The Hmong king’s palace in Ha Giang


On a tour of Ha Giang Province we visited Dong Van Plateau and decided to take a day to see the palace where the king of the Hmong people lived early last century. The palace of Vua Meo, where the king of H'Mong lived last century in Dong Van Plateau, Ha Giang Province - Photo: Lam Van Son … [Read more...]

Exploring Ha Giang’s ethnic royals

My Tran Vuong Thi Cho (R), niece of H'Mong king Vuong Chinh Duc, talks about the stone bathtub which the H'Mong queens used to bathe in with goat milk We were warmly greeted by Vuong Thi Cho, niece of the king, who was our tour guide and took us on a fabulous and fun tour of the palace. She also spilled some information and stories about the king and the royal family. One such tale I remember is that Duc, dubbed as Vua Meo (king of H'mong people), was also the founder of the famous Vuong Dynasty, the largest in Ha Giang Province at the time, and lived in his unique, luxurious palace shaded with green samu trees. The empty Sa Phin Market and distant mountains blanked in mist Vuong Palace was built with solid stone, wood and terracotta tiles in ancient Chinese architectural style typical of the Man Qing era. It covers a total area of 1,120 square meters and it was built on an elevated site located in Sa Phin Valley in Lung Phin Commune, Dong Van District. The palace was … [Read more...]

Coming round mountains to Tay Bac


Tay Bac, the mountainous region in the northwest of Vietnam, is famous for beautiful terraced fields, colorful love markets, magnificent mountains and valleys. The terrain is fascinating for tourists who can discover many riddles of nature and indigenous cultures. The spectacular hillside-hugging road to the northern province of Ha Giang has a few hair-raising turns but the marvelous landscape is irresistible for nature lovers and adventurers. I came to Meo Vac, a mountainous district in Ha Giang Province where tourists can visit Khau Vai love market, in the late afternoon. The topography is limestone mountains that impose over the poetic Nho Que river running through. The love market often opens on the nights of 26th and 27th days of the lunar month. Shops trade till after midnight and local residents also stay up late. Their life rhythm is slow; the market is busy but I still sense a tranquility of there that is different to the markets in lowland regions. In contrast, Meo Vac … [Read more...]

Tam Giac Mach Flower Festival on Dong Van Karst Plateau opens

At the opening ceremony. Source:

PANO - The first Tam Giac Mach (Triangle Oat) Flower Festival on Dong Van Karst Plateau was kick-started on the evening of November 12th in Dong Van district by Ha Giang Provincial People’s Committee. This provincial-level festival aims to honour the flower, a tiny wild one with triangular-shaped leaves with a pink colour, as well as popularize and help raise the provincial tourism and status among domestic and international friends. Via the flower, the organizer would like to honour the land and people in the northernmost area of the country, which is facing difficulties and has potential for further development. In recent years, the Tam Giac Mach flower has been an alluring attraction for a number of tourists to Ha Giang province. After the opening ceremony, a typical artistic performance introduced Dong Van Karst Plateau’s history and geology, Dong Van old quarter’s history and the tourism-symbolic beauty of Tam Giac Mach flowers together with Ha Giang … [Read more...]

First buckwheat festival opens in Ha Giang

Buckwheat flower on the Dong Van Stone Plateau

Tourists to the northernmost province of Ha Giang and locals are enjoying the first buckwheat festival, which kicked off on the Dong Van Stone Plateau on November 12. The buckwheat (Fagopyrum Esculentum) plant grows in clusters of small, pinkish-white flowers and produces triangular, edible seeds. The ethnic Mong group cultivates two crops of buckwheat every year in the area. The flowers are sensitive to sunlight, changing their colour from white in the early morning to pink in the afternoon. Buckwheat in full bloom is a spectacular sight, drawing flocks of tourists to Ha Giang. Addressing the opening ceremony, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Duc Quy said the festival aims to build a brand name for local tourism, fully tap the tourism potential of the plateau and Dong Van’s old quarter, and promote the locality’s cultural values. Through the iconic flower, Ha Giang expects to promote its land and people to domestic and … [Read more...]

