Planning to do the Ha Giang Loop in North Vietnam? This is the only guide you’ll need!
The Ha Giang motorbike loop is an unforgettable 3-day, 350km, round-trip adventure that will lead you through majestic landscapes of pinnacle limestone cliffs, deep valleys, and traditional villages.
I have put together this complete Ha Giang Loop guide from my own experience including how to get to Ha Giang, where to book a tour, the best places to stay during the trip, what to expect on the route, and much more!
QUICK ANSWERS: HA GIANG LOOP VIETNAM
Before I dive into the day-to-day Ha Giang Loop itinerary, here are some quick answers to the most frequently asked questions.
WHERE IS THE HA GIANG LOOP?
The Ha Giang Motorbike Loop is located 310 km north of Hanoi in the Ha Giang region, Vietnam.
HOW TO GET TO THE HA GIANG LOOP?
Hanoi to Ha Giang
The best way to get from Hanoi to Ha Giang is to take a minibus with a journey time of around 6.5 hours for approximately 420,000 VND ($17).
There are two departures from Ha Noi, the first bus leaves at 6:30 am arriving in Ha Giang at 1:00 pm. The second bus leaves at 3:30 pm arriving in Ha Giang at 10:00 pm.
Sapa to Ha Giang
If you are traveling from Sapa to Ha Giang, there are several transportation options available including a sleeping bus, minivan, or a private car, and the journey time is 6 hours.
Click the button below to check all departure times and book the transportation option that best suits your budget.
WHAT TO DO WHEN ARRIVING IN HA GIANG?
When you arrive, I recommend spending at least one night in Ha Giang City before embarking on the Ha Giang motorbike loop.
I recommend this because it’s likely that after a 6-hour bus journey to Ha Giang, the last thing you will want to do is jump straight into the Ha Giang Loop 3 days adventure.
Also, you will need to organize a motorbike rental and get a Ha Giang Loop map with valuable information before setting off on the loop.
WHERE CAN I BOOK A HA GIANG LOOP TOUR?
The best and most convenient way to experience Ha Giang is to book The Famous Ha Giang Loop Tour!
I always recommend booking online in advance to be guaranteed the best rates. You’ll also be able to see customer reviews, the full itinerary, and everything that’s included on the tour.
In brief, this best Ha Giang tour includes a 4-day adventure on motorbikes with a safe and experienced guide, all accommodations, meals, drinking water, authentic experiences with the locals, the Vietnam Ha Giang Loop map, and much more!
BEST HA GIANG LOOP TOUR
The best way to do the loop and make the most of your time is to join a 4-Day Ha Giang Loop Tour!
It includes the motorbike rental, meals, accommodation, an experienced guide, and all the safety gear!
- 4-day semi-automatic motorbike rental
- All fees and taxes
- Stop at Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark
- Safety equipment (helmet, gloves, knee pads, elbow pads, reflective vest, poncho, first aid kit, backpack cover, aluminum bottle)
- English-speaking guide
- 3 nights accommodation
- Minor motorbike repairs if needed during the trip (flat tire, etc.)
- Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and drinking water
HA GIANG LOOP VIETNAM BY CAR
For those who are not confident in riding a motorbike and would prefer to take a car around the loop, this is also an option.
The 3-Day Ha Giang Loop By Car Tour includes a five-seater car with an experienced driver to take you around the loop, as well as all accommodations, meals, and drinking water.
Click the button below to see customer reviews, the full itinerary, rates, and availability.
HOW TO BOOK HA GIANG LOOP – DO IT YOURSELF
If you’d prefer to do the loop on your own schedule and without a guide, this is also possible, you’ll just need to organize everything yourself when you arrive in Ha Giang such as a motorbike rental, accommodations during the trip, food, water, petrol, etc.
As I mentioned earlier, I recommend spending one night in Ha Giang before you depart on the 3-day adventure and most accommodations will likely have motorbike rental services or at least be able to point you in the right direction of where to get one.
I know that Lila Inn & Tours offers Ha Giang Loop scooter rentals and accommodation in Ha Giang, and they are known for exciting exploratory tours. Visit their website here for more info!
1/4 of Lila Inn’s tour time is customers traveling on the loop, as well as visiting hidden waterfalls, beautiful caves, and pristine villages. They also offer a free Ha Giang city tour (4:30-6:30 pm daily) to go to the market and introduce the best dining and massage places in this city.
