Top Gear Vietnam Special Missed Ha Giang Loop in Their Trip
Top Gear Vietnam Special, with the participation of three interesting men, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, described a funny journey through many lands in Vietnam. During the trip, they motorbiked across the routes of Saigon-Dalat, Dalat-Nha Trang, Nha Trang-Hoi An-Hue, Hue-Hanoi-Halong, and Halong-Ba Hang Bar. Each route brought memorable and funny experiences for the Top Gear team. But personally, Top Gear: Vietnam Special is simply an entertainment program. For those who love experiencing real motorcycles in Vietnam, what is shown in this program won’t be really appreciated.
There are several fascinating things missed on this trip. Especially the most regrettable thing is that the three guys completely skipped the Ha Giang Loop in their itinerary when traveling in northern Vietnam.
Today Vietnam Motorcycle Tours Club will introduce you to this awesome loop. Let’s explore!
What is the Ha Giang Loop?
So what is a Ha Giang loop? Ha Giang Loop is a route that bends around Ha Giang. For a Ha Giang loop travel, you will start at kilometer zero of Ha Giang to travel to mountainous areas like Yen Minh, Quan Ba, Dong Van, and Meo Vac; then, you repeat that route back to the starting point in Ha Giang.
The best way to experience the Ha Giang loop is to take a two-wheel trip. On the back of a powerful motorcycle, you can ride across endless trails and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. The Ha Giang motorbike loop brings all the things of a fantastic adventure tour in Vietnam. But Top Gear missed it!
Misunderstanding of the most popular Ha Giang loop tour
Most adventurous travelers to Vietnam are excited to explore the majestic nature of the Ha Giang Loop. The rough and rugged roads challenging the driving skills of two-wheel riders and fancy cat-ear rocky slopes are the most typical features of the land of â€œflowers blooming on rocksâ€.
For an amazing tour to the Ha Giang loop, travelers often choose to follow the itinerary of Quan Ba Heaven Gate – Yen Minh pine forest – Dong Van – Meo Vac – Du Gia.
This is considered the most famous route around the Ha Giang region. It is undeniable that all the destinations on this itinerary have scenic landscapes. Quan Ba Heaven Gate feasts your eyes on clouds, mountains, and mists blending together to create the scene of fairyland. Meanwhile, Yen Minh, known as the second Da Lat of Vietnam, features the green pine trees soaring high in the mountains and hills, whispering in the wind. Although the route from Ha Giang to Dong Van is full of cliffs and dangerous mountain passes, professional backpackers will love it so much because of the marvelous feelings it brings to them. Also, the journey to explore Meo Vac and Du Gia is challenging but fascinating.
But is this really the most worth-exploring route for the Ha Giang loop tour? I keep saying â€œno”. Despite giving you a sense of adventure, this itinerary doesn’t cover the most valuable destinations of Ha Giang. In other words, if you haven’t experienced these special lands, your trip doesn’t have any special things compared to other normal trips.
And now, I want to say to youâ€¦
But there is a completely different Ha Giang Loop tour
Yeah, I will let you see a different Ha Giang loop that you have never known before. And here is a new itinerary with more rewarding experiences BM Travel offers: Ha Giang – Hoang Su Phi – Chieu Lau Thi – Phung village – Tay Con Linh.
Ha Giang – Hoang Su Phi
Hoang Su Phi, which is around 100 kilometers from Ha Giang, is one of the most winding and dangerous roads on the Ha Giang Loop. You will ride your motorcycle on the road with a cliff on one side and an abyss on the other, slowing down your moving speed. So please do not try to ride fast to avoid an unfortunate accident.
The Ha Giang – Hoang Su Phi route carries a lot of potential dangers, but it brings a marvelous feeling for those who love adventures. When arriving in Hoang Su Phi, travelers cannot forget the image of the vast green terraced fields stretching all over the mountainside. On a windy afternoon, how enjoyable it would be to walk on dirt roads, go along streams, and listen to the murmuring water and chirping birds. Temporarily put aside the chaos of life and put yourself in the arms of Mother Nature.
Hoang Su Phi – Chieu Lau Thi
If you are a lover of heights and adventure routes of Ha Giang, the Chieu Lau Thi, a mountain peak in the Tay Con Linh range with a height of 2,400m, will be an ideal destination.
