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HA GIANG PROVINCE

Capital: Ha Giang City
Ethnic groups: H'Mong.Tay, Dao, Viet (Kinh), San Diu
Highlights: Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark, Love Market of Khau Vai

Tourist Attractions

Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark

Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark has been recognised as a member of the Global Network of National Geoparks (GGN) in October 2010. It covers the entirety of the four mountainous districts of Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Meo Vac, and Dong Van in the northern province of Ha Giang. Located on an altitude of 1,000m-1,600m above sea level, the 2356 km2 Dong Van Karst Plateau is one of Vietnam's special limestone areas, housing prominent imprints that depict the development of the earth's crust and natural phenomenon. It boasts striking scenery, a high biodiversity and special cultural values of the local ethnic minority groups. 
Thanks to weather changes and geo-diversi-ty, the karst evolution has created "rock gar-dens" and "rock forests" of diverse forms in the area, such as the Khau Vai and Lung Pu rock gardens in Meo Vac, the Van Chai rock garden in Dong Van... A system of caves and grottoes found in the Dong Van Plateau provides a proof of the evolution of karst with Rong Cave in Sang Tung and En Grotto in Van Chai (Dong Van), and Kho My Cave in Tung Vai (Quan Ba) worth seeing. The scientists have evaluated the Dong Van Plateau as having a unique and diverse mountainous geo-ecosystem. Primitive forests here have been rather undamaged, habiting many rare floral species, including 40 species of orchids, especially slipper orchid. Here also has a rich £ diversity of habitat for fauna as 50 species of rare wild animals, birds and reptiles. 
The Dong Van Karst Plateau also reflects tra-z ditional cultural richness of minority inhabi-tants, including the Mong, Dao, Lo Lo, Pu Peo... The Pho Bang, Dong Van, Lung Cu, Sa - Phin markets coupled with time-honoured ethnic festivals, rituals, customs and culture of local inhabitants weight the plateau's unique charm. 
When visiting the Dong Van Plateau in the spring, you are hit by wonderful landscapes. The season covers rugged rocks and mountain peaks with its bright colours. 
From Ha Giang City, visitors travel on National Highway 4C for 43 km to Quan Ba. The trip will continue on that highway through Can Ty Pass, pine forests, steep drops, deep ravines, and razor sharp turns, to bring visitors to Yen Minh, Dong Van and Meo Vac to explore the karst plateau.

Lung Cu Flag Tower

Lung Cu, a commune of Dong Van District is a northern most point of Viet Nam, 20km from Dong Van Small Town, and 170km from Ha Giang City. The flag tower is built on top of 300-m high Rong (Dragon) Mountain, 1,600m above the sea level. 
At the foot of the mountain, there are two semicircular lakes. It is said that they were eyes of dragon. These lakes are always full of water even in the dry season. The flag tower shows the affirmation of position and sovereignty of Viet Nam as well as honour the patriotism and bravery of the people and soldiers in the border area. The new tower has been rebuilt at larger scale on the place of the old one and inaugurated on September 25, 2010. The flag on the tower has an area of 54m2, symbolising the unity of 54 ethnic groups in Viet Nam. The 29.5m-high flag tower is hollow and has staircase to the top tower. 
The car may bring visitors to a half of the slope mountain. From the parking, concreted-steps allow visitors to the top of mountain.

Vuong's Villa

Vuong's Villa (Vuong Chi Sinh) is an interesting tourist site, 14km from the town of Dong Van District, in the locality of Sa Phin Commune. It is not large, but its original architectural is unique in the highlands. The road sloping in front of the villa is paved with big, smooth, square stones and the villa is surrounded by two walls built from carved stones. 
The outer wall is 60cm thick and 2m high. The inner wall is even thicker and more robust. In between the walls, there is a 50m-wide expanse of land planted with oleanders. 
The villa includes 10 houses, 6 of them face the same direction, and the remains face the other directions. The main house, the largest, looks out to the entrance. The other two face each other, making right angles with the main house. Every pillar, floor, and wattle of these three houses are built of po-mu, a valuable wood. In the main house, which was the house where the Vuong leader lived, there is a hanging horizontal tablet engraved with the four words bien chinh kha phong (remarks of great honour for contribution in the war), which was presented by the Nguyen Kings. The other two houses were used for servants and guardsmen.

Quan Ba Twin Mountain

From the pass of "Quan Ba Heaven Gate", go toward Tam Son Small Town in Quan Ba District, travellers will admire at the natural masterpiece that is the Twin Mountain which lies in the middle of a green field, amidst the valley. The form of Twin Mountain may give us the imagination of a beautiful girl's body. The best place for travellers to take picture or record imagines is to stand at a mountain slope, 1km from Tam Son. No ones can ignore this magnificent picturesque mountain.

