Ha Giang Loop - a three day motorbike tour
Updated: Dec 12, 2019
While doing our researches regarding Vietnam, we came across the "Ha Giang Loop" - we actually never heard about it before, but we are so lucky, we do now!
If you are still not sure about doing the loop or not - we can just tell you to go for it! Especially before the mass tourism will arrive...
We had the most breathtaking views ever! We don't want to lie, it's a really tough drive and your body will hurt like crazy afterwards - but it's absolutely worth it!
What is the Ha Giang Loop?
It is a motorbike loop around Ha Giang, Vietnam's northernmost province bordering China.
The length of the loop is about 350 - 420 km and you can complete it in about 3 - 4 days.
The streets are mostly easy accessible and nice to drive on, if you stick to the recommended route ;) (Luckily) we took a wrong turn at the end, which turned out to be one of the most scenic views we had while driving the route!
How to get to Ha Giang?
We took the sleeper bus from Hanoi to Ha Giang, it takes about 6 - 8 hours and is not really comfortable ;) You have the option to book the bus/van that runs during the daytime, which we would probably now choose, even though it's a bit more expensive.
The bus is about 12 € per person. You can book it online or in a travel agency, which we did as it wasn't really a price difference and it's nice to have someone you can talk to and rely on.
Where to stay in Ha Giang?
When arriving in Ha Giang you have three options.
Usually the bus company offers you to sleep in the bus until 6.30 am, so you can start right in the morning with the loop.
We decided to book a hotel room for a night and start on the next day with enough sleep, which totally was the right decision.
We slept at the QT Homestay (no advertisement, self-paid ;) - and it was a good place for one night, even though the beds were super hard! (typical vietnamese style..)
If you book your motorbike with them, they allow you to sleep for free in a dorm until 6.30 am, so this could be another option, if you want to start the loop right away.
Renting a motorbike in Ha Giang
We did rent our motorbikes with QT as well, their rental is next to the hotel and they were really nice and helpful.
Costs for the motorbike are: 200.000 Dong per day + 100 Dong insurance per day (optional)
They usually offer you a "special discount", so it will only be 160.000 Dong per day ;)
The bike we got was ok, it had a low engine, so sometimes we had problems getting up the hills, which was a bit annoying.
Julian has never driven a motorbike before, he has a scooter at home and he used to drive it every day. It was no problem for him to drive the semi automatic motorbike. But that's something you really have to consider, you have to be a safe driver, because the roads can be tricky and we heard about a lot of accidents, that happened there.
Ha Giang - Dốc Bắc Sum Pass - Tam Sơn - Heavens Gate - Fairy Hills - Lao va Chau Ricefields - Yên Minh - Đồng Văn
Ha Giang is the capitol city of the province, that's where you will start and end your trip.
On the first day we planned to stay in Yen Minh, but we actually made it already to Dong Van and stayed at the Dong Van Ba Hotel, which was a really nice little hotel.
Our room rate was including dinner and breakfast. They offer a "family style dinner", which means you will eat on a table with all the other guests and the employees of the hotel. You will have a little buffet on your table, with really good food and lots of vegetarian options as well.
Đồng Văn - Lũng Cú - Mã Pí Lèng Pass - Mèo Vạc
After we slept really well, cuddled with the hotel owners puppies and had a nice little breakfast we started the next day of our trip.
On the way to the Lung Cu Flagpoint you have the opportunity not only to encounter more gorgeous views, but to head all the way north to the Vietnam-China border. It was a really foggy morning, which made this ride really mysterious.
Next stop was the Ma Pi Leng Pass - one of the hostel employees in Ha Giang already told us, that this is a 10 out of 10, so we were really excited about this spot! And what should we say? The views were amazing and he was totally right!
On this day we actually planned to go to Du Gia, but as the weather conditions got really bad again, we had to stop at around 3 pm in Meo Vac.
Meo Vac is a small little village with some restaurants and stores. Nothing really special, but totally fine for the afternoon. We stayed at Little Yen's Homestay in a huge twin bed room in fancy purple colors and a shared bathroom. We can definitely recommend this place for one night.
Mèo Vạc - Lũng Phìn - Sủng Trái - La Si Pass - Du Già - Na Sa - Coc Lang - Ha Giang
The last day of our trip started with a sunny morning, after it was raining heavily during the night.
The plan was to stay in Du Gia, but as we arrived there we didn't really like the "vibes" - mostly shared rooms, which we really try to avoid.
There are some waterfalls to bath in, but thanks to all the rain the days before the water looked a bit muddy and not really inviting to us.
So we decided to go to Ha Giang on the same day. The advised route is to go back to Tam Son and from there to Ha Giang, as here are the best street conditions.
There is another route via Coc Lang, which is about 1,5 - 2 hours faster. As it was already 3 pm and we wouldn't have made it before it got dark back to Ha Giang, we chose the quicker route.
We completely forgot about the guy from the motorbike rental, that told us: "You don't want to drive on the road, seriously you don't" After about an hour on rocky, steep and curvy roads we understood what he was talking about ;)
The views we had on this drive were amazing, we passed small village with soo many rice fields, waterfalls and nice people along the way greeting us - which made definitely up for the circumstances.
Back in Ha Giang we were totally exhausted, but decided to take the sleeper bus back to Hanoi on the same evening anyway.
We were allowed to take a shower in the dorm of the QT Hostel, which really was a blessing after all the hours on the motorbike. (Usually the charge 15.000 Dong per person, but we asked the owner of the hostel and rental nicely, and we were allowed to shower for free)