Ba Be National Park Vietnam: Everything You Need to Know
Ba Be National Park (Vietnamese: Vườn Quốc Gia Ba Bể) is a natural reserve located in Bac Kan Province - Northeast Vietnam, to protect a freshwater lake (Ba Be Lake) along with lowland evergreen forests and surrounding limestone. The National Park is located about 240 kilometers northwest of the Vietnam capital city – Hanoi.
How is Ba Be National Park Unique?
Ba Be National Park offers a wide range of interesting things to explore, from geology, landscapes to fauna and flora.
Flora and Fauna of Ba Ba National Park:
If you love the ecotourism activities, Ba Be National Park is the ideal place to explore because it is featured by the diversified and specious fauna and flora system. The vegetation in the National Park mainly consists of limestone and evergreen forest. There are approximately about more than 417 species of plant. Climbing bamboo is a regional endemic plant, that is common on the hill slopes near the lake shore.
Furthermore, Ba Be National Park also attracts many tourists who are interested in discovery of animal life with plentiful animal system. There are more than 600 species with about 66 are specious; some were recorded in the Red Book of Vietnam.
The Scenic Landscape Features of Ba Ba National Park:
Looking for Best Things to Do and See in Ba Ba National Park? There are some very interesting places that you should not mis when coming to visit Ba Be National Park.
• Tien Lake (Ao Tien or Fairy Lake)
You will feel pleasant with the cool and fresh climate when coming to Ao Tien – a small lake located on the top of the mountain. The lake is filled with clear water which seeps through the surrounding limestone rock formation. The primary for the name Tien Lake (the lake of fairy) is because of a legend that the fairies always went down in this place to swim and play chess.
• Ba Be lake (Best Things to Do)
Ba Be lake is about 8 kilometers long in total, 400 meters wide, and has the deepest point of about 35 meters. There are 3 freshwater lakes running together to make the Ba Be Lake, named are Pe Lu, Pe Lam and Pe Leng. Whenever visiting here, visitors will have a chance to see lots of interesting sightseeing places including rivers, waterfalls, lakes, valleys and caves which are allocated amidst picturesque landscapes and nature.
Additionally, Ba Be Lake is home to more than 30 animal species such as wild, pigs, bears, panthers, monkeys and birds as well as many ancient & giant trees, from which several varieties of precious wood are obtained in Vietnam.
• Pac Ngoi Commune (Làng Pắc Ngòi)
Pac Ngoi Commune is a home to the Tay ethnic minority group in Ba Be National Park. This is a small tourist village and has recently been a popular venue for local and also foreign tourists to experience home-stay and unique culture experience.
There are about 20 made-of-wood stilt houses in Pac Ngoi, which cater home-stay service for travelers. Each of them preserves unique traditional features of Tay ethnic people, giving a glimpse of Tay history and culture to tourists, especially the foreign ones. Although modern architecture has presented recently, but the traditional stilted houses in Pac Ngoi commune are still highly values and well-preserved by local.
• Dau Dang Waterfall (Thác Đầu Đẳng)
Located about 3 km to the west from Ba Be Lake, there is a stunning waterfall named Dau Dang. It straddles the border between provinces of Tuyen Quang and Bac Kan. Here, Nang River flows through a rocky area containing numerous sized stones and form a long stretch of 1km between 2 lakes. Visiting Dau Dang waterfall, you can see water falling down with dazzling white bubbles throughout the year, creating an impressive music and scenery in the splendid jungle.
There are also wide varieties of fish living in this waterfall, some of them even weigh up to 10 kilograms. After the first rains in March and April of the year, the fishes will race with each other to pass the waterfall. If lucky enough, you will have a chance to witness this activity whilst leaning on the mossy rocks and immersing in the pleasant atmosphere.
• Thac Bac Waterfall (Thác Bạc)
Thac Bac Waterfall is located 8 km south from Ba Be Lake. In the area of about 200 m in width and 40 m in height, The waterfall creates such a beautiful scenery with the formation of so many small lakes. According to some documents from Ba Be National Park Managerment, underneath of Thac Bac waterfall, there are crystal clear puddles along with stacked rocks, which set a perfection for tourists to take photographs.
• Hua Ma Cave (Hang Hua Ma)
Omce visiting to Bac Kan, you will never forget the remarkable feelings about Hua Ma cave. The cave is located in Quang Khe Commune, Ba Be district, and is said to be shaped naturally during many years of geological formation.
