Discover Ba Be Lake: Vietnam’s Largest Freshwater Gem

For just 1,000,000 VND, embark on an unforgettable journey to Ba Be Lake, Vietnam’s largest natural freshwater lake. Located in Bac Kan province, this ancient lake, formed over 200 million years ago, offers breathtaking scenery and a rich cultural experience.

Journey to Ba Be Lake

Our adventure began with a scenic 4.5-hour drive from Hanoi, winding through roads scented with early-season rains. As night fell, we arrived at Pac Ngoi village, home to the Tày people. The village is dotted with traditional stilt houses, many transformed into cozy homestays. For just 100,000 VND per person, we stayed overnight in one of these charming stilt houses, or for more privacy, a double room was available for 400,000 VND.

Morning in Pac Ngoi Village

As the sun rose, our stilt house emerged from the lush green surroundings, bathed in the morning light. We began our day with a stroll to a local eatery renowned for its rolled cakes, a traditional breakfast in the mountainous regions of Bac Kan, Cao Bang, Lang Son, and Ha Giang. This meal is a local ritual, similar to enjoying pho in Hanoi.

Exploring the Lake and Surroundings

After breakfast, we ventured into the forest paths leading to Ba Be Lake. Towering ancient trees lined our route, their canopies forming a natural roof over the path. Local guides led us to Hoi Xuan, a popular gathering spot by the lake that comes alive during village festivals.

We set up our gear and inflatable stand-up paddleboards (SUPs), ideal for leisurely paddling around the lake. SUPs, originating from Hawaii, come in rigid and inflatable varieties, with the latter being perfect for easy transport. While some of us paddled on the tranquil waters, others relaxed onshore, enjoying snacks and music amidst the serene landscape.

Midday Activities

By noon, we returned to our tents, where we enjoyed a simple lunch of sausages, fruits, and instant noodles, sharing stories of our journey. The peacefulness of the lake, with only the sounds of birds and the gentle lapping of water, provided a perfect backdrop for our meal.

Hua Ma Cave

In the afternoon, we set off to explore Hua Ma Cave, a must-see attraction near Ba Be Lake. The cave is famous for its stunning stalactites and stalagmites, formed over thousands of years. As we ventured deeper into the cave, the intricate formations and eerie silence left us in awe. The cave’s natural beauty and cool atmosphere offered a refreshing break from the heat outside.

Tat Ma Waterfall

Next, we visited Tat Ma Waterfall, another highlight of the Ba Be area. The waterfall cascades down from a great height, creating a misty spray and a soothing sound that echoed through the forest. We spent some time here, taking photos and enjoying the natural beauty. Some of us even took a refreshing dip in the clear, cool waters at the base of the waterfall.

Evening in Pac Ngoi Village

As evening approached, we returned to our stilt house in Pac Ngoi village. Sitting on the porch, we brewed tea and watched the sunset, casting a warm glow over the fields and mountains. In the soft evening light, everything seemed even more beautiful. This tranquil setting provided a perfect end to our day, far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Day Two: More Adventures

On the second day of our trip, we woke up early to explore more of the lake. We rented kayaks and paddled to different parts of the lake, discovering hidden coves and secluded beaches. The calm waters and stunning scenery made for a perfect morning adventure.

Local Culture and Cuisine

After our morning activities, we visited a local market where we sampled traditional Tày cuisine. The market was bustling with activity, offering a variety of local produce, handmade crafts, and delicious food. We tried some local specialties, including grilled fish, sticky rice, and bamboo shoots, all prepared with fresh ingredients from the region.

Evening Activities

In the evening, we joined a cultural performance organized by the villagers. The Tày people are known for their rich cultural heritage, and we enjoyed traditional music, dance, and storytelling. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the local culture and connect with the community.

Day Three: Final Explorations

On the final day of our trip, we took a boat tour to explore more of Ba Be Lake. The boat took us to various scenic spots, including the Fairy Pond and Widow Island, each with its own unique charm and folklore. We also visited An Ma Temple, a historical site located on a small island in the lake.

Wrapping Up Our Adventure

As our trip came to an end, we reflected on the unforgettable experiences we had at Ba Be Lake. From the stunning natural beauty to the rich cultural heritage, this journey offered a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. For just 1,000,000 VND per person, including fuel, accommodation, breakfast, and self-cooked lunch ingredients, this trip was an incredible value.

Plan Your Trip

Explore more photos and start planning your trip to Ba Be Lake today. Whether you’re looking for adventure, cultural experiences, or simply a peaceful retreat in nature, Ba Be Lake has something to offer for everyone.

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