The road to Chieu Lau Thi is only 12 km long, but it is difficult to go. Along the way, you will experience the successive high slopes combined with mud and rocks stretching on the ground, making the road slippery and dangerous. The stone stairs to Chieu Lau Thi go through the forest, under the tree arches. There will be many steep and winding slopes. But after all, you will gain unforgettable experiences.
The higher you go, the cooler and fresher the climate becomes. After layers of white clouds float away, the lush green of the primeval forest appears in front of visitors. Here dew rises every morning, and you will feel as if you were walking in the sea of floating clouds. This place is no different from a fairyland on rainy and foggy days. It is also an attractive cloud hunting spot all year round because each season has a different beauty. If you come to Chieu Lau Thi in early June, you will admire stunning terraced fields in the pouring water season, which looks like a watercolour painting standing out on the scenery of Ha Giang’s mountains and forests.
Chieu Lau Thi – Phung village
After the journey to conquer Chieu Lau Thi peak, you can visit Phung village, which can be compared to the intersection of heaven and earth. The allure of this destination comes from not only beautiful natural scenery but also the warmth and hospitability of the locals.
Covering an area of about 17.04 square kilometers, Ban Phung is home to the La Chi, Tay, and Nung ethnic groups. The village is also the area that has the most magnificent terraced fields in Hoang Su Phi. If you have the opportunity to come here during the ripe rice season, you will admire the poetic and vivid picture of ripe rice fields, creating a golden color, and brightening up the whole region.
After all, Ha Giang loop 6 days 5 nights allows enjoying the trip to the fullest
Yeah, to fully discover the Ha Giang loop, you have to spend 6 days with our tour that offers the itinerary: Hanoi – Thac Ba – Thong Nguyen (Hoang Su Phi) – Ha Giang – Meo Vac – Bao Lac – Ba Be – Hanoi. What makes the tour outstanding is that it covers the two largest lakes in North Vietnam, Thac Ba and Ba Be. Let’s explore the journey to conquer these stunning destinations.
Hanoi – Thac Ba
Driving your motorbike on the winding, bumpy 60km long dyke road, you will have a memorable trip to explore the Vietnamese countryside. It takes 2 hours to motorbike through the dike road before you reach the village near Thac Ba lake, Vu Linh. This village attracts backpackers because of the distinctive culture of the Dao people. You can stroll around the village to see ancient palm trees and country-style houses and enjoy local cuisine with unique foods like banana forest flowers, chicken with bamboo shoots, sticky rice, and aromatic liquor.
Anyway, the discovery of Thac Ba lake brings the greatest experience. The lake has a large area with more than 1,300 large and small islands. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a boat ride around the lake and immerse yourself in the green space of nature. This is an ideal place for you to not only explore the diverse ecosystem but also discover the unique local culture.
Thac Ba – Thong Nguyen (Hoang Su Phi)
After Thac Ba lake, you continue the journey to Thong Nguyen, Hoang Su Phi. Thong Nguyen’s natural landscape is attractive thanks to breathtaking terraced fields and four community-tourism cultural villages imbued with the unique culture of the Dao people.
One of the most famous villages in Thong Nguyen is Nam Hong, which is home to 38 households of the Red Dao ethnic group. Coming here, you have the opportunity to admire the primaeval mountain scenery, and the majestic terraced fields stretching on hillsides. Some other striking destinations include the hundred-year-old Shan Tuyet tea area, Giang Ha waterfall, and Thong Nguyen hot mineral bath. Besides, there are indigenous cultural experiences for you to try such as participating in daily activities of the locals, planting wet rice and forest trees, and picking cardamom. Another very interesting experience is trying regional cuisine and enjoying the cultural and artistic activities of the indigenous Red Dao ethnic group.
Thong Nguyen – Ha Giang (Tay Con Linh)
To reach the foothill of Tay Con Linh, you will have to cross the areas of Nam Hong, Nam Ty, and Nam Dich and then go to Nhung village, Che village, and Tung Sang. The peaceful scenery in these villages is like an oil painting created by the most talented artist.
