Ma Pi Leng Pass Ha Giang – One of the Four Great Mountain Passes in Vietnam

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.
Ma Pi Leng Pass Ha Giang Meo Vac

The Ma Pi Leng Pass is one of the most dangerous mountain passes in the northern mountainous region of Vietnam. It is a winding road about 22 kilometers long, at an altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level, located in the Dong Van Stone Plateau, Ha Giang. The place has majestic mountains and is most famous for the Tu San Gorge view and the Nho Que River with jade green water. Visitors can come here at many times of the year to admire the beauty of the Ha Giang land.

Where is Ma Pi Leng Pass?

Ma Pi Leng Pass is located on QL4C, 157km from the center of Ha Giang city. Ma Pi Leng belongs to Meo Vac district, a 22km long mountain pass connecting two towns of Dong Van and Meo Vac.
Location via Google Map

A child sitting on Ma Pi Leng Pass.


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.

Happy Road Memorial Statue
The statue honors the people who played a role in building the Ma Pi Leng Pass.

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.

Tu San Gorge
Tu San Gorge View on Ma Pi Leng Pass
Summer on Ma Pi Leng Pass
The pass is the best place for sightseeing the Nho Que River.
Mùa hè trên đèo Mã Pì Lèng, Mèo Vạc
The majestic beauty of mountain scenery is best enjoyed during the summer months, from May to late July.
The image shows the beautiful mountainous landscape surrounding Ma Pi Leng Pass in Ha Giang, Vietnam.

Detailed Guide to Explore Ma Pi Leng Pass

1. Transportation

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.

B. Bus

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.

2. “Conquer”

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.

Photo show a village on the hill under Ma Pi Leng pass
From the resting point here, you can see the river and some small villages hanging on the back of the mountain.
Photo show local People in Meo Vac walking on the slope. in the middle of Ma Pi Leng mountain

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.

Photo show local people walking on the Sky Path
Photo show local people walking on the Sky Path

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.

Photo of people enjoying a boat sightseeing service.
Photo show Signage
Photo show the road that leads to the boat dock for the Nho Que River boat ride through the Tu San Canyon.
The road that leads to the boat dock

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 Pa Village, Meo Vac district. Our second hotel in Dong Van district is Dinh Da Hmong – Karsterly Rock Lodge.

Other accommodations:

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