Why you should visit Ha Giang at least once in your Life
6 years ago, I did my very first motorbike trip as a backpacker from Ha Noi to Ha Giang
and then I fellin love with the land which I call home now.
It’s always something in life that happened as a destiny that you will never know but I am not the only one who has the special feeling for Ha Giang and then decided to stay. If you did Ha Giang Loop already, stay with me to bring back memories. If you haven’t done it yet, you should do it at least once in your life.
The most beautiful and impressive mountains in the north of Vietnam
The highest mountain peak is not located in Ha Giang but it doesn’t matter.
Ha Giang is a northern province of Viet Nam that is close to China.
The popular name for backpackers maybe is Ha Giang loop because of the circle they do around the province.
Nothing can describe how gorgeous the landscape is.
Nowhere else has beautiful karsts as this land.
All the grey rocky mountains soaring like swords pierce the sky. When you are still overwhelmed by this,
suddenly another colorful scenery open in front of your eyes, you will see H’mong people in their bright traditional costume working on their field like flowers blooming among the rocks.
The mountains here are not only but also have many different shapes depending on your rich imagination. If you are from a city, I promise that you have never seen something that makes you feel freer than look up at the blue sky, wonderful mountain or even shout out loud and wait for the echo from the cliff.
The people are so friendly and make you feel at home
They are some different minorities who stay in Ha Giang as H’mong, Tay, Dao, Lo Lo, Kinh …and they stay together in peace. The most popular group in Ha Giang is H’mong who always stay up high on the side of the mountain. H’mong ethnic people are the professional of the rocks and the most hard-working I saw. They know how to use this to build their house, their interiors,…from the rocks. They plant corns and vegetables on the rocky mountain, work maybe 12 hours on the fields, earn a little money but as long as you are their guest, they will invite you all they have. If you got trouble on your way with flat tires, broken bikes or you need a place to lay on your back at night, they will be the people who are willing to invite you to their small house.
As a part of the hospitality from local people, I cannot forget about “happy water”.
Happy water is a nickname that we call local corn wine. Don’t be scare of the poisoning or be confused if some local people invite you this, it’s an important part of making a new friend in Ha Giang. Also please don’t ask them how much alcohol percent of this drink, maybe it’s around 35* to 42* but you know, who knows, as long as you can be drunk as a rock. Don’t forget to stay at least a few nights at a homestay because they will serve you so many tasty foods and of course, “happy water”.
The culture is so unique
Because there are so many different minorities living in this land, there are so many interesting cultures that you can explore such as weddings, new year festival, fishing festival, funeral, festival for grown men, ceremony for the sick people…or even their normal days.
I have joined friends who are Tay to catching fish at the stream in the village name Du Gia where I stay. They don’t use a fishing rod but only the mosquito net or their own skirt. They lifted up the stones because stream fishes stay under this and then grabbed them in the skirt. I’ve tried and of course, I got nothing because of my clumsiness.
Another memorable thing I will never forget is when I joined a H’mong funeral. It was total with everything I saw before in my life. In their beliefs, it’s not a bad thing because then the dead person can reach out to their ancestor. No one cry, no one feel so sad at the funeral. They’ve shown some special dances to their guests then asked me to drink “happy water”. Their cousin will visit as well and talk to the dead like a normal greeting. The funeral was also brightly decorated with colorful paper and fabric.
You are completely free to experience the best motorbike tour
I love to drive a motorbike whenever I travel because then I can be initiated on my own trip and if you are the same, why not travel in Ha Giang by motorbike? It is one of the most popular activities in Ha Giang that people rent a bike from the city and then do the loop themselves. If you are not ready to ride, just book an easy ride through a tourism agency. You can be a solo driver or join a group with other backpackers all over the world.
It’s probably a great feeling when you ride a motorbike and see the passes winding like silk ribbons around the mountain. All the rural villages on the way are just simply stunning. I also want to remind you that you must have an international license and don’t be distracted by the landscape so much.
There are just three main reasons I take as some proof that you should visit Ha Giang but for sure I believe that you will find a reason for your own. It’s not my hometown but for some reason, I feel so connected to the land it my soul belongs to the mountain. Let’s hit the road when the epidemic is over and hope to see you all.