Hoang Su Phi travel guide !

A little-known destination with hypnotic landscapes of rice terraces, Hoang Su Phi is a favorite destination at the end of the world. Well… almost… in the North of Vietnam, in fact, near the Chinese border. More information in this Hoang Su Phi travel guide to prepare well your trip.

hoang su phi trekking travel guide north vietnam

Location, access and climate

Where is Hoang Su Phi located?

Hoang Su Phi is located in Ha Giang Province. In the far north of Vietnam, not far from the Chinese border. A region that has long remained away from tourist destinations. It has kept a wild and rustic beauty, sculpted by the rice terraces. These majestic lands are home to a dozen ethnic groups, including a majority of Nung, Mong, Tay, Dao and La Chi.

How to come to Hoang Su Phi ?

Only about 80 km from the center of Ha Giang, Hoang Su Phi is relatively easy to access with several possible options. The most common, from Hanoi, is to take the night train to Lao Cai. Then board a bus for Hoang Su Phi. Or to make a stopover in Ha Giang before reaching your destination. That said, solo travel is still reserved for those who have a minimum of knowledge of Vietnamese. Some bus stops are based on oral tradition. Do not hesitate to ask us for advice to help you.

When to come to Hoang Su Phi ?

Renowned for its terraced rice fields competing with those of Sa Pa, you will have the good idea to come when they enter the “golden season”. Understand: harvest season. As much as possible, tick a date between the end of September and the beginning of October. You will take advantage of the browning dykes of ripe rice. If the agricultural scenes are graphically superb to photograph, they are nonetheless painful for those who experience them, because everything is still done by hand. If these dates are not convenient for you, try to come in May, during mirror season. During the rainy season, the dikes fill with water, becoming gigantic quiet mirrors offering a very Instagrammable spectacle, as we say today. But if you can only free yourself between June and July, then you will have the opportunity to discover the maintenance work that the rice terraces require.

What do we eat in Hoang Su Phi?

If you like local cuisine (somewhat adventurous, we’re not going to lie to each other), go to the market. Here it is held every Sunday. And besides the spectacle of a crowd in colorful and shimmering costumes (all the ethnic groups in the area find themselves with their most beautiful traditional costumes – people come to trade, but above all to chat, drink and possibly find a soul mate ), you will be tempted to taste some local culinary specialities.

The best known but certainly not the most glamorous is the thang co. A stew of horse viscera that pushes the professional conscience to chase away the ngu hai (evil spirit) with some success. It goes without saying that to verify the highly esoteric virtues of said and to ensure that the evil spirits (and really not gourmet for a sapèque) have indeed evaporated. We accompany the burning bowl with a significant amount of alcohol corn.

If the adventure seems too… typical, try the field mouse. Grilled, sautéed or otherwise, it is one of La Chi’s favorite dishes. But no one will blame you if you instead prefer the filling wisdom of thang den, glutinous rice cake stuffed with beans. Or the tau soup, a sort of hotpot with two rices, with an incomparable flavor. But also dried pork or buffalo. And many other surprises that also make this region famous.

rizières en terrasses hoang su phi travel guide
Ricefields terraces in Hoang Su Phi

And what do we do and what do we see in Hoang Su Phi? > travel guide !

Let’s temporarily leave the simple rustic pleasures of the table to enjoy this great playground that is Hoang Su Phi. We’re not going to make the suspense last. The region is the ultimate and absolute starting point for memorable treks and hikes. Whatever your level or your physical condition, you will undoubtedly find the circuit that will allow you to discover the charms of the surroundings at your own pace. Visiting the rice fields or the hills of hundred-year-old tea trees is one of the simple, healthy, exotic and enriching pleasures that these lands at the end of the world generously provide. Accompanied by the warm smile of the villagers of Nam Ai, Nam Hong, Thong Nguyen or Ban Luoc. Some of these hikes can be done by motorbike or bicycle.
Speaking of trek, try to climb the Chieu Lau Thi. Located 42 km from the center of Hoang Su Phi district, it is one of the tallest mountain peaks in the northeast. Be accompanied by a guide!

Explore the rice terraces

You should know that the rice fields of Hoang Su Phi are listed as national heritage, which is not nothing. You should also know that they share the lands of Ban Luoc, Ban Phung, Thong Nguyen, Ho Thau, Nam Ty and San Sa Ho. In other words, each amphitheater of rice fields (pardon the somewhat pompous term) will have its own ” personality “. For example, Ban Phung has the highest terraces. Those of Ho Thau have small clearings to avoid landslides. Or Thong Nguyen, reputed to have the most beautiful rice terraces in Hoang Su Phi. The La Chí, Dao and Nùng are the master builders from generation to generation of these little gems.

Visit the temples of Suoi Thau and Vinh Quang

enfanys_la-chiThe first temple is located on the slopes of a mountain in the village of Suoi Thau, in the commune of Ban Luoc. A breathtaking point of view. And the more or less legendary anecdotes about the god of the forest, the god of the earth, the god of the earth, the midwife, the celestial thunder, the jade emperor, etc. told by your guide will leave you with some somewhat mysterious memories.

As for Vinh Quang Temple, it is located in downtown Vinh Quang. Built towards the end of the 19th century, the tutelary gods are venerated there. But also Hoang Van Dang, the general-in-chief of Hoang Su Phi, who died a hero fighting against the French colonists.

Challenge the Tay Con Linh

Sacred mountain of La Chi, Tay Con Linh belongs to the massif upstream of the Chay River. West of Ha Giang province. With an altitude of 2,419 m, it is the highest peak in Northeast Vietnam. Reserved for seasoned hikers, the Tay Con Linh trek is particularly technical. But very largely rewarded by the simply magical view from the top.

If you would like further information or have any questions after reading this practical Hoang Su Phi travel guide, do not hesitate to contact us. ici

You can also choose one of our short or long tours that include a visit to this surprising place:

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