Dong Van is a district in the Ha Giang province of northern Vietnam. It is located in the Dong Van Karst Plateau, which is a UNESCO Global Geopark and one of the most unique and spectacular landscapes in the world. It is a place of rocks and flowers, with limestone mountains, valleys, caves, forests, and fields. It is also a place of culture and history, with ethnic minorities, ancient villages, markets, and festivals.
Dong Van is a popular destination for tourists who want to discover the beauty and diversity of nature, as well as the heritage and identity of the local people. It is also a place of adventure and challenge, as it offers many opportunities for trekking, hiking, biking, camping, and exploring.
In this blog post, I will introduce you to some of the main features and attractions of Dong Van, as well as some tips and recommendations for visiting this amazing place.
The Beauty and Diversity of Dong Van
The main attraction of Dong Van is its beauty and diversity. The district has a total area of about 445 km2 and a population of about 60,000 people. The district consists of four towns: Dong Van (the capital), Pho Bang, Pho Cao, and Meo Vac. The district also has 19 communes that are scattered around the plateau.
The plateau has an average elevation of about 1,400 m above sea level. It has a climate that is cool and dry in the winter (from November to March) and warm and wet in the summer (from April to October). The temperature ranges from 5°C to 28°C throughout the year. The rainfall is about 1,500 mm per year.
The plateau is home to more than 40% of the limestone formations in Vietnam. It has more than 80 types of rocks that have different shapes and colors. It also has more than 1,000 caves that have different sizes and depths. Some of the caves that are worth visiting are Lung Cu Cave (the largest cave in Vietnam), Nho Que Cave (the deepest cave in Vietnam), Thien Huong Cave (the most beautiful cave in Vietnam), etc.
The plateau is also home to more than 1,700 species of plants and animals that have adapted to the harsh environment. It has more than 250 species of flowers that bloom in different seasons. Some of the flowers that are famous in Dong Van are peach blossoms (in spring), buckwheat flowers (in autumn), sunflowers (in summer), etc. It also has more than 50 species of animals that live in harmony with nature. Some of the animals that are rare and endangered in Dong Van are langurs, tigers, leopards, bears, etc.
The best way to enjoy the beauty and diversity of Dong Van is to take a road trip around the plateau. You can rent a motorbike or a car from Ha Giang city or from other nearby provinces. You can also join a tour from Hanoi or from other cities. The road trip will take you through four passes: Quan Ba Pass (Heaven’s Gate), Yen Minh Pass (Cloudy Pass), Ma Pi Leng Pass (Horse’s Nose Pass), and Bac Sum Pass (Silver Pass). The road trip will also take you through four valleys: Quan Ba Valley (Twin Mountains Valley), Yen Minh Valley (Green Valley), Nho Que Valley (Little River Valley), and Meo Vac Valley (Cat’s Valley).
The beauty and diversity of Dong Van are stunning and impressive. They are also natural and authentic. Therefore, it is important to respect and protect them by following some rules and guidelines:
- Do not litter or leave any waste on the road or near the attractions.
- Do not touch or damage any rocks or plants or animals.
- Do not collect or buy any souvenirs made from rocks or plants or animals.
- Do not drive too fast or too loud on the road as it may be dangerous or disturbing.
The Culture and History of Dong Van
Dong Van is not only a place of natural beauty but also a place of culture and history. The area is inhabited by various ethnic minorities, such as the Hmong, Tay, Nung, Lo Lo, Giay, etc. They have their own languages, customs, traditions, and lifestyles that are different from the mainstream Vietnamese culture. They also have their own festivals, ceremonies, rituals, and crafts that reflect their identity and heritage.
Dong Van is also a place of historical interest, as it witnessed many events and changes throughout history. The area was once part of the Hung Kings’ Kingdom (from the 3rd millennium BCE to the 3rd century BCE), which was the first state of the Vietnamese people. The area was also part of the Tran Dynasty (from the 13th to the 14th century CE), which was one of the most prosperous and influential dynasties in Vietnamese history. The area was also involved in various wars and conflicts between Vietnam and China, such as the Sino-Vietnamese War (1979 CE), which resulted in the current border demarcation.
The culture and history of Dong Van are fascinating and diverse. They are also ancient and unique. Therefore, it is important to appreciate and support them by following some rules and guidelines:
- Respect the local culture and religion and dress modestly when visiting villages or temples.
- Ask for permission before taking photos or videos of people or places.
- Bargain politely and fairly when buying or selling at markets or shops.
- Do not disturb or interfere with any festivals or ceremonies that may take place near the attractions.
How to Visit Dong Van
Dong Van is located about 320 km from Hanoi and 150 km from Ha Giang city. It can be reached by car, motorbike, bus, or tour. The nearest airport is Noi Bai International Airport (HAN), which is about 340 km from Dong Van. The nearest train station is Hanoi Railway Station (Ga Hanoi), which is about 320 km from Dong Van. The nearest bus station is Ha Giang Bus Station (Ben Xe Ha Giang), which is about 150 km from Dong Van.
The best time to visit Dong Van is between April and October, when the weather is dry and sunny. The average temperature is about 20°C (68°F) and the humidity is low. The rainy season is between November and March, when the weather is wet and cloudy. The average temperature is about 15°C (59°F) and the humidity is high.
The cost of visiting Dong Van depends on your budget and preferences. You can find accommodation options for all price ranges, from homestays to hotels. You can also find food options for all tastes and budgets, from street food to restaurants. You can also find transportation options for all modes and distances, from bicycles to motorbikes to cars.
There are some things to keep in mind when visiting Dong Van:
- Book your transportation tickets in advance as they may sell out quickly or be canceled due to weather conditions.
- Bring your passport or ID card as you may need to register at the site’s authority office or show it at the border checkpoint.
- Bring water, snacks, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, etc.
- Do not bring any plastic bags or bottles as they are banned on the site.
Dong Van is a land of rocks and flowers that offers a lot of beauty and diversity for visitors. It is also a place of culture and history that offers a lot of learning and discovery for visitors. It is a place where you can experience the adventure and challenge of nature.
If you are interested in visiting Dong Van, you can book your trip online or contact us for more information and assistance. We hope you will have a wonderful time at Dong Van! 😊