Ha Giang's Hidden Treasures

Tran Van Son, an adventurous young Viet, decided to explore Ha Giang lesser traveled roads to find a one-of-a-kind experience.
December 07, 2022 | 07:58

Ha Giang is a province located in the Northeast region of Vietnam. It is also known as one of the tourist destinations appealing to both domestic and foreign visitors. Mother nature offers this place a wild landscape with a system of rivers, mountains, majestic rocky plateaus, and winding passes.

Among the many ways to explore the place, if you are an adventurous person who does not hesitate in strange corners, you can find it very enjoyable in the land of "blooming flowers on the rock".

Ha Giang's Hidden Treasures
Photo: Tran Van Son

Going to Ha Giang, Alone

Van Son is currently living and working in Hanoi. The 25-year-old has just completed a journey across Vietnam.

Spending 25 days riding his motorbike over a distance of nearly 5,700 km, Son has set foot in 30 provinces and cities across Vietnam.

"My previous job was filming. After a trip across Vietnam, I was very impressed by many beautiful regions of my country. Therefore, I decided to become a travel vlogger," said Van Son.

The 25-year-old wants to share the images of human life and cultural identities of the lands he has visited and at the same time record videos of each place.

Continuing that passion, Son decided to take an alone trip to Ha Giang, the high place of the North last November.

Ha Giang's Hidden Treasures
Photo: Tran Van Son

Conquering the white cliff

"There are many beautiful places in Ha Giang that attract a lot of people, but I wanted to find a more private, quiet space and walk to leave my footprints on the beautiful land, so I decided to conquer the white cliffs", said Son.

The white cliff is the back of a mountain at the top of Ma Pi Leng, one of the most dangerous passes in Vietnam.

According to local people, when the Road to Happiness was not built, the road along the white cliff was the main passage between Dong Van and Meo Vac. The white cliff used to be the place where the Meo King and his entourage passed and often stopped to rest. The path with stone steps leading up here has existed for a long time.

From the Museum of the Road to Happiness, Son started riding his motorbike through ​​the cliff of death, down a valley, and continued up until the observatory. After about 3 km riding a motorbike on a challenging road with cliffs on one side, and abyss on the other, Son reached the walking path to start exploring the white cliffs.

Ha Giang's Hidden Treasures
Photo: Tran Van Son

The road along the mountainside is just enough for one person to go. There are stone steps and iron fences to ensure the safety of tourists.

With the miraculous formation of geology, the white cliff area has a hollow cliff, creating enough space for a few people to camp overnight to watch the stars or catch the sunrise when they wake up.

"Going a little further, I came across beds of green local vegetables that are planted under the white cliffs, blooming and coloring the whole area yellow. In the front, there are clusters of some plants, I don't know the name, but most of them are dead have died and only one survive, so I temporarily call it a lonely tree," Son said. Van Son believed this place is the highest in the area and also the perfect spot to take the best photos.

From this height, backpackers can zoom out and see the beauty of the mountains and clouds, the Nho Que river, Tu San alley, and the group of backpackers on the Road to Happiness.

"To return, you can move all the way to the mountainside, there will be a small path leading down to the Road to Happiness, or back to the original walking point," said Van Son.

Ha Giang's Hidden Treasures
Photo: Tran Van Son

Preparation before exploring the craggy cliffs

According to Van Son, visitors need to be well-prepared before the trip. Health is the most important thing in this challenging adventure.

With the constantly changing steep terrain in Ha Giang or the walking distance as far as the stage to the white cliff, visitors need to learn thoroughly about the terrain of the area including the path. In particular, adventurers need to know about the weather and pay attention to the safety, advantages, and difficulties may encounter before setting off.

The distance to the cliff is quite far, besides drinking water and snacks, the carry-on items should be as compact as possible. Tourists should also prepare comfortable clothing that is enough stretch for ease of movement. The lightweight waterproof windbreaker jacket is ideal for foggy weather. Grip sole sports shoes will be suitable for trekking in slippery and difficult terrain.

In addition, if you plan to spend the night in this area, you need to prepare warm clothes as well as tents, camps, and personal belongings.

It should be noted that littering, name engraving, writing or drawing on the cliffs are forbidden.

"We come here to enjoy the beauty of nature, don't take anything but beautiful photos and videos and leave nothing but footprints," said Son.

Ha Giang's Hidden Treasures
Photo: Tran Van Son

Break the limit to go wherever you want

"Traveling is a way to help me refresh my soul and inspire my work," the 25-year-old shared.

With Son, the most interesting thing in every trip is not only enjoying nature, learning more about the nation's culture and history, but also having the opportunity to meet and talk to many new friends on the roads.

Although they were strangers at first, their common interests brought them closer. Each person has their own story, and that is how the young man finds newness and positive energy for himself.

We all carry within us curiosity and discovery. If possible, take the time to schedule a trip to explore Ha Giang or any other wonderful places across Vietnam. Whether it’s a long or short journey, you will definitely love this beautiful country much more.

Ha Giang's Hidden Treasures
Photo: Tran Van Son
Ha Giang's Hidden Treasures
Photo: Tran Van Son
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