Cao Bang is a province in north of Vietnam which shares the border with China. The province of Cao Bang is not only renowned which attracts travelers with majestic Ban Gioc waterfall, famous historical sites like the cave of Pac Po, the source of Lenin…but also by the landscape of sublime mountains, charming roads, the culture of local ethnic minorities and the list of wonderful sites. Ethnies Mekong Travel would to share with you the experiences for that your trip in Cao Bang is even more perfect.
1. Cao Bang in Vietnam in what season?
Cao Bang, in each season, has different aspects of beauty but travel experts believe that during August and September, the Ban Gioc Waterfall is very beautiful with blue water. But the November and December are also interesting moments because this is the season of pastoral flowers. Between the January and May, June and October, this is the season of green rice covering valleys in Cao Bang.
2. How to go to Cao Bang?
Cao Bang is located about 300 km in the northeast of Hanoi capital, in the middle of the wild mountain of the country. So, there are two ways to go to Cao Bang.
2.1. Local bus or your own car
Cao Bang can be easily reached by local bus from Hanoi. You just need to go to the bus station of My Dinh to take it. Every day, there are many buses in direction to Cao Bang and most are night buses.
When you arrive at the bus station in Cao Bang, you can hire a taxi or motorcycle to go to the Ban Gioc Waterfall. However, according to our experience, it is better to take the local bus from the town of Cao Bang.
2.2. By motorbike
Cao Bang can be reached by bike. There are 3 trips according to your choice, depending on the capacity, the starting point, the budget...
Route 1: Take the highway Hanoi - Thai Nguyen - Bac Kan directly before taking the national road 3 to go to Cao Bang. With this trip, the route Hanoi - Cao Bang is very convenient.
Circuit 2: You take the old national road 3: Hanoi - Thai Nguyen - Bac Kan - Cao Bang. However, if you are not a professional biker, it will be a bit difficult because you have to spend 5 dangerous passes (Deo Giang, Deo Gio, Deo Ngan Son, Deo Cao Bac, and Deo Tai Sin Ho). But for professional riders, this tour is ideal.
Circuit 3: Follow the National Highway 1 A to Lang Son before taking the national road 4 via Dong Khe, That Khe to Cao Bang. This road has many trucks. So, you will need to move carefully.
We believe it is better to rent your own car because you can stop wherever you want, enjoy the scenery ... It's the best way to go to Cao Bang.
3. Cao Bang in Vietnam – Suggestions of some hotels, motels...:
Cao Bang is a beautiful area but still little exploited by tourism. So the hotel infrastructure is still limited. In the city of Cao Bang or the capital of this province, you can find the local hotels at very reasonable rate of 10 to 20USD per room per night.
Our experience for the trip in Cao Bang is that you should book hotels in advance to avoid the shortage, the price increase, especially during holidays. Here are some quality hotels in Cao Bang.
3.1. In the city center
- Duc Trung Hotel: No. 85, Be Van Dan: telephone number: 3853 026 424
- Bang Giang Hotel: No. 2 Kim Dong: 026 431 3853
- Hoang Anh Hotel: No. 131, Kim Dong: 3858 026 969
- Anh Duong Hotel: No. 78, Kim Dong: 3858 026 467
- Hoang Long Hotel: No. 51 Kim Dong: 3855 026 178
3.2. In Trung Khanh District
- Le Hoan Guesthouse: 026.826221 / 0915425531
- Thien Tai Guesthouse near the market: 026.3826537
- Dinh Van Guesthouse near the market: 026.3602789;
3.3. Near Ban Gioc Waterfall
- Van Dinh 2 Guesthouse: 02184.108.40.206.
In addition, in Bao Lac, Phuc Hoa, Tinh Tuc ... there are guesthouses at affordable price of 12USD/room/night. If not, there is no comfort hotel in Cao Bang.
4. The essential interests of tourism in Cao Bang
Cao Bang in Vietnam is really known by the majestic nature attractions and sites associated with the revolutionary history of Vietnam.
4.1. Natural sites
- Ban Gioc Waterfall: At 100km from the town of Cao Bang, Ban Gioc Waterfall is situated in the natural border of Vietnam and China. With the width of over 200 meters and height of about 60-70m, Ban Gioc is in 4th position in size among the largest waterfalls in the world being on the borders.
