I am going to be in the North of Vietnam with my brother at the beginning of March. We are looking to visit Ha Giang and the area north of there. I read the NYT article on the region and have seen other travellers' reports and it seems like a really beautiful place, and I am a beautychaser.
Anyway, it's hard to find info on good tours of the area. My understanding is that:
1. We need a permit to visit this area.
2. There is no proper public transportation in the area.
Therefore, we prefer to do some sort of tour of 3-5 days. We'd be starting either in Hanoi or Sapa, so the tour could start there or we could get to Ha Giang and start there. We are NOT looking for anything too luxurious. Simple, clean places are great. We do want an English guide.
The NYT article and some other places mentioned "Mr. Anh's Karst Plateau" travel. I have emailed them and got a brief reply promising more information, but two weeks have gone by and nothing, and they aren't responding to emails, so I guess they don't need any more business.
Please, anyone with suggestions on how we can go about this? And any other travellers who would like to join us to possibly make such a tour cheaper, let me know.
It is a beautiful region but it may be a bit less beautiful in March due to winter. Still beautiful though with dramatic scenery and colorful market in Ha Giang on saturday.
Good thing that you're not looking for something luxurious because you won't find anything like that there.
It would be best if you are able to ride motorbike. A few travel agents organize bike tours to that area and that is because the roads are not in great condition in some parts where they are washed away and reduced to single track. March should be alright though.
Did my trip with a friend who speaks vietnamese so can not help you with a name of a travel company.
You can start the trip by a private car with English speaking guide from Hanoi and end your visit in Sapa where you can stay for few days before catching the night train back to Hanoi.
The outline might be:
Day 1: Hanoi/Ha Giang/Hoang Su Phi
Day 2: Hoang Su Phi/Meo Vac
Day 3: Meo Vac/Ha Giang
Day 4: Ha Giang /Sapa.
Please note: the accommodation in the area is very basic, the room is cheap (US$25/night) but very good scenery.
Have a nice trip!
#3 vietnamexotictours has been a member since 21/12/2010. Posts: 12
$ 25/night? I stayed at places where they charged $6-8 and there wasn't anything more fancy around (i desperately searched but couldn't find anything). That means $15+ for the tour company.
Who are you trying to help?