Having been known as the largest natural lake in Vietnam, Ba Be Lake is located inside the Ba Be National park in Bac Kan Province, 240 km Northwest of Hanoi city. You will find a huge number of things to explore here, from a vast variety of flora and fauna to interesting natural geology and scenic landscapes.
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The name Ba Be literally means the “Three Lakes” in Vietnamese and it is so amazing to know it actually includes the small three lakes joined together namely as Pe Lam, Pe Lu and Pe Leng.
After the Ba Be area was established as a national park in 1992, the site was soon recognized by UNESCO as the third Ramsar site in Vietnam - an important wetland of the world.
Apart from its beautiful natural values, the region is a home to 13 tribal villages, mostly Tay minority people and smaller groups of Hmong & Dzao people making the destination a rich culture area to discover.
To save the time and to extend your comfort while traveling, you can hire a private van if you travel in a big group from 3-4 people. Otherwise, for a small group of 1 or 2 people, choosing shuttle bus with great quality that picks up and drops off inside the Old Quarter of Hanoi is the best option.
The transfer may take you at least 5 hours excluding stop to stretch your leg on the way so you will reach Ba Be homestay at noon. The ticket per way costs you around 15 – 20 USD/person. Indochina travel blog
Since the Bac Kan province and Ba Be Lake area is not developed yet, there are not many high quality accommodation to choose as hotels in big cities but you can try staying at the local homestay of ethnic people which is a very popular way for overnight originating from the tourists’ interest to interact with the people in their own traditional houses.
The cost for staying overnight is from 8 – 10 USD/person sharing the dorm area or in a private small room at the same house. You can find better quality homestay with more ensuite equipment but the cost may range from 20 - 25 USD/person/night.
The dishes chosen are a combination of a healthy diet: soup, boiled rice, one or two main dishes of meat and the dessert to end the meal happily. The biggest happiness that I experience was to see the way they cook, to talk about the recipe of each dish and the origin of all food I ate.
Here is the brief itinerary that I did for my own trip since end of April.
Day 1: Hanoi - Transfer to Ba Be
Day 2: Ba Be Lake Kayaking - Cycling to Hua Ma cave
Day 3: Ba Be - Back to Hanoi
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