1. Overview of Cao Bang

Cao Bang is a province in the northeastern mountainous region of Vietnam, bordering China to the north with a border of over 300 km long. This is one of the favorite tourist destinations, with natural and majestic landscapes and historical and cultural relics of long-standing value.

Cao Bang is a mountainous region in the north of our country, so the people living in it belong to many different ethnic groups. They are friendly and extremely hospitable to visitors. Because of that, Cao Bang Tours are always attractive and different for visitors when coming here. Besides, Cao Bang is also known for its folk songs, unique traditions, and festivals.

2. When is the best season to travel to Cao Bang?

Cao Bang’s climate is divided into two distinct seasons. The rainy season lasts from April to September, and the dry season lasts from October to March of the following year. In the early morning and evening in the mountains of Cao Bang, the weather will be cold; the temperature can drop to 15–16 degrees Celsius. In each season, this place has its own beauty and its own attractions for us to explore.

But the best time to admire the beauty of Cao Bang is from August to September. At this time, the air is cool and the weather is less rainy, which makes it very convenient for you to move and visit the beautiful scenery of Cao Bang’s nature.

In November and December, buckwheat flowers and wild sunflowers cover the mountains and forests, creating a beautiful landscape picture. You can also go “hunting for ice and snow” in Cao Bang in the winter. 

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3. How to travel Cao Bang?

Cao Bang is located in the east of the North and is about 280 km from Hanoi, so it is most convenient for you to go to Hanoi city and then move to Cao Bang. From Hanoi to Cao Bang, there are many means of transportation, including buses, cars, and motorbikes. In which case, passenger cars are the most optimal choice in terms of both cost and time. Bus fares from Hanoi to Cao Bang range from 12.8 USD – 15 USD/pax/way. Travel time is 5 – 6 hours.

Moving to Cao Bang: In Cao Bang city, you rent motorbikes at hotels or homestays here. The price is about 7.7 USD/day/car, including 2 helmets, 2 raincoats, a bag hanger, and a lanyard.

4. Hotels in Cao Bang

In Cao Bang, there are a number of cheap hotels, motels, and homestays you can choose from for your trip. Here are some of the best hotels in Cao Bang for your reference:

Hotel, homestaysCategoryAddressRoom rate (USD/night)
Max Boutique Hotel3 stars117 Vuon Cam Street, Hop Giang Ward, Cao Bang City, Cao Bang ProvinceFrom 26.8 USD
Gia Quy Hotel3 stars007 Hoang Dinh Giong Street, Hop Giang Ward, Cao Bang City, Cao Bang ProvinceFrom 21.3 USD
Jeanne Hotel2 stars99 Kim Dong Street, Hop Giang Ward, Cao Bang City, Cao Bang ProvinceFrom 17 USD
Highlands Hotel2 stars019 Ly Tu Trong, Hop Giang Ward, Cao Bang City, Cao Bang ProvinceFrom 17 USD
Bao Lac HomestayHomestayKha Rao village, Khanh Xuan commune, Bao Lac district, Cao Bang provinceFrom 14.5 USD

5. Top experiences when traveling to Cao Bang

5.1. Admiring Ban Gioc Waterfall

Ban Gioc Waterfall is located in Dam Thuy commune, Trung Khanh district, Cao Bang province, with a fresh and cool climate all year round. Ban Gioc Waterfall is the most spectacular and beautiful waterfall in Vietnam. Ban Gioc Waterfall is one of the largest natural waterfalls in Southeast Asia, the 4th largest waterfall in the world, with a height of more than 60m, of which the longest slope is up to 30m.

Ban Gioc Waterfall is about 50 km from the center of Cao Bang City, and you will witness its majestic beauty amidst the mountains and forests. At the waterfall, you can also experience rafting to admire the scenery or challenge yourself in kayaking activities on the green Quay Son river.

Entrance ticket: 1.9 USD/person. In addition, you can take a tourist boat to get closer to the waterfall; the ticket price is 2.1 USD per person.

