Ban Gioc Waterfall is one of Vietnam’s most attractive natural sights. Located in the northeastern of Cao Bang province, the falls are 30 meters high and 300 meters wide, making Ban Gioc the most majestic, most impressive waterfall in the northeastern. The falls cut across the Quay Son River, beautiful jade-blue water flowing from China through pastoral landscapes of rice terraces and bamboo groves, being surrounded by limestone karst. Despite the improved road accessibility and public transportation advancement along with the popularity of viral drone videos showing the majesty of the falls, Ban Gioc is still an off-the-beaten-path sight.
Best time to visit
Ban Gioc waterfall is about 360 kilometers far away from Hanoi capital, it could be reached via a good national highway to from capital to Cao Bang City, and then via recently upgraded provincial roads, leading through fantastic countryside landscape to the falls. The waterfall can be visited at any time of year, but, the best time is from September to October when the summer rains reduce and the falls are less frequent while the harvest is in full swing. Ban Gioc waterfall tour should be combined with a visit to the Nguom Ngao caves nearby.
Ban Gioc Waterfall
The Waterfall & Caves
The Quay Son River is a natural border between Vietnam and China. As a result, the falls are half in Vietnam and half in China. Both countries offer bamboo rafts that can punt visitors around the base of the falls for better views. It’s now easier than ever to visit Ban Gioc, but still very few people, especially foreign travelers. It's a perfect destination if you take a motorbike road trip following the Northeast journey, or if you are an independent traveler looking for off-the-beaten-track.
There’s an impressive limestone cave system, called Nguom Ngao. It's just a few kilometers from Ban Gioc waterfall and beautifully lit. Thanks to the dripping of calcium carbonate, which forms the stalactites, the sight is superior impressive. Remember to tread carefully because the pathway can be slick.
Bamboo rafts cost $2 for per person, punts visitors closer to the cascade for a better view. The punting lasts about 10 minutes and you will get wet for sure. In some areas, swimming is strictly forbidden. But it’s difficult to resist immersing in emerald-green pools of water, especially around the smaller falls. But, of course, tourists should be careful: stick to the placid pools and stay away from the main cascade.
Ban Gioc Temple
If you completed the explore Ban Gioc waterfall itself, go back up to the main road and follow it for 600 m towards Cao Bang until you reach a turning on the left. This is the route to Truc Lam pagoda. It’s a steep climb if you make it to the top you are rewarded with a stunning panorama that looks straight down into the valley and Ban Gioc waterfall.
Specialties in Ban Gioc Waterfall
Cao Bang roasted duck: visiting Ban Gioc waterfall without trying Cao Bang cuisine will be a mistake. Seven-flavored roasted duck would be an unforgettable taste. Unlike other roasted duck, to have a delicious famous dish of Cao Bang roasted duck, the duck must be marinated with 7 different flavors.
Trung Khanh chestnuts: you can also try Trung Khanh chestnuts, whether it's boiled, roasted, dried or cooked with leg pork, the chestnut flavor still remains. Trung Khanh chestnuts will make you feel like enjoying the nature of Cao Bang in your mouth.
In addition, Ban Gioc also has many amazing dishes such as sticky rice, rice cake Khau Sli, ant eggs, sour Pho or bee larvae soup. When you have the opportunity to enjoy these dishes, you will feel the extremely strange delicious flavor.
Ban Gioc Waterfall
How to Get to Ban Gioc Waterfall
From Hanoi to Ban Gioc Waterfall
To get to Ban Gioc Waterfall, you can rent motorbikes or take a coach from Hanoi. Each mean will give you their own advantages. If you choose motorbike, you can be flexible in time and stop wherever beautiful roads before reaching Ban Gioc waterfall. One good thing when you take the coach is traveling time will be faster, within 8 hours.
From Cao Bang to Ban Gioc Waterfall
The national highway is the quickest way to reach Ban Gioc Waterfall from Cao Bang Province. The motorbike tour will give tourists the best chance to capture spectacular views along the route. Besides, bus and motortaxi are available in the city center with a quite reasonable price.
Ban Gioc Waterfall Accommodation
There are a lot of hotels and homestays for accommodation in Trung Khanh town and Cao Bang Province, which may cost from 10-20 USD per night.