Here is a quick easy reference map that shows you how to get to Ha Giang Province. There are several choices to make and no route is THE route. Everything depends on your situation.
The chances are that you will be travelling to Ha Giang from any of these four places: Hanoi, Lao Cai, Cao Bang or Ba Be.
Your choice here is not really about which route to take but more like ‘how many days shall I take? ‘ If you take one day, it will be a long ride, 300km, and it will take all day. It’s a long ride for anyone. You can break the trip up by stopping off around halfway. You have two choices for this:
Vu Linh Village on the shores of Thac Ba Lake
Green Vietnam set on a secluded hill a way off the main road.
From Lao Cai
Here you have two choices. The first is whether or not to take the border route past Si Ma Cai or the main road route. The second is whether to take one day or two for this section.
If you choose the border route you have the option of stopping over in Vinh Quang, Hoang Su Phi or even scaling Kiou Leou Ti Mountain. That is certainly worthwhile as the area is very beautiful and there are few people.
Be Warned ! you may see a route that looks to take you up to the chinese border gate Thanh Thuy. It is a very tough route and impassable at many times of the year.
Main Road Route
If you choose the main road route, there are a couple of places to stop off but the most likely is Viet Quang. There is nothing much there but you will find food and lodging easily enough.
From Cao Bang
It is more likely that you will be heading for Meo Vac if you are coming in to Ha Giang province from Cao Bang. The first part of the journey to both places is the same.
Main Road Route
You head out of Cao Bang on the QL34 and stay on it. The 34 is a great road with great twists and turns and beautiful views. It is a very enjoyable ride.
The Back Road Route
This is a more difficult route to ride and there are some tricky sections. You will skirt very close the border with China. Ask the locals before you take this route.
From Ba Be
Ba Be is a great destination for tourists and there is a lot to do. It may look a bit too out of the way for you, if you are heading to Ha Giang but there are compelling reasons to go there.
There are three choices here and which you make will depend on your skill and confidence level.
The easier route is more highway and takes you through a lot of small towns on the DT187. It may seem easier but staying on track is the tricky part. You will need to ask regularly for directions.
The next route is trickier to find and follow in certain parts. You need to either drive around the lake or take a boat across it to the top end. Then you head over to Na Hang where you follow teh Gam River up until you hit the QL2 and cruise into Ha Giang. Again, you’ll need to ask for directions regularly.
The trickiest route of all starts again with the choice or going around or over the lake. But, this time before you get to Na Hang you need to swing North before the Na Hang bridge and head for Bac Me. Once there, it is a very easy drive along the QL34 into Ha Giang.
It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey.by Someone
Well, as corny as it sounds, it’s true. Many of you have been focusing on Ha Giang, what it will be like, where you can go when you are there, what you can do when you are there. Perhaps, you should think about the way there and what great times you can have. Don’t waste one or two days ‘getting there’. Use them well to get to some interesting places and meet some interesting people.
Drive Safely. Have fun.Vietnomad