Once you reach Nhung village, the road will start to be bumpier. You will need to cross jagged dirt roads. Especially if it rains, it will be muddy, and extremely difficult to overcome. Dangerous bends and steep rocky slopes will be a great challenge if you choose to go by motorbike. Therefore, you should choose locomotives, large displacement vehicles with high chassis and strong engines to be able to easily overcome these difficult roads.
The journey to conquer Tay Con Linh becomes harder and more difficult when you have to walk through the forest to the shack. If you go at an average speed, it will take about 2 hours to get there. During the journey, you will need to follow the streams with jagged rocks, covered with moss, so it is quite dangerous. If you go in the high water season, you will need to be even more careful because it is easy to slip and fall into the stream.
After various difficulties challenging your adventurous hearts, you will say â€œwowâ€ when trekking in the majestic Tay Con Linh mountain range. This is the highest mountain range in Northeast Vietnam with an altitude of 2,428m above sea level and includes an immense primaeval forest at the foot of the mountain.
Ha Giang – Meo Vac
On the motorcycle trip around Ha Giang, if you skip Meo Vac, it means you miss lots of once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
The most exciting thing is conquering the Ma Pi Leng pass, which is regarded as one of the four worth-experiencing passes in North Vietnam. The pass meanders through the mountain with a height of over 1,200m. On one side are nine bends embracing the steep cliffs while on the other side is a bottomless abyss. That being said, it is this danger that creates the majesty of the pass. To get to Ma Pi Leng, you have to go through a rather difficult road, pass Bac Sun Pass, Heaven Gate Pass, Can Ty Pass, then go back up to Lung Cu before moving about 20km to reach Ma Pi Leng.
Meo Vac is also one of the most famous buckwheat viewing spots in Ha Giang. If you come here in the period from September to December, this is a great opportunity to admire the most beautiful and widespread buckwheat flower fields in the Northwest. The most ideal spot to view this amazing buckwheat scenery is at the foot of Ma Pi Leng Pass.
Meo Vac – Bao Lac
From Meo Vac, you continue the journey through the mountains and rivers to come to Bao Lac.
Coming here, the magnificent scenery with towering mountains will feast your eyes. While conquering the passes, you will see the asphalt road is like a silk sheet that is squeezed onto the high mountains. From here, looking up is the high mountain peak peeking behind the clouds, looking down is a small river valley with mossy stilts, while on the gentle slope are the corn fields of the people. The zigzag and craggy steps of the slopes create an interesting and emotional feeling for backpackers.
One of the most attractive places in Bao Lac is the 15-storey slope, also known as Khau Coc Tra. This is like a giant silk ribbon winding around the cliff. Looking higher up are the white clouds floating, sparkling in the blue sky while hearing around is the sound of birds chirping and the cries of mountain goats.
Bao Lac is also known as the land of many brilliant flowers, each season has its own color. Plum blossoms bloom white in early spring, pear flowers are awesome in mid-spring while truffle and rice flowers are in full bloom in late spring. Once the autumn comes, the rice gets ripe and golden on the terraced fields. Amidst the majestic scenery of the mountains and hills, the flowers’ colors bring a gentle and poetic beauty to the land.
Bao Lac – Ba Be
After exploring Bao Lac, you ride the motorbike to Ba Ba lake, which will bring the most memorable experiences during the motorcycle trip. On the road, you will drive along the Gam River and go through pretty villages where you will meet friendly locals, from children to adults, who always smile and talk nicely with any tourists.
Leaving the country-wide roads with peaceful space, you start the journey to challenge your riding skills on rugged and tough routes. Moving on those roads, you will get a chance to admire beautiful terrace fields and picturesque villages along with little clear mountain streams.
One of the most interesting activities here is taking a boat trip around the lake. With this trip, you may have an occasion to explore several amazing destinations, including Ba Goa island, Puong cave, Pe Lam lake, Pe Lu, and Pe Leng.
For a final thought
Top Gear Vietnam Special is an attractive and funny motorcycle program, but it only meets the demand for entertainment. If you love exploring adventure routes, please come to BM Travel Adventure.
We bet that Ha Giang Loop is one of the most stunning routes for Vietnam discovery. All the sections in the article haven’t described the beauty of Ha Giang to the fullest. If you join us to explore the loop, you will find it even much more magnificent.
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