Love Market of Khau Vai

Once a year, on the 27th day of the3rdlunar month, the love market is held in Khau Vai Commune, Meo Vac District. 
A local myth tells the story of a young couple from different tribes who fell in love with each other. The girl was so beautiful that her tribe did not want to let her get married to a man from another tribe. Consequently, violent conflict arose between the two tribes. One day, the boy witnessed an aggressive fight between the tribes as a result of their love. To stop blood from being spilt, the lovers sorrowfully decided to say goodbye. However, they made plans to meet once a year on that day. The place where they used to meet is Khau Vai. After time, Khau Vai, thereafter became a meeting place for all of those in love. 
The Love Market used to involve no sellers or buyers at the beginning. All those who came here came to pursue their missing love. If by chance they met an "old flame", they would spend time talking intimately. If they did not, they would make friends with a stranger of any age. They brought ready-made foods, like loaves of sticky rice, manioc, and pieces of cake, which they would share with their lovers. 
This was an enjoyable time for all. People from remote areas would come to Khau Vai on the day before the market, so that the next morning they could be already there. Having waited for this moment for a full year, everybody went eagerly to the market. Early in the morning, whether they were old or new comers, they would hurriedly look for their friend. If they found them, they would talk endlessly; if not, they would wait, becoming increasingly anxious and expectant. In the afternoon, all the lovers were sad because it was time to say goodbye. Some couples would get married over the year, while others would plan to meet at the same time the following year. 
For the past ten years, as there is an increasing demand to make a living, people bring goods to sell at the market. Thus, you can go to Khau Vai to trade two kinds of specialities: goods and feelings.
Even today, Khau Vai Love Market echoes back to the past, as it carries on the tradition set by its mythical love story.

Nam Dan Ancient Rock Field

Nam Dan ancient rock field is located at the height of 1,350m above sea level in the middle of a valley surrounded with terraced fields and milpa of Nung ethnic people in Nam Dan Village, Nam Dan Commune, about 15km south of the Xin Man District's centre. 
Nam Dan ancient rock field is filled with rocks of odd shapes and sizes thought to have been inscribed by an ancient ethnic civilization. The first rock found in the area is called Cu Thach. The large, elliptical-shaped rock tilts precariously on an angle, supported by two smaller rocks underneath it. It is said that Cu Thach resembles an altar, so locals have even placed an incense burner below it to complete the look. 
Archaeologists said the patterns on the rocks in Nam Dan are more than 1,000 years old and have temporarily divided patterns on the rocks there into seven groups: geometrical (circle, square, rectangle), square and circle-shaped patterns, parallel lines, symbols of genitalia, human feet, human figures and undetermined patterns. Nam Dan is valuable for research because the site has not been touched by humans yet.

Terraced fields in Hoang Su Phi

Hoang Su Phi is a district in the western of Ha Giang Province, at the foot of imposing Tay Con Linh Mountain. With its terraced fields, Hoang Su Phi displays its charming beauty as a paradise dimly looms in the clouds. 
The terraced fields are the fine results of the locals' hard work and creativity. The view of terraced fields is particularly breathtaking in harvest time with glittering layers of golden rice on mountain after mountain. Later September and October is the best time to visit and to witness the beauty of harvest time when all the terraced paddy-fields running along the road 177 from Vinh Quang Town of Hoang Su Phi to Viet Quang Town near 30km, turn yellow with ripening rice..

Tien Cave

Tien Cave is about 2km from Ha Giang Town. Inside is the very beautiful Tien Stream.
Legend has it that fairies used to come to this cave to have a bath during Tet holidays; thus, it was named Dong Tien (Fairy Cave). People from surrounding areas often come to Tien Cave to get water for washing and praying. Ha Giang Province has the intention of developing a tourist project there and to build a cultural village.

Festivals

Spring Festival

This festival of the H'Mong and Dao ethnic groups is usually held for three to five days following Tet. The achievements of the past year are celebrated and there are prayers for good weather for the upcoming year. Several activities and festivities take place, such as shooting arrows, singing about love between young men and women, throwing pa pao, drinking local alcohol.

Lo Lo People's New House Celebration

The New House Celebration is held by the Lo Lo people for two days and two nights when a new house is built. All of the villagers enjoy the party to celebrate the new house. Flutes and pan-pipes are played and young boys and girls sing love songs to each other. The holy man, who is followed by the party, sings a song while walking.

Nhay Lua Festival

Nhay Lua Festival is a unique festival of Pa Then Ethic Group. The festival annually organizes at the end of the twelfth lunar month after harvesting. It is also the coldest time fall on the mountainous districts in Ha Giang. At first, the sorcerer practices the rituals of reporting to the heaven about the crop, blessing for the villagers' prosperous life and bumper crop. The sorcerer also has ritual of "Nhap hon" as praying deity for villagers having natural superior health such as isn't to be in hurt when they jump in the burning charcoal.

Tourist Information

IDD code: 84 - 219

Transport

Ha Giang is 318km from Ha Noi, 20km from Thanh Thuy Border Gate (to China), 160km from Dong Van.

