Hoang Su Phi in Ha Giang, near the Chinese border, is a mountainous area with little tourism. You will find here one of the most breathtaking rice terraces, ethnic groups, mountains and nature.
Hoang Su Phi is similar to Mu Cang Chai, but with even fewer tourists. It is even the least touristy area in the not too touristy Ha Giang province. That is why this is a great advantage for maintaining the authenticity of this beautiful and unspoilt area.
- How to get there?
- Best travel time
- About Hoang Su Phi
- Best rice terraces
- Accommodations in Hoang Su Phi
How to get there?
Hoang Su Phi is approximately 80 km from Ha Giang city center. You can go to Hoang Su Phi with your own transport, public transport or a combination of both.
Hoang Su Phi is very difficult to reach and for that reason it is not touristy either. There are no direct busses going here, so the best and easiest way is by tour. There are a number of tours going to this region. A tour is also the easiest way to explore this area, as you go often go tracking through the most beautiful terraced rice fields and stay overnight in local homestays.
From Hanoi to Ha Giang
From the My Dinh bus station in Hanoi, a number of buses go to Ha Giang every day. The departure time is usually around 8:00 PM, and you will be in Ha Giang around 5:00 AM. From Ha Giang you can arrange transportation to Hoang Su Phi; mostly private car with driver.
An alternative is to ask if the bus will drop you off at Tan Quang en route to Ha Giang City, and ask your accommodation in Hoang Su Phi if they can arrange transport from Tan Quang to Hoang Su Phi.
From Ha Giang to Hoang Su Phi
You can choose to rent a motorbike in Ha Giang. You then drive via the QL2 to Tan Quang and from here you take the DT177 to Hoang Su Phi. An alternative is hire a private car with driver. You can either arrange this by yourself or via your homestay/resort in Hoang Su Phi.
Best travel time
The rice season of the terraced fields only has one harvest per year, so to see the golden fields you have to choose the right time. The best time to visit Hoang Su Phi is from September to October when the rice changes to golden color. There is a harvest in October. You can also visit the region between March and May during the water season. This means that all fields are placed underwater, so that you see fields sparkle and reflect.
About Hoang Su Phi
Hoang Su Phi Market
The market in Hoang Su Phi, which is held once a week on Sundays, is the place in the region where goods are traded such as vegetables, clothing, fabrics and tools for making rice terraces. It is also a place where boys and girls meet and show off the most beautiful dresses and clothes. Older people socialise with old friends and children play around. People go to the market enthusiastically, as if they go to the festival.
Rice is often prepared in a bamboo stick. The opening of the stick is closed with dried leaves and is steamed on the fire or on the hot coals. The region also has a number of “exotic dishes”. The best known are dishes from mice that are roasted or baked.
- Bring extra snacks with you, because there are few shops.
- Bring enough cash with you, because there is only one ATM in Vinh Quang.
Best rice terraces
Hoang Su Phi is best known for its picturesque rice terraces and a majestic natural landscape. The work on the terraces is carried out from top to bottom with simple tools. Below you can read where you can find the most beautiful rice terraces.
Ban Phung Village is a village near the border with China. From the center of Vinh Quang you have to follow a pass of almost 30 km over a mountain to reach the center. Phung is located on a steep slope and together with Ban Luoc this is the place with the highest terraced rice fields. (Location Ban Phung).
Ho Thau is a commune about 16 kilometers away from Nam Dich and belongs to the ethnic population of the Red Dao. The people here place a small forest area around each field to protect the land against landslides. (Location Ho Thau)
Thong Nguyen has three rivers that come together in one place near a plateau. You will find one of the most beautiful places to see terraced rice fields in the region of Hoang Su Phi. You find this village between Bac Quang and Hoang Su Phi. (Location Thong Nguyen)
Ban Luoc is the area of the Dao ethnic minority with many mountains and slopes. These hill tribes have created many terraced rice fields, which is a very powerful sight. (Location Ban Luoc)
Nam Ty is located halfway between Bac Quang and Hoang Su Phi. The beautiful rice fields here are from the Red Dao ethnic minority. (Location Nam Ty)
With a height of 2419 meters, Tay Con Linh is the highest peak in Northeast Vietnam and one of the highest mountains in Vietnam. At the top of the mountain there is a landmark and at the foot of the mountain you will find among other things a tropical forest. This mountain is considered a holy mountain by La Chi ethnic people.
Chieu Lau Thi is called the nine-storey mountain, located 42 km from Hoang Su Phi. The highest point of the mountain is 2.402 meters and therefore also one of the highest peaks in northeastern Vietnam. On clear days you can see tens of kilometers from the peak. Around the mountain you will find a diverse ecosystem including a primeval forest. In Vietnam this area is also known for snow tea. Every year there is a period of snow, where the snow covers a large area. Reaching the Chieu Lau Thi mountain peak is only for adventurous tourists.
Accommodations in Hoang Su Phi
You can find accommodation in Vinh Quang, the largest town in Hoang Su Phi. But throughout the region you will find homestays, in villages such as Ban Phung, Ho Thau and Thong Nguyen. In these homestays you will find basic facilities and you can go there for local meals. Tourism is not yet developed in this region, so don’t expect much luxury. Also keep in mind that the host family of the homestay speaks little or no English.
A number of homestays:
- Panhou village
- Ecolodge Pan Hou Village
- Hoang Su Phi Lodge
- Homestay Mr. Quyen
- Kinh Homestay