This tour winds past the rivers, waterfalls and mountain ranges of northern Vietnam. From the flatlands of the Red River Delta, travel to Ba Be National Park to see lakes and caves set amid towering limestone karsts. Swim in the lake’s tranquil waters and sleep in the traditional stilt homes of the Tay ethnic minority group.
Ba Be National Park is centred on Ba Be lake. The name Ba Be means “three lakes”, although the lake is one continuous water body, 8 km long and up to 800 m wide. At an altitude of 178 m, Ba Be is the only significant natural mountain lake in Vietnam. It is up to 29 m deep, and contains numerous small limestone islets.
Ba Be lake is fed by the Ta Han, Nam Cuong and Cho Leng rivers, which form the above-ground hydrological system in the southern part of the national park. The lake drains into the Nang river, which flows through the north of the park. The Nang river then flows southwards, eventually meeting the Lo river in southern Tuyen Quang province, before joining the Red River west of Hanoi.
Often referred to as the Ba Be Lakes, Ba Be National Park was established in 1992 as Vietnam’s eighth national park. The scenery here is breathtaking, with towering limestone mountains peaking at 1554m, plunging valleys, dense evergreen forests, waterfalls, caves and, of course, the lakes themselves.
There are 13 tribal villages in the Ba Be region, with most belonging to the Tay minority, who live in stilt homes, plus smaller numbers of Dzao and H’mong. A village homestay program is now well established, allowing travellers to experience life in a tribal village. Ba Be Center Tourism is Tay-owned and can arrange homestays, boat trips and multiday tours of Ba Be National Park, including trekking and kayaking.
Explore Ba Be Lake 3 Days
Day 1: Hanoi - Ba Be (Lunch, Dinner, Guide)
In the morning, you’ll drive the 240km to Ba Be Lake National Park in a comfortable vehicle. It’s a long trip, but there will be breaks en-route, and the latter part of the journey takes you through striking mountain scenery. You’ll arrive with time for a sunset stroll in the crisp forest air before dinner. You’ll spend the night in Ba Be National Park's Guesthouse.
Day 2: Ba Be (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Guide)
You’ll have a full day to visit the park. In the morning, you’ll travel down the river in a motor launch through Puong Cave. After lunch, you’ll reach the lake, the Fairy Pond, set in dense forest with many birds, and Widow’s Island, where the ‘river ghost’ punished greedy villagers by creating the lake. It’s a pleasant opportunity to relax as the boat glides through the unruffled crystal-clear water. In the late afternoon, you’ll disembark at a Tay ethnic minority village for dinner and spend the night in a ‘stilt’ house in Ba Be National Park.
Day 2: Ba Be - Hanoi (Breakfast, Lunch, Guide)
In the morning, you’ll return to Hanoi, visiting a weekly ethnic market and stopping for lunch en-route, and arriving in the late afternoon. You’ll spend the night in Hanoi.
You might consider an extra day mountain hiking from the National Park headquarters through primitive forest to the Dao ethnic minority village of Hin Dam. The hiking is arduous, but the panorama over the lake, the forest flora, and the hospitality of the Dao people more than compensates. Your overnight accommodation would be in the park.
- Vietnam Visa On Arrival pre-approved letter.
- Private door-to-door pick-up & drop-off services.
- Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver.
- Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room.
- The services of experienced English-speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary
- Boat cruises as specified in the programme. All Ha Long Bay boats will be fully licensed and comply with current safety regulations.
- Lunches and dinners (as specified in the itinerary) in the best local restaurants, picnics where suitable restaurants are not available
- All sightseeing tickets.
- VAT and other taxes
- 24/7 hotline support guaranteed
- International flight tickets and airport tax.
- Lunches and dinners, except as specified above.
- Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses.
- Travel insurance
- Surcharges for Peak seasons (if any)
- Vietnam visa stamp fee
- Other services not mentioned above.