Du Gia – 5 things to do in this ethnic village in Ha Giang

Du Gia is a charming commune that offers an authentic and off-the-beaten-track experience for travelers. This hidden gem is surrounded by stunning rice fields and inhabited by various ethnic groups. You can immerse yourself in the unique local culture, stay in traditional homestays, and explore the breathtaking landscapes.
In this guide:

Visiting Du Gia village in Ha Giang

The Tay minority

Du Gia is a commune in Yen Minh District, part of Ha Giang Province. This commune is home to around 15 villages representing 9 different ethnic groups. Among them, the largest ethnic population is the Tay minority.

The Tay people are known for their stilt houses. The houses are completely made out of wood and sometimes the locals keep their animals, such as pigs and buffalos, below their house. The Tay ethnic group are also known for their vibrant, colorful traditional clothes.

Rice fields

rice fields and stilt houses in Du Gia (Ha Giang)

Du Gia is also renowned for its picturesque rice fields. While driving through Ha Giang, especially along the famous loop, you’ll mostly encounter rugged and impressive mountains where vegetation is scarce. However, upon reaching Du Gia, you’ll be greeted with a striking contrast – a lush green valley adorned with rice fields, surrounded by breathtaking mountains and dotted with charming small villages.

How to get there

Location of Du Gia

Du Gia is situated in Yen Minh District, Ha Giang Province, approximately 70 km from Ha Giang City and 75 km from the town of Meo Vac. The journey from either location takes around 3 hours driving.

Ha Giang loop

While not all Ha Giang Loop itineraries include Du Gia, opting for a 4-day or longer trip will usually involve staying overnight in this charming village. For those on a 3-day itinerary, a short stop in Du Gia is possible, but doing the loop longer and spending a night here is highly recommended for a more immersive experience.

Driving to Du Gia

To reach Du Gia, you first need to travel from Hanoi to Ha Giang town. There are both sleeper buses, which travel overnight, and limousine buses that operate during the day, with the journey taking around 6 to 7 hours.

Once in Ha Giang town, you can embark on the Ha Giang Loop, which will take you to various sights around the province, including Du Gia. The most recommended way to explore the region is by riding on the back of a motorbike with an experienced driver who also acts as your guide. If you have a motorbike license and sufficient experience, you may also choose to drive yourself. Alternatively, comfortable car options are available, following the same route for a more relaxed journey.

Best things to do in Du Gia

1. Stay in Tay homestay

View from Du Gia Homestay

Immerse yourself in the local culture by staying in a traditional Tay minority homestay. Perched on stilts, these houses offer breathtaking views of the surrounding rice fields. Enjoy a family-style dinner and learn more about the unique customs and way of life of the Tay ethnic group.

2. Take a dip in Du Gia Waterfall

Du Gia Waterfall

Cool off in the refreshing waters of Du Gia Waterfall. Though not overly grand, the waterfall’s picturesque setting makes it a popular spot for travelers on the Ha Giang Loop to relax and unwind. Adventurous souls can even jump from the top into the natural pool below.

3. Du Gia ethnic market

Du Gia ethnic minority market

The Du Gia Market is a vibrant gathering held once a week, where ethnic minorities from neighboring villages come together. Adorned in splendid traditional attire, they engage in trading, bartering, and socializing. The market is a fascinating glimpse into the local way of life and serves as the community’s social hub.

4. Rice fields & stilt houses

Discover the enchanting beauty of the region’s rice fields, meandering through peaceful roads and charming villages. Consider hiking to fully immerse yourself in the serene ambiance, or opt for a motorbike ride for a more extended exploration. The landscape is adorned with traditional stilt houses, buffalo plowing the fields, and ducks leisurely swimming in the water canals.

5. Scenic surrounding

Green mountains of Du Gia

If traveling from Meo Vac to Du Gia, prepare to be mesmerized by some of Vietnam’s most awe-inspiring mountain vistas along the way. The journey offers an unforgettable scenic route, boasting breathtaking views that add to the overall allure of the area. Even if you can’t stay in Du Gia, taking this route is a worthy experience in itself.

Best accommodation in Du Gia

Du Gia Panorama: As the name suggests, this homestay provides breathtaking panoramic views of the rice fields and mountains. Stay in a stilt house and embrace the tranquility of the Du Gia countryside.

Du Gia Homestay – One of the first homestays in the area, Du Gia Homestay offers a truly authentic experience with its traditional stilt houses. You can enjoy the warm hospitality of the Tay minority hosts and relish in the family-style dinners with delicious local dishes.

Du Gia Stream Lodge – For travelers seeking comfort in the midst of nature, Du Gia Stream Lodge is the perfect choice. Situated right next to a serene river, the lodge provides modern rooms with all amenities for a pleasant stay. While it may offer a less authentic experience, it is the best place if you look for comfort.

The Hill Homestay – With a stunning location atop a hill, The Hill Homestay offers mesmerizing panoramic views of the picturesque valley and rice fields. Despite being slightly less authentic, you can enjoy the convenience of modern amenities and even take a refreshing dip in the homestay’s swimming pool.

Du Gia Coffee View Homestay – Located in the heart of Du Gia, this is a real authentic Tay homestay, with a cozy and inviting atmosphere for travelers seeking a true taste of local life.

Tips for visiting Du Gia

1. Best time to visit Du Gia

Du Gia welcomes visitors throughout the year, each season offering its unique charm. Summers can be humid with occasional rains, but the lush greenery of the valley is captivating. Winters may be colder with fog, creating a mystical ambiance. For the most pleasant weather, consider visiting during spring or autumn, when the days are comfortable, and rainfall is minimal.

2. Respect local ethnic culture

While photography is allowed, it’s essential to seek permission before taking pictures of the local people. Respect the traditional values of the community by dressing modestly; avoid wearing revealing clothes and opt for respectful attire like shorts and t-shirts.

3. Homestay experience & Family dinner

ethnic stilt house homestay in Du Gia - Ha Giang

To fully immerse yourself in the local culture, staying in a homestay is a must. Embrace the authentic experience of sharing a family-style dinner with your host, their family, and fellow guests. Savor delicious local dishes and engage in cultural exchange.

4. Cash & ATM’s

Prepare in advance by bringing sufficient cash, as ATMs are not available in Du Gia. Many local homestays may not accept card payments, so it’s essential to have cash on hand for your expenses during your stay.

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