"The last 15km to Dong Van is an extraordinary ride through limestone pylons, each one casting a sinister shadow over the deep valley. The road is
chiselled out of the mountains, gripping to the side of rocky cliffs. Sometimes there are no barriers; it feels like flying. But drive carefully, especially in the rain, because it’d only take a slight skid on a corner for you and your bike to plunge hundreds of feet into the valley. All along this road there are women and girls – from as young as 10 to as old as 80 – carrying heavy loads of wood, hay, and crops over their backs. The bodies of the older women have been permanently distorted, so that their backs are almost at right angles to their legs, even when walking unburdened.".
Dong Van Town......
Dong Van - is a district located near the Chinese-Vietnamese border, in the province of Ha Giang. Dong Van is also the small capital and the district has the same name. Dong Van is an ideal place for hiking and mountaineering, where the grandiose mountains can challenge your mind. There are breathtaking landscapes, encounters with the local ethnic minorities, and you can learn from the stories of their lives, which are nowhere to be found in the world. The remote Dong Van Karst Plateau is one of the most beautiful landscapes of Vietnam.
Old Town is located in the middle of the valley, surrounded by rocks. The district was formed in the early 20th century and it has only a few H'mong, Tay and Chinese families. Gradually, more and more other local residents. The oldest house is the house of Luong family, which was built around 1860. The common architecture here is the two-story home and the yin and yang roofs. The lifestyle and the daily life of the ethnic people such as the Kinh, Tay, Mong, Hoa ... is very impressive.
Dong Van market is held every Sunday. You can get the local products of the Mong Han, Dao, Giay and Tay buy. To reach the market on time, the market vendors and visitors have to get up very early in the morning and leave their home, or even leave their home a day earlier.
Further north is Lung Cu
If you are traveling to the north (Don Van) you have in Ha Giang buy a "Permit To Enter The Border Area". You can buy a permit at the Immigration Department Ha Giang (Ha Giang Immigration Office}, but very often regulated by the receptionists at your hotel.
The process to get your license in Ha Giang is super easy. First you walk to the Immigration Service and you walk to the counter. If you are a westerner, the staff will immediately see that you will buy a license for the north. The cost is about 10 Euro.
The most famous rocky area of the province is the Dong Van Rock Plateau, which has been named by UNESCO as one of the 77 geological parks in the world. The hamlet Lung Cu is located on the the Dong Van Rock Plateau and this is an indispensable destination. Here, it's the most northern tip of Vietnam and it is marked with a big flag on a tower on the Dragon Mountain. Ha Giang is also a meeting place of jagged caves, such as Thien Phuong Cave, Chui Cave, Fairy Cave and Cave Swallow. Although all caves have fantastic shapes of stalactites, each cave has has its own story. For example, tells a legend, the fairies took a bath in Fairy flow inside the Fairy Cave.
The best visiting time is between September and November.
The long and windy road...
Mint honey is a special honey, only in Dong Van karst plateau global geopark. This kind of honey has delicate taste of mint, much more light sweetness than other honey.
Corn wine in Hagiang is cooked from the unique material which is planted in the terraced field of Hmong people – corn. Corn is fermented by a special ferment made from the more than 30 different leaves and herbs in the forest. This is traditional fermented method so you will feel the sweet and scent of corn. The corn wine are always be served together with other traditional food such as: Thang Co, Pho, Steamed Rice Flour (Banh Cuon) in daily meals or in special occasions such as meeting friends, weddings or funerals. You can taste corn wine for free and buy in every local market.