Ba Be Lake travel guide – How to live closer to nature

Vietnam is known as home to many stunningly beautiful lakes which remain untouched by tourists and Ba Be Lake is one of them. Ba Be Lake, Bac Kan is the largest freshwater lake in Vietnam and one of the 20 largest natural freshwater lakes in the world. This lake has become an attractive destination for both Vietnamese and foreign tourists. Here are some experiences that have you packing your bags in no time.

Travelling to Ba Be Lake - Experiences not to miss

Traveling to Ba Be Lake – Experiences not to miss

Ba Be Lake is known as a green pearl in Northeast Vietnam for a long time. This lake is located in a region of Ba Be National Park in Bac Kan. The lake has an area of 500 hectares which is home to 417 species of plants, 299 species of vertebrates, have 49 species of freshwater fish. The “green pearl” stretches 8 km, width from 200 m to 1 km, an average depth of 17 – 23 meters, the deepest place is 29 meters. The beauty of nature, species diversity and different cultural dimensions of the ethnic minority make this place a paradise for people who love exploring the world.

Things to see in Ba Be Lake for Nature Lovers

Ba Be Lake Flora and Fauna

This lake is a part of Ba Be National Park. Ba Be National Park is home to more than staggering 1250 species of flora and fauna which is really a paradise for any nature lovers. This fascinating biodiversity includes 65 species of mammals (such as pangolins, macaques, bears), 223 varieties of birds, 106 species of fishes and over 300 types of butterfly which are discovered by researchers recently and this list still goes on. Travel to Ba Be Lake, you will have a chance to explore and experience the close-to-nature life more than ever. You may find it very easy to while away your time just looking for incredible creatures here.

Flora and fauna

A heaven for nature lovers

Mountain Ranges

Lying in the middle of the vast limestone mountain range of national park with many islands of limestone, Kayaking or boat trip is one of the best ways to explore Ba Be. Beautiful rock formations which have developed over millions of years will make it a perfect place for people who love adventure.

Collection of Caves

Besides exploring fascinating biodiversity and the beauty of mountain ranges when traveling to Ba Be Lake, there are also a collection of caves waiting to be explored. The most impressive caves in Ba Be are Puong Cave, Hua Ma Cave, and Lo Mo Cave. Each cave has its own beauty.

Collection of Caves

Collections of caves waiting for you to explore in Ba Be National Park

Puong Cave with a height of 30m and length of 300m sits at the bottom of Lung Nham Mountain and it is home to thousands of bats with more than 18 species. The beauty of Puong Cave also comes from secrets behind the dark mouth of the cave which was created after thousands of years of erosion by the Nang River.

Hua Ma Cave is famous for its stunning beauty and a fascinating backstory. Its name means horse head and there is a haunting tale behind. Though this tale kept many locals away from this cave for years, if you are brave enough to enter the cave, you will be rewarded.

Lo Mo Cave was discovered about 2-3 years ago. Its beauty comes from a flourishing ecosystem and it is home to many rare species of flora and fauna.

Things to explore for keen adventurers

Because of Ba Be Lake’s typical terrain, it becomes an ideal place for those who love adventure. The lake itself is actually three small lakes joined together (Pe Lam, Pe Leng and Pe Lu). There are a lot of activities to explore three lakes. Some people choose traveling by boat or guided motorboat tours, but if you want it more adventurous, choose Kayaks. Most tourists prefer Kayaking because it is less noisy and more environmentally friendly. Another benefit of Kayaking is helping tourist get closer to nature and making it feel as if you are exploring uncharted corners of the globe.


If you want it more adventurous, choose Kayaks

Besides Kayaking down the rivers, Ba Be Lake is also famous for many kinds of outdoor activities such as Bamboo rafting, Trekking, Hiking, Climbing, Mountaineering and Swimming in the lakes. The incredible range of terrain will keep your excitement piqued.

