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Vietnam forum

Dong Van

Posted by chocolatenomad on 9/1/2009 at 13:30


I am travelling to Vietnam on Feb 13th and about a week or so later will go to Hanoi. I am planning to keep a couple of days for Hanoi and then go on to visit Dong Van Highlands in the Ha Giang Province. Its about 350 km from Hanoi. Problem is, that's all I know about it, apart from the fact that its an astounding and spectacular place filled with streams and mountains. So here are my questions:

Has anyone been to this placE?

How do you get there?

Stay options

How many days do I need to see the place properly?

Please give me all the info possible! Don't want to miss out on this fabulous place!


#1 chocolatenomad has been a member since 9/12/2008. Posts: 2

Posted by somtam2000 on 13/1/2009 at 10:22 admin

Hi chocolatenomad,

We don't have any coverage of there because the Travelfish researcher concerned dropped his bundle and the notes never made it back. I know though he found it very hard going and was required to get a permit to visit. Sorry I can't give any more info as, well, I never saw the work.

Report back on how you fare!

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,933
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Posted by abaylon on 13/1/2009 at 21:45

Hi chocolatenomad,

well I' ve been there 2 years before at the same time (February-March) and I can tell you that in my 2 months roadtrip in the North, this was the most wonderful, amazing and remote place I been through.

There may be several way to get there but the one I choose, was to buy a Motorbike (Minsk) for 250$ in Hanoi , a phrasebook English-Vietnamese, a dictionnary French-Vietnamese (as I speak french), a good plastic sheet, a sleeping bag and Yalla.
It's quiet far from Hanoi and up there roads are sometimes very dirty... but with some patience you can do it!!!
I'll say that it really depend on the way you are used to travel, the time and the monney you get to realise this trip.

You also can check some TripAgency that organize motorbike roadtrips up there, but it will be much more expensive .
It's true that you may ask an authorization in Ha Giang before entering this region, but I've been told that there are not used to give them to lonely people, so what I did was just get there as if I didn't know and I think it was not stupid... I've been arrested in Dong Van and the police officer just told me that I wasn't allowed to take a perticular road but otherwise he just let me stay in the area.

So if you don't have more than around two weeks, you'll have better try to book a trip or skip it!!!

Tell me a bit more about your schedule and I'll be able to give some more advices!

Waiting for your reply.



#3 abaylon has been a member since 13/1/2009. Posts: 2

Posted by abaylon on 13/1/2009 at 23:35


I found a link that will give you an idea!!

#4 abaylon has been a member since 13/1/2009. Posts: 2

Posted by chocolatenomad on 14/1/2009 at 10:30

Hello abaylon,

Thanks for your reply! Aah, it indeed looks like a remote and breathtaking place. My initial plan was to go to Sapa, but I thought that was too touristy and its a bit of a bother getting the tickets.

Anyway, my schedule as of now is to leave from Hanoi around the 24th or 25th and return by the 28th or so and go on to HaLong Bay. So in essence I have about 2 or 3 days to be in Dong Van. I would not like to take a motorcycle trip simply because its a bit tiring and it takes time. How about buses or trains from Hanoi ? Do you have any idea if its easy to get them? Booking a trip is a good idea too, but I had rather go on my own than on a group trip you know. What do you think? Bus, train or book a trip?



#5 chocolatenomad has been a member since 9/12/2008. Posts: 2

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