Ba Be Lake, a green jewel in North Vietnam
- on Feb 5, 2020       By: BN
At the heart of the eponymous national park, Ba Be Lake is a real haven of peace, whether it is for going green for a weekend or to feel the sweetness of life in an exceptional natural setting.
Renowned as the largest natural lake in Vietnam, Ba Be also called Slam Pé (three lakes) consists of Pe Lam, Pe Lu and Pe Len lakes. Formed almost two hundred million years ago, nestled in karst mountains and primaeval forest, the lake is located 150m above sea level with an average depth between 17 - 23m. Measuring almost nine kilometres long and one kilometre wide, covering a magnificent stretch of water of 500 ha, Ba Be Lake is one of the 16 most beautiful lakes in the world published in 2015 by the MSN page. In addition, it is part of the Ba Be National Park classified at the end of 2004 in the ASEAN heritage park, a destination popular with researchers and visitors for its fabulous ecosystem.
On the immense turquoise surface of the lake emerge green islands, including two larger ones, An Ma (for its appearance of a horse with its feet in the water) and Ba Goa (Widow) around which a canoe excursion is very relaxing. If the zigzag paths bordering the lake make themselves a pleasant bike ride, the lush tropical forest invites you to fascinating trekking for the delight of holidaymakers.
To take advantage of Ba Be’s immense haven of freshness, opt for a large boat if you are travelling in a big group. A small private group and more adventurous can take a canoe to discover the lake as a whole. For those who have more time, the other way to visit the lake is to sail upstream from the Nang river, the boat will quietly drift in Ba Be lake in 2-3 days.
What to visit at Ba Be Lake?
Ba Be National Park
As a wetland of international importance classified by UNESCO, the Ba Be National Park covers five municipalities, covering 7,610 ha. The place is renowned for its great biodiversity of exceptional value presented by its many animal and plant species. A motorcycle ride along the park trails offers sumptuous landscapes before coming to its heart, Ba Be Lake.
The Puong cave, 300m long and over 30m high, is the most beautiful place near Ba Be Lake. Also accessible by boat, its grandiose atmosphere and its sublime array of multifaceted stalactites make it a very pleasant stopover.
Dau Dang waterfall
After absolute relaxation in a dugout on Ba Be Lake, what could be better than admiring the waters of the Nang River gushing from hundreds of large rocks? In a wild and lush setting, you can relax by going to the Dau Dang waterfall over 1000 metres long, bordering Tuyen Quang province.
Hua Ma cave
About 6km from the lake, you take a gentle slope of 300m to access Hua Ma, another beautiful cave nestled in the mountains. There is no shortage of natural wonders in this place, including its many mystical stalagmites.
Ao Tien (Fairy pond)
Departing from Ba Be Lake, hikers can walk a hundred metres to reach a tranquil and picturesque surface of Ao Tien, embraced by the jungle and the karst mountains. You can breathe the fresh air offered by its 3000m2 green space while contemplating the many rare fishes that inhabit it. As its name suggests, legend has it that fairies frequent this pond where the water is extremely translucent and abundant.
Pac Ngoi village
On the banks of the Leng River, close to Ba Be Lake, nestles Pac Ngoi village, home to more than 80 families of the Tay ethnic group, one of the many ethnic groups in Vietnam. Staying a few days with the locals is appreciated by visitors for the peaceful atmosphere and the warm welcome of the villagers. It’s a good opportunity to discover local life and taste the alluring dishes including specialities such as Pac Ngoi grilled fish, grilled pork, wild chicken, forest vegetable, fish from streams...
Other interests: the Phya Khao and Kim Ky place, the Fairy cave, the Na Dang waterfall and Thac Gieng spring…
>> To read more about Pac Ngoi village at the edge of Ba Be lake
Location of Ba Be Lake
In Nam Mau commune, Bac Kan province, 68km from the capital of Bac Kan, and 250km from Hanoi to the north.
When to go?
Do not hesitate to visit Ba Be Lake anytime for its pleasant climate which surrounds its mountains, its waters and the jungle all year round. To take full advantage of the scenery, it is best to come there in summer, early fall or spring.
How to get there?
Departing from My Dinh or Gia Lam bus station, you can take a bus to Bac Kan, the price is between 100,000 - 130,000 VND per person.
On your arrival at the suburb Cho Ra (Bac Kan), take a "xe om" (motorbike taxi) to come to Ba Be Lake.
By private car, take national road 3 following the Soc Son - Thai Nguyen - Cho Ra - Ba Be route.