During a stay in northern Vietnam, a fantastic place to discover is Ba Be Vietnam National Park. It is located in the district of the same name and offers a unique perspective of encounters with nature and with the local ethnic population. There’s a huge amount to explore here, with a huge variety of flora and fauna, including many species of butterflies. Here is our guide and our top 10 of the best activities to do in Ba Be Vietnam.
Endowed with an exceptional ecosystem and a natural setting as rich as it is varied, it is a stage of discovery to mark in your itinerary. Listed as an ASEAN heritage site in 2004, the green jewel of Bac Kan province is a rare gem of nature.
In this article, after giving you some practical information on the Ba Be Vietnam website. We tell you the best activities to do and tips for making the most of them. Good reading!
Where is Ba Be National Park and how to get there?
Located in Bac Kạn Province, Ba Be National Park is about 240 km north of Hanoi. The best way to get to Ba Be is by road. You can get there by private vehicle or local bus from Hanoi, Sapa, Cao Bang and Ha Giang.
From Hanoi, the journey is about 4 hours by car. Bus trips are from MY DINH station for a duration of 6 hours.
Map of Ba Be
What is the best season to visit Ba Be in Vietnam?
The period between February to April and September to November is the best time for travelers who want to trek in Ba Be. Indeed, the weather is not too hot, and suitable for hiking. If you want to see the rice fields at their best, April to May and September to October are the best time for you.
The 10 activities to do in Ba Be National Park
Sailing on Ba Be Lake
The lake itself is actually three small lakes joined together: Pe Lam, Pe Lu and Pe Leng. The area is surrounded by the national preserved forest, Vietnam’s eighth national park since 1992. It was recently recognized by UNESCO. Here you can enjoy the scenery while enjoying a cruise on a small Vietnamese boat or by renting a kayak.
One of the places to visit during your aquatic discovery is the An Ma temple which is located next to the lake. It allows you to learn more about the religion and rituals of the local people.
Also, Widow’s Island is a beautiful little island located in the center of Pe Leng Lake. It is an ideal place to stop and admire the nature which is reflected in the lake.
Hiking in Ba Be National Park Vietnam
Ba Be National Park is a paradise for hikers. It is a real pleasure to walk around and discover the generous and luxuriant nature. Mountains, rice fields, rivers, and forests draw a charming landscape. You will also have the opportunity to meet some ethnic minorities in the area. It is possible to organize circuits of two days or more with nights at the inhabitant. This experience will allow you to fully appreciate the richness of the place.
Dau Dang Waterfall
Dau Dang waterfall is 16 km from Ba Be district, and 3 km from Ba Be lake. It is a refreshing place with magnificent landscapes. The watercourse stretches for more than a kilometer along the Nang River. The whole is nestled in the middle of charming mountains. Two hundred meters below the rapids is a small hamlet of 5 Tay minority houses, Hua Tang.
The pleasant appearance of the waterfall and the primitive nature of the forest are extremely impressive. Also, there is a rare and valuable species of fish called “ca chien” living in the river. Some of these fish weigh more than 10 kg.
Around the river, there are several villages inhabited by members of the Tay, Red Dao, and White Dao or Hmong.
A beautiful walk on the lake allows you to access the Puong cave (Hang Puong). It is 30 m high and crosses an entire mountain over 300 m long. This large, dark cave is at the foot of Lung Nham Mountain. It was formed after years of erosion. This tunnel cave overlooks the river and visitors can explore the cave by boat.
The cave’s dark mouth leads to a magical maze of stalactites and stalagmites. They cast shadows on the high limestone walls. This amazing hidden world is also home to thousands of bats.
Fairy Pond (Ao Tien)
Ao Tien is a nice little lake located on top of a mountain. Legend has it that this is where the fairies come to bathe and play chess. It is surrounded by a dense tropical forest, the waters are translucent and pure.
Hua Ma Cave
Another extraordinary cave is the Hua Ma cave. It is a cave with exceptional rock formations, visiting it you discover stalactites and stalagmites which seem to transform into different objects.
Recently, the facilities of the cave allowed easier access, the climb of 300 m to the entrance is worth it.
Na Phoong Cave
Located in the central area of Ba Be Vietnam National Park, about 500 m southeast of Bo Lu village. Na Phòong cave is a cave with a complex geological structure.
The length of the cave is estimated at around 3 km with an underground river running through it. The ceiling of the cave is high, with many stalactites and stalagmites. In the cave, you can enjoy many large columns and chasms right from the mouth of the cave, which is surrounded by pristine forests. This place is home to a variety of species of bats and reptiles
Pac Ngoi Village
Located in the central area of Ba Be National Park, the village of Pac Ngoi comprises nearly 80 households and about 400 people. Those are mainly Tay. Pac Ngoi is one of the few villages to retain the traditions and customs of the Tay ethnic culture.
Pac Ngoi village still has old stilt houses and unique architectural designs. The inhabitants of this village live from the cultivation of rice and corn and shrimp fishing on Ba Be Lake.
Local ethnic life
The Tay, Dao and H’mong ethnic minority communities make up the majority of the villages scattered in and around Ba Be National Park. These small hamlets range from a simple cluster of a few stilt houses to larger communities.
Indeed, the Tay, renowned for their wooden stilt houses, live in the villages of Coc Toc, Pac Ngoi and Ban Cam. The simple wooden structures rest peacefully on the banks of the river, blending harmoniously with the mountains and the water. They depend on farming and fishing for food and can be seen fishing or traveling in their canoes called doc moc.
Talented local craftsmanship
Also, the local people skillfully craft each canoe from a tree trunk and, although extremely narrow, they glide effortlessly through the water. As well as being talented carpenters, the Tay people are known for some of the most sophisticated looms. You can see the women weaving the exquisite fabrics in the fresh air under the stilt houses. You can also discover the traditional songs and folk dances that bring these villages to life.
How to visit Ba Be Vietnam National Park?
Here is an example of a typical day to visit Ba Be Vietnam National Park.
Arrival in Ba Be, the day before the visit. You can choose to stay with the locals to favor human contact. You will have the opportunity to share a convivial dinner with the family and spend a pleasant night at the locals’ by the lake.
The next day, we advise you to get up early. You start a new day with a walk on the small paths by the lake. Enjoy the tranquility and serenity of country life. After breakfast at the locals, opt for a beautiful cruise in a small boat. It leads you on the emerald waters of the lake crossing superb landscapes.
You continue the cruise along the Ba Be national park which is home to bears, monkeys, many birds, and butterflies… You then go up the river to visit the Phuong cave, dug in the limestone cliff, this is the country bats!
Then, easy hike and visit the Pac Ngoi ethnic villages of the Tays, where the inhabitants still live in all simplicity, with their ancestral culture.
Lunch in a small cabin by the lake.
In the afternoon, admire the Dau Dang waterfall before reaching the An Ma pagoda on an islet in the middle of the lake.
In a single day you do not explore all the places but already have a good experience of the places. If you have time and want to discover the places in-depth, you can stay an extra day.
Which Vietnam tour includes Ba Be Vietnam?
here is one of our most beautiful tours including Ba Be Vietnam: Exploration from North to South 18 days
The Exploration tour from North to South will make you discover Vietnam deeply. This circuit is complete and offers you a perfect panorama of this magnificent country. The extraordinary landscapes and the contact with the local population will delight you. This stay combines unmissable places and discoveries off the beaten track. All the magic of Vietnam is concentrated over 18 unforgettable days.
In conclusion, the discovery of Ba Be Vietnam National Park is a real breath of fresh air and serenity. A timeless adventure recommended for young and old!
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