Ma Pi Leng Pass Ha Giang is one of the most magnificent mountain passes in northern Vietnam. It spans about 22km and sits at an altitude of 1,500m. The pass is located on the Dong Van limestone plateau in Ha Giang and boasts a majestic mountainous landscape. Visitors are especially drawn to the Tu San Canyon and the emerald green waters of the Nho Que River. You can visit at various times of the year to admire the beauty of Ha Giang.
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Ma Pi Leng Pass Ha Giang is the most difficult section of the 164 km long Happiness Road (QL4C) connecting 4 highland districts of Quan Ba – Yen Minh – Dong Van and Meo Vac. The road was started in 1959 and completed between 1965.
The section of the road is about 22km long, carved into the precipitous rock mountains and built by the hard work of young people and people from more than 16 ethnic groups. The construction process of this section of the road encountered many difficulties due to the rocky terrain, landslides and material shortages.
Meo Vac district has built the Happiness Road museum to commemorate the contributions of the workers and young volunteers who participated in opening up the road.
Ma Pi Leng Pass Travel Guide
From the top of the pass, you can admire the beautiful river. Throughout the mountainside of this pass are the terraced fields of the H’Mong people. In addition, the pass is also the location to admire the Tu San Canyon – the deepest canyon in Southeast Asia.
Detailed Guide to Explore Ma Pi Leng Pass
Firstly, to get to the foot of Ma Pi Leng Pass, you need to travel from Ha Giang to one of the two districts of Meo Vac or Dong Van. The most popular means of transportation is to rent a self-driving motorbike, but if you cannot drive yourself, you can rent a taxi or a bus.
A. Renting a motorbike
The default price for renting a motorbike is 250,000 VND/day in the towns, and the price for a motorbike taxi can vary, but you can estimate 15,000 VND per kilometer. If you do not rent a self-driving motorbike, you can refer to the bus service.
Currently, there is a bus from Hanoi to Dong Van and Meo Vac district, with a price of 450,000 VND. Equivalent to 2 routes: Hanoi – Ha Giang 300,000 VND and Ha Giang – Meo Vac (Dong Van) 150,000 VND.
After arriving at one of the two mentioned districts, you can start riding a motorbike or taking a motorbike taxi up to the top of Ma Pi Leng Pass to admire the scenery. Along this road, there are several coffee shops where you can stop and enjoy the view.
Conquer the Short “Sky Walk” Trail
This short walking trail starts at the Happy Road monument area, which is located 10 km away from Dong Van town. You can park your vehicle and start walking on the small concrete road from here. It takes about 2-3 hours to reach the endpoint, which is on the main road. However, if no one is waiting for you at the other end, the trekking distance will be much longer, as you will have to continue walking on the road to return to the starting point.
Conquer the Nho Que River
You can go down to the Nho Que River to take a boat through the Tu San Canyon. The road to the boat dock is located at the foot of the pass towards Meo Vac. It is easier to go down the river from Meo Vac, as this route is wider and easier than the steep road on the side of Ta Lang and Dong Van. The boat ticket price is around 100,000VND to 120,000VND per person.
Other Exploring Sites
The Pass is a must-visit destination and should be included in your Dong Van Rocky Plateau tour. While traveling around the four highland districts, you can visit places such as Tham Ma Slope, Vuong Palace, Lung Cu Flagpole, Dong Van Market, Nho Que River Boat Dock, Meo Vac Market, and finally return to Ha Giang City.
Lodging Near Ma Pi Leng Pass
Most tourists usually stay in either Dong Van or Meo Vac town, so we send you a list of some guesthouses below. First and foremost is Chúng Pủa – Auberge de Meo Vac – Mountain Lodge, located in Chung Pua Village, Meo Vac district. Our second hotel in Dong Van district is Dinh Da Hmong – Karsterly Rock Lodge.