Dong Van Karst Plateau - one of the most special sites of Vietnam

Nga Do
With its earth heritage and unique culture of ethnic minority groups, the Dong Van Karst Plateau in Ha Giang province is one of the most spectacular destinations in Vietnam. Located deep inside the Plateau, Meo Vac district is almost untouched and favored by adventurists.

Dong Van Karst Plateau - one of the most special sites of Vietnam
Photo by Giang A Phon
Located at the North top point of Vietnam, Dong Van Karst Plateau, which has its border with China, is a place that you can not ignore. Everyone consider it one of the most special sites of Vietnam. It is one of special karst places that contains proof of the development of the earth’s crust, excellent scenery, biological diversity and long-standing cultural tradition of native people. Dong Van Karst Plateau was recognized the geopark and the member of the Global Geopark Network in 2010 by UNESSCO.

Dong Van is home to 139 geological heritages, of which 15 are international, 68 are national and 56 are local. In the area’s stone sediments, bio-archeologists have found many fossils which have preserved the history of the plateau in Dong Van in particular and Vietnam’s northeastern region. Geological diversity and climate shifts over millions of years have created diverse and spectacular rock gardens and rock forests like the KhauVai rock garden in MeoVac district which have flower-shaped, bud-shaped, dragon-shaped, and tiger-shaped rocks among many others. There are several rock stacks that look like thousands of seabirds relaxing on the beach. In between of the rock gardens are high mountains and steep hills that make the karst plateau more spectacular.

In the Dong Van Karst Plateau now, a new path winding around the mountain side has been paved to traverse the Ma Pi Leng pass with the steep rocky mountain on one side and the peaceful Nho Que River on the other. The rocky outcrops, small waterfalls, terraced fields, and small thatched houses nestled behind rock walls and peach gardens creates a stunningly picturesque landscape. Ma Pi Leng is a must-stop for tourists to the Dong Van Karst Plateau. Tran Thanh Hoang, a guide in Ha Giang, said: "Tourists call Ma Pi Leng one of the 4 top passes in Vietnam’s northwest. Though it’s shorter than other passes, it’s the most difficult one. In the ethnic minority language, Pi Leng means nose bone which is straight and high. Previously, it was too high for a horse to climb up. Now, the road to the pass has been upgraded to become more level. The work was contributed to by the great efforts of many people. President Ho Chi Minh named it the Happiness Road in the hope that the road would bring happiness to the locals.”

In the Dong Van karst plateau, many local festivals like the Khau Vai Love Market festival, buckwheat flower festival, Gau Tao festival of the Mong, Rain Praying festival of the Lo Lo, Long Tong festival of the Tay, Cap Sac festival of the Dao, and New Year Celebration of the Giay have been revived.  The diverse festivals of the locals and the spectacular landscapes have drawn both Vietnamese and foreign tourists to Dong Van and Meo Vac. 

Dong Van Karst plateau one of the best places of Vietnam adventure tours. Where do you want to go explore this year? If you choose Ha Giang, Let's book early - early get the best holiday!

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