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The Far North East of Vietnam

Far North East Vietnam

A different kind of Beauty Begins here

Viet Bac was the affectionate name used before the August revolution to designate the Northern mountainous area of Vietnam where the imposing Ngan Son mountain peaks reach heights of 2,000m. The remote North-East region, sharing a common border with China, presents unspoiled landscape of rocky cliffs, numerous caves, rivers and streams.  Numerous ethnic groups inhabit theses North-East isolated areas. They are the possessors of a tremendous folk heritage made of hundreds of myths, legends and narratives in verses. Their songs and music are closely linked to the spiritual lives of these populations.
Far North East

Cao Bang Province - Tourist Attractions
Pac Bo Historical Area
Ban Gioc Waterfall
Thac Hen Lake
Tourist Information

Bac Kan Province
Lang Son Province
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Capital: Cao Bang Town
Ethnic groups: Tay, Nung, Dao, H'Mong, Viet (Kinh), San Chay
Highlights: Pac Bo Site, Ban Gioc Waterfall

Tourist Attractions

Pac Bo Historical Area

Pac Bo is a small village in Truong Ha Commune, Ha Quang District, 350km from Ha Noi and 55km north of Cao Bang Town. Suitably, Pac Bo means, "mouth of the source". 
The famous Coc Bo Cave is where, in 1941, President Ho Chi Minh, upon returning from 30 years abroad, established his residence and worked on Viet Nam's revolutionary course. 
At the foot of Karl Mark Mountain is Le Nin Stream, which was named by President Ho Chi Minh. In Khuoi Nam, 1,000m from the Coc Bo Cave, Ho Chi Minh presided over the 8th session of the Indochina Communist Party (now Viet Nam Communist Party) Conference in May 1941. Even now, this location remains a sacred place for the Vietnamese. Endowed with beautiful mountains and rivers, Pac Bo is quickly developing into a popular tourist area.

Ban Gioc Waterfall

Ban Gioc is the probably the most beautiful and imposing waterfall in Viet Nam. It is situated in Dam Thuy Commune, Trung Khanh District, near the Sino-Vietnamese border, about 89km from Cao Bang and it takes 3 hours by car to go there. 
Water flowing from the Quay Son River cascades over the rocks produce water droplet columns that can be seen in the distance. In the middle of the fall is a rock landing covered trees that divides the stream into three currents and creates a thin mist that cools down the temperature. At the foot of the waterfall is a large river that is calm as glass, surrounded by many precious flowers. In the early 1920s, the French started building cottages on the riverbanks, where they would come to relax, hunt deer and fish. In fact, this is known for a famous type of fish called tram huong. 
Ban Gioc Waterfall is repeatedly immortalized in art, specifically in original paintings and photography.

Nguom Ngao Cave

It is just 3km from Ban Gioc Waterfall and is considered as one of the most beautiful caves in Cao Bang Province. With the length of 2,144 metre, Nguom Ngao cave is relative enormous and has three main entrances. Go inside the cave, visitors will be dazzled by wonderful sparking seven-coloured stalactites hanging down from high stone cliffs. Nguom Ngao attracts domestic tourists as well as foreign tourists.

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Thang Hen Lake

Looking out from a mountain peak in Quoc Toan Commune, Tra Linh District, there is a breathtaking view of green foliage stretching over the cliff, reflecting on the surface of Thang Hen Lake and meandering through the stone valley. Thang Hen Lake is one of 36 beautiful lakes in this mountainous area. The lake has lozenge - shaped with the length of 500m, its wide is 100m. Across the lake, there is a large cave from which a small stream flows. Specially, the water in Thang Hen Lake rises up and down two times in a day. In the flood season while other lakes bear red-water, the water of Thang Hen still is clear and blue.
Near Thang Hen Lake is Thang Luong Lake, which has a beautiful mountain at its centre. From Cao Bang Town, follow the National Route 3 to Tra Linh District about 19 km, then turn left along Road 205 for about 4km to reach Thang Hen Lake.

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Inviting the Moon Mother Festival (Moi Me Trang)

This festival of the Tay ethnic group, also called "Inviting the Moon Mother Festival", is celebrated in Dong Khe region. It takes place at the beginning of spring and lasts for 10 to 15 days. All families gather to pray to the Moon Mother for good things, a plentiful harvest and healthy cattle. 
The lively atmosphere of the festival is a combination of celebrations and mysticism. Numerous activities are organized, such as cock fighting, top spinning, and Yen playing. Slong Hai ceremony, in which people see the Moon off to Heaven, takes place in the open field.

Long Tong Festival

2nd to 30th of the 1st lunar month.
Long Tong Festival is celebrated by the Tay-Nung ethnic groups to start the new harvest. At the beginning of the festivities, the village patriarch reads a ceremonial speech, while an older experienced farmer symbolically ploughs the rice field. The festival includes lion dancing, throwing con balls to determine predestined love, playing Chinese chess, swinging, and singing sli (Nung ethnic group) and luon songs (Tay ethnic group).


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