Ha Giang Loop Buffalo Tour by Central Backpackers Hostel | 3-4 Days | from HANOI, VIETNAM

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👨‍👨‍👦‍👦 Group size: 15-25 people.
🛏️ Accommodation: Included. Ethnic minority home stays.
🍜 Food: Included. Local Vietnamese cuisine. Vegetarian options.
🚌 Transport: Included. 2-way bus to/from Hanoi.
🇻🇳 Start | End: Hanoi. (Alternative start/end point: Ha Giang or Sapa.)
📍Meeting Point: Tour leaves daily from Central Backpackers’ Hostel @ 10 am (day bus) OR 7.30 pm (night bus).

From $155.00


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Overview

  • Epic Adventure Awaits: Join the Ha Giang Buffalo Tour and dive into an epic journey designed exclusively for young adventurers!
  • Unforgettable Landscapes, Uncharted Thrills: Leave the city behind and get lost in an enchanting world of breathtaking landscapes and unimaginable experiences along the legendary Ha Giang loop.
  • An Experience Like No Other: Immerse yourself in local cultures, ride with an adrenaline-pumped crew, and savor delicious local cuisine. This isn’t just a tour; it’s an exhilarating motorbike adventure that you will remember forever.
  • Ride the motorbike yourself or ride with driver.

  • Ha Giang is a stunning province in Northern Vietnam that attracts adventure-hungry travellers seeking to explore its unique landscapes and cultural diversity.
  • Ha Giang is known for its majestic karst plateaus, terraced rice fields and vibrant hill tribe communities, making it a popular destination for off-the-beaten-track travel experiences. 
  • This tour is named after the region’s iconic animal, the water buffalo, which plays an essential role in the traditional agricultural practices of Ha Giang’s rural communities. These animals are used for farming and transporting goods, and they hold cultural significance in the daily lives of the local ethnic minorities, such as the Hmong, Dao, Tay, and others.
  • Overall, the Ha Giang Buffalo Tour is an extraordinary adventure that offers an authentic and unforgettable experience, combining nature, culture and adrenaline.
  • This tour was created by Central Backpackers’ Hostel. As well as making sure that all travellers have the time of their lives, the team will ensure your safety at all times. 
  • For those of you who want to ride the bike yourselves, it is essential that you have some motorbiking experience as the Ha Giang Loop is a challenging ride. For those of you who are not confident drivers, we recommend that you take the tour with one of our experienced local drivers. Sit on the back of the bike, relax and take in the scenery!

The tour leaves every day from Central Backpackers’ Hostel at 10 am and 7.30 pm. You can choose if you want to travel to Ha Giang from Hanoi during the day or during the night. (Journey time: approx 7 hours.)


Itinerary 4 Days / 3 Nights: Highly recommended!

  • Depending on whether you prefer to travel to Ha Giang during the day or night, you will meet at our hostel for departure. (Departure at 10 am or 7:30 pm.) 
  • If you meet at 7.30 pm, you will take the overnight sleeper bus to Ha Giang city and arrive at about 4:00 am. If you meet at 10 am you will arrive around 5 pm in the evening.
  • Either way, the bus will drop you off at our base in Ha Giang city where you will have a free room so you can take a nap, have a shower, and have breakfast before we start our drive.

Day 1: Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Du Gia: approx. 120km drive

  • After breakfast, we will head out on the Road of Happiness and start driving north out of Ha Giang City. We will climb up the Quan Ba Mountain Pass and enter the Dong Van Geopark to reach Heaven’s Gate. Along the way, we will pass the beautiful Fairy Hills. In or around the small town of Tam Son we will find our lunch. 
  • After lunch, we will venture deep into the Ha Giang mountains and reach the picturesque village of Du Gia. Here we will stay overnight with an ethnic minority family at their homestay. We will have dinner and breakfast with the family. 
  • The day includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 2: Du Gia – Meo Vac – Ma Pi Leng – Dong Van: approx 110km drive

  • We bid farewell to the family of the homestay and head North, passing through some of the most magnificent mountain passes you have ever seen in your life. 
  • We pass the town of Meo Vac (where we take lunch) and then move slowly up the majestic Ma Pi Long mountain pass before reaching Dong Van, the most Northern town in Vietnam. If you are up for it, we can climb up to the ruins of the French fort and get a stunning view of the towns and the surrounding mountains.
  • We will have dinner and spend the night at a homestay or hotel in Dong Van and you are welcome to explore the Old Quarter ad stretch your legs after a long day on the bike. 
  • The day includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 3: Dong Van – Lung Cu – Sa Phin – Yen Minh – Nam Dam: approx 150km drive

