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Ha Giang- Vietnam, the great place for motorbike trip.

Going with my Frenchman, Gérard Mémmi, we used two bikes: Honda XL 125cc and Honda CBF 150cc with the necessary equipments to leave on a journey to conquer the land of the far north of Vietnam.
The first night, we stopped at Yen Bai, the second day we headed to Ha Giang, and ridded along the Lo River and passed by beautiful green maize fields. Probably many Vietnamese still cannot forget the heroic victory of the army and people during the war against the French empire on this historic river. Nodaway, the river is not to sink enemy ships but to welcome travelers from all parts of Vietnam and from other countries around the world. It felled great to forget the dust and smoke of the city, to breathe the fresh air, to stop at the rustic cafes and to chat with the local people. Ha Giang have appeared in front of our eyes, the town has seen strongly changed but in the surrounding ethnic villages, the people keep their life with its unique traditions.
Do not sleep at the hotel, we turned left toward the border and then went straight to the ethnic Tay village named Thon Tha. Over thirty Tay families live together in the large and traditional stilt-houses. Mr. Quyen, the owner welcomed us with a big smile: “Are you doing well, why you arrive so late? Wash your face and then we drink tea”. We explained that we had to pass to the police department to get the permit for exploring the border-belt land that why we were so late.
Gérard enlisted for taking the photos around the village; I checked the status of our two bikes before taking a shower.
Dinner was cozy and fun; we had local chicken and pork roast with indispensable local wine made from corn. If you want to explore and learn the life of ethnic minorities living in the mountains, the first thing you have to do is drinking alcohol! My friend Gérard has never drink alcohol before but with the sincere invitation from mr. Quyen and his friends, Gérard took nearly 10 cups of wine corn - the specialty of the mountainous Ha Giang province. This special wine brought two of us a good night’s sleep with many dreams on the warm cotton cushion.
After breakfast with Tay's special noodle dish prepared by Quyen and his wife, we continued our road toward Dong Van. Out of town about 10 kilometers, the landscape really changed, the road seemed much smaller and very narrow with many winding and passes. The terraced rice fields were dotted by green, yellow mixed with green corn field on the rocky slopes; somewhere, the Mong ethnic villages hidden behind stone walls, looming over the mountains, some women groups were cultivating maize, the main food source of the region.
The most beautiful road’ part began from the stone park area where we saw the large letters in English "Dong Van karst plateau Geopark" hanged on the mountain side. The road looks like a silk band hanging from the rocky mountain range led us to the heaven gate at an altitude of 1,107 m, where is the intersection of heaven and earth. Looking down from this gate, we saw colorful majestic scenery: That was so great! We see also the hard life of ethnic minorities in the region. They were born from stone, live with stone and then go back to sleep with stone at the end of life, from generation to generation.
Before arriving in Dong Van, we visit Sung As cultural village, which has become very popular after the film "Pao’story" with the old house building from hundreds of years with the unique architecture of the Mong ethnic group. You can experience a night here with the typical lifestyle of the Mong ethnic dinner with local corn wine and boiled chicken. Continued traveling with two bikes, I and Gérard stopped at the H’mong king palace of Vuong family, the biggest in the region where their ancestors once were considered as the King in this far northern land. Large boulders surrounding the majestic palace appearance a glorious period of the King Vuong Chinh Duc and then his son, Vuong Chi Sinh, who has followed the revolution and became later the president of the Dong Van district.
If you go to Dong Van, you have to try to be there on Sunday because of the market. You will be immersed in the flow of people where you could record the vivid images of highland life in a great atmosphere with the colorful traditional costumes.
Come here, you will never forget the unique natural scenery of the mountainous rock, the tender hearts of the local people with a long-standing culture for hundreds of years. /.

Hiep Nguyen , from Hanoi - Vietnam. (contact me if you would like to have more informations about Vietnam and the people)

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