Cao Bang is famous by the Ban Gioc Waterfall which is considered as a priceless gift that nature has given to this isolated province of the country. We can confirm that the Ban Gioc Waterfall is the most majestic and most beautiful in Vietnam. Behind Ban Gioc, this is the Quay Son River with its clear blue water. The two banks of the river are surrounded by the beautiful poetic landscapes with fresh greens, lush forests, multi-shaped mountains, white clouds floating.... In the other side of the river, it is China that shares the border with the province of Cao Bang.
- Cave of Nguom Ngao: At about 3km from the Ban Gioc Waterfall, The Nguom Ngao Cave is in the list of the most beautiful in Cao Bang with the system of very lively stalactites and stalagmites that can surprise everyone.
The total length is about 2.144m including 03 doors: Nguom Ngao, Nguom Lom and Nguom Thuon Village. The temperature in the cave is between 18 and 25 degrees C. In fact, with the Ban Gioc Waterfall, this cave is also a priceless gift that nature has given to Cao Bang.
- Thang Hen Lake: The Thang Hen Lake is located in Tra Linh District of Cao Bang Province. This lake is located between the mountains of rocks at an altitude of 800 - 1000m above sea level and 500 meters above the ground, but the lake never dries up, even in the dry season.
In reality, the Thang Hen Lake consists of 36 natural lakes that communicate each other through underground caves. The 36 freshwater lakes are located in a big valley covering many communes as Quoc Toan, Tra Linh, Ngu Lao and Hoa An but Thang Hen is the largest lake with a length of 2000 m and a width of 50 meters, surrounded by jungle, interspersed of rocks in the shape of cat ears. According to the language of the Tay people, Thang Hen means "bee tail" because seen from above, the lake looks like a bee tail. The lake is home of over 100 species of fish, shrimp ... which are the major source of aquatic products for the province of Cao Bang.
4.2. Human values
Cao Bang, a remote province in north of Vietnam, is the home of ethnic groups such as Tay, Nung, Hmong, Dao, San Chay, Viet ... living mainly from agriculture and especially the cultivation of rice in the narrow valleys and on the rice terraces. Most ethnic groups live in stilt houses nestled at the foot of multi form limestone mountains. The villages are often surrounded by valleys covered by different cultures. Until now, most of Cao Bang ethnic groups still wear traditional costumes. Handicrafts as weaving, blacksmith ... are well preserved.
Situated fully in the wilderness, villages of Cao Bang ethnic groups are always very peaceful, very relaxing with lush paddy fields, multi shapes mountains, small paths weaving between the endless green bamboo forests among which the rivers flow, the water wheels are turning itself ... The meetings with local people by visiting the traditional villages are part of the main interests while travel in Cao Bang.
4.3. Historical sites
- Pac Bo Cave: At 50km from the city of Cao Bang, Pac Bo historical relics such as: Coc Bo Cave, source of Lenin, some local houses ... are reserved for historic pilgrims. In early 1941, Ho Chi Minh and his comrades lived here to lead the Vietnamese revolution.
- Dong Khe and That Khe: These are the two most important valleys between Lang Son and Cao Bang on the old colonial road No. 4. These two valleys with the city of Cao Bang today were the former battlefields in 1950 of Vietnamese and French armies when the French people wanted to cut off the supply route between the Popular China created in 1949 and Vietnam.
5. Cao Bang - Some gastronomic specialties not to be missed
Cao Bang gastronomy is impregnated with the flavor of mountain. According to our experience, if you come here without trying: wild vegetables, sour soup, bee lava soup, sticky rice with eggs of ants, fish from Thang Hen Lake, mountain sausages, rice cake with eggs, roasted duck ... it proves that you do not know Cao Bang.
6. Some notes and experiences while travel in Cao Bang
- If you travel alone in this isolated province, you should remember that: the mountain roads in Cao Bang have many passes. So you should drive carefully with full papers, protective clothing, helmets ... In addition, you should also calculate exactly the number of Km to buy gasoline, prepare repair tools...
- You think about having all the necessary documents: identity card, passport... because Cao Bang is a border area.
- Remember to bring medicine, sunscreen, insect cream and personal belongings to prevent incidents along the way and during the visit...
- Wear light clothing in summer, between April and September, the waterproof shoes or closed sandals...
- When you visit Pac Po Cave, you think to pay attention to road signs as there are dangerous underground currents...
If you have experiences to share, send to us please. Or you can send email to us: firstname.lastname@example.org for more detailed travel information of Cao Bang in Vietnam.