Ha Giang, Vietnam’s northernmost province, is renowned for its numerous dangerous mountain passes. With a mythical combination of conical limestone peaks and deep, craterous valleys, this mountainous region is probably the most striking in the country. Passes hugging cliff-faces high above roaring rivers and back roads threading through forests of limestone pinnacles make it ideal terrain for exploration by motorbike. Driving through these passes, bikers can admire the pastel pink and white of peach blossom gardens, the lush green of pine forests, and the yellow of flower fields. The best time to travel to Ha Giang is in the spring and autumn, when the weather is warm, colours are bright, and rainfall is light, as it can get bitterly cold during the winter months.
The region can be separated into three highland tourist routes:
- Ha Giang - Quan Ba - Yen Minh - Dong Van - Meo Vac. This is the most popular stretch of road among tourists and passes through most of the main sights.
- Dong Van - Meo Vac - Xin Cai - Son Vi. This is the most difficult road, where the Ma Pi Leng Pass comes down from its peak to the Nho Que River then runs through the remote communes of Xin Cai and Son Vi, on the border with China.
- Meo Vac - Mau Due - Du Gia - Bac Me. This is the road that explorers can only take on by motorbike and is very popular among backpackers for its majestic landscape.