Ha Giang Overview:
Hà Giang is a province of northeastern Vietnam. It is located in the far north of the country, and contains Vietnam’s northernmost point. It shares a 270 km long border with Yunnan province of southern China. Hence it is known as the final frontier of Vietnam. The provincial capital is also called Hà Giang, which is connected by Highway 2 and is 320 km away from Hanoi. The border crossing is at Than Thui, 25 km from the Ha Giang town. It is one of the poorest provinces of Vietnam as it has highly rugged but scenic mountainous topography with least potential for agriculture development.
The province borders China with a length of over 270 kilometres (170 mi); the border gate is known as the Thanh Thuy. In addition there are three smaller gates namely, the Pho Bang, the Xin Man and the Sam Pun.
Hà Giang is bounded by Cao Bang, Tuyen Quang, Lao Cai, and Yen Bai provinces and has common international border with China in the north. Hà Giang has many high rocky mountains (lime stone formations) and springs; the important mountains are the Cam and Mo Neo. The major rivers of the region are the Lo River (Ha Giang town is located on its left bank) and Mien River.
Hà Giang is a highly mountainous region, and travel around the province can be difficult. Much of the province is too mountainous for agriculture, leaving much of the land covered by forests. Hà Giang’s central plateau is good for growing plums,peaches, and persimmons, which the province exports.
Hà Giang is one of the poorest provinces of Vietnam. Traditionally, the vast majority of its economic activity revolved around agriculture and forestry. However, in recent years, there have been attempts to establish a manufacturing industry. Infrastructure in Hà Giang has seen improvement, but remains poor - roads, schools, and health services are less developed than in many other parts of Vietnam.
Ha Giang Province also has large areas of green tea, apart from terraced rice fields. Particular tea plantations of quality tea are the Shan Tuyet strain in the Lung Phin in Dong Van District and Nam La in Yen Minh District. Ha Giang tea is not only popular in domestic market but also in foreign markets.
The province is rich minerals; 149 mines with 28 categories of minerals are spread in all districts of the province. Mineral deposits explored in the provinc are: Antimony, ironore, manganese, ferrite, zinc, tin, copper, bauxite, gold, gemstones, kaolin and mineral water.
As Hà Giang is a mountainous region, the population is not large, and the majority of inhabitants are ethnic Vietnamese. The remainder are Thổ, Hmong, Tay, Dao, Mán,Nung, Giấy and Lô Lô. The majority engages in ancestor and spirit worship.