Dong Van Karst Plateau
Ruby Le

Ruby Le

Ruby Le's keen on travelling and exploring undiscovered places in Vietnam,
love to share travel experiences, photos, writing article after every trips.

Dong Van Karst Plateau

Located approximately 300km away from Hanoi, the Dong Van karst plateau stands as a captivating tourist spot, drawing visitors who seize the chance to explore Ha Giang. With its untouched charm, the Dong Van stone plateau resembles a picturesque “gray paradise” nestled amidst the beautifully adorned landscapes of our beloved nation.

How to Make Dong Van karst plateau is special?

The Global Geopark Network (GGN) Advisory Board of UNESCO officially acknowledged the “Dong Van Rock Geological Park” profile on October 3, 2010, designating it as a Global Geopark. This remarkable achievement marked Vietnam’s first and Southeast Asia’s second Global Geopark.

Dong Van Karst Plateau

Embarking on a challenging 150km journey through treacherous mountain passes, travelers reach the enchanting Hun Smoking Area. On the other side, amidst the mist, lies the awe-inspiring Dong Van stone plateau, revealing its grandeur with perilous bends and captivating vistas.

Nestled at an average altitude of 1000 – 1600m above sea level, the Dong Van karst plateau extends across four districts of Ha Giang province: Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Meo Vac, and Dong Van. Recognized by the GGN Global Geological Park Network’s Advisory Council, this unique limestone region holds significant geological imprints and showcases extraordinary natural phenomena and aesthetic landscapes. It boasts remarkable biodiversity and preserves ancient cultural traditions of local communities. In 2010, it was granted the esteemed title of a Global Geopark.

When spring arrives, Dong Van stone plateau transforms into a breathtaking spectacle. The vibrant yellow hues of mustard flowers blanket the mountains and hills, while crimson peach petals and pure white plum blossoms adorn the moss-covered rooftops, enhancing the plateau’s exquisite beauty.

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Embarking on a winding 100km journey along zigzag roads, travelers are treated to a captivating sight: on one side, limestone mountains stand tall, while on the other side, a picturesque valley unfolds. As the dimness lifts, the wild and majestic scenery of Dong Van Plateau emerges, shrouded in mesmerizing clouds of mist, leaving visitors truly overwhelmed by its grandeur.

Perched atop Ma Pi Leng pass, one of Vietnam’s most breathtaking routes, a remarkable sight awaits. The Nho Que River flows like a ribbon of azure silk, gracefully traversing the mountains, infusing the landscape with life and poetry. From the cliff houses perched precariously on rocky mountains, belonging to the Mong people, to the terraced fields that stretch along the slopes, Dong Van stone plateau reveals its stunning beauty, surprising all who behold it.

Currently, the Dong Van Karst Plateau is home to over 250,000 people, representing 17 ethnic minorities. These communities comprise 90% of the region’s population, with the Mong people accounting for a staggering 70%, totaling 230,000 individuals. This region boasts the highest concentration of Mong people in the entire country.

Experience the adventure of a lifetime with Ha Giang off-road tours! Discover the wonders of Dong Van karst plateau and indulge in a remarkable holiday in Ha Giang, far away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Immerse yourself in the perfect blend of nature and culture as you embark on this unforgettable journey. Book your tour now and create lasting memories in the captivating landscapes of Ha Giang!

Hmong in Dong Van Karst Plateau

Embark on a Ha Giang trip to uncover the unforgettable wonders of the unspoiled and majestic “gray paradise” known as the Dong Van Karst Plateau. Prepare to be captivated by the pristine beauty of this remarkable destination as you explore the great land of our country, creating memories that will last a lifetime. Get ready for an extraordinary journey filled with unforgettable experiences in the enchanting Dong Van Karst Plateau!

When is the best time to visit Dong Van Karst Plateau?

The best time to visit Dong Van Karst Plateau is during the months of September to November and March to May. During these periods, the weather is generally pleasant with mild temperatures and less rainfall, providing ideal conditions for exploring the plateau’s stunning landscapes. The spring season (March to May) offers the added beauty of blooming flowers, while the autumn season (September to November) treats visitors to vibrant foliage and clear skies. However, it’s worth noting that Dong Van Karst Plateau can be visited throughout the year, each season offering its own unique charm and attractions.

How to get to Dong Van Karst Plateau?

To reach Dong Van Karst Plateau, there are several transportation options available:

  1. By Air: The nearest major airport is Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. From there, From these airports, you can arrange further transportation to Dong Van Karst Plateau.
  2. By Bus: Buses operate from Hanoi to Ha Giang City, which is the gateway to Dong Van Karst Plateau. The journey takes approximately 7-9 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions. From Ha Giang City, you can hire a local guide or take a taxi or motorbike to explore the plateau.
  3. By Motorbike: Many adventurous travelers choose to ride motorbikes from Hanoi to Dong Van Karst Plateau. The route offers stunning scenery but can be challenging due to winding mountain roads. It’s important to have experience riding a motorbike and ensure you have proper safety gear and navigation tools.
  4. By Private Car: Hiring a private car or taxi from Hanoi to Dong Van Karst Plateau is another option. This provides convenience and comfort, especially for those who prefer not to drive themselves. You can arrange the transportation through travel agencies or car rental services.

