Ha Giang – the front land of the country, is famous for its winding streets, spectacular bends of slopes. It is also well known for the Ma Pi Leng Pass which is one of the four great peaks of the North. Many off-road riders came to this land was terrified and feel admired by nature here. Ha Giang is the most charm and the most romantic probably when it is October, November or December. From Quan Ba, Yen Minh to Pho Cao, Dong Van, Hoang Su Phi, Xi Man … and the Ha Giang’s rocky plateau are covered with a pink color of the poetic flower of buckwheat. It is a flower with a strong vigor growing on arid rock areas. The scenery makes visitors both immersed and surprised. The trip also brings you to Cao Bang – the revolutionary origin of Vietnam. When coming here, you will be able to visit the place and work of Uncle Ho and the most beautiful waterfall in Vietnam together with excursions on one of the beautiful lakes on the world. Let’s join an off-road motorbike tour with Vietnam Motorcycle Tours to see many strangely interesting things since you ride from Ha Giang to Cao Bang via Ba Be as described in the below article.
ROAD TRIP DETAILS:
- Total Distance: Ha Giang→Meo Vac→Bao Lac→Cao Bang: 360 km (classic route)
- Duration: 1-3 days
- Route: three scenic routes linking Ha Giang with Ba Be Lake & Cao Bang
- Road Conditions: back-roads & mountain highways, rough sections, light traffic
- Scenery: limestone karsts, mountains, deep valleys, jungle, terraced rice fields, minority villages
From Ha Giang to Cao Bang on the high roads: General note before the trip
1. The journey and time planned based on the fact that he has gone, using the specialized motorbikes for off-road touring. You should get yourself well prepared for the trip.
2. When exploring Ha Giang Motorbike Tours, we recommend you many local dishes. So you only need to prepare the crabmeat (bread, sausage or something …). In case you are hungry, tired or missed meals, there is something to eat.
3. The road from Hanoi to Ha Giang or from Ha Giang to Ban Gioc are all roads in good conditions. It is better for you to use smooth road tires, which help to crab better. Some not good tires can cause you difficulties in riding fast because of slipping bread.
4. You should take the motorbike that is strong with the great engine to optimize the journey time. For a better motorbike, it will save considerable time.
5. Do not rush fast. Many off-road trips fall on the weekend, and there witnessed many motorcyclists riding with high pace, but when having to pass the winding slopes, they lined up to the other side of the road. It is very dangerous. Many of you abuse the brakes, go quickly and brake again. As a suggestion from Vietnam Motorcycle Tours, people with good pass dump skills must be fast but always on the right side of the road and use as few brakes as possible.
From Ha Giang to Cao Bang on the high roads: Tour details
Day 1: Ha Giang – Meo Vac
After getting out of Hanoi city, our off-road motorbike crew heads up to Ha Giang. Then we ride to Meo Vac. The distance from Ha Giang to Meo Vac is nearly 170 km. In which, the distance from Ha Giang to Dong Van is 145 km and from Dong Van to Meo Vac takes you more 30km of riding. From Ha Giang to Dong Van – Meo Vac you will go through the following locations: Ha Giang – Tam Son (Quan Ba) – Yen Minh – Tieng Pho – Pho Tiep – Sa Phin – Lung Cu intersection (Meo King’s palace) – Lung Cu flagpole – Dong Van town – Ma Phi Leng pass and Meo Vac. You can go the opposite direction as from Ha Giang to Quan Ba to Yen Minh and then Meo Vac before visiting Dong Van after that.
The scenery from Ha Giang to Quan Ba is not very special. You should spend time for the Yen Minh – Dong Van. The harder it is to ride, the nicer the scene is. Quan Ba has a road to the sky and the area to take pictures of the mountain close together. From Yen Minh go to Dong Van you will pass a famous winding pass in Lung Thau commune, then through Lung Thau to Pho Cao. On the occasion of the festival, there are many ethnic people dressed in colorful colors to enjoy here.
Continue about 10km through the house of Pao – Sung La. Now, this place is a tourist resort, always crowded with tourist cars scurrying out. About 5 km away from Dong Van is the Vuong family Palace – who once controlled the North Pole – East and North West regions, with entrance tickets. You should visit to see the grandeur and unique architecture of it. From the palace, there are two roads, one is straight to Dong Van, the other is to round the Lung Cu flag pole first, then back to Dong Van. If we arrive early, we should go to Lung Cu first, then back to Dong Van for a convenient way. The road is quite bad, many sections are strewn to make roads. At the place, you go straight up the foot of the flagpole and buy tickets to visit. About 1 kilometer from flagpole has the Lo Lom Chai village where live kind and good people. This site is sponsored by many organizations, there are kitchens, homestay night sleep. Most foreigners like to stay here.
From Dong Van to Meo Vac about 20 km, passing the Ma Pí Leng Pass is famous for its zigzag road. Stop by on the road, you can take photos and have a view of the entire Nho Que River bending between the mountains. Now they have built the scenic area below so it is safer for tourists. Meo Vac does not have many points to visit. You have to go to the market to see interesting things. There are women who sell wine in long queues, and men sit on wine tables. We will sleep at a homestay to get back strength for the next Meo Vac – Bao Lac Motorbike Tour.
