Northeast Vietnam: It’s the Real Thing
In countries like Vietnam, it’s still possible to find hidden places and landscapes that so far have escaped the tourist radar screen. Maybe due to the difficulty of accessing certain areas, one can still find villages, waterfalls, caves and even towns that beckon travelers seeking to find an off the beaten track experience. For example, northern Vietnam is an area for explorers and adventurous travelers. Waking up in a homestay and taking a motorbike ride to the very north of the country, almost to the border with China, is an experience that we at Khiri Travel Vietnam highly recommend.
Driving northeast from Hanoi, the first stop is Ba Be Lake, the largest lake in Vietnam. Leaving Hanoi, the road is a typical motorway very similar to other urban areas in Vietnam. As you get closer to the lake, the road becomes narrow and the scenery changes to rural farming and small towns. Going beyond the big cities is to taste the real, authentic Vietnam. A typical day on Ba Be Lake involves a relaxing boat trip to soak up the views of beautiful limestone mountains.
Next stop will be Cao Bang. In our opinion, the road from Ba Be Lake to Cao Bang is the most beautiful road in the country. It’s here when visitors will really start feeling like they are getting off the beaten track in Vietnam. After climbing into the mountains, we start feeling the altitude; we inevitably want to stop every five minutes to take photos of the pastoral views at many scenic overlooks. Even if breathing feels harder, just one look in any direction will make any traveler realize they are surrounded by one of the most beautiful mountain panoramas they have ever seen.
Ban Gioc Waterfalls and an enormous hidden cave are close to the border with China. Actually one side of the falls belongs to Vietnam and the other to China and the views are incredible. Best of all, you can enjoy this spectacular sound of nature without having to share with anyone else. There are no other tourists, just the waterfalls and buffalos from the nearby village. Two kilometers away is another natural wonder: a large and wild cave with an impressive collection of stalagmites and stalagtites. Travelers can explore this eerie landscape on their own, or with a guide, but again without the distraction or inconvenience from any other fellow travelers.
The return trip from the north is again a marvelous journey where a stop every kilometer is compulsory. Travelers will be amused at the sites in the towns and villages along the way. The local people greeted us with authentic smiles and a sense of kindness akin to Vietnamese natural custom. Here it is possible to discover Vietnam away from the tourist beehives. Off the beaten track in Vietnam means to experience getting close to nature and the people in rare and remote places for a rewarding travel experience.
For more information and booking requests about Ba Be Lake, Ban Gioc Waterfalls, Cao Bang, north of Hanoi and off the beaten track Vietnam, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.