Travel Journey to Cao Bang in Vietnam

by - July 06, 2013

Cao Bang is a northern province of Vietnam and is the common home of the Hmong, Tay and Nung. It is a very important trade center between Vietnam and China. This province was the revolutionary base of Viet Minh. The communist leader Ho Chi Minh lived here before the revolution against the French. Currently, Cao Bang possesses many historical sites. But on this trip, we visited only the natural landscapes and discovered the culture of the ethnic peoples.

On the way to Cao Bang, we stopped a bit to admire the majestic beauty of the pass but Pi Leng, one of the four steps of the most beautiful North Vietnam. Here you can take pictures of a unique landscape in the countryside.

In the late afternoon, we arrived in Bao Lac, a small town in Cao Bang province. We visited the local market and taste the delicious local dishes such as grilled duck, Vietnamese Nem, and sausage. Cao Bang is located very close to China so its cuisine is heavily influenced by that of China, where there are many grilled dishes, roasts and meat.

On the fourth day, we moved to the capital of Cao Bang province. Along the way, we made a visit to an ethnic village of Lo Lo. In this village, people live in house on stilts. The elders still wear traditional clothing.

At about 3 pm, we arrived at the city of Cao Bang, a large city, modern and vibrant thanks to the commercial activities with China. We took a ride in the central market of Cao Bang. Because of modern life, many beautiful and romantic things are lost.

On the fifth day, at 8:30 am, we went to the border with China where there is a very famous landscape. The Ban Gioc waterfall is the most beautiful of Vietnam. Ban Gioc is located in the city of Trung Khanh, which is about 60km from the city of Cao Bang. It is a complex of some waterfall that comes from China. The waterfall is the common ground of two countries so tourists from the two countries can enter it from both sides of the border.

Honestly, I must say that the beauty of the waterfall is destroyed a little bit because of Chinese tourists. Many Chinese people visit the falls from their side as an ant nest and so is a little difficult to take pictures. Fortunately, we went early so we were able to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the waterfall without any problem. Here, I bought a cone hat with the Nung people style as a souvenir and a kilo of local chestnut.



In September, Ban Gioc is much more beautiful thanks to the rice paddies that you find around the waterfall. On the way to the back, we visited a handicraft village of the Nung people that produce everything from hand knives. In the evening, we ate at a very good local restaurant. There is no word to describe how good the cuisine of Cao Bang is. It is a mix of Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine. We ate at a very good local restaurant.

The sixth day, we left to go to Cao Bang Ba Be, The latest and most popular destination of our journey. Ba Be is the largest and most beautiful natural lake in North Vietnam near Hanoi, about 4 hours of transfer in the car. Ba Be is the so-called Halong Bay on the mountain because it is found on a limestone hill at the height of 145 m. You can still see many limestone islands in this lake.

It is not just a lake, Ba Be is also the name of a nature reserve where there is still the primary forest. Here is the common home of the ethnic people of Tay and Dzao. The trip to Ba Be often lasts about two days. There was no hotel to the lake because we were in a nature reserve. But Ba Be is a popular destination for foreign travelers. The tourist service to the lake is quite good and the people are still very friendly.

We rested in a traditional house of Tay people. It is a house on stilts with private rooms, shared bathroom, and balcony with a view of the lake. By late afternoon, we had a visit to Hua cave but, it is less beautiful than the Halong Bay. But it is much more authentic.

On the seventh day, we did a beautiful boat trip to discover every corner of the lake. September is the best month to visit Ba Be. The weather is cool and the water is clear. We also found a village which is located in the center of the lake and we had lunch with local fish. We did not even forget to take a lot of photos.

It seems that seven days pass in a blink of an eye. We made the trip together and created many good memories. Thanks very much to our talented guide who shared his knowledge with us.

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