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Cao Bang – a green pearl in northeastern mountains

Sunday, June 05, 2022, 14:41 GMT+7
Cao Bang – a green pearl in northeastern mountains
Ngoc Con Valley in Cao Bang province, northern Vietnam. Photo: Tran The Dung / Tuoi Tre

“Before arriving in Cao Bang, I did not know much about this land. When I arrived, I was overwhelmed with green space. The mountains are green, the grass is green and the water is green as well. That is probably the reason why Cao Bang is called ‘a green pearl’.”

Nguyen Thi Yen (Yen Vi Vu), born in 1999, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that although she has traveled to 26 provinces and cities nationwide, the three-day-two-night trip to Cao Bang has impressed her the most with its beautiful landscapes, delicious dishes, and friendly and enthusiastic people.

A group of travelers visit Cao Bang in May 2022. Photo: Yen Vi Vu / Tuoi Tre
A group of travelers visit Cao Bang in May 2022. Photo: Yen Vi Vu / Tuoi Tre

Cao Bang is in the northeastern region of Vietnam, bordering China. It has a diversified culture and is home to many ethnic groups, such as Tay, Nung, and Kinh.

The nature there is unspoiled with multiple green mountains.

The province is also well-known for Ban Gioc Waterfall, the largest natural waterfall in Southeast Asia.

From Hanoi to Cao Bang, tourists can catch coaches at the My Dinh Coach Station with ticket fares ranging between VND300,000 (US$12.9) and VND320,000 ($13.7).

When arriving in Cao Bang City, renting motorbikes for the journey is preferable.

As for lodging services, Cao Bang has many beautiful homestays with reasonable prices.

Depending on their demands and hobbies, tourists can choose suitable and decorative homestays with a price of some VND150,000 ($6.4) per person per night.

Owners of homestays in Cao Bang are enthusiastic in giving detailed advice about journeys, top-rated attractions and local restaurants to customers.

Cao Bang is beautiful in all seasons, but is most beautiful in the flood season, when tourist sites, such as Ban Gioc Waterfall, Lenin Stream, and Thung Mountain become more imposing, romantic and full of life. This beauty has attracted many travel lovers.

Ban Gioc Waterfall is located in Dam Thuy Commune, Trung Khanh District and is about 90 kilometers from the city center. The waterfall is situated at the Vietnam-China border but a majority of the waterfall is in China. However, the view of the waterfall from Vietnam is very magnificent. A ticket to Ban Gioc Waterfall costs VND45,000 ($1.9). Photo: Yen Vi Vu / Tuoi Tre
Ban Gioc Waterfall is located in Dam Thuy Commune, Trung Khanh District and is about 90 kilometers from the city center. The waterfall is situated at the Vietnam-China border but a majority of the waterfall is in China. However, the view of the waterfall from Vietnam is very magnificent. A ticket to Ban Gioc Waterfall costs VND45,000 ($1.9). Photo: Yen Vi Vu / Tuoi Tre

About four kilometers from Ban Gioc Waterfall, there is Nguom Ngao Cave, which means “tiger cave” in the language of the Tay people.

The tickets for the entrance into the cave cost VND45,000 ($1.9) each. The cave is over 2,100 meters long with countless stalactites with special shapes and eye-catching colors.

These days, Cao Bang often experiences unpredictable weather, so visitors should prepare raincoats and a first aid kit.

In addition, Kim Dong Pedestrian Street in Cao Bang City is only open on weekends, so tourists should choose an appropriate time to experience it.

Many pets, especially dogs, are left unbridled on roads in Cao Bang. Therefore, tourists should take caution while traveling.

However, there are many filling stations along roads, and tourists do not need to worry about getting petrol but should take the initiative to fill up when they see a station.

As for food, tourists should order in advance to avoid waiting too long. Many specialties are offered in certain periods of time.

If you want to enjoy them, you should ask local residents for advice.

Coaches to Hanoi run at night only. There are many serviced vehicles but they are fully booked quickly.

To prevent missing these vehicles, you should ask owners of homestays to book the tickets for you in advance.

You can visit Cao Bang Green Market to buy souvenirs for your friends and relatives.

Moreover, if you come to Cao Bang many times, you can follow a new journey through the northwestern arc with the magnificent 14-storey Me Pia Pass and the Phja Oat National Park located at a height of over 1,900 meters in the Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark.

Staying at the national park at night is a special and interesting experience. Wind, leaves and insects jointly create a beautiful song of the jungle.

Later, you should visit a branch of Nguom Ngao Cave in Thuon Village. This is a new tourism product which was launched early this year to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Nguom Ngao Cave.

