Ba Be Lake at dusk
Ba Be Lake at dusk

Tour to Ba Be National Park (Bac Kan)

Descending the long gradient at Ngan Son, I was charmed by the sublime and fresh mountain landscape. The winds were blowing hard now, the mountain gorges, the forest and the waterfalls by the road side looked stunning. There is no doubt that it is called Deo Gio which means the windy mountain pass.

At Na Phac Town, I turned into a small road to Ba Be National Park. The scenery changed abruptly here. It was mostly flat a road and there were patches of bamboo forests and rice fields. And came a small road market at Ha Hieu that I stopped for a few photos.

Rice fields on the road to Ba Be
Rice fields on the road to Ba Be

 

Ha Hieu Market
Ha Hieu Market

 

A cake vendor at Ha Hieu Market
A cake vendor at Ha Hieu Market

From Ha Hieu, there was a small road to Nguyen Binh District of Cao Bang Province that I had wanted to explore for a long time. It was so tempting and I was not in a hurry to go to Ba Be straight away. I turned into the small road that went up steeply and soon stunned by the breathtaking scenery. It was so wild here with mountains, forests and the winds. The air was fresh and I couldn't helped but stopped and got out for a while to get refreshment.

It was nearly mid day and I was feeling a bit hungry. There were surely no towns or restaurants on this road if I kept going, time to return then. It was a bit disappointing, but that was a good decision. And the road to Ba Be was longer than expected. I made it to the national park in the early afternoon. The restaurant only got noodle soup when I arrived and that was just good enough. After lunch, I checked into the guest house in the park center and got a nice sleep for most of the remainder of the day.

Scenic mountains on the road to Nguyen Binh
Scenic mountains on the road to Nguyen Binh

 

Mountains on the road to Nguyen Binh from Ba Be
Mountains on the road to Nguyen Binh from Ba Be

It was twilight when I got up later. The park was especially peaceful and pleasant in late afternoon. The stroll to the the lake and back was very relaxing and was helpful in warming up my appetite for dinner. The restaurant had stirred fried rice and chicken for me which was so yummy. Then, I got some wonderful moments with cold beer by the swimming pool. That was it, another perfect day of my life!

Morning came with bright sunlight through the windows of my room. It was late but I was never good at rushing and breakfast was as relaxing as ever. Then, I hitchhiked to Puoc Lom for a boat trip on the Nang River to the Three-Lagoon Lake of Ba Be.

Puoc Lom jetty
Puoc Lom jetty

The river was shallow at the jetty and the water was so clear that the riverbed was visible. A few locals were taking a boat trip to work somewhere inside the national park. The river current was strong somehow.

The Nang River
The Nang River

A colleague of mine, who was a local tour guide, had arranged the boat trip for me and all was ready when I arrived. After a few minutes traveling by boat, we were amid pristine nature with towering limestone mountains on both sides of the river. The scenery was so fresh here and the temperature was very pleasant.

The Puong CaveThe Puong Cave

After thirty minutes or so, a high mountain stands in the middle of the way revealing a large opening. The boat driver said it was Puong Cave where we got off the boat and climbed the damp steps to explore the inside. It was dark and huge given the small opening. There were a few fine sand beaches inside too, but I was not in a mood for a swim here though. From inside the cave, the view of the mountains and river outside was spectacular.

puong cavea beach inside the cave

 

A great view from inside the caveA great view from inside the cave

 

dau dang waterfall
Dau dang waterfall

It didn't take much time to visit the whole thing, after a short while I got back to the boat and continued our expedition into the core zone of Ba Be National Park. There was one thing I felt missing was that I didn't hear that much birds' chirping and didn't catch sight of any wild animals here. It was a shame!

Boat transport on the lake of Ba BeA special tourist having a boat trip on the lake of Ba Be

There were a few people fishing on the river. A gentleman even brought along a huge bull on a boat. At a time we passed bright green corn fields by the riversides and at another it was a green patch of paddy fields.

Ba Be Lake
Ba Be Lake

Suddenly, the boat came into a large lagoon with serene water. I knew that it was the three-lagoon lake of Ba Be. There was a village by the side of the lake. It was good for the villagers to get a fresh view of the water and nice breezes everyday then. The boat docked at the pier in the center of Ba Be National Park at mid day. I bade farewell to the helmsman and strolled leisurely back to the room.

On the way back to the hotel, I thought I could have the whole afternoon to relax, but then it would take the whole day tomorrow just for the drive back to Hanoi. I had better leave today and the whole day tomorrow relaxing at home then. It seemed a good decision. I made the check-out on arrival and made lunch quick. Then a quick drive around the lake to take in the panoramic picture.

Rice paddies outside Bac Kan Town
Rice paddies outside Bac Kan Town

It was in the afternoon that I was on the way to Bac Kan Town for the journey further to Hanoi. There was only me with the peaceful green nature all around all the way back home...