Unique architecture of Dong Van


(VOVworld) - The charm of Ha Giang is not limited to its beautiful fields of buckwheat flowers, its breathtaking roads, and authentic ethnic markets. Ha Giang province is also home to amazing architectural treasures. After following the highway 4C for about 160 km from the center of Ha Giang, you will arrive at Dong Van township where you should not miss a tour of the old town. Perched at 1,600 meters, Dong Van township was home to Tay, Hoa, and Mong ethnicities in the early 20th century. In 1920, the old township was renovated by the French, who brought new construction materials and Western architecture. Laterite houses with stone columns and decorated with red lanterns blend harmoniously with traditional clay buildings. Most of these houses belong to the Luong Huy family. Luong Huy Ngo of the Tay ethnic group says these houses are still in good condition:"The houses of this type are very comfortable. It is cool in summer and warm in winter. The wall thickness can be up to 85 cm. … [Read more...]

Ha Giang opens exhibition on buckwheat flower festival in Hanoi

Buckwheat in full bloom is a spectacular sight, drawing flocks of tourists to Ha Giang.

The Hanoitimes - A photo exhibition on the buckwheat flower festival, which will be held for the first time in the northern moutainous province of Ha Giang, is being displayed in Hanoi from November 9. The exhibition makes a good chance to introduce the buckwheat flower festival, a key tourism attraction of Ha Giang province of Ha Giang to local and international tourists. The buckwheat flower festival will be organised for the first time at Dong Van district’s old quarter and three districts – Quan Ba, Yen Minh and Meo Vac from November 12-15. The buckwheat (Fagopyrum Esculentum) plant grows in clusters of small pinkish white flowers and produces triangular shaped edible seeds. At the exhibition, apart from spectacular images of fields of the small pinkish white flowers, photos of the landscape, daily life and local agricultural production will provide visitors an insight into the border land. In addition, many local specialties such as honey or mushroom are … [Read more...]

Ha Giang promotes its buckwheat flower fest in Hanoi

Children play in a field full of buckwheat flower in Ha Giang. (Source:

(VOVworld) - The buckwheat flower festival, a principal tourist attraction of the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang, is being introduced to tourists in Hanoi via a photo exhibit that opened on Monday. In addition to spectacular images of fields of the small pinkish white flowers, other photos of Ha Giang’s landscape, daily life, and local agricultural production will provide insights into the picturesque border province. Local specialties like honey and mushrooms will also be on display through November 20. The exhibition which coincides with Ha Giang’s buckwheat flower festival 2015, will take place in Dong Van district’s old quarter and in three other districts – Quan Ba, Yen Minh and Meo Vac - from November 12-15. … [Read more...]

Ha Giang promotes buckwheat flower fest in Hanoi


Children play in a field full of buckwheat flower in Ha Giang. (Source: NDO/VNA - The buckwheat flower festival, a main tourism attraction of the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang, is being introduced to local and international tourists via a photo exhibition that opened in Hanoi on November 9. Besides spectacular images of fields of the small pinkish white flowers, photos of the landscapes, daily life and local agricultural production will provide visitors an insight into the border area. Many local specialties such as honey and mushroom are also on display through November 20. The buckwheat flower festival will be taking place for the first time in Dong Van district’s Old Quarter and three districts - Quan Ba, Yen Minh and Meo Vac - from November 12-15. The buckwheat (Fagopyrum Esculentum) plant grows in clusters of small pinkish white flowers and produces triangular shaped edible seeds. The ethnic H’Mong cultivate two crops of … [Read more...]

Ha Giang: Tam Giac Mach flower festival 2015 to come


(TITC) – To promote image of Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark and honor the outstanding values of karst plateau, Tam Giac Mach flower festival 2015 will be held from 12 to 15 November in Ha Giang Province. The opening ceremony will take place at 8pm on 12 November 2015 at Dong Van District Stadium. According to the Organizing Board, the preparation for the festival has been finished to welcome visitors. Accordingly, the stage decoration, lighting, sound, art performance program in the opening ceremony have been well prepared. Tam Giac Mach flower plantation in 4 districts of Dong Van, Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Meo Vac has been done as scheduled. Tourist maps have been placed at information centers and crossroads to guide visitors. Service suppliers such as restaurants, hotels, motels have committed to stabilize the price during the festival. Authorities have also focused on ensuring safety and security for visitors, building friendly and hospitable tourism environment. In … [Read more...]

Beauty of the land and people of Ha Giang Plateau

A grocery store in Dong Van plateau

When first blossoming, buckwheat flowers are white, turning pinkish and then pink purple after a week. NDO – Visiting Ha Giang province at this time, visitors will be overwhelmed by the imposing and picturesque scenery with the fields full of beautiful ‘Tam giac mach’ (buckwheat flowers) as well as the unique daily life and traditional culture of the ethnic minority people of this land. Covering a total of more than 2,300 kilometres, Dong Van Karst Plateau in Ha Giang province is located at an altitude of over 1,000 metres and belongs to four districts - Dong Van, Meo Vac, Yen Minh and Quan Ba. There are now over 17 ethnic minority groups with 250,000 residents, of which Mong ethnic people account for 70% of the population. … [Read more...]