If you are traveling with a lot of luggage, you’ll be able to leave your big bags at your accommodation and just take a small daypack on your 3-day journey.
Below is a list of scooters and motorcycles available for rent and approximately how much they cost:
- Semi-automatic scooters: $7 per day
- Automatic scooters: $9 per day
- 150cc motorcycles: $17 per day
The Most Functional Day Pack EVER!
The Nomatic 20L Travel Pack is perfect for everyday use and for those shorter 1-3 day adventures.
With 20+ innovative features and a minimalist design, this functional day pack gives you confidence for life on the move!
LOCAL TOUR OPERATOR
If you’re looking for a local tour operator in Ha Giang I recommend booking your trip with Ha Giang Epic Tour which is organized by Vietnam Cheers Hostel.
This tour is designed for adventure seekers who want to face the biggest challenge Vietnam has to offer in a safe environment with experienced guides.
It includes round-trip transportation from Hanoi or Sapa, motorbike rental and entrance fees, a 3-day/3-night tour with a guide, all accommodation, meals, and drinking water, exclusive kayaking on the Nho Que River, and more!
Visit the Ha Giang Epic Tour website to see the full itinerary, and customer reviews, and to book online in advance.
Alternatively, if you are in Hanoi, you can visit their booking office and speak with a travel consultant which is located here: 5 Au Trieu, Hoan Kiem, Old Quarter Hanoi.
WHERE TO STAY IN HA GIANG CITY?
Ha Giang City has dozens of accommodation options to choose from before and after your trip.
See my recommendations below for the best places to stay in Ha Giang City to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
LUXURY: PHOENIX HOTEL
The Phoenix Hotel features a restaurant and bar, a garden terrace, and mountain views making it the perfect place to stay before and after the Ha Giang loop tour!
There are double rooms available with spacious living, a private bathroom, free Wi-Fi, and room service. Breakfast is also included for all guests.
MID RANGE: KIKI’S HOUSE
Rated one of the best accommodations in Ha Giang, Kiki’s House features a restaurant, bar, terrace, and free wifi, and is close to nearby shops and attractions.
They have family-sized rooms, double rooms, and dorm rooms available. Kiki’s House also offers motorbike rental upon request.
Perfect place to stay for families, friends, and couples.
BUDGET: LILA INN
Lila Inn is the best budget accommodation in Ha Giang, located right in the middle of the city.
It features a big yard, hammocks, air-conditioned dorm rooms with large comfortable beds, 24/7 reception, free drinking water, free wifi, and shared bathrooms.
They also offer free transfers from the Ha Giang bus station and can help organize your bus tickets.
FOR MORE OPTIONS IN HA GIANG, SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
WHAT IS THE HA GIANG LOOP COST?
Visiting the Ha Giang Loop from Hanoi isn’t expensive, in case you decide to do it yourself, the total cost per day will be around $50 to $70 in total, depending on the motorbike and accommodation preferences.
Here’s the average Ha Giang Loop price per day:
- Motorbike rental: $7 to $17 per day
- Fuel: Around 200k VND (USD $8)
- Accommodation: $30 per night
- Ha Giang Loop Permit: $10 per motorbike
- Meals, water, snacks: Around 100k VND
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
The main thing I would like to point out here is the condition of the road on the loop in Ha Giang.
No matter what your skill level is as a rider, the roads on the loop are in excellent condition in some areas and also sketchy and dangerous in others.
I can’t stress enough to pay full attention to the road and other road users and take it slow and steady.
I also highly recommend purchasing travel insurance for this motorbike trip – safety first!
Have you got travel insurance for your trip?!
We all know accidents can happen and having Heymondo Insurance will save you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong.
Heymondo offers low-cost Travel Insurance to keep you covered on all your adventures.
There is no need to speed on the loop and be sure to make yourself known on blind corners by sounding your horn.
The weather can be very sporadic in the Ha Giang region, so be prepared to experience all the elements on your three-day adventure.
Take a rain jacket in case it downpours and warm clothing for the cool temperatures at night.
I recommend wearing a long-sleeved shirt and sunscreen when riding during the middle of the day, otherwise, your skin will get burnt to a crisp.
There are ATM machines in the bigger towns such as Ha Giang and Dong Van if you do need to take out some cash.
There are minimal petrol stations along the way so I recommend filling up your tank whenever you hit the halfway mark just to be safe.
I filled my tank twice on the trip, once in Ha Giang and once in Dong Van. I spent a total of 200,000 VND for two tanks of fuel.
