Mountainous Cao Bang province is one of the most beautiful regions in Vietnam. Cao Bang itself is more prosaic, but it is a useful base to explore the surrounding countryside. The climate is mild here, and winter days can get chilly when a thick fog clings to the banks of the Bang Giang River.
Ban Gioc Waterfall
Ban Gioc Waterfall on the Quy Xuan River is located in Cao Bang Province, nears the Sino-Vietnamese border. The waterfall falls thirty meters. It is separated into three falls by rocks and trees, and the thundering effect of the water hitting the cliffs can be heardkilometers away from Trung Khanh.
Ban Doc Waterfall is situated in Dam Thuy Commune, Trung Khanh District. The Quay Son River rises from China flowing into our country in Po Peo (Ngoc Khe Commune) and to communes including Dinh Phong and Chi Vien. When it reaches Dam Thuy Commune of Trung Khanh District, the mild river circles around Co Muong mountain bottom and flows to rice fields of Dam Thuy towards the large maize alluvial plain of Ban Gioc village. Here, the flow divides into many branches and lowers its flow to creat Ban Gioc Waterfall.
Water from Quy Xuan River falling down on the stone creates water droplets columns that can be seen from a distance. The temperature near the waterfall is remarkably cool, due to the water mist in the air. At the foot of the waterfall is a large river, as calm as glass, surrounded by many precious kinds of flowers. Ban Gioc Fall is famous for a famous fish named “tram huong”. In the early 1920s, French people started building cottages on the river banks. They would come here to relax, fish for “tram huong”, and hunt deer.
The sight in Ban Gioc Waterfall bears a poetic, fresh, quiet beauty of water, forest and cloud area mixed with village atmosphere of mountainous ethnic minorities.
Pac Bo Cave
Passing a hill where there is the newly-built Ho Chi Minh Museum, visitors will see the historical area of Pac Bo. The main historical relics in this area consist of Pac Bo, Coc Bo, Bo Bam Cave, Lenin Stream, Karl Marx Mountain, Co Rac Ground and Khuoi Nam. The famous Coc Bo Cave is where President Ho Chi Minh established his residence and worked on Vietnam’s revolutionary course after returning from 30 years abroad.
Walking on the rocks along the side of the stream, where Uncle Ho used to work and fish, visitors reach a wooden bridge over Coc Bo rivulet where Lenin Stream starts. The water is clear, cool and so tranquil that one can see the fish and pebbles on its bed and the green watercress in the water. Beyond the bridge is the place where Uncle Ho often cooked soup with vegetable and bamboo shoots. By the side of a rugged rocky mountain is Pac Po Cave. Looking down into the cave from its mouth, you can see the words "February 8th, 1941" written by Uncle Ho on the wall. That was the day he came to live in this small cave, a wet and cold place lying deep in a mountain gorge that nobody paid much attention to.
Inside the cave there is a wooden board as a bed for Uncle Ho. In this place, Uncle Ho, in the simple dress of the Nung ethnic group, often sat by the fire at night to talk with his assistant Pham Van Dong, Vo Nguyen Giap and Phung Chi Kien... about the situations at home and abroad. Here, Uncle Ho predicted: "In four or five years, the Vietnamese revolution will be successful." His words became true. On September 2nd, 1945 the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the first State of workers and peasants in Asia, came into being. One night when staying in this cave, General Vo Nguyen Giap was advised by Uncle Ho: "Undertaking revolutionary activities requires “di cong vi thuong” which means, common benefits must be put above all". His teachings were short, clear and precise as a truth, but to implement them were not easy.
About 1km from the mouth of Pac Bo Cave, there is a small shack by the side of Khuoi Nam Mountain. In this shack Uncle Ho held the eighth Party Central Committee Meeting, which promulgated a resolution on preparations for the armed insurrection and the establishment of the Viet Minh and the revolutionary war zone. Adjacent to the shack is milestone 108 marking the Vietnam-China border, where 59 years ago, Uncle Ho bowed to kiss the beloved land of his country, after many years living abroad. At that time he was 50 years old with grey hair.
Visiting this historical area, visitors will learn more about the great life of President Ho Chi Minh which is part- reflected through his optimistic revolutionary verses
Thang Hen Lake
Cao Bằng is well-known for its historic spots: Pắc Pó cave, Lê Nin stream or Karmax mountain, but best to name is lake Thăng Hen, 25km from the provincial town.
The lake is fresh water among 36 ones, high in the mountain of Trà Lĩnh district. It’s 3.000m long and nearly 1.000m large walled by forests and rocky mounts. The head source of the lake is a large cave where from outflow the unending water that makes the scenery more splendid. The lake has high tide and low tide every day and the lake water is all-year-round clear, in dry season or in flooding season as well.
The legendary lake is a good discovery. It’s rumored that, there is long long ago, a young boy, very smart and handsome who excellently passed his exam and promoted to be a mandarin. He was awarded with 7 days off to pay his tribute to the ancestors in the home village. Before leaving, he got married to a beautiful girl named Bi Óoc. So deep in love and happiness with his newly-wed wife that he forgot the day to return to royal capital. On the 7th night, he remembered his duty and in a hurry to say goodbye to his parents and wife and ran as fast as he could to the capital. Too hungry and too tired to continue his trip, he became exhausted after passing 36 rocky valleys now become 36 lakes with different names and the place he died now is the lake Thăng Hen.
A trip to the lake can be followed by a visit to Bản Giốc waterfall on Sino – Việt Nam border, in Đàm Thủy commune, Trùng Khánh district. The fall Bản Giốc is 53m high and 300m wide, in 3 levels pour down on rocks that make a white curtain of water. Even on hot days, it is cool and fresh here and entices more and more adventurers.
Nguom Ngao Cave
Nguom Ngao Cave was formed from weathered age-old limestone by wind and water. It is considered as one of the most beautiful caves in northeast of Vietnam.
Go inside the cave, visitors will be dazzled by wonderful sparking seven-colored stalactites hanging down from high stone cliffs. Nature is clever to create stone statues of which some look like human bodies, some look like forest plant, animals, a fairy combining her hair or a lotus bulb, etc. Visitors can feel the harmony between stone and water.
Cave roof is continuously closed and open, giving the tourists a big surprise. Stalactites seem to grow from the soil, or hang down, vertical or horizontal with small and big figures piled and fixed in a hustle.
Nguom Ngao Cave with its primitive beauty creates a natural landscape that is not only magnificent, attractive but also full of Viet Bac distinction. It has been awarded as a national landscape by the Ministry of Culture and Information, drawing attention from domestic and foreign tourists to
From 2006, there are asphalted road from Highway 206 to Nguom Ngao site and cement ways spreading inside cave combined with light systems.
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