Nestled among mountains 200 kilometres north of Hanoi is Ba Be National Park. This park represents some of the most well-protected nature and authentic local culture in all of Vietnam, being designated as a national park in 1992.
Exploring Ba Be Lake by boat is the best way to take in the scenery.
This protected status has allowed the peaceful lake, stunning mountains and valleys, and several caves and waterfalls to remain unspoilt and untouched by human impact. This also extends to the traditional culture of the area’s inhabitants, with many villages and communities of the H’mong, Tay and Dao ethnic minorities continuing their traditional way of life largely undisturbed by modern global influences. This authentic vibe means that it’s the perfect place to get up close and personal and spend your evenings with a local family in their home-turned-homestay.
Local women on the way to the market.
This practice of local control and management of the tourism industry is a model for socially and environmentally responsible tourism anywhere, as it makes sure the local people who care deeply for the land and traditions of the area decide how tourism affects them, and results in significant benefit generated for the local communities.
The beautiful and largely untouched nature also makes it an ideal trekking and biking destination, with a multitude of verdant forests and jungles blanketing the mountain slopes and valleys below. The highest peak reaches an altitude of 1527 meters, which means that people hunting for spectacular views won’t be disappointed if they make the climb. The lake also presents an excellent opportunity for kayaking and boating, especially in the warmer summer months.
Kayaking is a great option for those who wish to explore the lake freely.
You will no doubt feel extremely welcomed and included by the local people here, who are eager to teach you about their way of life and customs, while also experiencing a sense of sheer awe and wonder at the natural beauty present.