3 days getaway in Ba Be, the largest lake in Vietnam
- on Feb 5, 2020       By: BN
A stop that absolutely cannot be missed during a crossing of North Vietnam, this haven of the freshness of Bac Kan invites you to make the excursion on the emerald water, immerse yourself in the life of the Tay and Mong and also to explore Ba Be National Park. A 3-day getaway around Vietnam's largest freshwater lake is ideal for combining relaxation and adventure. Take inspiration from our tailor-made plans to successfully satisfy your thirst for a breath of fresh air and the promise of the great outdoors with a 3-day and 2-night tour of Ba Be.
Ba Be 3 days and 2 nights tour
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Those who wake up early are more likely to enjoy the perfect relaxing atmosphere that reigns early on the lake and its shores. Let’s start the day off beautifully with a boat ride. This excursion of a few hours allows you to explore various attractions of Ba Be Lake, such as Dau Dang waterfall, Fairy Pond, An Ma temple and Ba Goa or Widow island.
Indicative price: 800,000 VND or 35 USD per boat for 20 people, 5 hour excursion.
Dau Dang waterfall
Not too large and easily accessible to all, this waterfall is a pleasant break amidst lush vegetation. You can find some great Ba Be specialities offered by the Tay people when you get there.
For the inhabitants, this round water reservoir measures some 3000 square metres and is a legendary place where a young hunter met seven fairies. It’s also affords you the opportunity to find medicinal plants and taste some local delicacies, especially grilled fish with a typical taste cooked by women from the Tay in Bac Kan. Don't forget to take photos to capture beautiful moments in front of the emerald water surrounded by an idyllic setting.
An Ma Temple
It is five minutes from the pier that you will reach An Ma temple, a historic place in honour of a faithful mandarin of the Mac dynasty in the 16th century.
Ba Goa or Widow island
To end the excursion on the first day, you will disembark at an island that recalls the legend of a Widow to whom the village owes its survival after the deluge giving rise to Ba Be Lake. You can peacefully see the natural spectacle of the sunset and the relaxing navigation of boats and canoes.
Book the second day at Ba Be for an equally memorable walk on the banks of the lake and its surroundings. You can meet the families of the Tay and Hmong ethnic groups who mainly live in the hamlets by the lake.
If you're curious about a local market, head to the weekly Nam Cuong market on Saturday, easily accessible from the Bo Lu hamlet of Nam Mau commune. This little party also brings together Tay and Hmong from adjacent communes who came in large numbers with all kinds of food, clothes, incense sticks and everyday items.
On leaving the market, head to Coc Toc, Bo Lu villages and especially Pac Ngoi village to spend a friendly moment in a house on stilts and enjoy a beautiful view of the green rice fields.
Pac Ngoi village
From Pac Ngoi, you can explore the surroundings a little, including the Hua Ma cave and the Tat Mat waterfall. After 300 metres of walking, Hua Ma cave is revealed with multifaceted stalactites which adorn the different corners of its 700 metres long interior.
Cave visit price: 22,000 VND or less than one dollar per ticket.
Also called the Silver Waterfall, Tat Mat is created from the Ban Duong spring which crosses ten kilometres of mountains and several villages. You will admire this roaring current from the Tay houses opposite the fields as far as the eye can see.
This last day at Ba Be is certainly much awaited by hikers. Take your good shoes to indulge in a small trek in Ba Be national park, starting from Bo Lu towards Coc Toc, two small traditional villages little known to tourists.
It’s difficult to pass by motorbike, the narrow tracks are much more suitable for walking. After half a day of walking, you will come across other Hmong mountain villages like Na Phai, Dan May, Nam Dai and Khau Pha. The inhabitants dressed in traditional clothes live by cultivating rice crops and corn in the fields. There are also some Hmong schools in the mountains.
Access to these remote villages certainly requires some effort. You will, however, be rewarded on arrival because the rice terraces will amaze you.
Na Hang Lake
The final loop of our trekking tour will take you to an arm of Na Hang Lake in Tuyen Quang, neighbouring Bac Kan province. If a boat trip tempts you at this beautiful stop, consider renting one yourself to extend your day.
Sleeping in Ba Be
Staying with locals is probably the best choice for a night's rest during your stay at Ba Be Lake. Twenty homestays offer decent comfort at an affordable cost of around 100,000 VND or around 5 USD per night per person. You will be greeted with great hospitality by a local family and can attend the evening with a traditional song and dance performance of the Tay and Hmong.
Reference address: Duy Linh, Quynh Mai, Hoang Chuyen and Minh Quang.
Eating in Ba Be
Since there is almost no choice of restaurants around the villages, it is better to book your meals during your stay. The local cuisine has something to pleasantly surprise you with varied and appetizing dishes, like steamed fish, grilled fish, soup with snails and traditional Ba Be cake. For breakfast, some canteens not far from the pier prepare Vietnamese ravioli that will wake up your palates.
- The hosts of your homestay can book other activities in Ba Be for you with a favourable price.
- The restaurants along the way are not easy to find, do not forget to have something to eat and drink with you during the trekking in the mountains.