  • We will wake up and have breakfast in Dong Van. If it happens to be a Sunday, you may like to check out the big weekly local market where ethnic minority groups travel from miles around to meet up, shop and gossip. 
  • Afterwards, we will go to the so-called “North Pole” of Vietnam, the most northern point of Vietnam which is officially called Lung Cu.
  • We can climb up to the Lung Cu Flagpole and get an amazing view of China from the top. Then, we turn south and when we reach Sa Phin, we will visit the one-hundred-year-old palace of Vuong Chinh Duc, who is the King of H’mong people.
  • After that, we will go down the Highway of Stone and reach Yen Minh where we grab lunch. After lunch, we will climb a mountain pass covered in pine forest and see beautiful sweeping rice terraces along our drive. 
  • We will eventually head down to the Song La River Valley until the road takes us towards the village of Nam Dan where we check in with a lovely Dao ethnic minority family in their home and enjoy dinner with them. 
  • The day includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 4: Nam Dan – Luong Khuy – Tam Son – Ha Giang: approx 70km drive

  • After breakfast, we can relax a bit and enjoy village life in the mountains. We can walk around the village, chat with locals and maybe wander up to the local waterfall. 
  • We will then go to explore the interesting Lung Khuy cave. We will take lunch in Tam Son and then finally explore a stunningly beautiful side-loop that connects us back to the Road of Happiness and eventually back to Ha Giang City.
  • We will finish riding at about 4:30 pm in time to catch the bus back to Hanoi.
  • The bus will arrive back in the city around 11:00 pm in Hanoi. The tour does not include a transfer back to your hostel/hotel in Hanoi.
  • The day includes breakfast and lunch.

Itinerary 3 Days / 2 Nights: Only if you’re short on time

  • Depending on whether you prefer to travel to Ha Giang during the day or night, you will meet at our hostel for departure. (Departure at 10 am or 7:30 pm.) 
  • If you meet at 7.30 pm, you will take the overnight sleeper bus to Ha Giang city and arrive at about 4:00 am. If you meet at 10 am you will arrive around 5 pm at night.
  • Either way, the bus will drop you off at our base in Ha Giang city where you will have a free room so you can take a nap, have a shower, and have breakfast before we start our drive.

Day 1: Ha Giang City – Quan Ba – Yen Minh – Dong van: approx 150 km drive

  • 8:30 am – After breakfast, we’ll start our motorbike adventure to the land called “Heaven on Earth” (it’s easy to understand why it’s called this once you see it!).
  • We will drive through small villages past vast agricultural landscapes and the sweeping mountains of the North. 
  • We will stop for lunch in Quan Ba town after passing “Heaven’s Gate” and then we will visit Lung Khuy cave, which is the biggest cave in Ha Giang.
  • We will hop back on the bike and drive passed the villages of Phố Cáo, Sủng Là. We will stop for a while in these H’mong villages (an ethnic minority) to visit families and interact with the locals. You will also see the amazing mountain view of the Rock Plateau. Finally, we will stop to visit the one-hundred-year-old palace of Vuong Chinh Duc (H’mong King) who was a royal family of high rank during French colonial rule. The palace attracts keen interest from architects due to its mixed style of European and Chinese architecture.
  • We will stay overnight at Giay’s Homestay in Dong Van.
  • The day includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 2: Dong van – Lung cu – Dong van – Meo Vac: approx 10 km drive

  • If we are lucky to be in Dong Van on Sunday, we will visit the vibrant Dong Van market where regional wares are bought and sold by various minority groups.
  • After the market, we will ride up to the Lung Cu flagpole which is located about 24km from the central of Dong Van district. 
  • Lung Cu Mount is nicknamed the “North Pole of Vietnam” or “the high forehead of the Motherland” marking the extreme North of Vietnam. From the top, you can see spectacular landscapes of both Vietnam and China.
  • Whilst in Lung Cu we will also visit a small ethnic minority village around the area before heading back to Dong Van. Along the way, we will drive to the peak of Ma Pi Leng Pass which gives us stunning views of the mountains and sweeping valleys. 
  • We will arrive at Meo Vac in the late afternoon and stay the night here.
  • The day includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 3: Meo Vac – Yen Minh – Quan Ba – Ha Giang : 150 km

  • After breakfast, we will start our road trip back to Ha Giang.
  • Upon our arrival in Quan Ba, Yen Minh, we will make a stop in Lung Tam village, a Hmong village where you will learn how local villagers weave brocades. 
  • After lunch at Quan Ba, we will continue our trip back to our base in Ha Giang City.
  • We will be back in Ha Giang City around 4:30-5:00 pm in time to catch the bus back to Hanoi and we will be back in Hanoi about 11:30 pm where the tour ends. The tour does not include a transfer back to your hostel/hotel in Hanoi.
  • The day includes breakfast and lunch.