Please note that Ba Be Lake is 35m at its deepest point so tourists shouldn’t swim in deep water. Especially on rainny days, it can form some strong current and whirlpools which can be dangerous for swimmers. suggest you an ideal place to swim – Widow Island with 18 m of deep, where you can jump down from a height of 5m.

Things to experience for Culture Lovers

Ethnic villages

Traveling to Ba Be Lake, there is a chance for you to get a deeper understanding of Vietnamese ethnic minority communities. Tay, H’mong and Dzao constitute the majority of the villages in Ba Be.

The Idyllic Pac Ngoi Village

You can find Tay people in the villages of Coc Toc, Ban Cam or Pac Ngoi and see their wooden stilt houses. This kind of structures sits on the bank of the river which blends harmoniously with mountains and water. Tay people mostly rely on farming and fishing and you can see they use “doc moc” – a sort of canoe to go fishing and traveling. (To know more about “doc moc”, it is a small, long and narrow canoe using single-bladed paddles which are created by Tay talented woodworkers.) You may also have a chance to experience the traditional singing and folk dances with them.

Ba Be is also home to H’mong people. They have an agricultural lifestyle for a long time.  H’mong raises pumpkins, maize, soya and rice for a living. H’mong women also weave brocades to make colorful outfits for themselves and others.

If you want to experience a life of traditional Dzao people, go to Na Nghe village. Though you have to trek through the wilderness in here, you will be rewarded with stunning views of the valley and friendly and welcoming local people. You can eat, sleep and have herbal baths like a true local. (For further information, Dzao people use herbs not just for cleansing and bathing but it can help reduce stress, soothe the skin and muscles and draw out infection.)

Festival and events

You shouldn’t miss the opportunity of joining the biggest festivals and events in Ba Be. One of them is Long Tong Festival. Long Tong Festival is a grand celebration reflecting the desire for good weather and crops. There are several activities in this big festival such as worshiping the God of agriculture, traditional games, folk song singing contests, etc. This event attracts a large number of locals and tourists because it features a wide variety of cultural and art activities.

Long Tong Festival

Long Tong festival

Food and drinks

Here you can find many typical northern specialties. The locals grow vegetables, fish from the lakes and river so the food found here is totally fresh. One of the best traditional dishes that you can’t miss is Lon Cap Nach. This dish is made of small pigs raised in fields and forests which have sweet and tender meat.  They usually grill meat for roasted for dinner. Another popular traditional dish is Com Lam which is cooked by stuffing rice, coconut water in young bamboos. You will be also served with freshly prepared and nutritious vegetables here. Locals may invite you to enjoy a cup of local rice wine which is a way to unwind after a hard-working day.

How to get to Ba Be Lake?

There are two ways to get to Ba Be Lake.

  • The first way is taking a bus to Bac Kan at My Dinh bus station then taking a taxi motorbike to Ba Be.
  • The second way is renting a car from Hanoi and it will take you nearly one day.

However, these 2 ways are quite complicated and it could be difficult for foreigners.

Here is the map of Ba Be National Park and some helpful information for you below:

  • The entrance ticket is 25.000 VND per person.
  • You must pay 450.000 VND/ person for a boat around Ba Be Lake, 500.000 VND/ person around the lake and the pagoda.

If you want a short tour which can take you away from hustle and bustle of the city, we highly recommend you our 3-day-tour from Ba Be Lake to Ban Gioc waterfall. 

Ban Gioc waterfall

For further information, Ban Gioc Waterfall sits on the border between Vietnam and China in Cao Bang Province. You can enjoy fantastic views of this waterfall and the atmosphere from dense water vapor. This experience can bring you to the heaven of freshness at the same time. Ban Gioc Waterfall has a reputation as one of the best natural wonderlands of Northwestern Vietnam.

This tour will take you from the dramatic scenery of Ba Be Lake to stunning Ban Gioc waterfall in just 3 days which would be ideal for busy people.

It would be very regretful if you miss this attraction during your stay in Vietnam. There are a lot of things in Ba Be Lake waiting for you to explore. Please contact us via email: or hotline : (84-243) 7 755 888.

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