Hua Ma cave is about 700 m deep with the average ceiling height is about 50 m. There are beautiful stalactites and stalagmites in different sizes and shapes, such as terraced fields, lotus throne, stone gate, stone curtain and so on. Because the cave is just discovered recently, it is now considered as the most spectacular intact natural cave in this region.
• Lo Mo cave expedition
Lo Mo cave expedition is a large area of clear water lakes, dramatic mountains and verdant forests in the North of the national park. The cave mainly stretches underground for around 3000m and its limestone karst is created by erosion of water flow over a long period of time.
Inside the cave, there living the bats as well as many other plants and insects, that interest every nature lovers. The cave’s entrance is concealed in the clift of the mountains so it is not easy to discover at first.
II. Some Tourist Activities in Ba Be National Park:
Best Things to Do and to See in Ba Be National Park:
1. Trekking and Hiking:
Ba Be National Park is one of the best trekking spots in Vietnam thanks to its richness in fauna and flora, the relationship between nature and ethnic people and the vegetation of the karst outcrops. A common route that tourists often choose for trekking is through the jungle and reach some ethnic villages like H’mong. You can also choose to go along the trail near Nang river to contemplate the Dau Dang waterfall.
2. Bicycling in the Paths:
It is highly recommended to use sport/mountain bikes to start your cycling tour. The rental price of bicycle is not so expensive, just about US$10 per day. Then, you can explore Thac Bac waterfall, Hua Ma cave and some ethnic villages. The routes are well constructed so you don’t have to worry about your safety.
3. Kayaking in the Lake:
If you love to explore the stunning Ba Be lake, the ideal activity you should do is kayaking. Kayakers can discover every corner of the lake such as fishing villages, small islets, limestone karsts, hidden caves and even more. It is recommended to wear a life jacket during the trip along with suitable clothes like shorts, T-shirts or swimsuits for summer and warm costume for winter.
Conservation in Ba Be National Park:
Ba Be National Park was established by gorvernment to conserve important ecosystems, rare plant, animal species, and the special landscapes as well as to manage the sustainable use of natural resources. The park also assists local communities living in the area to improve their current living conditions and mitigating pressures on nature and biodiversity.
What is the Best Food to Eat in Ba Be National Park?
What tourists should never miss in the trip to Ba Be National Park is experiencing local food of ethnic people by joining locals to make traditional dishes.
1. Grilled Fish (cá Nướng)
People catch fresh fish in the lake by hand or by simple tools, then some can bake them with alcohol while others use a charcoal stove. This food is serve as the Tay people’s daily snacks. They usually eat the meat from the fish with a little chilli and sip corn wine or beer.
2. Bamboo-Tube Rice (Cơm Lam)
This is a very typical dish of every ethnic minority in Northern Vietnam. The main cooking ingredient is rice which is put into a fresh and young bamboo tube with a bit of water. In order to make their rice more pleasant and flavorful, people will usally add a little coconut juice. Then, they will use banana leaves to wrap the bamboo tube and burn that on fire until it smells good and is ready to be served.
3. Pork Hanging on the Kitchen (Heo Treo Gác Bếp)
This is a very unique local delicacy of the Tay people here. The pork meat is sliced into small pieces, then rubbed with rice wine, water, and salt. People will keep the meat for 3 or 4 days before smoking it in the wood stoves. The food is ready to serve when it turn into yellow-black color on the pork’s skin.
Where to Stay in Ba Be National Park?
In Ba Be National Park, there are a huge numbers of accommodations like homestays, hotels, villas and resorts available for tourists to choose. They are all very safe and possess security certificates granted by local governments. The local people are also very hospitable and always ready to welcome every customer visiting to their hometown.
• Ba Be Legend Villa
Location: in Khang Ninh Village, Ba Be, Bac Kan Provice
Telephone: +8497 730 29 10
• Ba Be Lakeside Bungalow
Location: Coc Toc village, Nam Mau Commune, Bac Kan Provice
Telephone: +8491 226 7559
• Anh Khiem Hotel
Location: in Na Mam, Ba Be district, Bac Kan
Telephone: +84399 422 681
How to Get There in Ba Be National Park?
Some diferent ways to get to Ba Be National Park, you can travel by private car or local bus because the distance is a little bit far from Hanoi Capital. Renting a private car is easiest and fastest way but the price is abit more expensive. On the contrary, going by local bus can save abit of money, which can be also used for other purposes.
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