Lung Cu Flag Tower (Famous Attraction)

Lũng Cú, Vietnam’s ‘North Pole’, a popular pilgrimage for young Vietnamese travelers

Table of Contents

Lung Cu Flag Tower - The top of Vietnam

The northernmost point of Vietnam is in Dong Van Province, Ha Giang and is marked by Lung Cu Flag Tower. The tower is about 20km from Dong Van and 170km from Ha Giang. It actually sits 3.3km from the border but that isn’t really important, right? It symbolizes the strength and, the persistence of the Vietnamese to repel invaders. That’s the important bit 😊

While the flag tower features on a number of our motorcycle tours, including the 8 Day Ha Giang Loop and the massive 11 day Northern Hold Out, you can visit pretty easily yourself! To get to the Lung Cu, you need to turn off the QL4C and take the road through Ma Le Village. If you are lucky you will get to see the local market that takes place here on Saturday mornings.

The road is worse than the 4C for the most part. There are stunning views so keep your eyes on the road and watch out for blind corners and crazy drivers. You will see your fair share of these.

Google Map

The Foundation

The flagpole is built on a small mountain called Rong (dragon) Mountain. First you need to climb the steps to top of this mountain and to the base of the Flag Tower. That is over 200steps. I lost count. You are then at somewhere between 1600and 1700m above sea level, which is quite high for Vietnam.

This is where you buy your ticket (20,000vnd) and can also get a souvenir or drink, if you wish. You then have to scale the Flag Tower itself

Note: If you are nervous in high places, this is the place to stop. Don’t worry though, as the view is already spectacular.

The Viewpoint

Lũng Cú, Vietnam’s ‘North Pole’, a popular pilgrimage for young Vietnamese travelers

From the top, which is another 140 steps (33m) inside the 3.8m wide tower, it is possible to see out across the border to China. You can also see two semi-circle lakes that are said to be the eyes of the dragon (dragon Mountain, remember?) You will then be next to the flagpole which holds the Vietnamese flag. This one is 54m2; representing the 54 ethnic groups living in Vietnam.

Photo Tip: Most tourists have lunch at midday and avoid the heat, too. If you want to have the place to yourself, and can brave the heat, be at the top at this time. You will then get all the selfies and panorama shots that you want.

From the top you can see back to Dong Van and Ma Le as well as out to China. Below you will be villages of H’Mong, Lo Lo, Tay and Pu Peo people. This are is affectionately knows as Corn Valley due to corm being the staple crop.

Update: Since this visit, there has been a controversial building built near the tower and this may spoil the view

the view from Lung Cu Flagtower in Ha Giang
the view from Lung Cu Flagtower in Ha Giang

History

In the ancient historical records there is information about Lung Cu Flag Pole going back to the 10th century. At that time, it was built from 10m tall China Fir trees by the Ly dynasty. Then, in 1887, it was rebuilt and expanded. It has been rebuilt several times since.

Around the Flag Tower

There is a small village with market that surrounds the tower and further out amongst the corn fields you will find the northernmost cafe (Cafe Cuc Bac) and one or two homestays run by the local Lo Lo ethnic people. You can stay overnight.

Other than that it is just fields, hills, the Nho Que River and the border with China. Be careful not to wander too far!

local woman cooking meat and eggs up in Dong Van
a local woman cooking meat and eggs near the flag tower

Should you Visit?

It is not far from Dong Van. It’s a great drive. You can stop off at Ma Le Market. You can explore the area below and go to Cafe Cuc Bac (the northernmost cafe) or stay in the Lo Lo guesthouse. What’s not to like?

Yes, you should visit and maybe even spend the night there rather than in Dong Van.

Quick Connect

Honda XR 150 motorcycle rental

Engine Type

air cooled, OHC, single cylinder

Displacement

149 cc

Bore X Stroke

57.3 mm x 57.8 mm

Ignition

CDI

Fuel System

20 mm piston valve carburettor

Compression Ratio

9.5:1

Starter

electric with kick starter backup

Gearbox

5-speed

Front Suspension

telescopic fork, 180 mm axle travel

Rear Suspension

single shock swing arm, 150 mm axle travel

Front Brakes

dual piston caliper, 240 mm disc

Rear Brakes

mechanical drum

Front Tyres

90/90 19

Rear Tyres

110/90 17

Wheelbase

1362 mm

Seat Height

825 mm

Ground Clearance

243 mm

Kerb Weight

129 kg

Fuel Capacity

12 litres

Dimensions

2091 mm (L) x 811 mm (W) x 1125 mm (H)

Honda CB 500X motorcycle rental

Engine Type

liquid cooled parallel-twin four stroke

Displacement

470 cc

Bore X Stroke

67 mm x 66.8 mm

Ignition

PGMI – FI

Fuel System

fuel injection

Compression Ratio

10.7:1

Starter

electric

Gearbox

6-speed

Front Suspension

41 mm SFF-BP USD Forks

Rear Suspension

Prolink Mono with 5 stage pre load adjuster

Front Brakes

dual 296 mm discs with 4 piston calipers; ABS

Rear Brakes

240 mm disc; ABS

Front Tyres

110/80R19M/C (59H)

Rear Tyres

160/60R17M/C

Wheelbase

1445 mm

Seat Height

830 mm

Ground Clearance

180 mm

Kerb Weight

199 kg

Fuel Capacity

17.7 litres

Dimensions

2,155 mm (L) x 830 mm (W) x 1,410 mm (H)

Honda CRF 300 motorcycle rental

Engine Type

single cylinder, DOHC, liquid cooled

Displacement

286 cc

Bore X Stroke

76 mm x 63 mm

Ignition

Full Transistor Digital

Fuel System

PGM-FI electronic fuel injection

Compression Ratio

10.7:1

Starter

electric

Gearbox

5-speed

Front Suspension

43 mm telescopic upside down

Rear Suspension

Prolink Mono with 5 stage pre load adjuster

Front Brakes

256 mm disc, 2 piston caliper

Rear Brakes

220 mm disc, single piston caliper

Front Tyres

80/100 21

Rear Tyres

120/80 18

Wheelbase

1455 mm

Seat Height

880 mm

Ground Clearance

285 mm

Kerb Weight

142 kg

Fuel Capacity

7.8 litres

Dimensions

2230 mm (L) x 820 mm (W) x 1200 mm (H)

Daily

Total

Rider (XR 150)

$140

Rider (CRF 300)

$180

Rider (CB 500X)

$180

Pillion

$120

Damage Waiver

$20

Private Room

$40

Support Vehicle

$150

Tourist

One-Way

Expat

Pricing

N/A

N/A

Damage Waiver

$0/day

N/A

N/A

Security Deposit

N/A

N/A

Required Docs

passport

N/A

N/A

Mileage Limit

unlimited

N/A

N/A

Touring

N/A

N/A