Ban Gioc Waterfall is one of Vietnam’s natural gems. It is the largest natural waterfall in Southeast Asia and the 4th biggest waterfall on an international border in the world. Its immaculate waters are surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination if you are in Northern Vietnam.
Despite better road and public transportation connections, as well as the popularity of some recent viral drone films about the magnificence of the falls, Ban Gioc is still an off-the-beaten-track destination.
Situated in the northeastern province of Cao Bang in Dam Thuy commune, Trung Khanh district, the falls are 30 meters high and 300 meters across, split half and half between Vietnam and China and sit amidst a beautiful mountainous and tropical jungle landscape.
You can readily hear the waterfall pouring down, roaring powerfully in the air just by standing a few dozen meters away. With a panoramic view from a distance, the waterfall appears to fall to a spotless white bubble area, forming a charm across the mountains like a white silk strip, making an incredible wild scenery. The tremendous flow of water cascading brilliantly through stair-like molds, which resembles a huge doorstep of nature, is what makes the falls so mesmerizing. At the foot of the falls, you can see a large blue river and green grass sparkling with mist lines the shore on both sides. This scene is truly a fairy-tale setting in the actual world.
WHAT TO DO WHEN VISITING BAN GIOC WATERFALL:
Taking photos for beautiful memory
There are many spots along the river bank for you to sit and take in the spectacle. You can spend your time unwinding amid the wonderful natural beauty, and take some amazing photos to preserve it as a pleasant and lasting memory.
Take a closer look with bamboo rafts
You just have to pay a little money to have bamboo rafts to punt you closer to the waterfall. It takes about 10 minutes. In contrast to the little boats, the falls appear even more magnificent as the rafts begin darting through the water. If you get close enough, you will absolutely get wet but no need to worry because it will definitely be a worthy experience that is unforgettable.
Trekking in Ban Gioc
Ban Gioc is a great site for adventurous travelers because it is an ideal place for trekking. The simplest is to walk around the falls and observe it from different viewpoints. There are other trekking trails in the area. These trails allow you to take in the splendor of mountains and jungles in Cao Bang, view the boundless rice fields, and furthermore, you can meet local people and learn about their culture and experience their daily activities
Exploring the Quay Son River
Ban Gioc Waterfall is fed by the flow of the Quay Son River, which marks the boundary between Vietnam and China and is ringed by limestone pinnacles, bamboo groves, and rice fields. The river can be a sight worth seeing on its own, and a journey in a kayak or canoe is a fantastic way to see it.
Visit Nguom Ngao Cave
You may combine visiting Ban Gioc Waterfall with exploring the nearby Nguom Ngao Cave, which is only three kilometers away from the waterfall. This cave was formed approximately 300 million years ago. Inside this 2114-meter-long cave is a system of unique stalactites of various sizes and shapes, creating a remarkable scenery.
Try out Ban Gioc - Cao Bang local food
Cao Bang has a lot of tasty local food that you may want to try out. Banh cuon (steamed rice roll) is a specialty of Cao Bang. It is well-known for its special sauce made from bone stock. The bones are simmered for hours before serving, with minced meat, fried onions and wood-ear mushroom added to make the dish more flavorful. Roasted duck is another great option. It is seasoned with 7 different flavors to make a really good smell. The meat is soft and covered by a crispy outer layer, served with dipping sauce and it will definitely awaken your taste buds. There are still many other dishes such as roasted suckling pig, ant’s egg cake, grilled fish… that are ready to blow your mind.
BEST TIME TO VISIT BAN GIOC WATERFALL
The ideal time to explore Ban Gioc Falls is from September to October, when the weather is really lovely and the harvest is in full swing. In this period, the temperature and humidity is stable, it is usually sunny and little rain will occur. On sunny days, the mist creates tiny rainbows making the views even more gorgeous. You may also have a chance to admire the vast fields that are dyed golden during harvest season, creating a very romantic scene. Moreover, mass tourism has yet to arrive. If you avoid weekends and public holidays, you may have it almost all to yourself as very few people make it here.
Foreign visitors used to need a special permit to visit the waterfall since it is so close to the Chinese border. But nowadays, you may simply purch ase a ticket without any documentation, and then come to the falls by going down a gravel path. Only on rare occasions that you may be asked to present your passport.
If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-track place for trekking, adventure travel, especially following the Northern Vietnam loop, Ban Gioc Waterfall is a must-try destination. Get ready to be overwhelmed by the fascinated and majestic beauty of nature and begin an amazing and one-of-a-kind adventure in your life!