Cao Bang, a peaceful northern province that’s often overlooked by travelers who are on a tight schedule. However, Cao Bang Province is a testament to unspoiled natural beauty, offering a unique experience away from the more touristy destinations. Follow us as we dive into the wonders of Cao Bang Province, providing practical information, the best things to do, accommodation recommendations, and travel tips.
If you are planning a visit, consider staying for at least three days to fully appreciate the province’s offerings. While Cao Bang City has ATMs, venture into the countryside prepared, as credit cards are often not accepted. Keep an eye out for local events like the Ban Gioc waterfall festival in October.
Best Time to Visit
Cao Bang welcomes visitors year-round, but the spring months from February to April offer the best views of its lush landscapes. For snow-capped mountains, November to January is ideal, albeit a bit chilly.
10 Best Things to Do in Cao Bang
Ban Gioc Waterfall And Nearby Attractions
Undoubtedly the highlight, Ban Gioc Waterfall is Vietnam’s largest, spanning 300 meters wide. Don’t miss the adjacent Phat Tich Truc Lam Ban Gioc Pagoda and the nearby Nguom Ngao Cave. If you want to have a better look at Ban Gioc Waterfall from above, then you must pay a visit to the Truc Lam pagoda. Situated less than 5 kilometers from the renowned Ban Gioc Waterfall, Nguom Ngao is also a must-visit spot when you visit Cao Bang. Even though only around 1 kilometer of the cave is open to tourists, visiting this cave is a must-do activity.
Phong Nam Valley
If you have enough time, you can explore the hidden gem of Phong Nam Valley, a serene location with small villages, rice fields, and a peaceful stream often overlooked by tourists.
Nui Thung Mountain
Also known as Angel Eye Mountain, Nui Thung offers a special experience with a hidden valley, jungle, plains, and a reflective lake.
Me Pia Pass
With 14 turns winding down the mountain, Me Pia Pass provides an impressive drive or hike with breathtaking views. However, this pass is quite far from Cao Bang city, it’s located around 17km from Bao Lac town. Travelers often combine to visit this pass on their way to visit Ha Giang after their trip to Cao Bang.
Thang Hen Lake
If you stay one night in Cao Bang city center, you can plan your trip to discover Thang Hen Lake, featuring 36 small natural lakes surrounded by mountains at an altitude of 1000 meters.
Visit Local Villages
Cao Bang Province is dotted with traditional villages, each offering a unique glimpse into local life, from incense-making in Phia Thap to Phuc Sen forging village.
Phia Oac National Park
If you stay in Cao Bang for more than 3 days, you can explore Phia Oac national park with its diverse landscapes, being the second-highest peak in Cao Bang, in winter, you can see white frost on top of the moutain.
Pac Po Relic
Though not very popular among foreign tourists, Pac Bo is must visit place for those who are interested in history. Visit Pac Bo, a historic pilgrimage site with significant caves, clear blue streams, and a tranquil atmosphere.
Best Hotels and Hostels in Cao Bang Province
Khuoi Ky stone village
If you travel to Ban Gioc from Cao Bang, you can stay overnight in Khuoi Ky, an ancient stone village. There are various traditional homestay and bungalows near Ban Gioc Waterfall offering a picturesque setting between mountains and a river. However, Khuoi Ky offer an entirely unique experience.
Khuoi Khon Homestay
Located in an authentic Black Lo Lo ethnic minority village near Bao Lac, this homestay boasts impressive views. However, tourism in this village is not yet to developed to its full potential so please expect your stay at this village will be a very traditional and local like experience.
Max Boutique Hotel
For a comfortable experience, you can stay at Max Boutique hotel in Cao Bang City. This hotel has comfortable beds and stylishly decorated rooms.
Food and Drinking
Cao Bang City has various dining options, and if you stay outside the city, homestays often provide meals. Try local dishes like Banh trung kien (ant’s egg rice cake), Khau Nhuc (made of pork) and purchase chestnuts along the roadside or near waterfalls. Chestnut is a specialty of this region, there are many famous and delicious dishes made of Chestnut that shouldn’t be missed.
How to Get There
Situated in the far north, Cao Bang lacks an airport or train station. Buses from Hanoi, including sleeper, mini buses and private car, offer a 6 to 8-hour journey. Travelers often explore Cao Bang by motorbike or car with a driver, and consider a private tour for a personalized experience.
How to Get from Cao Bang to Ban Gioc Waterfalls
Travel options include buses or motorcycles, with local buses available in Cao Bang City. Renting a motorbike provides flexibility for independent exploration.
More Tips for Traveling in Cao Bang
Where to go next?
Consider combining your trip with Ba Be Lake, a stunning destination in Ba Be National Park between Cao Bang and Hanoi.
Cao Bang with kids
The province’s peaceful environment makes it suitable for family travel, although extensive road travel is necessary to fully explore.
In summary, Cao Bang Province offers a unique and unspoiled beauty, providing travelers with a chance to delve into hidden gems and cultural richness. Whether exploring waterfalls, valleys, or historic sites, Cao Bang promises a memorable experience. If you’re interested in this place, please read our Cao Bang tour to learn more.