Here, visitors will have opportunity to admire the beautiful scenery and know more about everyday life of Dong Van people, one of the points that visitors should visit the Dong Van market. Dong Van market which has trading of ethnic such as: Tay, Nung, Han, Mong, Hoa, Dao, Kinh… The market meets on Sunday every week and holidays, New Year. Market located at the root of Don Cao Mountain, beside the Dong Van ancient town. The whole market is designed with the style of Vietnam-China and it has interference with feng shui plateau. There has the rows of stone pillars with sophisticated carve. Dong Van market situated in the middle of Dong Van highland valley basin as an impressive point. This market is designed with U-shape structure and architecture on stone was built during the period from 1925 to 1928. From a distance, visitors will contemplate the wonderful and vivid scene of upland fair. From the porch, the seller and the buyer exchange goods by their language. Inside the market, there has range of merchandises that show all kind of items along with the sale of livestock and poultry to serve the needs of customers. Like some other upland fairs, Dong Van fair severs ethnic cuisine such as: Thang co, triangle cake, corn wine… Here, visitors will has chance to soak into vivid atmosphere and learn more about the Dong Van ancient town. In addition, coming to Dong Van is opportunity to test your courage by passing abyss
In the population of ancient rock, there have 2 boulders that are called big stone of prehistoric people. The first boulder is far about 700 meters from ancient carved stone to the east; it is magma boulder with 2.3 meters length, 1 meter width. On the surface and at the edge of the stone also retains the status of natural weathering. The second boulder is located far about 70 meters from the first boulder to the west. According to scientists, Nam Dan megalithic relic is the type of archaeological relics dating about 2,000 years and very rare in Vietnam. The boulders are maybe the grave of leaders or spiritual area, worship of gods, ancestors. In addition, the scientists think that Nam Dan megalithic relic related to the worship gods of prehistoric people. Take along the trail of the mountainside through the megalithic relic about 500meters is the rock area which has ancient carved in the middle of the H’Mong. In the whole of Nam Dan commune, there have 4 ancient carved boulders but the rock in Nam Dan village has many carved figures with 79 figure includes: 40 circles, 2 rectangle, 1 square… The drawing in the Nam Dan ancient cultural population describe human activities, terraces, streams, moon, many circles, hands, legs… In order to create the drawing on stone, people use the direct carved technique in the surface of rock. Until now, in Vietnam, the trail of the prehistoric plastic arts found quite a few. It can be said Nam Dan ancient rock has special cultural value and scientific research value. Nam Dan has a huge potential tourism and attractions for tourists.
Dong Van district is a high-border region of Ha Giang. 1,000 m above the sea surface, terrain is composed of mostly mountain rocks. The district is only 146 km from Ha Giang town but transportation is very difficult. In winter temperatures in Dong Van sometime drop to 1oC and in summer hottest time is just around 24oC and it is foggy throughout the year.
Dong Van has the extreme point of North Vietnam in Lung Cu. It is said that if not on Lung Cu, it has not yet considered to be in Dong Van, Lung Cu is reckon as the “rooftops of Viet Nam” where one turn their face down to touch earth and turn up to touch heaven”.
Dong Van rocky plateau not only is sculpture product, a historical rocky page of the nature present to human people but also contain a lot of potential values such as, Geo-heritages, biological diversity, tourism, fossils…
Dong Van famous for its delicious fruit: peach, plum, pear, apples. Dong Van is also famous for its scenery such as mountains, caves, the forests colorful flowers… This place is created for artists a source of inspiration to make works of art, photographers do not have a two in the world of nature: forests, mountains, fields stairs … unique photos which cannot be found anywhere in the world about nature, mountains, forests, rice terraces…
Dong Van is a unique combination between Geo-heritages and cultural heritages which has attracted many travelers and tourists within and outside country.
Coming to Dong Van is an opportunity to test your courage with heavenly high passes and deep abyss. But in turn, you are immersed with the majestic natural beauty, living alongside people still poor but full of joy and happiness in life.
From a distance, Lung Cu is so beautiful. This land has third-fours stone, the national flagpole like Hanoi flagpole. When approached, the beauty will become more vivid. The flagpole is situated in Dragon Mountain, at the foot of the pole; it is carved reliefs with a clear pattern of Dong Son bronze drum. If tourists contemplate carefully, tourists will explore in the middle of Dragon Mountain has a large grotto, people here called “Si Ma Khan” grotto.
Lung Cu has a total area of 3460 hectares with 9 villages, there are: Lo Lo Chai, Seo Lung, Ta Gia Khau, Can Tang, Then Van, Then Pa, Si Man Khan, San Cho, San Sa Phin and borders with China more than 16 kilometers. Here, in the winter, it is very cold and has snow. Among 9 villages, Lung Cu Thi Seo Lung village located in uppermost land with Then Phan valley on the left and Nho Que River on the right.
Ethnic people in Lung Cu mainly cultivate. The H’Mong and Lo Lo still preserve the traditional weaving. Specially, Lung Cu also reserves historical artifacts, precious cultural artifacts of the reign of Hung Vuong. According to historical records, on the Tay Son dynasty, Emperor Quang Trung putted in place a large drum and the position of the drum is Lung Cu. Therefore, the Lo Lo in Lung Cu is proficient in using bronze drum.
