Unveiling the Charms of Dong Van: A Comprehensive Guide

Situated in the heart of the highland rocky mountains, Dong Van ancient town awaits travelers with its unique blend of traditional culture, breathtaking landscapes, and mouthwatering cuisine.
Established in the early 20th century, Dong Van Ancient Quarter has evolved into one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the region. Join us on a virtual tour as we uncover the charms of this town and provide you with a comprehensive guide for an unforgettable visit.

Discovering the Unique Beauty of Dong Van Ancient Town

dong van
Situated at an altitude of 1000-1600m, Dong Van ancient town boasts a distinctive charm with its colorful traditional culture. The old town, with only 40 roofs stacked together, showcases 100 to nearly 200-year-old houses, offering a glimpse into the rich history of the region. The architecture reflects a strong influence of Chinese design, featuring two-story houses with yin and yang tile roofs adorned with red lanterns that add warmth to the Stone Plateau’s cold atmosphere.

Top Things to Do in Dong Van

Stroll Around The Old Town
  • Immerse yourself in the local history and culture by taking a leisurely stroll through the charming Old Town.
  • Visit the square comes alive at night, illuminated by lanterns, offering a perfect spot for a late-night drink.
  • Visit well-preserved traditional houses that tell the story of the town’s evolution over the years.
Sunday Market Exploration
  • If arrive on Sunday, you can join the vibrant local life at the sunday market, a bustling place where you can experience the authentic market atmosphere.
  • Browse through a variety of goods, including fresh produce, handicrafts, and local products.
Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark Adventure
  • Explore the UNESCO Global Geopark known for its geological and cultural significance.
  • Marvel at unique rock formations and stunning landscapes while learning about the rich cultural heritage of ethnic communities.
Ma Pi Leng Pass Journey
Embark on an unforgettable journey along the scenic Ma Pi Leng Pass, offering dramatic cliffs and breathtaking views of the Nho Que River.
Ethnic Minority Village Visits
  • Experience the local way of life in nearby ethnic minority villages like Lung Cu, Lao Va Chai, or Pho Bang.
  • Engage with friendly locals, learn about customs, traditions, and witness unique cultural practices.
Hiking and Trekking Adventures
  • Enjoy excellent opportunities for hiking and trekking, exploring picturesque countryside, terraced fields, and pristine mountains.
  • Hike to the peak of Ma Pi Leng for breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding beauty.
Traditional Festivals and Celebrations
  • Attend traditional festivals like the Khau Vai Love Market or the Buckwheat Flower Festival for colorful celebrations and cultural performances.
  • Immerse yourself in traditional rituals that showcase the region’s rich cultural heritage.

How to Reach Dong Van

To reach this town, consider the Ha Hoi – Ha Giang city route for an easy journey. Travelers can opt for a bus to Ha Giang, ensuring a comfortable night’s sleep before arrival. Alternatively, those seeking adventure can ride a motorbike, though it may be more exhausting. The Ha Giang – Dong Van route, spanning just over 100km, requires careful planning due to dangerous cliffs. The 4C Highway serves as the main route, connecting Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van, and Meo Vac districts, showcasing famous landmarks and landscapes.

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to visit is during the transitional seasons of spring (March to May) and autumn (October to November). These periods offer pleasant weather with mild temperatures, perfect for outdoor activities and exploration. Autumn brings vibrant colors, while spring showcases blossoming flowers, particularly the enchanting pink buckwheat flowers.

What to Eat 

Don’t miss the chance to savor the unique highland dishes, especially during festival seasons or weekends. Some must-try specialties include Thang Co, corn wine, Au Tau rice soup, egg rolls, five-color sticky rice, smoked buffalo meat. The night market also offers a variety of fast foods for a delightful evening.

Tips for Planning Your Visit

  • Avoid extreme weather conditions, with rainny summer (June to August) being hot and humid, and winter (December to February) chilly in the mountainous areas.
  • Check specific dates for traditional festivals and cultural events for a more immersive experience.


In conclusion, this ancient town is a destination that captivates with its rich history, cultural diversity, and stunning landscapes. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or culinary explorer, this town has something to offer. Plan your visit during the optimal seasons, immerse yourself in local traditions, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Ready to embark on your Dong Van adventure? Pack your bags and discover the enchanting charms of this hidden gem in the heart of the highland rocky mountains with YESD Travel today!
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