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Dong Van tourism handbook

Dong Van district has two towns, Dong Van and Pho Bang, and 17 communes, such as Ta Phin, Xa Phin, Pho Cao, Sung La, Van Chai, Lung Phin, and Ma Le. This northernmost point of Vietnam is often the place to stop for tourists when coming to Ha Giang because typical local destinations are concentrated here. Dong Van's topography is quite complicated. Mostly rocky mountains are divided, creating many deep pools with an average height of 1,500 m above sea level.


Dong Van is located in the monsoon climate with a distinct continental character. The average rainfall is large, about 1,750 mm-2,000 mm, from May to October. The dry season is from November to April next year. The average annual temperature is about 20 degrees Celsius. When the coldest can be down to 1-2 degrees, the hottest time is nearly 40 degrees Celsius. The air humidity is about 84%. In Dong Van, there is also frost and sometimes snow in winter.


Dong Van is 150 km north of Ha Giang city. From the city, tourists travel along Highway 4C and can use many vehicles, of which the most popular are motorbikes, self-driving cars, rented cars or passenger cars... Travel time is about 3-5 languages, depending on the medium.

In Dong Van town, visitors can rent motorbikes for about 100,000 VND daily.


Dong Van has many places to stay, from guesthouses, homestays to big hotels. Among these, homestays have the largest number, scattered from the town center to communes, such as Hagiang Holic, Plum Homestay, Dong Van Cliffside House, Dong Van H'Mong Homestay, Dong Van B&B, and Khoi Home. The price per night ranges from 400,000 VND to 1 million VND per room or 100,000 VND to 250,000 VND for a mattress in a dorm or a stilt house in a homestay.

The hotel has Hoa Cuong Hotel, Hoang Van, Hoang Ngoc, and Ma Pi Leng Hotel... with an average price of 400,000 to 1 million VND per night.

Where to play?

Dong Van Old Town

Located in the core zone of Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark, Dong Van Old Town is a destination to be noticed. The old town is in the center, formed over 100 years ago. Previously, this area was just a wild valley, sparsely populated. At the end of the 19th century, the neighborhood was gradually formed. When Looking down from above, Dong Van's old town is three rows of houses arranged in a U shape, roofed with yin and yang tiles, including houses and commercial areas of a small scale but with unique features bearing the identity of the rocky plateau.

Visitors should be aware of the Old Quarter cafe located at the corner of Dong Van central market, in a house that is more than 100 years old, leaning on the mountain.

Tham Ma Slope

Tham Ma slope is a pass located on National Highway 4C, adjacent to Yen Minh and Dong Van districts. The slope is one of the most dangerous roads in the North, 5 km long with 9 winding turns. For this reason, many people like to conquer the Tham Ma slope. Stopping here, where there is a very good photo angle, you will have the opportunity to hear many legends about this slope.

Vuong's mansion

The mansion of the Vuong Dynasty in Sa Phin commune, built in the early twentieth century, simulates the architecture of the Qing Dynasty (China), according to the website of Ha Giang province. The house took 8 years to complete, located on a land of 1,120 m2. The mansion is shaped like a tortoise shell with rows of tall agarwood trees. Two round walls are built of stone, with holes for apricots and soup booths. The palace has three houses on stilts. The main house faces the gate; two outbuildings are parallel and perpendicular to the main house. All three houses, from columns, trusses, floors, walls, and roofs, are made of precious wood.

The Vuong house is located next to Highway 4C on the way from Ha Giang City to Dong Van, 13 km from the center of Dong Van town. 1993 Vuong's mansion was recognized as a national architectural and artistic relic.

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Nho Que River

Nho Que River originates from Yunnan, China, and flows in the northwest-southeast direction through Dong Van and Meo Vac districts in Ha Giang province to join the Gam River in Cao Bang. The Nho Que River flows into Vietnam 46 km long, from Lung Cu through Tu San Gorge and then along the Ma Pi Leng pass. A special feature of the river is that most of the year, the water is turquoise. In recent years, local tour companies have offered sightseeing boat rides or kayaking for visitors. The rental price is from 50,000 VND to 150,000 VND per boat, depending on the type.

Note: Visitors will have to cross a zigzag path to reach the marina. You should hire a local person who has a steady steering wheel and is familiar with the road.

National flagpole Lung Cu

The flagpole is located at Lung Cu Peak, also known as Dragon mountain peak, 1,470 m above sea level, in Lung Cu commune. The flagpole is about 3.3 km from the northernmost point of Vietnam as the crow flies. The flagpole has a long history, underwent many times of restoration and embellishment, and now has an octagonal shape, more than 30 m high, inaugurated on September 25, 2010. On the top is a flagpole 9 m high with the Vietnamese national flag on 54 m2. The two ponds on either side of the mountain that do not run dry all year round are called the Dragon's Eye pond. The flagpole is 24 km from Dong Van town.

