HA GIANG MOTORBIKE LOOP – TRAVEL GUIDE

Ha Giang

Ha Giang Motorbike Loop is without a doubt one of the most beautiful destinations in all of Vietnam.  We spent 5 days in the province overall, cruising the loop and along the way, encountered some of the most tremendous mountain roads in all of Asia.  Each leading to astonishing viewpoints, remote villages, or breathtaking mountain landscapes.  

In this blog, I talk about 11 of our favourite things to do along the Ha Giang Motorbike Loop. I also share some all important information that will help you prepare for the ride of a lifetime.

It is worth noting that you don’t need to ride a motorbike in order to enjoy all the incredible places to see along the Ha Giang Loop.  There is an option to hire a local driver who will drive the motorbike for you while you relax on the back taking in all the views.  Or alternatively, although a little on the pricy side, you can hire a car and driver.

HA GIANG MOTORBIKE LOOP – Travel Guide

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How to get to Ha Giang Motorbike Loop

Bus – There are regular buses running each day from Hanoi to Ha Giang.  The easiest way to book is through 12go Asia or any tour agency in Hanoi.

*Tip – We recommend spending 2 days in Hanoi ahead of your trip to Ha Giang.  With incredible sights, amazing food, and great nightlife, it’s one of our favourite cities in Asia.

Ha Giang Motorbike Loop Map

Ha Giang Motorbike Loop Route

While we completed the loop in 5 days, it is possible to complete it quicker.  We met some travellers who completed the loop in 3 days; however, we recommend taking it slow so you can appreciate your surroundings.  Here is a brief overview of the distance we covered each day and some of the highlights of our journey.

Day 1 on the Ha-Giang Loop: Ha Giang to Quan Ba – 65km

Bac Sum Pass

When you commence the loop north of Ha Giang Town, it isn’t long until you hit the Bac Sum Pass – the first of many picturesque mountain roads you will encounter on the journey.  This is just a taster of what’s to come, but take your time and allow yourself to be allured by nature’s ubiquitous beauty.  As you advance the mountain you are rewarded with breathtaking views into the valleys below.

"things to do in ha giang"
Heavens Gate

Heavens Gate, otherwise known as the Quan Ba Pass is one of the most beautiful places to see in all of Ha Giang.  The stunning mountain road overlooks endless landscapes of rolling green mountains, sweeping rice terraces, and distant mountain villages.

We passed through here during the golden hour and we could see exactly why it was called Heaven’s Gate.  A majestic golden glow projected all around, creating a magical mood.  We recommend checking out Diem Gioi Thieu Va Ban where you can enjoy the views over a well-deserved beverage.

HA GIANG MOTORBIKE LOOP VIETNAM
Nam Dam Village

Located at the foot of the Quan Ba mountain range, Nam Dam Village is the perfect place to spend your first night on the loop.  The village is occupied by the Zao Ao Dai hill tribe and we recommend staying in a homestay for a truly authentic experience.

We stayed at Hong Thu Homestay and along with comfortable sleeping arrangements the owners were incredibly kind and welcoming.

"things to do in ha giang"
Sunset in Nam Dam Village

Day 2 Ha-Giang Motorbike Loop: Quan Ba to Yen Minh – 78km

Yen Minh Pine Forest

You will find the Yen Minh Pine Forest at the peak of a mountain pass, not too far from Yen Minh Town.  Although it isn’t one of the more popular things to do on the Ha Giang Loop, it is certainly one of the most impressive.  While the towering pines sweep the landscapes, the views into the valleys below are mesmerising.

"things to do in ha giang"

Day 3 Ha-Giang Motorbike Loop: Yen Minh to Dong Van – 115km

Sung La Valleys

The Sung La Valleys are considered to be a little off the beaten path, as you have to swerve a little off course of the loop to find them.  We only got to hear about them ourselves from a local, but when a local shares a hidden gem with you, you do not pass that shit up!

Positioned 1500m above sea level, Sung La Village offers incredible views into the valleys.  With sweeping verdant nature and prodigious mountain landscapes dominating the view, we can say it was totally worth the detour!  However, it is worth noting that the mountain road leading to Sung La is quite treacherous so be careful if you are driving.

HA GIANG MOTORBIKE LOOP VIETNAM
Lung Cu Flagpole

One of the most important things to do in Ha Giang is visiting the Lung Cu Flagpole.  An iconic landmark that represents the Northern-most part of Vietnam, the view from the flagpole tower allows you to see all the way into China.

Immense verdant mountains stretch for miles into the horizon, while lush rice paddies grace the rural areas encompassing Lung Cu village.  From the village, you can also access the border itself, which consists only of a wired fence.

"things to do in ha giang"
“I think I can see the great wall of China from here”
Dong Van Town

Dong Van Town is one of the most popular overnight stops along the Ha Giang Loop and is relatively developed compared to the mountain villages.  Hosting an abundance of hotels and restaurants, as well as a local market, the views encompassing the town are breathtaking.

"things to do in ha giang"

Day 4 on the Ha-Giang Loop: Dong Van to Du Gia – 130km

Ma Pi Leng Pass

Shortly after leaving Dong Van Town, you will approach the Ma Pi Leng Pass; a grandeur mountain road approximately 20km in length. Sitting at an altitude of 1500 m, the pass is said to be the most beautiful mountain road in all of Vietnam.  After driving in awe of the majestic landscapes, it would be impossible to argue with such a bold statement.

