Dong Van Ancient Town is one of the most attractive destinations for tourists in the Ha Giang region. How to get there? What to do and eat there? Let’s find out with before you prepare your trip to experience it!

Introduction to Dong Van Ancient Town in Ha Giang

Located at an elevation of 1000-1600m, Dong Van Ancient Town is a renowned destination within the Dong Van District. In the midst of a pristine mountainous environment, the ancient town still retains its inherent historical charm, making it a place that everyone should visit on their journey to conquer Ha Giang.

Dong Van Ancient Town in Ha Giang

Furthermore, this ancient town appears to be a bustling entertainment hub amidst the serene highland of rocky landscapes.

In the past, the ancient town was inhabited by some families of the Hmong, Tay, and Chinese ethnic groups. Later on, when the Kinh, Dao, and Nung ethnic people came to build homes and livelihoods here, the area became more lively.

Even though there are only around 40 houses neatly arranged, what sets this ancient town apart is that these houses have ages extending up to several hundred years.

Therefore, when you visit this place, you will feel the historical solemnity and the passage of time.

Where is Dong Van Ancient Town in Ha Giang?

Dong Van Ancient Town is situated in Dong Van District, at an elevation ranging from 1,000m to 1,600m above sea level. Surrounded by towering mountains and lush forests, Dong Van Ancient Town hides within an impressive aura of tranquility and antiquity. It is not an exaggeration to say that the beauty of this town is a remarkable highlight amidst the arid rocky highland. Missing the opportunity to explore the nostalgic charm of Dong Van Ancient Town during a Ha Giang tour would indeed be regrettable.

Since the early 20th century, a few households from the Tay, Chinese, and Hmong ethnic groups migrated to this area for settlement and livelihood. Later on, the town became livelier as the Nung, Dao, and Kinh people gradually settled here as well.

How to Get to Dong Van Ancient Town?

To reach Dong Van Ancient Town from Hanoi, travelers need to go to the city of Ha Giang first. You can take a passenger bus or use a private car from Hanoi if you’re not familiar with the route. The road is quite long, but it’s straightforward, so there’s no need to worry.

The Ma Pi Leng Pass road to Ha Giang

You can book a private car rental service with a driver in Hanoi from With a quick and convenient service, having a driver pick you up will make your journey more comfortable. Additionally, you can plan to rest and visit some attractions along the way. Book your car rental service from Hanoi to Ha Giang today to arrange your detailed itinerary.

From the city of Ha Giang, it’s about 100 kilometers to Dong Van Ancient Town. The route has many curves, inclines, and steep mountain passes, which can be quite challenging. Therefore, if you’re not a confident driver, it’s best to travel by car to ensure safety.

When to Visit Dong Van Ancient Town?

Dong Van Ancient Town attracts tourists from both within and outside of Ha Giang province throughout the year. However, the old town becomes livelier than ever during the festivals, especially during the Buckwheat Flower Festival in Ha Giang, which takes place from October to early December.

Buckwheat flowers in Ha Giang

During this time, besides exploring the timeless beauty of Dong Van Ancient Town, visitors also have the chance to immerse themselves in the fragrance of the buckwheat flower fields. And don’t miss the opportunity to taste the unique flavors of buckwheat cakes and buckwheat wine, specialties of Ha Giang!

The Timeless Beauty of Dong Van Ancient Town

Dong Van Ancient Town is comprised of only about 40 neighboring households, forming a quaint town nestled beneath rocky cliffs. The overall picture of Ha Giang’s ancient town is painted with the golden hue of sunlight, the green of the mountains and forests, and the nostalgic charm of the whitewashed houses that have aged with time.

The ancient town of Dong Van is home to just 40 households

As you set foot on this street, you’ll witness an incredibly vintage architectural style with two-story houses, typical red-tiled Yin and Yang roofs, a characteristic architectural style of the Northern mountainous ethnic people. Some houses even have red lanterns hanging in front of their doors, adding an enchanting touch to the space.

