Australian Newspaper Gives Useful Tips For Driving Ha Giang Loop In Vietnam
The author outlined that her group curled their way high above the rivers on rocky, dusty country roads, clinging to the edge of cliff faces and threading their way through limestone pinnacles and picturesque green fields of rice.
She pointed out that the 350-kilometer loop road, is hugely popular among adventure travelers, although it is still considered to be an off-the-beaten-track experience, due to its position in the remote north of the country.
|Photo: Lily's Travel Agency|
Winding through some of the most breathtaking scenery throughout southeast Asia, it is famous as a motorbike ride as it enables travelers to connect closely with the landscape and the thrill of continuous narrow and snaking bends.
She described the loop as an exhilarating rush to ride open to the elements, enjoying the challenging terrain and stunning landscape. Every mountain village along the way welcomed the group with warmth, offering fun interactions with the locals and a chance to experience both local food and customs.
She also proposed numerous ways for visitors to complete the Ha Giang loop by booking tours or riding solo on a semi-automatic motorbike.
|Photo: Vietnam's Coracle|
The author suggested that travelers book a trip to ride as a passenger behind a friend, or alternatively choose the most popular ‘easy-rider’ option, which allows them to sit on the back of the bike, enjoying the scenery, while an experienced local takes care of the driving.
She revealed that QT Motorbikes and Tours, Ha Giang have a good reputation for new bikes, whilst encouraging travelers to undergo a trial ride before renting.
She also recommended that visitors time off the motorbike to enjoy a leisurely boat ride along the Nho Que River, a turquoise and winding stream that cuts its scenic path between sheer limestone cliffs. In addition, washing off the dust with a swim at Du Bia waterfall is also a particularly refreshing activity.
|Photo: Life of Doing|
Her group was hugely impressed by the local cuisine as they enjoy breakfasts and dinners with local homestay owners, stopping for lunches along the loop and ordering an array of authentic and delicious local foods each day. Popular Vietnamese dishes include Banh Mi, Pho, Bun cha, and Banh xeo, accompanied by ‘Happy Water’, the local rice wine, she said.
This 350-kilometer loop road, named because the route flows in a circle from Ha Giang township, through the Ha Giang province and back again, is hugely popular with adventure travelers, although still considered an off-the-beaten-track experience, due to its position in the remote north of the country, on the border with China. Winding through some of the most breathtaking scenery in South-East Asia, it is famous as a motorbike ride, enabling travelers to connect closely with the landscape and the thrill of continuous narrow, snaking bends.
The region is home to traditional ethnic groups such as the Hmong people, which you can see going about their daily lives in the mountains as you ride through. You will experience Vietnamese culture like nowhere else here as it’s common to bunk in homestays and eat dinner with families, according to Mad or Nomad.
|Photo: Vietnam Chronicles|
For an exhilarating solo adventure, many providers hire out the manual or semi-automatic bikes required to do the loop. Semi-automatic means that a gear-shifting foot lever provides the power needed for the ride but without the hassle of a clutch. This gives you the freedom to ride at your own pace and enables you to book your choice of homestays along the way, carrying just a small backpack with your essentials. Most companies will store your luggage free of charge until your return.
Keep in mind that an international driver’s license is technically required (but not always enforced) to drive a motorbike in Vietnam, but in the absence of one, it is not uncommon for solo travelers to incur fines from police at checkpoints along the loop. When renting a bike, be sure to check the reputation of the company and the condition of the bike. QT Motorbikes and Tours, Ha Giang, for instance, has a good reputation for new bikes, and they encourage you to trial ride before renting.
A border province and official Frontier Area, Ha Giang lies in the remote far northern region of the country. To visit this province is to journey back in time and encounter some of Vietnam’s most rugged and grand landscapes. Ha Giang is best experienced as a road trip on two wheels, soaking up the majesty of the landscape and the atmosphere of the remote towns and minority villages.
|Photo: Vietnam Coracle|
September through November is a good time to visit this remote province, with cooler temperatures. In November, Ha Giang is hugely popular during the Buckwheat Flower Festival. April to June is pleasant and warm, and July and August can be very hot with regular monsoons.
The small city of Ha Giang is the gateway to the province and is approximately 300km from Hanoi. Buses run day and night from the capital, ranging from sleepers to smaller VIP mini-vans. Depending on the vehicle and driver, the journey there takes around six hours. Public transport around Ha Giang Province is limited. Experienced drivers can rent a motorcycle in town. Another option is to book a tour either on the back of a motorbike or by private car.
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