Dong Van Old Town – review
Dong Van Old Town is one of Vietnam’s most northern towns. It’s less than 10 kilometres from the Chinese border in a region of Ha Giang that protrudes into Yunnan province. Perhaps this is why the area has been a source of tension between the two countries in the past. Things seem to be settled now though and border tensions have transferred to the islands off the Vietnamese coast.
Dong Van – the town
Dong Van is a small town, but like most of Vietnam’s border towns is growing quickly. Vietnamese are moving in to these areass from neighbouring provinces and changing the ethnic mix. Ethnic minorities are more visible in villages in the surrounding countryside while the town has a stronger Vietnamese ethnic constituency.
One of the nicest features of Dong Van is the area around Pho Co, where many rundown original clay houses are located. There is no information about them but we were advised that they date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Walks and treks from Dong Van
Dong Van’s an excellent base for walks in the breathtaking mountains that surround the town. The walks can be as easy or challenging as you wish. For those less inclined to challenging treks, walks of 5 – 10kms right out of town are also very worthwhile on good quality paths.