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Ba Be Lake - Vietnam's best kept secret

20th April 2011 Print
Ba Be Lake - Vietnam

Set in mountainous terrain northeast of Hanoi, Ba Be is one of Vietnam’s most picturesque and least visited National Parks.

The National Park protects three interconnecting lakes which can be explored on a private long tail boat steered by a fisherman. The locals are from the Tay minority, who have adapted their lake side stilted homes to offer comfortable rooms for visitors to experience life with a local family, with a dinner of freshly caught fish from the lake.

After one of the team visited Ba Be and Ban Gioc in November, Bamboo Travel have put together a new tour, ‘The Natural Beauty of North-eastern Vietnam’, an adventurous itinerary for people looking to explore this beautiful region. The tour includes an overnight stay in a local family’s home in the village of Pac Ngoi, with a day’s excursion on a boat, the ideal way to explore Ba Be. The second day in the region offers the opportunity for some trekking in the National Park to explore ravines, caves and rivers.

From Ba Be the tour continues north to Cao Bang, near the Chinese Border. The big attraction here is the spectacular Ban Gioc waterfall, whose image adorns the walls of Chinese restaurants worldwide. Bang Gioc is the widest waterfall in Vietnam. The waterfall acts as the border between Vietnam and China and the Vietnamese side not only enjoys a much larger stretch of the falls, but it is also delightfully empty and undeveloped, especially when you look across the water and see the drones of Chinese tourists walking on paved concrete paths on the other side.  Some canny Vietnamese traders linger on rafts on the water waiting for Chinese tourists to pass by boat. When a boat passes, they jump at the chance to sell cigarettes and liquor to them (‘duty free anyone?!’).

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Ba Be Lake - Vietnam