Ban Gioc Waterfall: A Comprehensive Guide to Cao Bang’s Must-See Destination

Located in the northern province of Cao Bang, Vietnam, Ban Gioc Waterfall boasts breathtaking views of cascading waterfalls, lush greenery, and unique rock formations. As one of Southeast Asia’s largest and most impressive waterfalls, this should be on your wishlist for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.  This blog will take you to discover why it should be on your travel bucket list.

What do you know about Ban Gioc Waterfall?

  • Located in Trung Khanh District, Cao Bang province, Ban Gioc Waterfall is about 360 km from Hanoi.
  • This is the widest waterfall in Vietnam, with 30m in height and 300m in width.
  • It is also the largest waterfall in Southeast Asia and the fourth-largest waterfall in the world along the national border.
  • The waterfall lies in Quay Son River which is on the international border between Vietnam and China, thus, half of the waterfall belongs to Vietnam and half belongs to China.

The beauty of Ban Gioc Waterfall is truly mesmerizing. With its two levels of cascading rock formations and the misty white spray that rises up, it creates an enchanting scene. The emerald-green riverbed below adds to the poetic beauty of the waterfall, making it a truly breathtaking sight to behold.

One Side of Ban Gioc Waterfall
Ban Gioc waterfall is one of the best well-known in Vietnam

What to do?

Being one of the most charming waterfalls in Cao Bang, Ban Goc offers many fascinating things to do.

Enjoy amazing sightseeing from a bamboo boat

Hopping on a bamboo raft and getting a closer look at Ban Gioc Waterfall is a fun and interesting experience that immerses you in nature. As you approach the waterfall, you’ll feel the misty spray on your face and hear the sound of gushing water. The lush greenery surrounding the waterfall creates a serene atmosphere that fully allows you to appreciate the area’s natural beauty.

The entrance fee to Ban Gioc Waterfall is US $2 for adults and US $1 for children. In addition, if you want to experience bamboo rafting, it will cost an extra US $1 per person. Please note that you may get wet during the ride, so take precautions to protect your belongings, especially cameras and electronics.

Ban Gioc Waterfall
Sit on a bamboo boat or stroll around by bike to witness the natural wonders of Ban Gioc Waterfall

Strolling Around by Bike Tour

One of the highlights of a journey to Ban Gioc Waterfall is a bike tour that will allow you to discover the region’s stunning natural beauty. You’ll have a chance to bike along the rivers with crystal-clear blue water, weaving your way through lush rice fields and charming local villages. The countryside landscape dots with towering limestone hills, creating a picturesque backdrop for a wonderful adventure.

In particular, the golden rice fields are a sight to behold. And you couldn’t resist stopping to take pictures of the stunning scenery. This is a truly immersive experience that allows you to connect with the local culture and appreciate the natural wonders of Ban Gioc Waterfall. We highly recommend a bike tour during your visit to this beautiful destination

Immerse in Then Music – A Culture Heritage of Tay ethnic

When coming to Ban Gioc Waterfall, visitors have the opportunity to experience the enchanting sounds of Then Music performed by small groups along the pathway leading to the majestic waterfall. This is a traditional music form that originated in the Cao Bang province of Vietnam. It is an integral part of the cultural heritage of the Tay ethnic group in the region.

However, this small performance is not always available here. If visit the waterfall during the seasons when it flows (the best is between August and September), you will have a chance to witness this wonderful performance. They serve for free and you can tips for roadside artists if you like.

Important Note: Flycam or drone is not possible to use in this area. If using, you can be cracked down by the government.

When is the best time to visit?

The ideal time to visit Ban Gioc Waterfall is between September and October. During this time, rainfall is typically lower, resulting in clearer water and easier access to the waterfall. Additionally, these months coincide with the rice harvest season, offering stunning views of golden rice fields in the surrounding area.

It’s worth noting that between June and August, the Quay Son River is typically fed by heavy downpours. Which caused Ban Gioc Waterfall to widen and merge with greater force. While this can make for a spectacular sight, you may find it difficult to get close to the waterfall during this time due to potential flooding, and the water may appear muddier than during other times of the year.

Weekdays at Ban Gioc Waterfall offer a peaceful and uncrowded oasis, while weekends and holidays tend to be busier. To fully enjoy this enchanting destination in Cao Bang, it’s advisable to avoid visiting on weekends or during special holidays. Additionally, visiting during the noon hours provides the best experience for photo shooting. Because that is lunchtime, everyone is busy eating instead of sightseeing.

Countryside along the Quay Son River
Visiting the countryside along the Quay Son River

How to get there?

The best and also the most common way to get to Ban Gioc Waterfall is to arrive in Hanoi. Then, you’ll travel thereafter. Once arrive at Hanoi, Vietnam’s Capital, you can choose between traveling by bus, private car, or train to this treasure of mountainous Vietnam Northern.

