Majestic, poetic Ha Giang attractive to visitors hinh anh 1Ma Pi Leng – one of the four most spectacular passes in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The northwestern mountainous province of Ha Giang, home to more than 20 ethnic minority groups with unique cultural identities and festivals, has long been an attractive destination for tourists and explorers.

Ha Giang is loved by visitors for its untouched, majestic and poetic landscapes with rocky massive mountains, terraced rice fields that paint the valleys with yellow colour in harvest season and mirror the sky colours in the sowing season.

The northernmost locality is rich in culture diversification with more than 20 ethnic minority groups and their traditional practices and festivals.

The land also owns various historical relic sites and landscapes such as the Heaven’s Gate and Quan Ba twin mountains (Quan Ba district); the Vuong family palace and Lung Cu national flagpole (Dong Van district); Ma Pi Leng Pass (Meo Vac district); Tien waterfall – Gio pass and the ancient rock field of Nam Dan (Xin Man district); and Quang Ngan mineral stream in Vi Xuyen district.

In 2010, the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark was recognized as the first Global UNESCO Geopark of Vietnam and the second in Southeast Asia after the Langkawi of Malaysia.

In 2012, the terraced rice fields in Hoang Su Phi were also recognized as the national relic site and a national intangible heritage in 2015, giving Ha Giang more valuable tourism resources.

Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark

According to UNESCO, most of the Dong Van Karst Plateau’s surface is limestone (about 60 percent). Its landscape is spectacular and unique with high mountains and deep canyons. The highest peak is Mieu Vac Mount (1971m) while Tu San is the deepest canyon (700-800 m deep).

The geopark is located at an extension foot mount East of the Himalayas. Geoheritages date from the Cambrian (about 550 million years ago) to the present in seven different stages and include palaeobiology, stratigraphy, geomophology, tectonics, karst, caves and also important faults. The geology in this UNESCO Global Geopark reflects important events in the Earth's history.

The geopark has two natural conservation areas rich in fauna and flora species such as conifers, Asian black bear, Southern serow (a solitary mountain goat) and many species of bird. Moreover, the unusual and mysterious Tonkin snub-nosed monkey is one of the 25 most endangered species of primate in the world. It is only found in Ha Giang province and was believed extinct until its rediscovery in the early 1990s.

UNESCO’s recognition has created new opportunities for socio-economic development in Ha Giang and four districts in the karst plateau area in particular.

Visiting the site in October and November, visitors will have the chance to enjoy the beauty of buckwheat flower blossoming season.

Hoang Su Phi terraced rice fields

Along with the Dong Van Karst Plateau, Hoang Su Phi terraced rice fields are also among the tourist attractions of Ha Giang.

They cover 11 communes in the northern province: San Sa Ho, Ho Thau, Nam Ty, Thong Nguyen, Ta Su Choong, Ban Nhung, Po Lo, Thang Tin, Nam Khoa, Ban Luoc, and Ban Phung. They soar to their highest points in last two mentioned.

The fields are estimated to have been cut into the mountainside around 300 years ago by the La Chi, Dao and Nung ethnic groups.

Majestic, poetic Ha Giang attractive to visitors hinh anh 2Hoang Su Phi terraced rice fields (Photo: VNA)

During the harvest season the Hoang Su Phi terraces shine like gold, attracting many tourists and photographers and helping the poverty-stricken Ha Giang develop its tourism.  

There are two routes to Hoang Su Phi from Hanoi, one through Tuyen Quang province and the other through Lao Cai province, both around 300 kilometers long.

With the above advantages, for years, Ha Giang has focused on developing various types of tourism to attract tourists, including the establishment of cultural, community-based tourism sites and homestays.

To optimise its strengths and potential, Ha Giang has developed new types of tourism such as ecotourism, adventure tourism, resort tourism, and tours to historical and cultural relics and festivals. It aims to make tourism a spearhead economic sector in 2030, making Ha Giang a key national tourist hub./.