…, even if they are touristic; they are scenic and beautifully situated with nice driving routes in the surroundings:
Ban Gioc Waterfal is in an area of mature karst formations in the very northeast directly at the Chinese border. It is part of the Cao Bang province and reachable on a tarmac road winding through the karst formations.
There is another road which is still rough dirt mostly. It is coming from the south so you can ride a loop. That is what we did, and we really enjoyed! Along the path, you will hear a banging metal sound from time to time. Small villages of knife cutlers.
Nung ethnic minority people in Phuc Sen commune have practiced the forging trade for hundreds of years. It is fun watching them and chatting with them. Of course, we bought one! The waterfall itself can be touristic, more from the Chinese side.
However, we were lucky having the place nearly for ourselves at sunset. Just around the corner, you find the Nguom Ngao Cave.
With the total length of more than 2,100 meters. It is perfect to stroll around this wonderful limestone forms in the cold climate just by yourself if you are lucky like we were.
The famous Ha Giang Loop – Nice but quite touristic and crowded. The loop still has many small branching laps where you can discover a lot – we preferred the area a bit east of Ha Giang in the Song Chay Mountains. The area where Kerstin had to take a break after her accident. While she was resting, the boys could let off steam on the trails between the fairytale rice terraces. At this topic, we would like to thank Hoanh Trung Duong, the Co-Founder and COO of Ha Giang Motorbike Tours & Rental. Although we neither stayed in his guesthouse nor rented a motorcycle from him, he was immediately ready to help when Kerstin asked him for advice via chat after her accident. It is always nice to see how great the motorcycle community works worldwide!
Ba Be Lake and National Park is worth a visit. There is a wide range of homestays with full board right on the lake as the area is home to many ethnic minority communities. Surrounded by limestone mountains it is a peaceful place for fishing, hiking, boat trips, waterfalls, caves or just exploring the area by motorbike.
Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park is in the center of Vietnam in the middle of a large rainforest covered karst mountain range and it is famous for its many caves. The region is beautiful, and the place has retained a certain charm. If you move towards Laos, you are immediately out of the tourist part.
Cúc Phương National Park in the Ninh Binh province surprised us. Its proximity to Hanoi did not let us expect this dreamlike landscape of tropical rainforest with outstanding limestone cliffs. The individual sights in the park are often overcrowded, but offside of it you can drift endlessly on the small paths between the rocks, rivers and lakes.
By the way, the geological formation corresponds to the same processes in the tropical karst as in the Halong Bay.