How to get to Ban Gioc Waterfall Guide
  • Bus or Private Car

To get to Ban Gioc Waterfall from Hanoi, you can take a bus from My Dinh Bus Station. Buses depart almost hourly for Cao Bang City. An overnight sleeping bus is a good option if you want to save time and avoid an overnight stay in Cao Bang. The journey typically takes between 6 to 7 hours, but it’s important to note that long-distance bus travel may not be the most comfortable for some passengers.

Alternatively, if you prefer more privacy and comfort or are uncomfortable with public transportation, you can consider hiring a private car for your journey to Ban Gioc Waterfall. This option may be more expensive, but it allows for greater flexibility in terms of travel time and stops along the way.

  • Taking a train

Taking a train from Hanoi to Cao Bang City is another option for reaching Ban Gioc Waterfall, and it can be a more comfortable way to travel compared to a long bus journey. However, it’s important to note that the train station in Cao Bang is still around 80 km from the waterfall, so you’ll need to arrange additional transportation to reach your destination.

Trains from Hanoi to Cao Bang are not available every day, so it’s best to check the schedule in advance and book your tickets early to ensure a seat. The journey typically takes around 9-10 hours, depending on the train and the route taken, and it offers scenic views of the countryside along the way.

Once arrive at Cao Bang City, you can hire a taxi or motorbike or take another bus ride for 2 hours to the waterfall. Buses depart every 30 minutes from morning till afternoon. The most convenient way is to arrange a day trip with your accommodation. You can either rent a private car with a driver or some even arrange motorbike tours.

  • Arranging a private tour from Hanoi

If your budget allows and you want to have a free-stress holiday, arranging a tour with a private tour guide and a driver is the best way. Not only will you be taken care of during the trip, but you also have more knowledge about the area through the tour guide’s explanation. The drive from Hanoi to Cao Bang – Ban Gioc is very beautiful. And if you want to stop for any pictures, the private driver would be very happy to stop at a safe point for you.

How many days do you need in Ban Gioc Waterfall?

To explore Ban Gioc and the area in the best way, I would suggest at least 3 days to visit the area. The visit to Ban Gioc Waterfall would be more interesting when combined with Ba Be Lake. Here below is a suggested itinerary.

  • Day 1: Hanoi – Ba Be Lake (5 hours driving from Hanoi). You can enjoy a boat trip to Ba Be Lake – the biggest freshwater lake in Vietnam.
  • Day 2: Ba Be Lake – drive to Ban Gioc waterfall (6 hours driving). You can discover the handicraft village called Phuoc Sen village, a mountainous village famous for its traditional blacksmithing, to meet and interact with the Nung people. Continue to drive to Ban Gioc, discovering Ban Gioc Waterfall.
  • Day 3: Exploring Nguom Ngao Cave and then driving back to Hanoi.

Also, your expenditure on Ban Gioc waterfall from Hanoi can be combined with the Halong Bay cruise in a northeast loop. Here is our sample tour – Adventure The Northeast Vietnam 6 Days.

Where to visit nearby?

After visiting the marvelous Ban Gioc Waterfall, you can consider heading to some hidden gem places in Cao Bang and witnessing the stunning natural landscapes of the magnificent mountains of Northern Vietnam.

Charming Nguom Ngao Cave

Located just about 3 kilometers from Ban Gioc Waterfall, Nguom Ngao Cave is a must-see spot during your visit to the area. The cave was discovered in 1921 by local people and opened to travelers in 1996. The length of the cave reaches 2144m, though only 900 m of total length was exploited.

You will be totally amazed when you see that cave as it looks like a luxury palace with beautiful stalactites, stalagmites, and bright crystals. You will have a chance not only to witness many big and beautiful formations that evoke your imagination but also to experience wading streams and rafting in caves.

Marvelous Nguom Ngao Cave
Discovering Nguom Ngao Cave with various impressive experiences

Enjoy a Picnic Lunch at Co Lao Waterfall

It is a lesser-known picturesque and peaceful location near Ban Gioc Waterfall (with only 30 minutes of driving). This is ideal for relaxation and enjoying a picnic lunch. To make the most of the experience, it is recommended to arrange for the lunch preparations in advance through your homestay in Cao Bang. This way, you can fully immerse yourself in the serene countryside atmosphere and savor the refreshing ambiance while enjoying your meal by the water.

Hope after this blog, you will have some tips for your wonderful journey to Ban Gioc Waterfall. Above is one of our authentic signature suggestions for Ban Gioc Waterfall. Besides, you can also tailor for your own adventure based on our Travel Consultants’ advances. The Indochina Voyages Team always welcomes you warmly and listens to all of your stories!

Indochina Voyages Team

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