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Driving through mountainous roads in Ha Giang is great experience, foreign tourists say

Many foreign visitors say they learned how to drive a motorbike while conquering the dangerous mountain passes in Ha Giang, describing the journey as a great travel experience in Vietnam.

Driving through mountainous roads in Ha Giang is great experience, foreign tourists say

Frenchman Francais sits on the back of a motorbike as he and his friend conquer Ma Pi Leng mountain pass in Ha Giang. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Phuong

In early March, Yrielle, a French tourist, came to Ha Giang, around 300 kilometers from Hanoi, to explore the old town of Dong Van, which has 40 two-storied houses with a touch of Chinese architecture such as yin-yang tiled roofs, yellow walls and red lanterns hung on the gables.

"I searched for a lot of information about Ha Giang on social media and practiced driving a motorbike three months before my trip," she said.

"The roads here are dangerous, but if you drive at a slow speed, it is still safe," she said. "It’s a great travel experience to drive through mountain passes in Ha Giang."

Yrielle (L) walks with her friend in Dong Van Old Town, Ha Giang Province, March 2023. Photo by Xuan Phuong

Yrielle (L) walks with her friend in Dong Van Old Town, Ha Giang Province, March 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Phuong

Francais, a French tourist, also rented a motorbike to explore Ha Giang. Conquering different terrains with twisting, narrow roads, he found the province peaceful and different from other places like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Sa Pa.

"We had a little difficulty communicating in English with the locals," he said. "But everything else was great."

The local tourism boom in recent years has seen many motorbike rental services spring up across Ha Giang. Foreigners only need to leave their passports and pay around VND150,000 ($6.40) a day to rent a vehicle.

With the desire to learn about the local culture of different ethnic tribes, Liana from Germany chose Ha Giang as a stopover in her solo journey to several Asian countries.

She traveled through Vietnam working her way north as she stopped off at Mui Ne, Hoi An, Hue, and Ninh Binh before arriving in Ha Giang.

In Ha Giang, Liana visited Lo Lo Chai Village at the foot of Lung Cu Flag Tower, the northernmost point in Vietnam that marks the border with China. She then dropped by Dong Van Old Town and Meo Vac Town.

"In Ha Giang, it was easy for me to find restaurants and accommodations, and the services are also convenient," added Liana.

Besides, she also praised Ha Giang as "a safe destination for solo female travelers."

Louise, a Canadian tourist, and her husband walked over 20 kilometers from Dong Van to Meo Vac, which gave them a chance to gain a deep insight into the daily lives of ethnic groups.

"Walking to enjoy Ha Giang was an unforgettable experience for us," Louise said. "Without renting motorbikes, we had a little difficulty getting around but Ha Giang in my eyes is great. If we go back, we will learn to ride a motorbike."

In February, Ha Giang welcomed 15,000 foreign arrivals, up 3.36 times against pre-pandemic levels.

Earlier this year, the New York Times named Ha Giang one of the 52 best places to visit this year.

Ha Giang has long been popular with Western backpackers who brave the elements and winding roads to conquer the 350-kilometer-long loop that takes three to five days to complete, depending on the weather.

Nguyen Hong Hai, director of Ha Giang’s Department of Tourism, said the province strives to develop new tourism products and to ensure the safety of foreign tourists.

By Xuan Phuong 

Nguồn: VnExpress.net
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