Ha Giang

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Ha Giang
Bordering China and mostly populated by ethnic minorities, Ha Giang province is undoubtedly one of the country’s gems, yet gets only a trickle of foreign visitors. Reasons for this include the distance (it takes a minimum of six hours to drive here from Hanoi, and there are no trains), and the need for a permit to access the more remote (read beautiful) parts of the province. The scenery here seems taken from the pages of a geological fantasy—jagged karst peaks, fields and terraces of rice paddies, twisting roads that improbably wind through the landscape. Highlights include the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark that showcases the best of the scenery, the viewpoint at Quan Ba, or Heaven’s Gate—it looks down on a patchwork of terraced rice fields backed by row upon row of forested limestone hills—and the ethnic tribes that inhabit the region’s villages, their lives little changed over the centuries.
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Ha Giang, Vietnam