Ha Giang Bus Station

Nguyen Trai St., Ha Giang City 
Tel: 3866 075

Tourism Division (dcst)

2 Bach Dang St., Ha Giang City 
Tel: 3866 427, Fax: 3862 515

Tour Operator 

Ha Giang Tourism Service & Im-Export Co.

Tran Hung Dao St., Ha Giang City 
Tel: 3867 157/ 386 3639, Fax: 3868 261

Hagiang Travel Jsc.

187 Nguyen Thai Hoc St., Ha Giang City 
Tel: 3861 588, Fax: 3862 588

Hotels

In Ha Giang City

Cong Doan Hotel

3 Nguyen Trai Ward
Tel: 3867 057, 32 rooms, US$8-9

Ha Duong Hotel

Group 2, Nguyen Trai Ward 
Tel: 3862 555,30 rooms, US$8-9

Hoang Anh Hotel

Group 15, Nguyen Trai Ward 
Tel: 3863 558, Fax: 3863 558
39 rooms, USS8-18

Huy Hoan Hotel

Group 10, Nguyen Trai Ward 
Tel: 3861 288, Fax: 3864 388, 
52 rooms, US$8-20

Linh Huong Hotel

88 Nguyen Thai Hoc St. 
Tel: 3868 339, Fax: 3862 071, 
8 rooms, US$8-13

Luong Thuc Hotel

Group 5, Tran Hung Dao St. 
Tel: 3861 421, Fax: 3868 301, 
12 rooms, US$8-10 

Phuong Dong Hotel

Group 5 Nguyen Trai Ward 
Tel: 3867 979, Fax: 3866 820
17 rooms, US$8-9

Sao Mai Hotel

Group 17, Nguyen Trai Ward 
Tel: 3863 019, Fax: 3863 147,
15 rooms, US$9

Thuy Dung Hotel

Minh Khai Ward
Tel: 3862 259, Fax: 3867 429 
20 rooms, US$8-15

Viet Trung Hotel

39 Group 4, Minh Khai Ward 
Tel: 3886 403, 28 rooms, US$9-15
In Viet Quanq Town, Bac Quang Dist.

Vinh Ha Hotel

Group 4, Viet Quang Townlet
Tel: 3823 506, Fax: 3823 575,
14 rooms, US$9-13

In others

Gia Long Hotel

Group 2, Coc Pai Townlet, Xi Man Dist
Tel: 3836 479, Fax: 3836 479
10 rooms, US$9-10

Hoang Ngoc Hotel

Dong Van Town, Dong Van Dist. 
Tel: 3856 020, Fax: 3856 857
15 rooms, US$10-13

Huong Tra Hotel

Km 17, Commune Town, Vi Xuyen Dist. 
Tel: 3826 455, Fax: 3826 844
23 rooms, US$9-15

Lung Cu Guest House

Dong Van Town, Dong Van Dist. 
Tel: 3856 216, 7 rooms, US$8

Mien Tay Hotel

Group 3, Coc Pai Townlet, Xin Man Dist. 
Tel: 3836 270,11 rooms, US$8

Who Que Hotel

Meo Vac Town, Meo Vac Dist. 
Tel: 3871 322,12 rooms, US$6-8

Song Chay Hotel

Vinh Quang Town, Hoang Su Phi Dist. 
Tel: 3831 246,18 rooms, US$8-13

Song Gam Guest House

Bac Me Town, Bac Me Dist. 
Tel: 3841 176,18 rooms, US$8-10

Restaurant

In Ha Giang City

Com Viet Nam 123 Restaurant

Quang Trung Ward, 
Tel: 3868 034

Ha Son Quan Restaurant

Minh Khai Ward, 
Tel: 3867 494

Huong Pho Nui Restaurant

Quang Trung Ward, 
Tel: 3811 102

Shopping

Ha Giang Market

Tran Phu St., Ha Giang City

Meo Vac Market

Meo Vac Town, Meo Vac Dist.

Entertainment

Ha Giang Province Museum

Tran Hung Dao St., Ha Giang City

Nam An Tourist Site

Tan Thanh Commune, Bac Quang Dist.

Pan Hou Eco-Tourism Area

Lang Giang Hamlet, Thong Nguyen Commune, Hoang Su Phi Dist.

Thanh Ha Hotspring

Viet Lam Town, Vi Xuyen Dist.

Thon Tha Tourism Culture Village (Tay ethnic people)

Phuong Do Commune, Ha Giang City

Post Office

Nguyen Trai St., Ha Giang City 
Tel: 3869 324, Fax: 3866 509

Medical Services

General Hospital

Minh Khai St., Ha Giang City. 
Tel: 3866 411

Banks

Agribank

101 Tran Hung Dao St., Ha Giang City 
Tel: 3866 326, Fax: 3866 336

Bidv

Group 19, Nguyen Trai Ward, Ha Giang City 
Tel: 3867 201, Fax: 3867 022

 




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