Dong Van Ancient Town seems to change its colors throughout the day. you’ll experience its different charms. In the early morning, the town is bathed in the golden light of the sun, and the atmosphere is tranquil and serene. Step outside and breathe the pure and refreshing air bestowed by nature. In the evening, the entire town takes on a gentle and romantic ambiance. Under the twilight, the lanterns begin to illuminate, making the town sparkle with enchanting beauty.

Fun Activities in Dong Van Ancient Town

Visit the Old Town Café

If you’ve come to Dong Van Ancient Town in Ha Giang, don’t miss the opportunity to “date” at the Old Town Café. This café is designed from a centuries-old house, where the flow of time seems to preserve the beauty of this little café, enhancing its nostalgic and impressive appeal.

Cafes in Dong Van Ancient Town

The Old Town Café is relatively large, with a spacious front and an inner courtyard. Most visitors are captivated by the incredibly nostalgic beauty that evokes ancient memories. Those who visit this café will surely be charmed and will cherish the experience.

The Old Town Café is just a few minutes’ walk from the ancient houses. The first floor features natural bamboo tables and chairs. The second floor offers visitors a tranquil place to admire the beauty of the ancient town. The only source of light in the café comes from the red lanterns, making the atmosphere more enchanting and mystical.

Explore Dong Van Market

Apart from discovering the mossy, antique houses, tourists on Ha Giang tours can also feel the local tradition of the highlands through the Dong Van Market. The market rows at Dong Van Market are arranged in a U-shape.

Dong Van Ancient Town is where the locals from the highlands buy, sell, and exchange goods. It’s also a place for young men and women to make friends and connect. The ethnic girls, dressed in vibrant traditional costumes, have radiant smiles like the morning sun. Strolling around the market, tourists will find many unique souvenir items to bring back to their loved ones.

Dong Van Ancient Town is the very place where people from highland areas buy and exchange goods

Dong Van Market is where the intersection of delicate Vietnamese-Chinese architecture takes place. The market was built around 1925-1928. Now, Dong Van Ancient Market has become a unique blend of the Northeast mountainous nature and the slow-paced life of the highland people.

Enjoy Ha Giang Cuisine

If you have the opportunity to visit Dong Van Ancient Town, don’t forget to visit roadside eateries and savor the exquisite Ha Giang specialties. Some famous dishes you shouldn’t miss include “Thit trau gac bep” (Buffalo meat from the kitchen), Bac Me sticky rice, colorful sticky rice, “chao au tau” (porridge), “Thang Co,” and egg rolls. These dishes have flavors that are quite palatable for those from the plains.

Enjoying the dishes with the distinctive flavors of Dong Van Ancient Town

Tourist Attractions around Dong Van Ancient Town, Ha Giang

Located in the center of Dong Van town, visiting the ancient town makes it very convenient to explore nearby tourist destinations. Here are some suggestions for places you can visit:

  • Traditional Dong Van Market: This bustling market is a great place to experience the local culture, interact with the people, and discover various products and crafts.
  • Dong Van Karst Plateau: This unique geological area offers breathtaking landscapes, rocky plateaus, and limestone formations. It’s a paradise for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
Visit Ha Giang to explore Dong Van Karst Plateau
  • King Meo’s Mansion: Explore the majestic mansion of King Meo, showcasing distinctive architecture and historical significance.
  • Lung Cu Flag Point: Visit the northernmost point of Vietnam and witness the magnificent Lung Cu Flagpole. This national symbol offers panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Additionally, if you can plan your trip for the months of October and November, you’ll have the opportunity to admire the triangle flower fields in Ma Le Commune, Lung Cu. This area is known for its stunning floral beauty during this time.

Dong Van Ancient Town in Ha Giang is a destination that still retains seemingly intact ancient houses and the cultural beauty that you can only find in highland regions. I hope that the information shared above, while not exhaustive, can provide you with some useful insights and tips before you embark on your journey to this famous destination in Ha Giang.

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