Ban Gioc Water Falls Overview
The Ban Gioc waterfall is the largest and most beautiful waterfall in Vietnam, located in the northeastern province of Cao Bang. The water disturbs down 3 levels and is 30 meters high and 300 meters wide. This makes Ban Gioc Waterfall also the widest waterfall in Vietnam.
The water from the waterfall comes from the Quay Son river. This beautiful jade-blue river flows from China through a fantastic landscape of rice fields and limestone rocks. The Ban Gioc Waterfall is still not a major tourist hot spot, despite the popularity on social media and good road access. Mass tourism is yet to come and besides on weekend and on public holidays, there are not many foreign and local tourist.
The Ban Gioc waterfall flows into the Quay Son river, in the middle of a mountain range. From the height of 30 meters, the thunderous water flows give you a powerful feeling. Ban Gioc is considered the most impressive and beautiful waterfall in Southeast Asia. You come here not only to view the amazing waterfall, but also the breathtaking scenery.
The waterfall is easily accessible via a gravel path. This path runs through a grassy bank and over wooden bridges. But before you walk on the gravel path, you must first stop at the nearby kiosk to pay the entrance fee of 2 euros. There are also a few food and drink stalls set up close to the falls.
The Ban Gioc waterfall is right at the border, with Vietnam on one side of the Quay Son River and China on the other side. This means that one half of the waterfall is in Vietnam and the other half in China. On both sides you can take a bamboo raft that can bring you near the thundering water, so you could practically shake hands with Chinese tourist from the other boats. A ride of 10 minutes on a raft costs around 2 dollar.
Best time to visit Ban Gioc Waterfall
Like any other waterfall, Ban Gioc has a period of low and high water levels, depending on the season you are visiting. But you can visit the waterfall all year round, because there is always water, but there are times when you can experience the very best version of Ban Gioc.
Cao Bang has a wet season from June to September, and a dry season from October to May. In the first period you clearly see a larger waterfall. This force also brings more soil, which means that the water usually gets a dark brown color.
During the dry season there is less rain and the weather is much cooler. The water has nice blue hues this season, but the problem with this season is the amount of water.
The best time to visit Ban Gioc waterfall is around August and September, the perfect combination when there is a lot of water and the color is clear and blue. You will also find beautiful rice fields in Ban Gioc during this season.
Other things to do around Ban Gioc Waterfall
Ban Gioc Temple
When you have explored Ban Gioc you can go to the best viewpoint of the waterfall. You can find this view from the Trum Lam pagoda, also known as the Ban Gioc temple. From the waterfall you go back to the main road and follow it about 600 m back towards Cao Bang until you come to a turn to the left with a few souvenir and food stalls. This is the access road to the Truc Lam pagoda, also called the Ban Gioc temple. When you reach the top, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama that looks straight down into the valley and the Ban Gioc waterfall.
Nguom Ngao cave
At only three kilometers from the Ban Gioc waterfall you will find the impressive limestone Nguom Ngao cave. With a total length of more than 2,100 meters, it is an ideal place for cave lovers. You can walk through a large part of the cave that is beautifully lit and very impressive. The cave is remarkable, thanks in part to the water dripping through the limestone walls, but this can also ensure that the path can sometimes be very slippery.
How to get there
The Ban Gioc waterfall is approximately 360 kilometers from Hanoi and 90 km east of Cao Bang. You can easily reach the waterfall via a good national highway to Cao Bang city and then a number of well-maintained provincial roads that lead through fantastic scenery to the falls.