When mentioning green tourist destinations in the North of Vietnam, you will easily remember the Northwest provinces such as Ha Giang, Moc Chau, and Sapa... But in recent years, many tourists have been looking for a cool and green paradise located in the Northeast with pristine, majestic beauty as well as delicious specialities. And it’s nowhere else but the green pearl of Cao Bang - one of the top provinces of the country.
So what is it about Cao Bang tourism that "captures the hearts" of so many visitors from far away? Let's explore the top 7 most beautiful destinations here with Ama Journeyin this article sharing Cao Bang travel experiences!
People say that travelling to Cao Bang without visiting Ban Gioc Waterfall is a big mistake. Ban Gioc Waterfall is inherently a tourist destination of interest to many tourists, belonging to the Cao Bang Global Geopark Complex recognized globally by UNESCO. Located in Dam Thuy commune, Trung Khanh district, Cao Bang province, with a fresh, cool climate all year round, Ban Gioc Waterfall naturally becomes the most magnificent and beautiful waterfall in Vietnam.
Ban Gioc Waterfall is one of the best destinations in Cao Bang
Ban Gioc Waterfall is divided into two parts: one part is located on the Vietnam-China border with the boundary of the Quay Son River and it is called Ban Gioc Detian Fall in China, the other part is located completely within Vietnamese territory. From the top to the bottom of the waterfall, it is about 100m high, causing the fast water to flow down like a smooth white silk strip, then scattering white foam below the lake's surface.
If you want to feel the majesty of Ban Gioc Waterfall, you should go in summer. From June to September, Cao Bang transforms into the rainy season with the most abundant water. However, if you love quiet surroundings, you can travel to Cao Bang in the remaining months to enjoy the airy air next to the gently flowing waterfall.
At the waterfall, you can also experience rafting to admire the scenery or challenge yourself in kayaking on the lush green of Quay Son River. Whatever the activity, you will definitely have a wonderful and unforgettable time here.
How to get to Ban Gioc Waterfall?
From Cao Bang City, you will travel along Ma Phuc Pass and Khau Lien Pass for about 60km. When you arrive in Trung Khanh Town, go about 30km further and you will reach Ban Gioc Waterfall.
One of the activities that you should not miss when coming to Cao Bang is travelling on the Ma Phuc Pass. The reason for the name Ma Phuc Pass is that local people think that the image of two limestone rocks on Highway 3 leading up to the pass looks like two horses lying prostrate and facing each other.
A splendid Ma Phuc Pass will be a highligh in Cao Bang adventure trip
This road is known as the most beautiful pass inCao Bang with a total length of more than 3.5km and nearly 700m above sea level. Not only that, Ma Phuc Pass also has up to 7 levels of slopes with winding sleeves. On both sides are towering cliffs, making this stretch of road a stimulating challenge for road enthusiasts.
Nguom Ngao Cave is also a famous landscape in Cao Bang that tourists must definitely visit. The climate inside the cave is always cool and pleasant, so visitors can choose to travel to Nguom Ngao Cave at any time of the year.
Nguom Ngao Cave in the Tay language means tiger cave because local people believe that in the past, the cave was home to many fierce tigers. However, another legend says that the name Nguom Ngao may come from people standing in the cave and hearing the sound of flowing water like a tiger's roar.
Nguom Ngao cave in Cao Bang
Nguom Ngao Cave was discovered in 1921 and began to be exploited for tourism in 1996. This is a limestone cave with magnificent beauty, created by Mother Nature about 400 million years ago, and until now, there has been no impact from humans.
The system of natural stalactites and stalagmites has created a lively and interesting Nguom Ngao masterpiece. The cave has a total length of about 2,114m with 3 main gates, including Ban Thuon, Nguom Lom and Nguom Ngao. Stepping into the cave is like being lost in a fairyland. Tourists can unleash their creativity and imagine the shape of the stone statues: looks like a fairy, that is like a Buddha, and next to it is a statue of a man and a woman, etc. More specifically, the cave also has stone instruments that when tapped, melodious music like the sound of the T-rung fiddle will come out, making many visitors excited.
How to get to Nguom Ngao cave?
From Cao Bang City, you will follow Ma Phuc Pass and Khau Lien Pass to reach Ban Gioc Waterfall. Then, on the way to the waterfall, you turn to Provincial Road 206 and go until you see a sign pointing to Nguom Ngao Cave.
Mat Than (Magic Eye) Mountain (also known as Thung Mountain) belongs to the complex of 36 Thang Hen lakes, and this is also one of the destinations not to be missed when travelling to Cao Bang. The origin of the name Thung Mountain comes from the special shape of the mountain with a circular hole on the top with a diameter of up to 50m. Besides that rustic name, this place is also called Magic Eye Mountain to express the unique look that nature has given to this mountain.
