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Dong Van Ancient town

Dong Van Old Town holds a rich history that dates back centuries. Located in the Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark in Ha Giang province, Vietnam, it has been an important trading hub and cultural crossroads for various ethnic groups.

Originally settled by the H’mong and Tay ethnic communities, Dong Van Old Town became a flourishing trading center along the ancient Tea Horse Road, an essential trade route connecting Yunnan (China) with northern Vietnam. This strategic location allowed the town to prosper through the exchange of goods and cultural influences.

Over time, Dong Van Old Town witnessed the rise and fall of different dynasties, each leaving its mark on the town’s architecture and customs. Traditional Hmong, Tay, and Hoa (Chinese-Vietnamese) houses reflect unique architectural styles, showcasing the harmonious coexistence of various ethnic groups.

During the French colonial period, Dong Van Old Town saw further development and modernization. However, despite the changes, the town managed to preserve its distinctive cultural heritage and way of life.

In recognition of its historical and geological significance, Dong Van Old Town was designated as a National Historical and Cultural Relic by the Vietnamese government. Additionally, the entire Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark was inscribed as a UNESCO Global Geopark, further preserving its natural and cultural values.

At present, Dong Van Old Town has become a famous tourist attraction and it has become a great choice for travelers when they make a trip to Ha Giang. If you have a chance, don’t miss a boat to discover this incredible place!

Things To Do In Dong Van Town

In Dong Van Old Town, tourists can be free to discover beautiful destinations and discover the culture, tradition, and customs of the people living here.

Dong Van Market

The biggest highlight of Dong Van can only be seen one time a week, on Sunday. It is the Dong Van Sunday market. The market can be found near the Old Quarter and the peak hours to visit are from 5:00 AM until 10:00 AM. When you visit there in the early morning you can also opt for having a breakfast over there, as there is a whole part of the market dedicated to food stalls.
The Dong Van market is extremely colorful as all the female minorities dress up in their most colorful costumes. The ethnic people of the area, such as the Hmong, Tay, Nung and Hoa, come here to sell their goods. That could be anything, from clothes to farm equipment and from simple house hold goods to phones and chargers. There are often a few games that can be played and people getting a hair cut right on the street on the market. There are also animals on the market such as cows, buffaloes, ducks and chickens, but also small pigs and dogs that people use to sort of show off.

Dong Van Old Quarter

The Old Quarter is the historical center of the city. This part of the town is surprisingly cozy, for a town so far away from everything and not being as developed. Around the square you will find a lot of old houses dating back from the French colonial times that are now being used as small restaurants and shops to cater mainly the travelers. The houses have many influences from Chinese architecture; two-story houses with yin and yang structured roofs decorated with red lantern.
There are about 40 houses in the Old Quarter that are over a 100 years old and one house is even more than 200 years old. If you stay overnight in this city, make sure to visit the Old Quarter in the evening, as there is great atmosphere with people sitting at the small restaurants and the houses are beautifully lit.

Dong Van Viewpoint – French Fort

On a hill behind the city is an old French fort, the Don Cao fort, built in 1927 during the French colonial time. Those who take the effort of climbing the steps to the very top of the fort will be rewarded with beautiful 360 degree views over the Dong Van town and its surroundings. Do not try and take a bike up, because some parts are very steep and narrow.

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Hi dear ❤❤❤ how are you? I'm Phuong (Phoebe) from Ha Giang Expeditions here, thank you for interesting to visit Ha Giang.
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