(Vietnam Tourism Review) – Cao Bang is comparable to the emerald gem of the Northeast, given its towering cordilleras as well as a slew of renowned historical sites. In the recess of the untamed wild, to explore the culture and cuisine of ethnic communities is well worth the effort.
The excellency of the land lies in a chain of destinations that are virtually wholly nested in Cao Bang Landscape Geopark or in its neighborhood. The geopark spans over 2,375sqkm (straddling the districts of Ha Quang, Tra Linh, Quang Uyen, Trung Khanh, Ha Lang, Phuc Hoa and parts of Hoa An, Nguyen Binh and Thach An), which was recognized by the UNESCO as a World Geopark in 2018. Places of interests in Cao Bang:
Special National Site of Pac Bo
It’s an immensely iconic historical and revolutionary site around 55km away from the center of Cao Bang, in Pac Bo hamlet, Truong Ha commune, Ha Quang district. The site is associated with the game changing epoch of Viet Nam as Uncle Ho chose to work and directly guide the Vietnam Revolution here, following his three decades of overseas endeavors.
Sites such as Mr. Ly Quoc Sung residence where Uncle Ho dwelled after his return, calm and serene Lenin Fountain or Coc Bo cave, rich in footprints and legacy of Uncle Ho during his stay here.
Ban Gioc waterfall
It’s the fourth largest waterfall of the world, and among the finest ones that straddles the borderline, also the largest natural one of Southeast Asia. The waterfall is situated in Dam Thuy commune, Trung Khanh district, Cao Bang.
The waterfall flows from Quay Son river at the height of nearly 40m, branching out into giant water funnels that toss bubbly rays all over the place, adorning the mountainous and breathtaking background. Afoot lies the wide and calm river and picturesque patchwork of paddy rice and lushly forested hinterlands, accentuating the waterfall against the azure sky.
Truc Lam Phat Tich pagoda of Ban Gioc
Commenced in June 2013 atop Phia Nham mountain in Dam Thuy commune (Trung Khanh), around 500m from Ban Gioc waterfall, it was the first pagoda to be constructed on the northeastern borderline. The pagoda boasts some outstanding developments, including the Trigate, Sakyamuni Buddha Pavilion or the Three Treasures Stupa…
Nguom Ngao grotto
5km away from Ban Gioc waterfall, Nguom Ngao is largely pristine and untouched, enshrouded in mysteries. The grotto stretches 2,144m and includes Nguom Lom, Nguom Ngao and Ban Thuon as main entrance gates. Bunches of hanging stalagmites morph into outlandish shapes that kindle our curious imagination. Inside Nguom Ngao grotto also lies an undercurrent.
Thang Hen lake
As a notoriously picturesque and poetic spot of Cao Bang, Thang Hen lake in Quoc Toan commune, Tra Linh district, Cao Bang is the largest lake of the district. It perches atop the fairylike mountains, holding out treacherous and lushly forested cliffs and mirroring its azure, crystalline surface. To explore the lake, visitors may hire a boat and ride off the shore.
Phuc Sen blacksmithing village
The blacksmithing village is situated in Phuc Sen commune, Quang Uyen district as the dwelling of Nung An natives. To observe a full procedure of blacksmithing farming tools such as spades, hoes and daggers… in person, by the blazing furnace and the echoing bangs on anvils and sledgehammers that toss out fiery flakes and flickers is just beyond compare.
Phia Oac – Phia Den
The place is indeed a lost heaven on earth. In clear sunny days, from atop Phia Oac mountain, visitors may take a panorama of the undulating cordilleras out there. Kolia Ecotourist Area is a well-furnished accommodation unit meant for tourists, nature adventurers and trekkers to take an insight in the native culture, their colorful, changing costumes, beliefs, rites and folklore of neighboring ethnic communities.
Cao Bang is also proudly home to delectable, distinctive and nutritious treats that any gourmands can barely get enough of. Notably there are black canarium sticky rice, black jelly, cassava compote, Cong Phu cakes, sautéed cakes, khảo cakes, sour phở, bee cocoon porridge, Trung Khanh chestnuts, da hiến vegetables, Thang Hen lake fish, sour bamboo shoots, Chinese sausage or 7-flavor roasted duck.
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