Mat Than Mountain is a hole in the middle of a mountain by Thang Hen Lake
When walking in the area around the mountain, you will easily see images of the daily activities of the Tay families; unique stilt houses and stone fences have remained stable over the years. If you travel to Cao Bang during the ripe rice season, you will also have the opportunity to admire the golden rice fields, highlighted by buffaloes lying in the sun, bringing a picture of the peaceful countryside, helping you to dispel the fatigue and bustle of the city.
How to get to Mat Than mountain?
From Thang Hen Lake, you can ask local people to find Ban Danh Village. Then, by following the trail below the foot of the mountain, you can find Mat Than Mountain.
Phat Tich Truc Lam Ban Gioc Pagoda is the first pagoda built in the Northeast border area. The pagoda is only about 500m from Ban Gioc Waterfall, so visitors can easily combine these two locations on the same tour. In particular, when standing at Phat Tich Truc Lam Ban Gioc Pagoda and looking out into the distance, you will admire the entire majestic mountain landscape of Cao Bang.
A great view from Phat Tich Truc Lam Ban Gioc pagoda
The area of the pagoda is about 3 hectares with the typical architecture of Vietnamese pagodas with three-entrance gate, bell tower, drum tower, and ancestral and maternal temples... There is also a temple of President Ho Chi Minh, General Vo Nguyen Giap and many other famous historical heroes.
Cao Bang tourism not only has natural locations but also a 400-year-old ancient village, which still retains its ancient and somewhat mysterious beauty. That is Khuoi Ky Ancient Stone Village, only about 3km from Ban Gioc Waterfall and about 100km from Cao Bang City centre.
A beauty of peace and rustic Khuoi Ky Stone village in Cao Bang
When you hear of a village, you will easily think of a place with hundreds of households living in harmony, but in fact, there are only 14 Tay ethnic households. They live and function inside houses made of stone built from 1594 - 1677 when the Mac dynasty came to Cao Bang to build ramparts to protect the country. In the Tay language, Khuoi Ky means small stream, referring to the stream running right in front of the village, and behind is the rocky mountain.
The house's architecture is covered with yin and yang tiles, with three main compartments, each of which is divided by a wooden frame to facilitate living. The house's foundation is made of crushed stone and the base of the pillar is also made of reprocessed stone. The stilt house for the Tay people in Trung Khanh is a sacred area - a place to preserve the characteristics of traditional material and spiritual life over many generations.
Stopping at Khuoi Ky, you will find it interesting to participate in many activities with indigenous people. A life rich in mountains and forests relaxes your soul and eliminates stress.
How to get to Khuoi Ky ancient stone village?
If travelling from Ban Gioc Waterfall, visitors only need to move towards Nguom Ngao Cave a distance of about 2km to get there. Khuoi Ky Stone Village is located right on Provincial Road 206.
The last scenic spot that we recommend to you when you travel to Cao Bang is Thang Hen Lake - a place known as a fairyland in everyday life. With a shuttle shape a length of up to 3,000m and a width of about 1,000m, the lake includes 36 large and small lakes on high mountain tops.
In the Tay language, Thang Hen Lake also means "bee tail" lake, because when you look down from above, you will see that the lake is shaped like a bee's tail. This Cao Bang tourist destination is famous for its peaceful beauty of cool blue water, along with many Instagrammable corners that immerse you in the beautiful natural scenery.
Thang Hen Lake in Cao Bang
Tourists travelling to Ban Gioc Waterfall in Cao Bang and visiting Thang Hen Lake at any time of the year will feel its peaceful calm. The beautiful small boats, the glimpse of a diligent ferryman or the scenery of mountains and hills engulfed in clouds and smoke always leave unforgettable emotions in the traveller's mind. Around the lake, there are rows of whispering green trees, reaching out and silhouetted under the clear blue water. A few rays of sunlight gently landed on the peaceful lake surface, causing the lake surface to suddenly become sparkling and magical.
How to get to Thang Hen lake?
From Cao Bang City centre, you move towards National Highway 3 for about 21km, then continue to go along Provincial Road 205 for about 4km. Then, you will see a turn on the left, leading to the Thang Hen Lake eco-tourism area. After that, you just need to travel about 8km of the pass to reach the lake.
Travelling to Cao Bang, walking around Ban Gioc Waterfall, Thang Hen Lake, Nguom Ngao Cave, etc. always brings visitors great experiences. Hopefully, with the top 7 beautiful Cao Bang tourist attractions that we have just mentioned above, you will have an interesting and memorable trip.