Once you arrive in Dong Van Karst Plateau, it’s advisable to have a local guide knowleadable from Oigin Travel or map to explore the area, as some roads may be challenging to navigate. Additionally, consider checking road conditions and weather forecasts before embarking on your journey, as the mountainous terrain can be affected by changes in weather.

Top things to do & activities in Dong Van Karst Plateau?

  1. Explore Dong Van Old Quarter: Wander through the historic streets of Dong Van Old Quarter and admire the well-preserved traditional houses and cultural heritage of the local people.
  2. Visit Lung Cu Flag Tower: Journey to the northernmost point of Vietnam and climb the Lung Cu Flag Tower for panoramic views of the surrounding karst landscapes and bordering China.
  3. Conquer Ma Pi Leng Pass: Experience the thrill of traversing one of the most spectacular mountain passes in Vietnam, Ma Pi Leng Pass. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Nho Que River snaking through the deep valleys below.
  4. Discover Ethnic Minority Markets: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of ethnic minority markets, such as Dong Van Market and Meo Vac Market. Interact with local hill tribe communities, sample traditional food, and browse unique handicrafts.
  5. Trekking and Hiking: Embark on scenic trekking or hiking trails that wind through the picturesque landscapes of the plateau. Explore terraced fields, limestone formations, and remote ethnic minority villages, immersing yourself in the natural beauty and cultural diversity.
  6. Visit Dong Van Rock Plateau Geopark: Learn about the geological significance of the area by visiting the Dong Van Rock Plateau Geopark, recognized as a UNESCO Global Geopark. Discover fascinating rock formations, fossil sites, and ancient geological formations.
  7. Homestay Experience: Stay in a local homestay and immerse yourself in the traditional lifestyle and customs of the ethnic minority communities. Engage in cultural exchanges, participate in cooking lessons, and enjoy warm hospitality.
  8. Witness the Beauty of Flower Seasons: If you visit during the spring season, witness the captivating beauty of blooming flowers, including the vibrant yellow mustard flowers that blanket the hillsides and add a touch of color to the plateau.
  9. Sample Local Cuisine: Indulge in the flavors of the region by trying local dishes, such as thang co (a traditional stew), corn wine, and unique specialties from different ethnic groups.
  10. Photography Opportunities: Capture the stunning landscapes, unique architecture, and colorful ethnic costumes through your lens. The Dong Van Karst Plateau offers endless photography opportunities for nature, cultural, and portrait photography enthusiasts.

Recommend tour itineraries to Dong Van Karst Plateau

3-Day Cultural Exploration:

  • Day 1: Arrive in Ha Giang City and transfer to Dong Van Karst Plateau. Visit Dong Van Old Quarter and explore the local markets. Overnight in a homestay.
  • Day 2: Explore the geological wonders of the Dong Van Rock Plateau Geopark. Visit the Lung Cu Flag Tower and Ma Pi Leng Pass for stunning views. Trek to ethnic minority villages and learn about their traditions and customs. Overnight in a homestay.
  • Day 3: Continue exploring the plateau, visiting remote villages and enjoying scenic hikes. Experience local cuisine and cultural exchanges. Depart for Ha Giang City in the afternoon.

5-Day Adventure and Nature:

  • Day 1: Arrival in Ha Giang City and transfer to Dong Van Karst Plateau. Visit Dong Van Old Quarter and enjoy a local meal. Overnight in a homestay.
  • Day 2: Embark on an adventurous motorbike ride along Ma Pi Leng Pass, capturing breathtaking views and stopping at scenic spots. Overnight in a homestay.
  • Day 3: Trek through the stunning landscapes of the plateau, exploring terraced fields and ethnic minority villages. Overnight camping in the wilderness.
  • Day 4: Continue the trek, discovering hidden waterfalls and limestone formations. Visit Lung Cu Flag Tower and witness the border area. Overnight in a homestay.
  • Day 5: Explore more ethnic minority markets, interact with local communities, and savor traditional cuisine. Depart for Ha Giang City in the afternoon.

For details 5 days tour in Ha Giang click here

2-Day Highlights:

  • Day 1: Depart from Ha Giang City to Dong Van Karst Plateau. Visit Dong Van Old Quarter and the Dong Van Rock Plateau Geopark. Enjoy scenic drives and photo stops along the way. Overnight in a local guesthouse.
  • Day 2: Explore Ma Pi Leng Pass and the Nho Que River, taking in the breathtaking views. Visit ethnic minority markets and interact with local people. Return to Ha Giang City in the afternoon.

These itineraries can be customized based on your preferences and time constraints. It’s recommended to hire a local guide or join a reputable tour operator to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience in Dong Van Karst Plateau.

It’s great for

Adventure lover, Photographer, so lo traveler, young people

Capture the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cultures of Ha Giang with our Ha Giang photography tours. Join us at Origin Travel, a trusted tour operator, as we curate an exceptional journey through the enchanting Dong Van Karst Plateau. Let our professional photographers and experienced guides lead you to the most photogenic spots, while immersing you in the local culture. Book your photography tour now and embark on a memorable adventure that will elevate your photography skills and create lifelong memories in this captivating region.

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