Seated in the northeastern province of Cao Bang, near Vietnam-China borderline, the Ban Gioc Detian Falls is an attractive tourism destination with unique location. While travelling to the North Vietnam, you can spend 1-2 days to explore this beautiful sight. Here is our complete guideline for your trip to Ban Gioc Detian Falls.
Also, this place is named in our top 20 amazing day trips from Hanoi. Make sure you read them all.
Despite the height of 30 meters, Ban Gioc Detian falls has an impressive 300 meters span and becomes the widest waterfall in Vietnam. Taking place on the Quay Son River, the blue water flows from China through picturesque scenes of paddy fields and bamboo trees. The name Quay Son River in Chinese means an international river as this river forms a natural border between Vietnam and China.
Ban Gioc Detian falls
Ban Gioc Detian falls is approximately 360 kilometres away from Hanoi which can be reached via national highway and some provincial roads. This will take you about 8 hours of driving and is the only way for you to reach Cao Bang and Ban Gioc Detain falls. Despite the fact that this place is top destination for both Vietnamese and Chinese locals, foreign tourists are rarely to be found here. It is surprise that an impressive sightseeing is overrun by travelers. The waterfalls have several layers and its 300m span which make it visually magnificent.
Being fed by the Quay Son river, Ban Gioc Detian Falls welcomes tourists all year long with drying up. However, the best time to visit this place is from September to October. If you come earlier at June to August, some heavy rain can prevent you from admiring the spectacular beauty of this waterfall. Also, weekdays are perfect for you to travelers. The number of tourists can reach its peak in weekends and public holidays. Lunchtime is the best time for you to take photos as the dam upstream is open allowing the full flow of water.
How to get to Ban Gioc Detian Falls
In spite of having only one route to reach Ban Gioc Detian Falls, you can choose from a variety of ways to travel there. Driving a motorbike, public bus or joining with a group tour are available options.
Public buses are available to take you from My Dinh bus station in Hanoi directly to Cao Bang. This 8-hour journey will take you through some scenic countryside and mountainous areas in Northern Vietnam. When arriving Cao Bang, you can take another mini buses to the Ban Gioc Detian Falls. Depending from the quality of the bus, the cost can vary from $3 - $15 per person for 1 round trip.
As you will stay on the buses for 8 hours, you should choose the most comfortable one. To make sure the quality is good, you should book your buses online in advance. The buses will leave every hour from 5.30 am to 6 pm. You are recommended to take the early one and spend your morning on bus. You will arrive in the afternoon for hotel check-in and then some time at the waterfalls before sunset.
In case you plan to come back to central Cao Bang by buses, make sure you keep an eye on the time. As you are at the border, your phone may automatically changes to Chinese time which is an hour later than Vietnamese time.
There are plenty of group tours offered by travel agencies to explore the Ban Gioc Detian falls, starting from both Hanoi's and Cao Bang's hotels. You can join in a larger group of fellow travelers and explore not only the waterfalls but also the amazing countryside of Cao Bang as well. These tours are available for online booking.
The most popular tour is Ban Gioc Detian falls and Ba Be lake tour. Taking this tour, you can visit some interesting places such as Nguom Ngao Cave, Puong Grotto and take a boat trip at the famous Ba Be lake.
Driving yourself to Ban Gioc Detian falls
Many travelers choose to head to Ban Gioc Detian falls by motorbike. If you are 100% confident with your driving skills, you can choose to start from Hanoi or Cao Bang. This long road trip is considered as one of the most wonderful trip as you will drive through the scenic countryside and mountainous areas. QL3 is recommended for its excellent condition and great scenery.
At the cost of about $10 per day, you can rent you bike at both Hanoi and Cao Bang. Because of the uphill roads, manual motorbikes are recommended in stead of automatic one.
Travel tips for Ban Gioc Detian falls
It costs you about $2 per person to enter the tourism area of Ban Gioc Detian falls from Vietnam side. Because there is not many international tourists, you may be asked for passport when purchasing tickets so it is worth bringing it just in case.
A closer look with raft
For those who wants to get a closer look to the falls, rafts are available for renting. Rafts are offered from both side, the blue one is Vietnam's and green one belongs to China. You can pay an extra at $2 per person to hop on a raft with another 8-10 people. The boat owners will take you close enough to the falls that you will get wet. The journey will last about 10 minutes so make sure you capture your moments there.
Swimming is not allowed at Ban Gioc Detian falls as well as passing the border is highly prohibited. Thus, staying on land or on bamboo rafts to keep yourself away from troubles.
For a better view of the falls and great scene to capture, you can head to the south and climb up to the Buddhist pagoda called Phat Tich Truc Lam Ban Gioc. Watching sunset from there is a must-try experience once traveling to Ban Gioc Detian Falls.
Beside Ban Gioc Detian falls, Cao Bang is also filled with other natural tourists attraction. Thus, in your journey to the falls, don't skip these magnificent places.