"things to do in ha giang"
The Ma Pi Leng Pass
Nho Que River

While driving the Ma Pi Leng Pass, the striking Nho Que River sparkled emerald green through a misty haze.  It was an ethereal beauty which we will never forget. This part of the drive was probably the highlight of the loop.

"things to do in ha giang"
Du Gia Village

The picturesque drive along the Ma Pi Leng pass continues all the way into Du Gia. And as you proceed deep into the valleys, the mountain landscapes encompass this charming mountain village.

We arrived at Du Gia Homestay just in time for a delicious family dinner.  Along with a group of other travellers, we drank rice wine into the early hours, and vehemently swapped stories of our unforgettable experiences in Ha Giang.

"thing to do in ha giang"
Magical Views in Ha Giang

Day 5 on the Ha-Giang Loop: Du Gia to Ha Giang – 81km

Du Gia Waterfall

One last thing to do in Ha Giang is to visit the local waterfall in Du Gia.  Although the waterfall is only small, this isn’t the drawcard here.  You are likely to be welcomed by groups of local children who are always intrigued to meet tourists.  It’s these raw experiences on the Ha Giang Motorbike Loop that make it unique and special.

Best Time to Visit Ha Giang

The best time to complete the Ha Giang Motorbike Loop is between October and April.  This is the dry season in North Vietnam so you can expect less rainfall and consequently safer driving conditions.

Where to Stay in Ha Giang

Hostel Bong Hostel – This is a sociable and cosy hostel located in the heart of Ha Giang.  If you want to meet other people who you can do the loop with, this is the place to be.

Budget Ngan Ha Homestay – This modest homestay is located a short walk from the centre.  It is a family run homestay and the owners are adorable!

Mid-Range Royal Hotel – This newly built property is located in the centre of Ha Giang, just walking distance from the restaurants and main attractions.

For more places to stay in Ha Giang, you can check the latest prices here.

Ha Giang Motorbike Rental

There are a number of places in Ha Giang where you can rent your motorbike;  However, we can personally recommend Bong Hostel.  We rented two semi-automatic bikes from Bong Hostel and experienced no problems throughout our journey. Furthermore, they supplied us with all the necessary accessories such as helmets, gloves, luggage straps, and maps.

If you are new to riding a motorbike, Bong Hostel also offer free motorbike lessons to help you become a confident driver.  Although, we probably wouldn’t recommend attempting the loop if you are completely new to riding a bike.  You can rent a bike anywhere in Vietnam, so get some practice in first and you’ll be just fine.

Below are the bikes available from Bong Hostel, along with the daily rental prices:

125cc Automatic – 200,000 VND

110cc Semi-Automatic – 150,000 VND

125cc Manual – 250,000 VND

What To Pack for Ha Giang Motorbike Loop

Here is a list of what to pack for the Ha-Giang Motorbike loop in Vietnam:

  • Small to Medium Sized Backpack.  You can leave some of your luggage at your hotel or hostel.
  • Small daypack
  • Enough clothes for 3-5 days.  Consider that you will get very dirty when driving!
  • Sensible shoes for driving – No flip flops! We recommend ALEADER 2 in 1 water/hiking shoes. Use OURTASTEFORLIFE15 for 15% off!
  • Any medication you might need
  • Swimsuit/Quick Dry Towel (for the waterfall)
  • Waterproof jacket and backpack cover
  • Camera kit
  • Go Pro with Helmet Harnass
  • Phone with mobile data
  • Offline Google Map of the Ha Giang province
  • Contact details of your hostel or somebody you can contact in case of emergency.
  • Battery Pack/Charging Cables
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Toiletries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Sufficient cash (although there are ATMs along the route)

Travel Responsibly

As travellers, it should always be a top priority to travel responsibly.  We already leave a substantial carbon footprint just by flying to our travel destinations, so that’s even more reason to make a positive impact when we get there.  There are many small steps you can take to becoming a responsible traveller, and we highly encourage you to educate yourself before starting the loop. Here are some things you can do to minimise your footprint:

1. Do not leave any rubbish (unless it’s in a bin): You would think this would go without saying;  however, there are some questionable humans who think it’s ok to leave rubbish lying around on the loop.

2. Carry a Steripen or iodine tablets to sterilise water: This not only limits your usage of single-use plastic but also saves you money too!

3. Respect the local culture: Be courteous of the local culture and act in such a way that leaves a good impression.  Learn a little of the local language (hello and thank you is the minimum), greet the locals in a polite manner, and respect dress codes & traditions.

More on Vietnam

Planning a trip to Vietnam? Check out our other articles to help plan your trip.

Did you enjoy our Ha Giang Motorbike Loop Travel Guide?

Well, that concludes our Ha Giang Motorbike Loop Travel Guide.  We hope you enjoy your time in this magical country. If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below, through our contact us page. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram here where we share further travel advice & inspiration.

Stay adventurous and Happy travels.

Charlotte & Natalie x

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2 thoughts on “HA GIANG MOTORBIKE LOOP – TRAVEL GUIDE

  1. Ha Giang is such a beautiful, dreamy and peaceful place! It is less touristy compared to Sapa, therefore I could totally immerse myself in the authentic and interesting local life with minority people.
    Btw, thank you for your informative and amazing blog post!

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