If you decide to do one thing whilst you are in Southeast Asia and more specifically Vietnam then it should be the Ha Giang Loop!!
The Ha Giang loop is a popular moped route that takes you through the breathtaking landscapes of the Ha Giang province in northern Vietnam. The loop is approximately 300 kilometres long and takes about 3-4 days to complete. It's a winding road that takes you through some of the most beautiful and remote parts of Vietnam. Along the way, you'll pass through lush forests, rolling hills, and terraced rice fields. You'll also have the opportunity to visit some of the region's most picturesque villages, where you can learn more about the local culture and meet the friendly and hospitable people who call these places home.
This loop was by far my highlight when I travelled across South East Asia and therefore it is a must!!
My advice is to do it with a group by signing up for a tour. I did this with Jasmine Hostel which is located in the city of Ha Giang. You don't need to book in advance with them as there is a tour going on every day. When you get there you will be presented with two choices, either a 3 or 4-day tour. You Must do 4 days, the 4th day was arguably the best when I did it, so doing 3 days means you will be missing out, however, if you are short of time then 3 would still suffice and you'll still be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
If you do decide to do it solo, then the must-see destination along the Ha Giang loop is the Dong Van Karst Plateau Global Geopark. This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to a unique landscape of limestone mountains and cliffs that have been shaped over millions of years. It's a truly awe-inspiring place to visit.
Another highlight of the Ha Giang loop is the Ma Pi Leng Pass. This mountain pass takes you through the Dong Van Karst Plateau and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. It's a great spot to stop and take some photos.
If you're interested in history and culture, visit the Lung Cu Flag Tower. This tower is the highest point in Vietnam and offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. It's also a great place to learn more about the history of the region and the importance of the tower as a symbol of national pride.
Overall, the Ha Giang loop is an incredible motorcycle route that offers something for everyone. Whether you're a nature lover, a history buff, or just someone who loves beautiful landscapes, you'll find something to love about this fantastic place. So if you're planning a trip to Vietnam and want to experience some of the country's most breathtaking views and rich cultural history, be sure to add the Ha Giang loop to your itinerary.
Make sure you have driven a scooter before doing this loop, one place to practice is on the island of Cat Ba just next to Halong Bay as it is super quiet and the roads are pretty safe and empty.