Lung Cu flag tower


(VOVworld) - Visiting the northwest without climbing Lung Cu peak? No one would believe it. At the top of 1,700 meters-high Lung Cu peak is tower flying the Vietnamese national flag. Go up there without delay! Lung Cu is Vietnam’s northernmost point. Several ethnic minorities live at the foot of Lung Cu mountain in what is called "Corn valley" in the Mong language because maize is the only crop grown there. The Lolo - another ethnic group in the region – have an interesting explanation of the origin of this mythical mountain. On the summit are two lakes which the local people call wells. According to a Lo Lo legend, the two wells are the eyes of a sacred dragon. Nguyen Thi Hong is a Lolo who lives in Lung Cu: "In the past, life in the region was very hard because of the lack of water. Before rising to heaven, the sacred dragon, out of kindness, left the villagers, his eyes which were later turned into two semi-circular lakes. The first belongs to the Mong and the second … [Read more...]

Buckwheat buds spur tourism

Tourism blossom: Buckwheat flowers have begun to bloom along the terraced fields, roads and villages in the northern mountainous provinces. — VNS Photo Doan Tung

HA GIANG (VNS) — The first buckwheat flower festival, which will feature art performances and a display of buckwheat flower products, will celebrate the blossoming of the iconic flowers next month in Dong Van District in Ha Giang Province. The Ha Giang People's Committee said they would also plan development strategies to promote the buckwheat flower as a tourism brand in the province. The buckwheat flower will be planted on a larger scale, primarily in tourist areas such as Lung Cu flag tower, central Dong Van, Meo King's Palace, Ma Pi Leng pass and Sung La Valley. The committee decided to plant more than 500ha of buckwheat in four districts: Dong Van, Meo Vac, Yen Minh, Quan Ba. The flower festival, which has an opening theme named "The Karst Plateau – Thousand Blooming Flowers", will be held in Ha Giang from November 12-15. Hoang Van Kien, director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Ha Giang, said that following the festival, the buckwheat flower … [Read more...]

Ha Giang to celebrate first-ever Buckwheat Flower Festival


At the end of autumn, Ha Giang is blushed in pinkish white carpets of buckwheat flowers NDO – The northern province of Lao Cai will host the first-ever ‘Tam giac mach’ (Buckwheat Flower) Festival on November 13-15. The event will be celebrated in the province’s four districts - Dong Van, Quan Ba, Yen Minh and Meo Vac - and the opening ceremony will take place in Dong Van on the night of November 12. The festival will feature many cultural activities, including a wine night party with wine made from buckwheat flowers, a display of the indigenous flower and products made from it, and a photo exhibition themed ‘The Land of Buckwheat Flowers’. A Mong ethnic panpipe festival and a trade fair will also be staged as part of the event. This is the first time Ha Giang has hosted the festival, which aims to advertise buckwheat flowers, the most popular flower of the krast plateau area of Ha Giang, and a highlight for tourists. Around 2,000 visitors have … [Read more...]

Exhibition features beauty of mountains and mountainous people

A work at the exhibition.

PANO - The ongoing exhibition entitled "Colours of Rocks", at the 29 Hang Bai Exhibition Hall in Hanoi, depicts the land and people of Ha Giang, the northernmost province of Vietnam. On display are paintings by primary school students of the province’s Dong Van and Quan Ba districts and artists from the charitable art project named "Mountain Star". This is the second year such a project has been carried out. The project aims to bring art to mountainous areas and to offer fact-finding trips to artists to help them have more work in the future. During the trips, the artists draw what they have seen and experience the daily life of the locals through classes for local kids. Through the exhibition, which lasts until October 16th, the organizers hope to call for more funds to support students of primary schools in Dong Ha commune, Quan Ba district, and in Lung Cu and Sung La communes, Dong Van district. Translated by Ha Thanh … [Read more...]

