This article is written for those who travel to search for the off-beaten paths, the unseen lands of Vietnam where travel bloggers are unlikely to write about it, and where only the locals know. Ha Giang is famous for the Ha Giang loop but this article will guide you to another unseen part of Ha Giang. In this article, it’s Hoang Su Phi.
Hoang Su Phi, Ha Giang Province
Ha Giang is well known for Ma Pi Leng Pass with stunning landscapes and a thrilling motorbike adventure. However, Ha Giang has way more to offer than we could think of in terms of nature and hill tribe culture. So, if the Ma Phi Leng pass is a must-do on your bucket list, you might want to tick off Hoang Su Phi as your must-experience.
Hoang Su Phi is a district in the west of Ha Giang province and is the home of 12 different ethnic groups with Nung, Tay, Dao, La Chi, and Hmong in the majority. Situated upstream of Chay Ricer, Hoang Su Phi is divided by many streams that explain the steep slope and also the differences in the climate of the region. The land is magnificent all year around depending on your interests accordingly. Spring sparks and shines with peach and pear gardens blossoming and colorful festivals. April to June is the perfect time to see the terraced files in the rice pouring water and planting season. In mid-September, you will be surely spoiled by the stunning yellow rice field view. And, it couldn’t be more exciting to come here for a hike in winter when Tay Con Linh and Chieu Lau Thi mountains are covered by a sea of clouds.
What are “cannot miss”s in Hoang Su Phi, Ha Giang province?
Rice terrace fields in Hoang Su Phi
Unlike other places in northern Vietnam, the rice terrace in Hoang Su Phi spreads stunningly through many villages and they are all topographically different from each other. Bản Phùng rice terraces are cultivated by the La Chí tribe and listed as the highest terraced fields in Vietnam whereas Hồ Thầu belongs to the Red Dao ethnic group and here, local farmers plant their rice fields on the same pieces of land as the forest to prevent flood and landslide. Thong Nguyen is ranked as the most beautiful rice terrace in Hoàng Su Phì, Nam Ty’s terraced fields are recognized as national monuments.
Trekking & hiking
With an altitude of 2419 m, Con Linh is the highest peak in Northeast Vietnam and is ranked among one of the highest mountains in Vietnam. Whereas the bottom of the mountain is a preserved subtropical primeval forest, the top is a geodetic landmark.
Chieu Lau Thi belongs to the Tay Con Linh ranges with a high altitude of 2,402 m above sea level. The mountain is untouched and still retains a diverse ecosystem demonstrated by thousands of ancient trees of all kinds and rare herbs and it’s the home of the famous ancient “San Tuyet” tea, a signature of Hoang Su Phi.
Although Chieu Lau Thi and Tay Con Linh are not the highest peaks in Vietnam, the hikes here are considered much more difficult than the ones in Fansipan which is the highest mountain in Vietnam and the Indochinese Peninsula. Adventure and magnificence are probably the two perfect words to describe the hikes.
Hill tribal market
Situated at the foot of the majestic Tay Con Linh peak, Hoang Su Phi market is held every Sunday mainly by Dao, Nung, and Co Lao (Gelao) and it’s not a typical market where the good exchange is the main activity, it is also a spiritual exchange event. Indeed, besides selling locals growing vegetables and handpicked stuff from the forest, the market here is a place for locals to meet, see and show their best outfits. The youths meet and get acquainted, the seniors meet their old friends, and the husband and wife take each other to buy goods. On a visit to Hoàng Su Phì market, we will be immersed in the colorful dresses and the special energy of the hill tribes.
Ancient tombs of La Chí tribes
There are hundreds of ancient tombs scattered in an arc on the mountain slopes of Ban Phung, Ban May commune in Hoang Su Phi District, and Ban Diu commune in Xin Man district. The side of each common tomb is nearly 1.5 meters high, 15-25 square meters wide but there are some special temples with a circumference of more than 70m; over 6m high. These tombs are estimated to have existed hundreds of years ago and have never been worn out by the sun or rain.
Festivals – cultural diversity of ethnic groups
If cultures and ethnic lifestyles are your travel priorities, note down Hoang Su Phi on your bucket list.
The spiritual festival remains an important aspect of life among the ethnic groups in this region. When spring comes, Red Dao people celebrate the Quỹa Hiéng festival (Lễ hội qua năm) with many unique folklore activities such as catching turtles and fire dance wishing for a better bountiful harvest, good health, and luck; the ceremony of forest god worshiping is held every year on 30th of January by Nung people, and H’Mong people gather, dance together, exchange and tighten their friendships in Gau Tao festival- one of the most important festivals of the year of the H’Mong ethnic group. There are a few more festivals held in July (according to the lunar year) such as Khu Cù Tê of the La Chí people and Forest worshiping of Nung people (one held on the 30th of January and the second held on the 2nd of July)
FAQs about Hoang Su Phi Vietnam
The distance between Hanoi and Hoang Su Phi Lodge, Ha Giang about 207 km.
Hoang Su Phis in the west of Ha Giang province, located on the upper reaches of Chay and Bac rivers, 100 km west of Ha Giang city, Vietnam.
To see this unseen land to its fullest, you might need to do loads of research and collect a lot of information. As your local expert and your guide, we are here to help! Let us know if Hoang Su Phi is in your interest, we will take care of the rest.