BA BE LAKE – BAN GIOC WATERFALL – 3D2N (max 10p – departure only on Friday)
Ba Be Lake lies in the middle of the vast limestone mountain range of Ba Be National Park, surrounded by cliffs with very original and attractive forms and shapes. Be Lake itself is actually three small lakes joined together – Pe Lam, Pe Lu and Pe Leng. The area was established as a national preserved forest and tourist center in 1978 and last year UNESCO recognized Ba Be Lake as the third Ramsar site in Vietnam – an important wetland of the world.
Ban Gioc waterfalls is a collective name of two waterfalls on the Quây Sơn River that straddle the international border between China and Vietnam. It is the largest waterfall in the country, though not the highest. Its vertical drop is only around 30m, but it has an impressive 300m span; one side of the falls is in China, the other is in Vietnam.
Day 1: Hanoi – Lang Son – Quang Uyen (lunch – dinner)
Highlights and activities: Chi Lang, Quy Mon Quan Gate, Dong Khe Battle Site, Ethnic Villages, and a 3-5km walk.
Our tour guide will pick you up by car at your hotel in Hanoi old quarter around 7:30-8:00am, transferring you to Lang Son. We will start by driving in the direction of the Chinese border for about 3 hours, before stopping at Chi Lang Pass – a 20-km-long gorge created from a narrow valley between two mountains.
This place occupies an important position in Vietnamese history, being the place of many victories against various Chinese invasions over the centuries and millennia, as far back as 981AD. As such it bears the reputation of Vietnam’s strongest citadel and bastion. Here you will have roughly an hour to walk around and explore the area around the Quy Mon Quan Gate, which translates as “The Gate of Monsters”, named for the many invasion forces that would spill through the pass over the course of history only to be beaten back by stalwart Vietnamese defenders.
After lunch at a local restaurant in Dong Dang, you will continue your trip into the pass, stopping to visit Mother’s Temple and Dong Khe – an important historical site where The Battle of Dong Khe was fought during the First Indochina War. In fact, this was the very first battle of the Indochina Wars, and the fighting here took place through September and October 1950, ending in a resounding victory for the Viet Minh.
In the evening you will get to enjoy dinner and overnight rest in a local homestay owned and operated by a local Nung family. Facilities are very basic!
Day 2: Ban Gioc Waterfall – Ba Be Lake (breakfast – lunch – dinner)
Highlights and activities: Ban Gioc Waterfall, Nguom Ngao Cave, Ethnic Villages.
After enjoying breakfast at the homestay, you will depart for Trung Khanh which lies right on the border with China. Here you will have another chance to meet and interact with the local Nung people living in the village of Phuoc Sen, a mountainous village famous for its traditional blacksmithing. The farming tools made here are an integral part of the lifestyle which is evident in the surrounding rice paddies and fields.
Nestled amongst these amazing landscapes is the breath-taking Ban Gioc Waterfall which spans over 300 meters, split half and half between Vietnam and China. You’ll get some time here to simply take in the amazing atmosphere surrounding the falls, which presents an excellent opportunity for some fantastic photography.
Once you’ve finished at the falls, it’s time to head over to Nguom Ngao Cave, for a very different, but no less impressive natural wonder. The cave stretches for 2,144 meters underground and is brimming with incredible stalactites and stalagmites.
You will then return to Cao Bang town and head down the “snake pass” to Ba Be Lake, where you will stay overnight in a homestay constructed in traditional Tay fashion and owned and operated by a local Tay family. Here you can relax and unwind from the day and enjoy a delicious and authentic home-cooked meal.
Day 3: Ba Be Lake – Hanoi (breakfast – lunch)
After breakfast we’ll kick the final day of the tour of by boarding a boat and setting off onto the lake. It’s up to you how to spend your time on the boat, whether it’s relaxing and enjoying the views or going for a swim in the cool waters to refresh yourself. The views consist of stunning karst formations all around you covered with patches of wild vegetation and a rich wildlife.
The boat will then continue along the Nang River, giving you a chance to explore the caves of Puong Grotto where you can marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites created through river erosion, as well as observe the thousands-strong bat colony that lives here.
Now that you’ve reached the end of your tour, you’ll be driven the roughly 230 kilometers back to Hanoi, with a stop at a tea plantation nestled among rolling hills. Once we arrive in Hanoi it is time to say farewell, having made lifelong memories and connections.
- A/C transfer
- Entrance fees & English speaking guide
- All meals as mentioned (lunch and dinner on day 1, breakfast, lunch and dinner on day 2, breakfast and lunch on day 3)
- Boat trip in Ba Be Lake
- Overnight at homestay, both nights
- Beverages other than complimentary
- Tips and personal expenses
- Travel insurance
- All not indicated in our itinerary
- Booking voucher from us
- Valid Passport with valid visa
- Cash for personal expense
Specific food requests
Please let us know if you have specific eating restrictions, allergic for certain things or if you are vegetarian, we can take that into account during the trips.
Especially for the north and central Vietnam;
In the period between November and April, the weather is variable, from sunny to cold and rainy. It is advisable during this period to bring some rain gear with some warmer clothes. In the period from April to November, it is good to pack a hat with a wide brim, sunscreen (at least SPF15) and a reliable insect repellent. A thin rain poncho is useful all year round.
The south of Vietnam is generally a lot warmer all year round, so warm clothing is not really necessary.
Get Up And Go Vietnam does everything to make your trip an unforgettable experience. Unfortunately, we have no control over weather conditions. Our apologies for that!
What do I need to know?
During the period March to November it will good to pack your swimming gear, a towel, a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen (at least SPF15), a reliable insect repellent, toiletries, a camera and lots of batteries. Warm clothing for the cooler months of November to March is advised. How much luggage can I take? Your vehicle has limited space so please keep your luggage to a maximum of 15kgs in a backpack or soft over-night bag and include a small day pack to hand carry for easy access to camera, sunscreen, water etc. Inhibitions can be left in the luggage storage rooms at your hotel with your other unwanted baggage.
Get Up and Go Vietnam is doing all possible to make your journey and travel experience an unforgettable one. Weather conditions, we unfortunately cannot control. Our apologies for that!