Ba Be National Park in a glance
This is a completed and complicated system of primitive forest on stone mountains which are surrounded by tranquil lakes. The ground and surrounding mountains are made up mainly of limestone karst which features the north of Vietnam, and the forests consist of mostly evergreen vegetation with bamboo growing closer to banks of the lake. The heart of the park is Ba Be Lake which is the largest and highest natural freshwater lake in Vietnam.
Ba Be (Three Bays) is made of three smaller lakes which a have a total length of 7km and a width of 400m. Two of those lakes are separated by a 100m-wide strip of water stuck between high walls of chalk rock called Be Kam. “The Nang” river is navigable for 23km between a point 4km above Cho Ra and the Dau Dang Waterfall, which consist of a series of spectacular cascades among sheer walls of rock. During the dry season, it supplies water to the lake and during the wet months, it drains the excess which helps to maintain the lake throughout the whole year. Riding down the Nang by boat, kayaking or by bamboo boat is one the best ways to take in the beautiful scenery of Ba Be National Park as it lined with tropical forests and karst mountains, even passing through Puong Cave. The Nang is home to some species of river-dwelling birds such as kingfishers, egrets and herons. The river also plays an important role in local life with people using the river for transport or planting crops when it comes to the season.
Puong Cave is a large cave with 30m high, 300m length stretching into the base of Lung Nham Mountain. Over the years, the flow of the Nang River cut into the rock, gradually eroding the surface until it eventually broke through to the other side. The craggy mouth of the cave opens up into a tranquil river with stalactites and patterned rocks overhead. The forces of erosion have also created some interesting rock formations within the cave. From here the river flows through the cave and into Ba Be Lake.
Ba Be is also home to some ethnic minority residences. A large population of Tay people here who make their living by farming and fishing in the park and mostly stay in traditional wooden stilt houses. This culture has been well preserved by the Tay community and can be seen throughout the park. Riding a bike slowly passing by or even stopping by a local village or two gives you the best experience of how there life is going every day.
Though it is highly recommended to travel there from April to October to witness the best view of rice fields, Mother Nature loves it too much that she gives Ba Be a warm weather in winter and a cool breeze in summer so that it can become an ideal destination for people from everywhere to come, admire and cherish in just any season.
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