Moreover, this place has Shan tea, honey wine, corn wine, peach blossom, white snow and thang co in each fair…along with the traditional cultural characteristics of ethnic people such as: H’Mong, Lo Lo, Giay… Lung Cu has fascinating in its beauty to attract many tourists. Indeed, if tourists have a chance to come here in the spring, visitors will be enjoyed the fresh air, the sound of love melody of the H’Mong
The road leads to the mansion is paved with boulder. At the entrance, many visitors take photograph with Dui lian. The mansion of Vuong family is situated at 1600 meters height above sea level; the mansion was built in turtle-shaped hill, looking to the south. The structure has shape of word “Vuong”
Through the time, the mansion still retains the original appearance. This place which converges all unique architectures of upland is not large but it has a beautiful architectural structure. Vuong mansion was built by the skillful of craftsmen who came from Yunnan (China) along with the best of the H’Mong workers.
Therefore, the structure has architecture of China reign of Thanh combined with essence of the H’Mong. All parts of structure are carved sophisticated into dragon, phoenixes, bats… shapes symbolizing longevity, prosperity of the family. In the house, there hang a picture of Nguyen dynasty. The whole of mansion has an area of 1.120m2 with 64 different rooms including living room, office, bedroom, family member’s room, kitchen, opium storage…
The mansion has three stilted houses. The main house faces the gate, two houses parallel and perpendicular to the main house. All stilted houses were made of wood. The main house is the place of Vuong Chinh Duc, the other houses for soldiers who server and protect the mansion. Apart from the main area, the mansion also was designed living room, pool…
These items are built in accordance with the practices of the H’Mong living in highland. The wall is built around with military guards to ensure the security of the whole building. Besides, Ha Giang Provincial museum has display more of its artifacts reflect the cultural life and productive labor of the H’Mong.
Today, the mansion has been classified by the State as the national architectural relic, primarily to serve tourists to visit and learn more about history. The descendants of Vuong’s family were built the houses in front of the mansion by Ha Giang province. Architectural relics of Vuong family mansion is concerned as a green gem in the heart of Dong Van upland.
Ha Giang Province is famous for Dong Van Geopark which is recognized as a Karst Plateau Global Geopark by UNESCO.
The gateway to the geopark is called Quan Ba by local people meaning skydoor due to its height and the fact that fog always covers the top, which makes people think it is the door to the sky
Not only that but it has a magnificent panoramic view of Tam Son City appearing in the green valley below.
It is also the perfect spot to appreciate the beautiful Fairy Twin Mountains which lie in among the rice fields.
Its reverse bowl shape has made the Twin Mountains special from other mountains. The mountains resemble a woman’s breasts – that’s why in local language they call them fairy twins.
It takes around half an hour from Tam Son City to Quan Ba skydoor. The road is poor and is full of large trucks which slow your speed considerably as you have to be very careful to avoid accidents. Tourists can stay at Tam Son City which has nice hotels and restaurants.
In addition to Quan Ba skydoor and Fairy Twin Mountains, tourists may find it interesting to go to Quan Ba market day or the Hop Tien Weaving village of H’Mong minority people.
The gate of Dong Van market has been consolidated , like markets at lower delta, but houses, roofs there can not replace the umbrella of ethnic people. In the middle of the market, the Thang Co stalls are located behind food stores.
Pork, beef in the market is slanted on the big hook. Wine stores are located closely to the Thang Co Stalls. The wine stored in large plastic cans or jars that the horses have been piggybacking early in the morning or the night before. A world of wine is rich, full of flavor of passion.
The H’Mong call Thang Co “Khau Tha” which means “meat soup”, consistsing of the organs of cattles, buffalos or goats, but the Thang Co of cow is the best. Take the organs and four lower legs of the cow to wash and then cut into square which is equivalent to two knuckles, marinated salt, pepper, lemongrass and boiling water, then put the meat in. Altogether you can enjoy the crispy crust of the meat and the fatty flavours of cattles’ organs.
At first glance, it doesn’t seem to be attractive and appealing to the population. But when you have a sip of corn wine and a hot bowl of smoke between the frosty atmosphere, you defintely fall for this. Thang Co raises the smell of spices andstrikes many travelers when coming to the North.
If you have chance to the festivals and markets in the Ha Giang highlands to discover many wonderful things in the region, don’t forget to try a unique bowl of Thang Co there!
It’s a very good option to visit a small or large authentic ethnic market in Ha Giang province. The best days for visiting a large ethnic market are Saturday or Sunday. Some markets take place in the working days in the week. It’s a great opportunity to see the people of ethnic minorities, who came here travelling many kilometers from their homes. They sell mainly fabrics, animals and food. Here is a little excerpt of larger markets, ethnic markets are named according to areas where they are held:
• Ha Giang town – Sunday market
• Quyet Tien, Quan Ba (Tam Son) – Saturday market
• Quan Ba – Sunday market
• Coc Pai – Sunday market
• Lung Phin – Sunday market
• Hoang Su Phi – Sunday market
• Sa Phin – every 6th day
• Pho Cao – every 6th day
• Pho Bang – every 6th day
• Ma Le (Dong Van) – Saturday market
• Dong Van – Sunday market
• Khau Vai Love market (26th and 27th of the third month of the lunar calendar)
• Meo Vac – the largest Sunday market in Ha Giang province