HA GIANG LOOP PERMIT
In order to ride the Ha Gian Loop, you’ll need to get a permit which is pretty easy. In case you book a tour, your tour guide will organize everything including the permit.
However, if you choose to go on your own, you’ll have to stop at the Ha Giang Immigration Office, show your number plate, present your passport, and pay a $10 fee to get your permit.
Getting the Ha Gian Loop permit is a must, as hotels on the way may ask for it or you may be stopped by the police and, if you don’t have it, you’ll be taken back to Ha Giang town.
MY EXPERIENCE ON THE HA GIANG LOOP
So now that we’ve covered all the logistics and frequently asked questions, let’s dive into the Ha Giang Loop 3 day itinerary and my own experience from the trip.
DAY 1: HA GIANG LOOP
Before you take off on your extreme motorbike adventure, be sure to have a full tank of gas, plenty of drinking water, sunscreen, and closed-in shoes.
Then once you are all set up and good to ride, it’s time to hit the road and start the 3-day Ha Giang Loop!
The best and most recommended route to take is to head clockwise around the loop and make your way to Dong Van to spend the first night.
I set off from Ha Giang at 8 am and headed north into the mountains for what was the beginning of the most epic three days I have ever had.
DAY 1: CONTINUED
The distance between Ha Giang and Dong Van is 150km and it took me around six to seven hours including stops to get there.
The road started to wind higher and deeper into the pinnacle limestone mountains and after about an hour or two into the ride, I was completely mind-blown at the sight of the mysterious landscapes that were unfolding in front of my eyes around every hairpin corner.
I stopped at least ten times that morning to pull out my camera to capture the beauty of it all.
The first viewpoint I came to was Heaven’s Gate. There is a small car park here and a cafe in the clouds, perfect for a short pit stop to stretch your legs.
There are countless incredible viewpoints that can be found along the 4C main road between Ha Giang and Dong Van, it’s just a matter of cruising at a slow pace to soak it all in.
Remember, the Vietnam Loop Ha Giang is all about the scenery!
DAY 1: CONTINUED – ARRIVING IN DONG VAN
I arrived in Dong Van around 3 pm which was the perfect time to check in to my accommodation at Plum Homestay!
The cost for one night was $30 for a private double room with breakfast included.
If you’re on a tight budget and wish to stay in a hostel, click here to view all the top-rated hostels in Dong Van.
There were a few hours till sunset so I took this time to relax at the hostel and recharge my camera batteries before heading out again to shoot the sunset.
I went into the city center of Dong Van for an early dinner and then rode my motorbike to the top of a nearby mountain peak, making it just in time to watch the sun setting over the beautiful landscape.
The BEST Affordable Camera For Travel
If you’re on the hunt for a professional camera for traveling, check out the Canon G7 X Mark II.
This tiny camera fits in your pocket, captures high-quality photos and videos, and has Wi-Fi so you can instantly transfer to your phone!
DAY 2: HA GIANG MOTORBIKE LOOP
After a good night’s rest, I felt recharged and ready to continue the journey on day 2 of the adventure.
Before leaving Dong Van, I went to check out the ruins of the Don Cao French Fortress.
Don Cao is a 5-minute ride from the city center and there is a steep driveway that you can ride all the way to the top.
Don Cao sits on top of the highest limestone peak in the Dong Van district offering 360-degree views from the top.
After exploring the Don Cao French Fortress I set off in the direction of Meo Vac, a small industrial village about 40km from Dong Van.
See More: 4 Week Vietnam Itinerary
DAY 2: THE LOOP VIETNAM CONTINUED
One of the best viewpoints I found on this day was at Mai Pi Leng, just 10km outside of Dong Van.
You will see a small tea house on the corner of a sharp bend around one of the mountain peaks.
Park your motorbike at the front and walk through the tea house to a spiral staircase out the back door.
This will lead you down to a viewing platform that overlooks the impressive Song Nho Que River cutting its way through the valley and outrageous cliffs in the backdrop.
As I was driving through Meo Vac, a storm cloud started to form above me, so I stopped at a small convenience store to take shelter from the rain.
Meo Vac is an optional place to stay for the second night but it felt very industrial and not that appealing so I decided to keep on going to the next town Du Gia in Lang Cac region.
DAY 2: CONTINUED – ARRIVING IN LANG CAC (DU GIA VILLAGE)
At the end of the main road in Meo Vac, you will have to make a right-hand turn off the 4C road and onto the 176 road.
