarkable experiences and landscapes encountered along the way.

Best Time to Ride the Ha Giang Loop

The best time to ride the Ha Giang Loop is during the summer months, typically from June to August. During this period, the mountainous landscapes are at their most vibrant, with lush greenery and blooming flowers creating a picturesque backdrop. Despite the possibility of occasional rainfall, the warm temperatures make for comfortable riding conditions and enjoyable exploration of the region.

On the other hand, winter, spanning from November to February, presents colder and more challenging conditions. Temperatures can drop significantly, sometimes near freezing, particularly during the night. Travelers should be prepared for chilly weather and may need to pack winter clothing to stay warm, especially during overnight stays in non-insulated homestays.

What is the route from Hanoi to Ha Giang?

ha giang loop best time to ride

To travel from Hanoi to Ha Giang, you’ll cover approximately 300 km over a 6-7 hour journey by road. There are several transportation options available, including sleeper buses, VIP sleeper buses, limousine buses, and private cars. Since Ha Giang lacks a train station or airport, road travel remains the primary mode of transportation.

Sleeper buses are a popular choice for their convenience, while VIP sleeper buses offer additional comfort with features like massage seats and Wi-Fi. Limousine buses provide a more luxurious travel experience, and private cars offer flexibility and personalized service. For those seeking adventure, riding a motorbike from Hanoi to Ha Giang is also an option, although it entails a lengthy journey.

What Does the Ha Giang Loop Cost?

Budgeting for the Ha Giang Loop encompasses a range of expenses, such as accommodation, transportation, and dining. For a self-guided tour, expect daily costs to fall between $20 to $70 per person. If opting for a professionally guided tour, budget between $70 to $100 per person per day. Additionally, factor in entry fees to specific sites, typically ranging from $5 to $10. Transportation from and to Hanoi will incur an extra expense, averaging around $13 to $22, depending on comfort preferences.

Packing List and Preparation

To ensure a successful trip, thorough preparation is essential. Here’s a packing list and some key preparations to consider:

  • Clothing: Pack comfortable clothes suitable for various weather conditions, including a mix of lightweight and warm layers. Don’t forget sturdy shoes for walking and hiking, as well as a waterproof coat or jacket.
  • Essentials: Bring sunscreen, a camera or smartphone for capturing memorable moments, and any necessary medications. Consider bringing protective gear for your face, such as a scarf or mask, to shield against dust and sun exposure.
  • Offline Maps: Download offline maps or navigation apps to your smartphone to navigate the challenging roads of Ha Giang. This will be especially helpful in areas with limited or no internet connection.
  • Basic Vietnamese Phrases: Brush up on basic Vietnamese phrases to facilitate communication with locals and enhance your cultural experience. Learning simple greetings and expressions can go a long way in making connections and showing respect.
  • Safety Precautions: Be prepared for various road and weather conditions, including rain, sun, fog, and cold temperatures. Always prioritize safety by wearing appropriate protective gear, adhering to traffic rules, and exercising caution on the roads.

By packing wisely and making necessary preparations, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on an unforgettable journey through Ha Giang.

Ready for your trip to Ha Giang loop

As we bid farewell to the majestic landscapes and winding roads of the Ha Giang Loop, we carry with us memories of unforgettable adventures and breathtaking vistas. Our journey through this rugged terrain has been nothing short of exhilarating, leaving us yearning for more.

As passionate adventurers, we understand the allure of challenging motorbike rides like the Ha Giang Loop. If you’re eager to continue exploring new horizons and embarking on thrilling adventures, consider joining us on future journeys with Jackfruit Adventure with Ho Chi Minh city cycling and team building. Together, we’ll uncover hidden gems, conquer new challenges, and create lasting memories.

 

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