Sung La buckwheat flower field

Nearly 20 km from Dong Van town, Sung La commune has a fairy-like scenery under cat ears rock cliffs. The Mong people in Sung La often grow buckwheat on high hillsides, so this place is considered one of the most beautiful flower-viewing spots in Ha Giang. The best time is from October to November.

Pao's house

Also located in Sung La Commune, "Pao's House" is a people's house built in 1947, used as the setting for the movie "Pao's Story". The house has the architectural features of the Mong people in the rocky highlands, closed in four directions, and in the middle is the courtyard. The yard in front of the house is paved with stone, surrounded by plums, apricots, peaches... the typical trees of the region. The house has beautiful architecture, and the surrounding landscape is even more beautiful in the blooming season, so this place always attracts many tourists.

This destination charges 10,000 VND per tourist.

Pho Bang town

Less noisy than other places, in Pho Bang, visitors will feel like time is passing slowly. This is the home of the Chinese and Hmong communities, with more than 500 people. The town stands out thanks to its simplicity, idyllic and ancient look. Pho Bang is somewhat isolated and less known because the road is more remote than other places. To enter the town from the national highway, you must go nearly 5 km, close to the Vietnam - China border, where there are only cat ears and rocky mountains.

Pho Cao Commune Market

Located 25 km from the center of Dong Van town, Pho Cao market meets once every 6 days, usually lasting from dawn to noon. Pho Cao market is not only a place to buy and sell goods and local products but also a place for cultural exchanges between 17 ethnic groups. The markets are very crowded. People wear the most beautiful dresses, bringing to the market from chickens to pigs, dresses, scarves, sharpened knives, and fresh vegetables picked in the garden.

Also read:

Eat what

The dishes in Dong Van are also typical in Ha Giang, which can be found everywhere in the province. However, in Dong Van, visitors will have many famous addresses.

Au Tau Porridge

Au Tau porridge is a typical dish in Ha Giang. Ingredients for making porridge include au tau tubers, rice, pork, spring rolls, eggs, vegetables, and other things. Au Tau is a familiar tree of the local people, also known as au Tau, Thu O... which is grown a lot in the highlands of Ha Giang. The fresh tuber is poisonous. Through the processing hands of the people, it has become a delicious dish. Au Tau is also a precious medicinal herb that has the effect of relieving colds, relaxing muscles, reducing fatigue, and helping to sleep well. Tubers must be soaked in concentrated rice water for about 10 hours, then simmered for many more hours until the tubers are soft and the poison disappears.

Reference address: Moc Mien porridge, porridge shop in Dong Van market.


Ingredients for this dish include rice flour, meat, wood ear, bones, spring rolls and spices. The dough is soaked overnight to soften and then mixed with spices. When guests come to eat, the freshman pours the dough onto the coated mold on the spot to keep it hot. After about 3 minutes, the cake is cooked, rolled with meat, pre-prepared wood ear, cut short and put on a plate, sprinkled with fried onions and coriander. Unlike banh cuon dipped in fish sauce in many regions, Ha Giang rolls are eaten with broth. The broth is simmered with pork bones, so it tastes sweet. According to local people, because the mountainous climate is very cold in the morning, people eat banh cuon with soup to warm their bodies.

Address for reference: Banh cuon Mrs. Ha, Banh cuon Ms. Lieu.

Buckwheat cake

The cake is made from buckwheat flower seeds with high nutritional value. To make cakes, people will dry the seeds after each harvest season, partly used to brew yeast and the rest to make buckwheat cakes. The seeds are ground, then kneaded into a dough and molded into flat, round cakes more than a diameter hand. After molding, the cake will be steamed and baked with a charcoal stove, best eaten when hot, with a sweet taste.

Cakes are sold in markets, roadside shops, and near tourist areas.

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Thắng Dền

Among Ha Giang's snacks, it is impossible not to mention Thắng Dền. Sold a lot in Dong Van old town or markets, wonton is just a "play food" but has a special attraction. A bowl of wontons consists of boiled round glutinous rice balls and sugar water cooked with ginger when eaten with black sesame or crushed roasted peanuts.

Mèn Mén

Men mén is a rustic dish associated with the lives of indigenous people. The rocky plateau cannot cultivate rice, so corn rice (or mèn mén) is the main food of the Mong people. At first, men men were just a daily dish of the people, gradually being sold in many markets to introduce culinary culture. Corn is dried and processed through many stages, such as pounding, removing residue, and steaming to make mèn mén. Mèn mén has the aroma of corn. You can add broth to eat with.

North Pole Coffee

The North Pole Cafe is located in Lo Lo Chai village, a small village at the foot of the Lung Cu flagpole, less than 1 km from the Vietnam - China border, in the Lung Cu commune. The shop was built by Mr. Ogura Yasushy, a Japanese who has lived in Vietnam for many years and especially loves Ha Giang. The shop has a traditional house architecture bearing the Lo Lo cultural identity, rustic and old with stone fences, yin and yang tiled roofs, earthen walls and wooden gates. The special thing is that the shop has traditional Vietnamese filter coffee and Japanese matcha green tea.

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