The best place to stay for the second night of the Hagiang Loop is in Du Gia, a small village at the bottom of a valley between two mountains in Lang Cac region.
The road towards Du Gia will take you over several ranges and the scenery just keeps getting more and more fascinating.
Upon arriving, I went straight to the accommodation to check-in. I personally stayed in a private king room at The Hill Homestay and can’t recommend this place enough!
The room was very comfortable and the homestay features a bar, restaurant, and swimming pool, and boasts incredible views of the mountains. Click here to check availability and rates!
If you’re on a tight budget and wish to stay in a hostel, click here to view all the top-rated hostels in Lang Cac (Du Gia).
I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at The Hill Homestay after a long 6-hour ride from Dong Van to Du Gia.
The homestay has great food at the on-site restaurant and they dished up a delicious dinner for all the guests that were staying there.
Never Lose Your Luggage Again!
DAY 3: HA GIANG LOOP TOUR
Day three started off slow for me as I knew that the last leg of the journey back to Ha Giang was only a 2.5-hour ride from Du Gia.
I had a big breakfast (which was included) and a coffee at the homestay in the morning before setting off.
Before you leave Du Gia, I highly recommend visiting the Du Gia Waterfall, a short 10-minute ride from the village.
Du Gia waterfall is very easy to find and you’ll find a dirt car park at the end of the trail where you can safely park your bike and hike along the edge of the running stream for five to ten minutes until you reach the falls.
DAY 3: CONTINUED
Before reaching the falls there are a number of rock pools and natural slides where there were a dozen local kids making the most of Mother Nature’s playground.
The local kids were showing off their skills by cliff jumping from the top of the falls into the deep rock pool below.
I spent the best part of an hour here, swimming in the freshwater pools and rock jumping with the locals!
Related Article: Best Things To Do In Ho Chi Minh City
DAY 3: CONTINUED
I departed from Du Gia waterfall to make the 2.5-hour journey back to Ha Giang and complete the extreme northern loop.
I started descending down a number of snaking roads through the mountain ranges and was low-key wishing the journey would never end.
The last 20km of the loop road before reaching Ha Giang was not the most enjoyable as they are in the process of resurfacing the road. (September 2018).
It was a bumpy, slippery, gravel road that forced me to ride at a max speed of 30km per hour. This 20km stretch of terrible road was the only bad experience I had over the three-day duration.
I arrived back in Ha Giang at around 2 pm and I decided to stay one more night in the city at The Phoenix Hotel. The following day I took a 6-hour bus ride back to Hanoi.
Of all the extreme adventures I have had on my travels, this makes it to the top of my list and I highly recommend it to all.
Plus, Ha Giang is one of the best places to visit in Northern Vietnam, so you should definitely start planning your trip.
WHAT TO PACK FOR THE HA GIANG LOOP VIETNAM
When visiting Ha Gian Loop, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you.
Must-Have Travel Essentials
Hidden Money Wallet
Keep your cash and other valuables safe with this anti-theft hidden money wallet!
Reusable Water Bottle
The GRAYL GeoPress is the best reusable bottle that allows you to purify water from anywhere!
The Nomatic Travel Backpack has 20+ innovative features, perfect for everyday use!
Quick-Dry Travel Towel
The most compact, lightweight, and quick-dry towel for traveling!
Keep your phone, laptop, and accessories charged while you’re on the go with the Anker PowerBank!
BEST VIETNAM TOURS
More Vietnam Travel Guides
Click the button below to view all articles related to Vietnam!
FINAL THOUGHTS – HA GIANG LOOP ROUTE
Before ending this guide, let me clarify that the correct name is “Ha Giang Loop” and not “Hai Giang Loop tour”, “Hajong Loop Vietnam”, “Hi Gang Loop”, “Hanoi Loop”, “Hi Giang Loop” or “Ha Long Loop”.
This will help you navigate your way better and avoid any confusion on the way.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions or Ha Giang Loop reviews, please drop me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
Search and book accommodation worldwide.
Compare and book cheap flights to anywhere.
Find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world.
Book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance.
Search all rental cars in your next destination.
Need travel insurance for your next trip?
THANKS FOR READING
Hey friend, thanks for reading this Ha Giang Loop blog!
Please know this post may contain affiliate links. When making a purchase through one of my links, I earn a small kickback at no extra cost to you and it’s a big help to keep the site up and running. Rest assured, I only promote products and services that I personally use and recommend.