If you have no idea what to eat along Ha Giang Loop, we show you some local specialties you wish you'd known before. This is our quick guide to some of the top dishes you must add to your culinary adventure plan, so to experience the cuisine and culture of Ha Giang.
1. Rice rolls with egg
Ha Giang Rolled Rice Cake with Egg (Banh Cuon Trung) is a unique specialty easily falling into the target of travelers to Ha Giang Province. It consists of a delicious broth with scallions and steamed pork rolls served with the main course. These rolls are enjoyed when they are still hot; that is the reason why the food is an ideal choice in the cold weather of the morning in Ha Giang.
2. Thang Co
It is just pork (beef or horsemeat), its organs, some herbs, and seeds. All inside a pot. It is believed that Thang Co is derived from China, and later it was spread to the mountainous areas of northern Vietnam. Sitting around the pot and savoring a hot bowl of thang co is very stimulating while talking to the locals about their culture.
3. Sticky rice in bamboo pipes
It is easy to understand why sticky rice cooked in bamboo pipes, Com Lam Bac Me in Vietnamese, became a famous delicacy and a must-try food in Ha Giang as well. It is because Ha Giang is regarded as a fertile region where luscious sticky rice used to cook the com lam strongly grows.
To have a perfect bamboo pipe with sticky rice, the cooking process needs to be carried out carefully. First, sticky rice will be soaked in water for a certain time and then poured into a bamboo pipe sealed with banana leaves. The food’s flavor is enhanced due to the right amount of salt added to the pipe.
Another significant part of the process is how to grill the pipe. The pipe is grilled well on the firewood for less than one hour until the aroma starts spreading in the air.
4. Trang Kim Noodles
These are the most famous noodles in Ha Giang province. The fields are located in Trang Kim village in Quan Ba, that's where its name comes from. The dish is famous, not only because it is delicious and attractive, but also interesting and "strange" in the delicate and skillful processing of the mountain people's hands.
The pot of broth looks greasy and fragrant with the smell of ginger, cinnamon, anise, and cardamom. In addition to beef and pork bones, carefully simmered for sweetness, even chicken broth, only the spices of the ethnic people here are available.
5. Buckwheat Cake
The cake is made from buckwheat (Tam Giac Mach, in Vietnamese). It consists of dried grains turned into flour. Many people have not ever thought about the use of this grain, but the cake from it is actually amazing to try.
You will see the cake is shaped in rounds and grilled on the light fire. Its smell will attract anyone around. It is quite cheap to taste one when you are traveling to Ha Giang; it just costs about VND10,000. At certain points, you will find Hmong people selling them on the road.
6. Rolled Pizza
This new pizza concept was created by PIZZA HERE, a pizza restaurant in Hà Giang run by a Vietnamese-Catalan couple. Although it’s not an authentic Vietnamese dish, these entrepreneurs were the first ones to bring this idea to Vietnam, cooking it every day from scratch and only with fresh and natural ingredients.
It’s worth trying, as it’s something different from what you’ve seen before (and incredibly tasty). They are located in a cute and cozy place inside a small alley. And, honestly, after all the noodles and rice during the loop, you will be craving one.