When you travelling between Yen Minh and Dong Van there is the opportunity to visit the Vietnamese North Pole – the most northern point of Vietnam. Also called Lũng Cú. The Vietnamese government has actually pout up a large flag tower on a hill, with the large Vietnamese flag visible from quite a distance. And the tower offers a superb view of Vietnam and China.
For this site a little detour of around 45km is needed for the journey between Yen Minh and Dong Van. But Lũng Cú is certainly worth every little additional kilometre. it actually became a popular destination for Vietnamese, and you might see groups of the riding a bike to the far north, wearing red Vietnamese T-Shirts with the golden star. So if the site is good enough for Vietnamese to travel all the way, it should be on the list for Western tourists as well….
Arrival / Departure
No public buses go to Lũng Cú, so you either ride there by motorbike, or get a private driver.
When travelling by motorbike you will be on the QL4C connecting Yen Minh and Dong Van. Coming from Yen Minh you will arrive more than half way of the journey at a single building on a long stretch of road. The is the Nhà Nghỉ Hoa Đá hotel. At this hotel a road turns left off the QL4C. Follow that road and it will lead you straight to Lũng Cú. It is a very scenic road with some stunning views.
The road will end in a little village, and to your right you can see a gated entrance to Lung Cu. You can either leave the bike next to the gate, or you can ride up the hill. This will save some walking. The road wills top next to a litle shop / food place where you can park the bike for free.
To return to Dong Van you do not have to take the whole route back to the hotel, as there is a road turning left down a valley (there is a little sign) and will bring you to Dong Van. From the valley will go up into the hills again, and 2km before Dong Van you will join the QL4C.
If you head from Dong Van to Lũng Cú travel towards Yen Minh and turn right into one of the larger road that lead into the hill. It is actually not a small road, and hard to miss.
From the store stairs will bring you up to the first view-point. From here you can walk around the platform to get a nice 360° view. In theory you do not need to walk up the tower if you are not good with heights. On this platform you can find the sign showing the exact coordinates. There is also one section of the platform than hangs over the edge, giving you the chance for a better view towards China.
However, the view gets better if you walk up the actually flag tower. The 360° view on the little platform is amazing – when the sky is clear you get a great view over both Vietnam and China. A nice place for a little 360° shot with a camera. And of course the massive Vietnamese flag on top will provide some nice photo opportunities. It is a nice reminder having a picture of yourself and the flag at the Vietnamese north pole. One warning though – it can be a bit windy up there, so do not walk too close to the edge.
Overall, this site should not be missed during a visit of the Ha Giang province. You might even impress Vietnamese when you tell them about this trip. Oh – and you could make yourself even more popular wearing a Vietnam T-Shirt…dress for the occasion.
Food & Drinks
The store on the hill offers the usual Vietnamese food and drinks. So if you want to sit down a bit for a bite or drink, this seems to be good enough for it. It definitely has very clean toilets. So take advantage of it when you visit Lũng Cú.