Nguom Ngao Cave
Seated just 4 kilometers away from Ban Gioc Detian falls, lies the Nguom Ngao Cave system. This is created thousands years ago by an underground river and discovered in 1979. With $2 for entrance fee, you can freely explore the cave system and the underground river. The caves are just 1km open to the public for tourism and well lit. However, the floor is slippery. Thus, take care and watch your step while wondering in those spectacular caves system.
Ba Be Lake
Beside Ban Gioc Detian falls, Cao Bang is also famous for its biggest natural lake in Vietnam, namely Ba Be Lake. The name Ba Be means three oceans which is a metaphor for its large size. Despite taking about 4 to 5 hours of driving from the falls, these two destination are usually visited together. Coming to Ba Be Lake, all you can find is the outstanding natural beauty, not a place fulled by tourists. Trekking is the best way to explore the area. You can choose to stand for a night at homestay with local ethnic villages as a cultural trip. Beside Ba Be Lake, there are some other iconic trekking trails you should try in Vietnam.
With the Ba Be Nationa Park, you can choose to explore Puong Grotto. The unique location makes this place standing out as well as helping reserve its nature. Puong Cave is only accessible by boat. To get to the cave, you need to take a boat trip on Nang river. After a couple minutes on boats, you can find yourself among some stunning stalactites and stalagmites.
Where to stay near the Ban Gioc Detian falls
Cao Bang offers you more than just Ban Gioc Detian falls. You may miss some interesting attractions with one day trip. If you are planning to stay for one or two nights, here is some decent accommodation options for you, whatever your budget is.
Saigon Ban Gioc Resort
This resort is newly opened and located right opposite the Ban Gioc Detian falls. You can enjoy the stunning views of the falls in day and night right from your room's window. With the price from $50, the resort offers you a 5-star staying experience. The spacious rooms include everything you need for the best stay. Also, terrace is available along with a green garden. The reception is always open and friendly staffs are available to support you anytime.
The whole resort is well styled with bamboo material to help you immerse yourself in nature. The on-site restaurant offers delicious menu with both international and Vietnamese cuisine, with some Cao Bang signature.
Khuoi Ky Ban Gioc Homestay
For more budget-friendly stay, you can choose to stay with Khuoi Ky Ban Gioc Homestay. Located in Cao Bang and styled as ethnic houses, this homestay offers you comfortable accommodation. The interior is simple but nice and clean. You will be staying in a significant house of ethnic group who make their house about 1 or 2 meters higher than the ground.
Free wifi are provided through out the property. Also, terrace and bar are available for your chill time. Asian breakfast is provided. You can choose from various suggested activities such as swimming, hiking, fishing, etc. Barbecue facilities are also available.
Staying at this homestay, you are welcomed by a whole friendly village. They are incredible kindness and offers tasty food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Besides, sitting on a mat for meal is unforgettable experience. One more thing, it doesn't cost you a fortune to stay there with the starting price at $9.
Primose Homestay Cao Bang
Located in central Cao Bang, this homestay features air-conditioned accommodation with free wifi access. This property is perfect for you to stay in the city by night and exploring the nature and sightseeing by day. Seated in a strategic location, Primose Homestay Cao Bang offers you a panoramic city views from its terrace.
The unit is well equipped with seating area, washing machine, kitchen with a microwave and a shared bathroom with hairdryer and toiletries. Also, oven and stove are available for you in case you want to cook by yourself.
Cao Bang Eco Homestay
Strategically located in the heart of the city, Cao Bang Eco Homestay features comfortable accommodation with air-conditioned units and available kitchen. If you are looking for a first-class host, this homestay is highly recommended. Rooms are well decorated and filled with everything you need for the best staying experience: a fridge, stove, kettle. Hot shower is also installed in your private bathroom.
The host and staffs are very friendly who can give you all necessary travel information and guide on your trip, nearby restaurants or attractions. Both bicycle rental service and car rental service are also available at this property.
Located not so far away from the Ban Gioc Detian falls, lies the comfortable Jeanne Hotel. Featuring a bar, shared lounge, garden and free Wife across the place, this hotel offers family rooms with extra terrace. The accommodation offers 24-hour front desk and, room service and currency exchange for guests.
All rooms are well equipped with air-conditioning, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, kettle, hairdryer and wardrobe. Private bathroom is available with shower and free toiletries. You can choose to travel around by renting vehicles right at the hotel. This place offers bicycle, motorbike and car rental service.
Max Boutique Hotel
Located in central Cao Bang, Max Boutique Hotel offers you a 3-star accommodation with terrace. The hotel features family rooms with all necessary facilities: air conditioning, flat screen TV, fridge, kettle, work desk, hairdryer and private bathroom.
A continental breakfast can be enjoyed at the on-site restaurant. Also, the restaurant serves all day with a tasty diverse menu. 24-hour reception and room service are always available, along with free wifi access across all units.