The Northern territory of Vietnam is still obscure and has hardly seen any tourist movement compared to Southern Vietnam. Even among the backpackers, most parts of North Vietnam is fairly unknown. There are a plethora of stunning landscapes, mesmerizing waterfalls hidden in this vast lush green forests. Ban Gioc Waterfall is one such beautiful fall that is yet to come to light.
The 30 meters high and 300 meters wide waterfall is the widest waterfall on earth. Even though its hardly familiar to tourists, the waterfall is a regular hangout for locals and neighbouring Chinese tourists for a short vacation. Read on to find out more about Ban Gioc Waterfall, including location, interesting facts.
Ban Gioc Waterfall – Geography and Location
The waterfall is present in the Cao Bang province of Northern Vietnam. Locals in and around North Vietnam have their own convenient way to reach the waterfalls but for tourists, they will have to drive all the way from Hanoi. It nearly takes 8 hours to reach this waterfall from Hanoi, hence a day trip wouldn’t be ideal.
Just like most other famous waterfalls Ban Gioc Waterfall is also bordering two countries, Vietnam and China. The surrounding terraces and verdant cliffs on either side of the falls make it even more appealing.
Ideal TIme to Visit Ban Gioc Waterfall
Ban Gioc is a perennial waterfall and never dries up in any season. So you can visit waterfalls at any time of the year. However, June – August is the peak rainy season in Vietnam, hence it is not advisable to visit the Ban Gioc Waterfall during these months. The ideal to visit will be during the months of September to December. Since the waterfalls will be at full capacity and the temperature will also be favourable.
During the weekdays you can visit throughout the day, it is advisable to avoid weekends since waterfalls may be flocked with locals.
How to get to Ban Gioc Waterfall
There are multiple ways to get to the waterfall from Hanoi. However, an ideal way to reach depends on your comfort level and how many days you dedicate to it on your vacation.
Public Transportation is the most economical option available. You can board a bus from Hanoi and reach Cao Bang. This journey would take 8 – 9 hours. From Cao Bang, there are local buses/Minivans available once in every hour to Ban Gioc Waterfall. But if you are stressed after a long bus journey from Hanoi and prefer enjoying riding on your own, you can rent a bike in Cao. Generally, it costs about 10$ per day for renting a bike. In addition, you will have to pay parking fees for the vehicle at the waterfall.
There are enough accommodation options in Cao Bang, incase you want to rest overnight and visit the waterfalls the next morning. We recommend you to carry local currency since we properties may not accept USD.
Vietnam has a couple of biking routes that are nothing less than a paradise for passionate bikers. Hence, many motorcyclists visit Ban Gioc Waterfall as a part of Vietnam biking expedition. Ha Giang loop and the popular northeast loop embodies Ban Gioc Waterfall.
While bikers looking a short enjoyable drive instead of committing to the long bike trip, can always use a public transportation Cao Bang and rent a bike from there.
Travel Tip: The Driving laws for other nationalities are complicated and vary from one nationality to another. So, it is better to prebook and enquire about the documentation well in advance.
There are numerous group tours available from Hanoi and Cao Bang. There multiple tour operators available online to prebook the slots. This is good to explore Ban Gioc Waterfall as guides brief about the history of waterfalls, folklore and its significance. A group tour is a safe and convenient choice as the operators take care from end to end.
Generally, a group itinerary will include Ba Be Lake Tour, Nguom Ngao Cave and Puong Grotto along with Ban Gioc Waterfall. In addition, it also consists of a small boat trip on offbeat tracks of Ba Be Lake.
Useful Travel Tips
Here are a few important travel tips that will come in handy on your next visit to Ban Gioc Waterfall.
If the visitors want to have a close look at falls and experience water sprays, they will have an entry fee of 2$ per person. In most cases, documentation or identities are not required. however, it is safer to carry your passport.
Rent a Raft:
For adrenaline junkies who thrive at adventure and want to get close to the waterfall, have an option to hire a raft. Hiring a raft costs 2$ per person and the guide will take you up close until you are all wet by the sprays. The ride lasts for 10 mins. you might see people swimming in the falls, we recommend you to take guide’s as he has better knowledge of water currents.
Where to Stay:
If you are on a biking expedition or travelling to falls all by yourself, you will most likely need an accommodation to stay for a night or two. Cao Bang has enough accommodation options. Here is a list of options you can consider for your stay in Cao Bang.
- Saigon Ban Gioc Resort
- Khuổi Ky Bản Giốc homestay
- Primrose Homestay Cao Bang
- Cao Bang Eco Homestay
Things to Carry:
Here a list of things you will have to carry while visiting Ban Gioc Waterfall.
- Pair fresh clothes since you are most likely to get drenched.
- Dry Poncho
- Waterproof case for phones
Attractions that Can be Combined with Ban Gioc Waterfall.
- Ba Be Lake: It is the biggest natural lake in Vietnam and often combined with waterfall. It roughly takes 5-6 hours to reach the lake from the waterfall. Cao Bang falls mid between waterfall and lake, hence an ideal destination to base your short vacations.
- Puong Gotto: It is in the same location as Ba Be Lake. Both of these attractions are located in Be Be National Park.
Ban Gioc Waterfall is indeed a true gem engaging people who enjoy the adventure. North Vietnam is home to many such unexplored unearthly sights.