We leave Hanoi and, as we head north, with the Hong Son Lake on our side, we enjoy the magnificent scenery with the beautiful complex of tiny islands, somewhat lost in between the surrounding forests, and limestone mountain peaks that make an idyllic picture-worthy spot. We continue our trip to the north and ride on a smooth road, meeting more charming landscape on our way. In the afternoon, we arrive at Mai Chau, where we have some time to wander and see more of the city, just before dinnertime. After dinner, we can see firsthand a traditional Thai Dance show, until it is time to go to sleep.
We spend the night in Thai stilt houses.
First thing is to obtain a visit permit from the Ha Giang immigration office, so to continue our trip to Quang Ba, Dong Van, and Yen Minh regions. They are areas with amazing natural landscape and views of unspoiled surroundings. People living here are used to work hard and long hours, and they always find a way out of problems of any sort, judging by the fact that they have managed to live on rocky farmlands. They are very outgoing and friendly people that do not seek much in life to be happy.
We have a quick break at an info coffee shop, and we could climb up some stairs, to get idyllic views of Quang Ba. We have lunch at Yen Minh, and then visit Pho Bang that was built hundreds of years ago and is home to multi-storey clay brick houses with tiled roofs. While in Quang Ba, we can also visit the Vuong Palace, where the high-rank H’mong family of Vietnam’s purported H’mong King (Vuong Chi Sinh) used to live during the French colonial ruling. It is a fine demonstrator of European-Chinese architecture and is a pole of attraction to all architecturally-minded visitors. Our last stop is at Dong Van, where we sleep overnight. We spend the night in a hotel.