Tourists can go for a stroll along a cool stream hidden under magnificent stalactites, which are compared with those in Son Doong Cave.

Inside Nguom Ngao Cave. Photo: Tran The Dung / Tuoi Tre
Inside Nguom Ngao Cave. Photo: Tran The Dung / Tuoi Tre
Ban Gioc Waterfall in flood season is both imposing and poetic, so it is called a fairyland in the forest. This is a must-visit destination for travel lovers. Photo: Yen Vi Vu / Tuoi Tre
Ban Gioc Waterfall in flood season is both imposing and poetic, so it is called a fairyland in the forest. This is a must-visit destination for travel lovers. Photo: Yen Vi Vu / Tuoi Tre
Mentioning destinations in Cao Bang, we cannot ignore the Pac Bo relic site in Truong Ha Commune, Ha Quang District, where late President Ho Chi Minh set up a revolutionary base. It not only carries historic meaning but also features stunning landscapes. Photo: Yen Vi Vu / Tuoi Tre
Mentioning destinations in Cao Bang, we cannot ignore the Pac Bo relic site in Truong Ha Commune, Ha Quang District, where late President Ho Chi Minh set up a revolutionary base. It not only carries historic meaning but also features stunning landscapes. Photo: Yen Vi Vu / Tuoi Tre
Lenin Stream is named the green heart of Pac Bo as it is as clear as jade. The stream is like a beautiful and soft silk ribbon winding through mountains, creating an extraordinary beauty. Photo: Yen Vi Vu / Tuoi Tre
Lenin Stream is named the green heart of Pac Bo as it is as clear as jade. The stream is like a beautiful and soft silk ribbon winding through mountains, creating an extraordinary beauty. Photo: Yen Vi Vu / Tuoi Tre
Phong Nam Valley. Photo: Tran The Dung / Tuoi Tre
Phong Nam Valley. Photo: Tran The Dung / Tuoi Tre
Thung Mountain, also called Angel Eye Mountain, enchants all visitors. It is part of the Thang Hen Lake ecosystem with 36 lakes connecting with each other and staying between rocky ranges of mountains, creating a breathtaking beauty. In the water season, grasslands on the foot of the mountain are inundated, making the landscape more imposing and poetic. Photo: Tran The Dung / Tuoi Tre
Thung Mountain, also called Angel Eye Mountain, enchants all visitors. It is part of the Thang Hen Lake ecosystem with 36 lakes connecting with each other and staying between rocky ranges of mountains, creating a breathtaking beauty. In the water season, grasslands on the foot of the mountain are inundated, making the landscape more imposing and poetic. Photo: Tran The Dung / Tuoi Tre
The way to Cao Bang includes passes such as: Ma Phuc, Khau Lieu, and Me Pia. Tough and winding mountain roads amid the immense and virgin forest will stimulate the senses of travelers. Photo: Yen Vi Vu / Tuoi Tre
The way to Cao Bang includes passes such as: Ma Phuc, Khau Lieu, and Me Pia. Tough and winding mountain roads amid the immense and virgin forest will stimulate the senses of travelers. Photo: Yen Vi Vu / Tuoi Tre
Unlike other localities, Cao Bang steamed rice rolls have bouillon. A bowl of steamed rice rolls includes three pork-stuffed rolls, an egg-stuffed roll, two pork bolognas and bouillon. A bowl costs VND35,000 ($1.5). Photo: Yen Vi Vu / Tuoi Tre
Unlike other localities, Cao Bang steamed rice rolls have bouillon. A bowl of steamed rice rolls includes three pork-stuffed rolls, an egg-stuffed roll, two pork bolognas and bouillon. A bowl costs VND35,000 ($1.5). Photo: Yen Vi Vu / Tuoi Tre
'Ap chao' cake has its crust made from wheat flour and its stuffing made from pork or duck meat. The cakes are fried in cooking oil to make the crust crispy, while the stuffing remains soft and fragrant. The cakes are eaten with papaya salad, and sour and spicy fish sauce. This is a specialty preferred by many people. The cakes are priced at only VND6,000 ($0.26) each. Photo: Yen Vi Vu / Tuoi Tre
'Ap chao' cake has its crust made from wheat flour and its stuffing made from pork or duck meat. The cakes are fried in cooking oil to make the crust crispy, while the stuffing remains soft and fragrant. The cakes are eaten with papaya salad, and sour and spicy fish sauce. This is a specialty preferred by many people. The cakes are priced at only VND6,000 ($0.26) each. Photo: Yen Vi Vu / Tuoi Tre

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