Day 2: Meo Vac – Bao Lac
The Motorbike Tour Meo Vac will run through Ma Pi Leng Pass, which is considered the most majestic mountain pass of the area. Along the off-road riding road, you can also have the chance to buy the beef steak as a gift. This is a mountain specialty. It is the type of dry beef mixed with a fried egg. The taste of the dishes is also strange. Though, you can several options of cooking it as stirring it fried with onion or caramel or grilling it to drink with some beer. It is such a great thing. After eating lunch here, our motorbike tour directs to Bao Lac to get rest and prepare for the next day to Cao Bang.
We will on the single track road through Bao Lac, follow the National Highway 4B then cross the Ly Bon bridge. Then, we turn left to Highway 34. It is the low pass with local houses together with paddy fields. For some reasons, the name Cao Bang means that it is the flat road or to implies there is no rocky mountain as there is in Ha Giang. Basically, it is considered as a strangely beautiful place. It is expected that at 4.30 pm, we will arrive at Bao Lac. At here, you don’t have to worry about accommodations. The best accommodation to spend a night here is River Gam hotel. It is located right in the town. The hotel offers spacious and clean rooms. Especially, the host of the hotel is very kind and hospitable. When staying at this hotel, you can have a view overlooking the River Gam which is very beautiful. Meanwhile, the renting price is surprisingly cheap. After a long day of riding, it is time for you to get finished cleaning bath to shake off dust. Then, you can ride straight to the center of town, about 1.2 km. The center is actually a bridge, the market, with a few shops. Going downtown, you will be able to find a place offering barbecue, tasty dishes, grilled chickens and so on. The barbecue is sure to be unique here, the food is also quite good, there are chicken legs, pork,….You can serve these foods with fried rice, sticky rice cake or some salad. When night is cooling and slightly cold, having a grilling barbecue and a few bottles of beer is very refreshing. After eating, it might be 8 pm, you can choose to ride back to the market to see others specialty at Bao Lac. Or you can go back to the hotel and have sleep. Though, you should go back to bed early to prepare for the journey to Ban Gioc waterfall as well as the last day of this off-road tour.
Day 3: Bao Lac – Cao Bang
This day you will spend time riding most because the distance is going to be 250km. We will meet kilometers of bad roads. From Bao Lac to Cao Bang about 130 km, the first 30 km is fine and with the last 40 km to Cao Bang, it is the beautiful line. But for the middle section of the road, you will meet the occasional holes on road that need to avoid.
Departure at 6.30am in the morning, we schedule to eat breakfast on the way to Cao Bang. The distance from Bao Lac to Tinh Tuc is 70km, where tin mines were once active. Now, when the mine is no longer as old, the town seems to be sleeping in the hills. People are quiet, home is closed, shops are a few. We will have the chance to taste roll cakes here. Highland cakes are a kind of tortillas that are small with a few mushrooms, minced meat served with raw vegetables.
From Tinh Tuc to Nguyen Binh is more than 10 km. Starting from here to Cao Bang, there are beautiful roads, crowded houses, and no longer pass. We continue to run to Trung Khanh to Ban Gioc waterfall. From Cao Bang through Q3 highway to Quang Uyen, then we ride to the provincial road No 206 to Trung Khanh. Then turn to TL 211 road leading to Dam Thuy to reach the falls.
Leave the waterfall, ride about 2 km back on the single-track road, then turn 2km more to Nguom Ngao. In order to go to the cave, you must send the motorbike outside and walk on a small rock. You will have to climb and go through the new field to the place. The walk might take 15 minutes. The cave is both large and beautiful, there are stalactite stalks creating strange shapes that attract the viewers. You will hear the sound of streams flơing. It takes about 1 hour to walk around the cave.
Out of the cave, running about 25km back to Trung Khanh, the sun begins to descend. Tonight we will sleep in Trung Khanh. The central area of the town here is being upgraded, especially road going up the Ban Gioc waterfall. It seems that the state is investing in tourism and promotion here. Riding back to the market, there is hotel for us to stay overnight. Then we turn back to the new road to find food. You can have the hot pot steak for dinner. Or you can cross the nearby eating house to order dinner at a cheap price. After having dinner, you can then go back to the hotel to take rest or watch the movie online. It comes to the end of the trip. Next morning, we ride back to Hanoi.
– Enjoy the scenery of the mountains with tea hills, palm trees and terraced fields on the hillsides.
– A wonderful Motorbike Tour Dong Van stone plateau – Global geological park. Enjoy spectacular views from the “rock garden” or “rock forest” between the mountain ranges.
– Over the Pí Lèng Pass – one of the four great passes of the northern border region
– Admire the majestic and romantic scenery of Ban Gioc Waterfall – one of the four waterfalls which are the natural border between Vietnam and China.
– Come to Ba Be lake – a pearl in the middle of the Northeast forest, enjoy the scenery of one of the 100 most beautiful freshwater lakes on the world.