Save the best for last
If you travel from the south from Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City all the way up north to the northern border with Vietnam/China. You save the best for last. If you have time I would recommend do the Ha Giang Motorbike loop. The trip goes through the Dong Van plateau with the most stunning scenery you’ll see in Vietnam combined connect with the local (ethnic groups) people they interact with you in a very pure way. Children along side the road waving at you. The friendly smiles of the farmers working on their land with in the background the mountains you immediately fall in love with this region.
The trip took me 3 days and 2 nights. I did the small loop because lack of time. But this small is everything you need to complete the full experience with all the highlights you need to see.
Day 1 Ha Giang – Yen Minh (130 km)
The first day was sunny. I drove first the wrong way to the south. That was still nice but different landscape. (was part of the map if you have more time if you come back from the entire loop though). When I realize that I drove already 15 km south of Ha Giang. So I went back to Ha Giang and travel via Google Maps in the right direction towards the first viewpoint of the day. Actually it is very hard not to stop instead of driving quite a distance. The entire area just outside Ha Giang is gorgeous. Just after the first viewpoint: Cong Troi Quan Ba I visited the Lung Khuy Cave.
Day 2 Yen Minh – Lung Cu – Dong Van – Meo Vac (130 km)
The 2nd day was a cold and full of rain. I was totally wet at the end of the day. But the even more spectacular landscape made it all good. Went to the northern border with China to see the flag pole of Lung Cu. And after the Lung Cu to Dong Van and Meo Vac. Especially the last two places the landscape in between is the most spectacular one.
Day 3 Meo Vac – Yen Minh – Ha Giang (170 km)
The 3rd and last day I took a less taken road between Meo Vac and Yen Minh. It was sunday so there were a lot of local markets. So I stopped to make photographs as well of the local people in their tiny villages. The interaction with them is priceless.