Explore Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark in Ha Giang

July 18, 2020 7 mins to read

For quite some time now, the Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark in Ha Giang has emerged as one of the prime attractions in the region. Many travelers flock here to conquer its treacherous mountain passes and behold the beauty of Dong Van amidst blooming seasons. So, what are you waiting for? Come to Dong Van with Vietnampeace.com and uncover this super “hot” destination!

1. Getting Acquainted with Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark

1.1 Where is Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark Located?

Situated approximately 300km from Hanoi, the Dong Van Karst Plateau has long been a captivating tourist spot, drawing visitors whenever they can visit Ha Giang.

Spanning across four districts – Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Meo Vac, and Dong Van – within Ha Giang province, the plateau ranges from 1000 to 1600 meters above sea level, covering a total area of 2,356 km2.

1.2 Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark – Nature’s Masterpiece

– Marveling at the limestone wonders of Dong Van Karst Plateau

Beyond its vast expanse and altitude, the Dong Van Karst Plateau is renowned for its remarkable geological features. It is one of our country’s rare areas that preserves traces of Earth’s evolutionary history. Encompassing 80% limestone terrain, these formations have aged hundreds of millions of years.

The plateau is adorned with rugged grayish rock formations, artistically arranged by Mother Nature to paint a mesmerizing canvas.

– Dong Van’s enchanting beauty during flower seasons

Dong Van Karst Plateau isn’t just about geological marvels; it also boasts a myriad of hues crafted by human touch amidst the gray rock backdrop. It’s the soft white of plum and peach blossoms in spring or the vibrant yellow of mustard flowers carpeting the hillsides. It’s the lush greenery of forests, cornfields, and rice paddies merging with the golden sunlight of summer. And who could forget the vivid purple hues of buckwheat flowers in October and November during the Hà Giang buckwheat flower season?

– Witnessing the cultural essence reflected in humble dwellings

And let’s not overlook the rustic charm of the simple dwellings scattered across this rocky plateau. Each house is surrounded by stone fences crafted from the rugged rocks abundant in the area, forming sturdy barriers. These variedly shaped and sized rock slabs serve as robust fortifications, a testament to the skilled hands of the H’Mong people.

So, why wait any longer? Plan your trip to Dong Van Karst Plateau and immerse yourself in its unparalleled beauty and cultural richness.

2. Guide on How to Get to Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark

Dong Van Karst Plateau is located approximately 140km from the center of Ha Giang City. It’s best to travel to Dong Van Town first by car or motorbike, which will take about 2.5 – 3 hours of driving. Alternatively, to conserve energy for later adventures, you can carry a passenger bus from Ha Giang City to Dong Van Town, costing around 70,000 VND – 80,000 VND per person.

The journey from Ha Giang to Dong Van is quite challenging with its mountainous roads, so ensure you have a good grip on the steering wheel before setting off! It’s highly recommended to travel by motorbike because, along the way, you’ll pass through most of the beautiful tourist spots in Ha Giang. And remember to fill up your gas tank because gas stations are sparse and hard to come by along the route!

3. Where should you go When you arrive at Dong Van Karst Plateau?

3.1. Hmong King’s Palace

When visiting Dong Van Karst Plateau, you mustn’t miss the Hmong King’s Palace. This unique construction dates back to the early 20th century, mimicking the architectural style of the Manchu Qing Dynasty of China. You’ll be amazed by the intricate details and exquisite craftsmanship of the palace, which spans over 1000m², comprising ten houses, with 6 facing the same direction. The entire structure is made from ancient precious wood, with tiled roofs.

3.2. Lung Cu Flagpole

Lung Cu Flagpole holds immense historical significance in Ha Giang tourism. Located at an average altitude of 1600m above sea level, standing atop Lung Cu, every visitor will feel a sense of pride. From here, you can admire the panoramic view of the majestic Dong Van Karst Plateau, adding a poetic touch to the landscape.

3.3. Ma Pi Leng Pass

Ma Pi Leng Pass has long been hailed as one of the “Four Great Passes” of Vietnam, reaching 1,200m above sea level. The road to conquer the summit of Ma Pi Leng Pass winds through numerous hairpin turns bends, and stretches of dangerous passes spanning up to 20km, creating a breathtaking yet perilous mountainous scenery.

3.4. Nho Que River

From above, the Nho Que River appears like a shimmering green thread descending from the sky, weaving through the northeastern highland forests. Nestled beneath the treacherous cat’s ear peaks of Ha Giang, the tranquil Nho Que River flows gently amidst rocky cliffs, forming a border of azure between Ma Pi Leng Pass and Sam Pun Road.

When visiting, consider renting a boat to leisurely admire the magnificent scenery of the Nho Que River with its emerald waters and rugged peaks. However, the descent to the Nho Que River is not an easy journey, so if you’re not confident in your driving skills, it’s safer to hire a local motorcycle taxi.

What to Eat When Visiting Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark?

– Thắng Cố: The fragrant aroma of herbs, wild fruits, dổi seeds, and lemongrass, combined with the rich taste of meat, warms up the chilly atmosphere. The Hmong people often bring mèn mén (fermented corn wine) and buy a bowl of thắng cố at the market to invite friends for a joyful gathering.

– Kitchen buffalo meat: This is a specialty often found in the meals of the Black Thai ethnic group. This dish is usually made from the meat of free-roaming buffaloes and cows in the Northwestern mountainous regions.

– Dong Van Rolled Cake: Rolled cake with egg served with a bowl of hot, savory bone broth is always a dish that captivates many tourists when they come here. When eating, pick up a piece of thin, delicate rice paper with a hidden red color of duck egg inside, immerse it all in the self-prepared broth, and savor the unique and satisfying taste of this remote land.

– Mèn Mén: After the corn harvest, the locals sort the corn, leaving only the husks to be dried on racks for later use. When needed for cooking, the corn is shelled and finely ground. The cornmeal is then put into a bowl, topped with water, covered tightly, and placed over a pot of boiling water until the aroma spreads, indicating it’s cooked.

Small Notes for Traveling to Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark

– If you’re traveling by motorbike, remember to bring personal documents (driver’s license and identification), reserve fuel (a 1.5-liter bottle), and borrow motorcycle repair tools (pump, tire opener, patch, adhesive) as a backup from the rental shop. Nowadays, motorcycle repair services are available on most routes, but these items are essential for a safe motorcycle journey!

– Clothing: During winter, bring warm clothes, scarves, and gloves because winters in Ha Giang are very cold. Even during the summer, carrying a light jacket is advisable as the highland climate can get chilly at night.

– Footwear: It’s best to wear hiking or trekking shoes for more comfortable movement as this is mountainous terrain!

In conclusion, Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark offers an extraordinary blend of natural wonders, cultural richness, and gastronomic delights that will mesmerize you. From the stunning geological formations to the flavorful local cuisines like Thang Co and Dong Van Rolled Cake, every aspect of this region is a testament to Vietnam’s diverse beauty. Whether you’re exploring historical landmarks or immersing yourself in the serene landscapes, Dong Van has something for everyone. For a hassle-free and memorable experience, let Vietnampeace.com guide you through this enchanting destination. Start planning your adventure today and uncover the treasures of Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark with Vietnampeace.com by your side!

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