Vietnamese faces by Réhahn Croquevielle


Many newspapers from the world have written about French photographer Réhahn Croquevielle’s Vietnam photos saying that they have helped introducing Vietnam’s beauty to the world. Here are the latest pictures of Vietnamese ethnic minority people by Réhahn on Business Insider. A Lo Lo girl, 17, in Bao Lac District, Cao Bang Province. A Mong Sua woman. A 6-year-old Lo Lo girl. An ethnic minority woman in Meo Vac District, Ha Giang. A Red Dao woman in Nam Toong Village, Sa Pa Town, Lao Cai Province. A Red Dao woman collects corn. Pa Then children in Thuong Minh village, Hong Quang commune, Lam Binh district, Tuyen Quang province. A Pa Then woman in traditional costume. A Dao kid A Phu La little girl A Pu Peo man The map of the places in Northern Vietnam where Réhahn has visited. … [Read more...]

Autumn sights attract tourists

Hanoi is dyed in Autumn colours. (Credit:

VietNamNet Bridge – Hanoi is dyed in Autumn colours while carpets of ‘tam giac mach’ (buckwheat) flower, ‘da quy’ (wild sunflower) and white canola in blossom in Ha Giang, Moc Chau and Da Lat are offering visitors an exhilarating chance to immerse themselves in the heaven of nature and flowers. Ha Giang glows with pink buckwheat blossoms Buckwheat (scientifically known as Fagopyrum Esculentum) is a plant with clusters of small pinkish white flowers and edible triangular seeds. When harvest season has just finished, the northwest mountainous region is covered with pink as the buckwheat flowers blossom. Visitors to Ha Giang from the end of October to the middle of November are enthralled by the pure beauty of the scenery. The nearly 300km journey from Hanoi to Ha Giang seems to be shortened at this time of year thanks to the magnificent wonders of nature. In Lung Cam field covered in ravishing pinkish buckwheat flowers, visitors are eager to immerse … [Read more...]

Cultural characteristics of the Bo Y


(VOVworld) - The Bo Y have the smallest population of the 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam. About 3,000 Bo Y people live in a few hamlets in Quan Ba and Dong Van district in the northern border province of Ha Giang. On today’s "Colorful Vietnam, Vietnam’s 54 ethnic groups" segment, we will introduce the Bo Y. The Bo Y, also called the Pu Y, Chung Cha, Trong Gia, or Tu Di, live mainly by cultivating terraced fields and raising cattle and poultry. They forge farm tools and housewares and make wood products and pottery. Women grow cotton, weave cloth, and make clothes and accessories. The Bo Y in Ha Giang are patriarchal, which means the husband decides everything. 3 or 4 generations live together in a house. Ngu Khoi Phuong, a researcher of the Bo Y, said: "The Bo Y now have 10 clans. They have maintained their traditional lifestyle and customs such as organizing New Year celebrations, weddings, and funerals. They have their typical folk singings. About 700 Bo Y people live in … [Read more...]

Unlocking Tourism Potential on Dong Van Karst Plateau


Preserving cultural values together with developing tourism, developing agricultural economy and enhancing livelihoods for ethnic minorities on the Dong Van Karst Plateau are big concerns of Ha Giang province. How to turn difficulties and obstacles into opportunities on this land? Tourism development has posed hard challenges to provincial authorities and destabilised determinations of local people. Community tourism development was initiated immediately after Dong Van Plateau is recognised as a global geopark. The park is home to 250,000 residents, of which over 70 percent are the Mong people. The Advisory Council for Global Geoparks Network (UNESCO) regarded Dong Van Karst Plateau as one of particular limestone areas that contain typical prints about the earth's crust development history, natural phenomena, natural landscapes, unique scenery, biological diversity and long-standing cultural traditions of indigenous communities. Dong Van Karst Plateau is home to a range of unique … [Read more...]

Pu Peo worship of the Forest Genie and forest protection

Preparing glutinous rice cakes for offering

(VOVworld) – The forest is a life-giving resource for the Pu Peo people of Ha Giang province. Every year, they dedicate a ritual to the Forest Genie to pray for favorable weather, bumper crops, and animal fertility. In this week’s edition of "Colorful Vietnam, Vietnam’s 54th ethnic groups", Vinh Phong takes you to Ha Giang province to participate in a Forest Genie worship ceremony of the Pu Peo. The worship of the Forest Genie is one of the oldest rituals of the Pu Peo. It’s a cultural and religious event for the whole community.The Pu Peo worship genies of brook, river, forest, and mountain, who protect their lives. Luu San Van, a researcher of ethnic groups in Ha Giang province, says the Pu Peo have always lived in harmony with nature. They respect and protect nature and consider the forest their friend. Protecting the forest means they will have water for cultivation and wood for building houses. Van says: "The Pu Peo don’t have pagodas or temples … [Read more...]