Note: The itinerary is subject to change

The itinerary above outlines the broad and most likely inclusions, but we do not believe in an absolute program as we prefer to be flexible. There are many reasons why the itinerary might have to be modified depending on situations or circumstances that arise during the tour, e.g. weather/closing and opening times/group preferences.


What to bring:

Pack a small daypack for your trip to Ha Giang including only what you will need for 3-4 days riding. Helmets will of course be provided and are compulsory. You can leave your large rucksack at our hostel in Hanoi.

Make sure you bring with you on the trip:

  • Your passport
  • Comfortable clothes for riding for 3-4 days
  • Swimming gear
  • Trekking shoes 
  • Sunscreen 
  • A reliable insect repellent
  • A camera/camera phone
  • A refillable water bottle
  • Warm clothing for the cooler months of November to March

What the tour includes:

  • 2-way sleeper bus from Hanoi and back to Hanoi*
  • English Speaking Tour guide
  • All meals, as indicated in the itinerary (local Vietnamese food)
  • Accommodation (ethnic minority homestays)
  • The use of fully-serviced genuine Japanese motorcycles
  • The cost of fuel
  • All entrance tickets and permits
  • Full helmet
  • Protective knee and elbow gear, basic rain clothes
  • Bungee cords and plastic covers for your bags
  • Free storage of excess luggage in our hostel in Hanoi
  • Free dorm bed, upon arrival at our base in Ha Giang City, before the tour departs

*There is also the option to finish the tour in Sapa if you prefer and treks can be arranged from here.

What the tour does not include:

  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Alcoholic or soft drinks
  • Snacks
  • Tips for tour guides
  • Transfer back to your particular hostel/hotel in Hanoi

Price and Inclusion: Our aim is to give you a top-quality tour and memory for life. To do so our tours might not be the cheapest you will find in Ha Giang, but as the saying goes “You pay for what you get”.


FAQs:

  • What days does the trip depart? Every day we meet for the trip at 7:30 am and 10:00 am at our hostels. Reservation in advance is essential.
  • What will I eat on the tour? Our emphasis is on fresh food wherever possible and our meals are nutritious and varied. If you are vegetarian or do not eat seafood we can cater for you, but if you have very specific dietary needs you may need to provide your own food, please discuss this at the time of booking.
  • How do I book? You will need to reserve your place on this tour by paying a 15% deposit on this website. The deposit is refundable up to 48 hours before your chosen date of the tour. 
  • After that what happens, can I just turn up at the meeting point? You must reconfirm your place on the tour the day before the tour departs at the travel desk at one of our hostels. The full payment for the tour must be made before departure.

Refund Policy

  • In order to book this experience, you will need to pay a deposit online via South East Asia Backpacker.
  • This deposit is fully refundable if you wish to cancel up until 48 hours before the start of the activity. PLEASE NOTE: This policy refers to the payment made to South East Asia Backpacker at the time of booking. All subsequent payments to the operator of your chosen activity fall under their own refund policy
  • For cancellations made fewer than 48 hours before the start of the activity there is no refund available.
  • You can request a change of date at any time.
  • Date changes are entirely down to the availability of the operator and nothing to do with South East Asia Backpacker. 
  • If your date change is not agreed upon, as long as it is more than 48 hours before the start date you originally made your booking for, your deposit can be refunded in full if you wish to cancel.
  • The remaining payment for the experience is payable directly to the operator.
  • The operator can request the remaining payment via an online payment link or upon arrival at the destination.
  • The refund of the second payment, which goes directly to the operator, is based on the terms and conditions of the operator, over which South East Asia Backpacker have no control.
  • Please see our customer terms and conditions for more information.

Why Book With Us?

Hi, I’m Nikki and I started South East Asia Backpacker in 2008 after my own first solo backpacking trip! My vision was to create a travel diary for everyone, a place for travellers to share their experiences from the road. After backpacking and writing about Southeast Asia for over 10 years, I saw the opportunity to provide backpackers with the kind of experiences that I’d treasured myself in the region! 

Today, there is so much choice, but there are a lot of poor-quality tours and companies that offer mediocre experiences with little care for the environment. I wanted to create a selection of the best tours and activities to help backpackers avoid scams and dodgy tour companies.

Today, I run this website with my partner, Dave, from Spain, where we live with our energetic two-year-old daughter, Evie. All of the bookable activities that you will find on this website have been vetted by a member of our team and we have a friendly relationship with the operator. There are real humans behind South East Asia Backpacker and we are passionate about sustainable travel and development in Southeast Asia.

We are committed to helping travellers at every stage of the journey and understand that plans can change which is why we offer a full discount on the deposit up to 48 hours before the start of your trip, no questions asked. We offer advice on flights, visas, itineraries, hostels, backpacks, packing and more!

If you have any questions about our business or any of the tours that we provide, feel free to contact me on Whatsapp.

Operator Information

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