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5.2. Visiting the special National Monument Pac Bo

Pac Bo is a national revolutionary historical relic, especially in the country. The relic site belongs to Pac Bo village, Truong Ha commune, Ha Quang district, Cao Bang province, 52 km from the center of Cao Bang city, and is the starting point (km 0) of the Ho Chi Minh Road. 

This is the place where leader Nguyen Ai Quoc chose to live and do revolutionary activities after 30 years of searching for a way to save the country. The relic area includes: Uncle Ho’s memorial house; Coc Po cave; Lung Lan cave; Nguom Vai cave; Mount Mack; Lenin stream; the stone table where Uncle Ho worked; the background of Mr. Ly Quoc Gun; Mr. La Thanh’s house, etc.

Coming to the Pac Po relic site, you can visit some other special relics such as Lan Khuoi Nam and Milestone 108; these are all attractive tourist attractions located right in the Pac Po relic site. Entrance fee: 1.9 USD/person, including round-trip tram.

5.3. Traveling on the majestic Ma Phuc Pass

One of the activities that you should not miss when coming to Cao Bang is traveling on the Ma Phuc Pass. Ma Phuc Pass is located in Quoc Toan Commune, Tra Linh District, Cao Bang Province.

Ma Phuc Pass is one of the very unique geological heritages where it appeared about 260 million years ago, and there are many active volcanoes under the sea. This road is known as the most beautiful pass in Cao Bang, with a total length of more than 3.5km and nearly 700m above sea level.

Not only that, Ma Phuc Pass also has seven steep floors with winding sleeves. From the foot of the pass, turn left into the village of Tot Co, where the famous old banyan tree and the Sunday buffalo market are located.


5.4. Admiring the beauty of Thang Hen Lake

Thang Hen Lake is a large natural freshwater lake located in Quoc Toan commune, Quang Hoa district, Cao Bang province, with countless underground rivers and streams. Depending on the water level in each season, the lake will have a width of 100–300 m and a length of 500–1000 m. Not only that, the lake is also located at an altitude of 1500–1700 m above sea level, so it is considered the highest natural freshwater lake in Vietnam.

Thang Hen Lake is famous for its peaceful beauty of cool blue water, along with many virtual check-in corners to bring you into the beautiful natural scenery, such as lonely cliffs, large lakes, and canoes. simple, or blooming wild sunflower garden. 

Boat rental to visit Thang Hen Lake: 0.8 USD/person, and you will be able to move around to visit Thang Hen Lake.


5.5. Exploring Nguom Ngao Cave – Natural masterpiece of Cao Bang

Nguom Ngao Cave is also a famous scenic spot in Cao Bang. The climate inside the cave is always cool. Nguom Ngao Cave is located in Gun village, Dam Thuy commune, Trung Khanh district, Cao Bang province.

Nguom Ngao Cave was discovered in 1921 and has been exploited for tourism since 1996. This is a limestone cave with magnificent beauty, created by Mother Nature about 400 million years ago and to the present. Now there is no human influence.

The system of natural stalactites and stalagmites has created a vivid and interesting Nguom Ngao impact. The cave has a total length of about 2114m and has three main gates, including Ban Thuon, Nguom Lom, and Nguom Ngao. More specifically, in the cave there are also stone lutes that, when tapped, will produce melodious music like the Treung lute.


5.6. Experiencing camping trip at Than Eye Mountain

Mat Than Mountain (also known as Tung Mountain) is located inside the valley of Ban Danh hamlet, in Quoc Toan commune of Tra Linh district, Cao Bang province. Mat Than Mountain is about 2 km from Thang Hen Lake and nearly 30 km from the city center. Mat Than Mountain is an ideal place to enjoy beautiful scenery, trekking, camping, cloud hunting, BBQ, etc.

In addition, visitors also have the opportunity to learn about the rustic life of the Tay people in Cao Bang. Standing at the top of the mountain, you will fully absorb the scenery of Nam Tra Lake, which has dried up. Instead, there is the presence of vast green grass, surrounded by many mountains.

5.7. Visiting Truc Lam Ban Gioc Buddhist Temple

Phat Tich Truc Lam Ban Gioc Pagoda is located in Dam Thuy commune, Trung Khanh province, Cao Bang province. This is the first temple built at the border of the country, inaugurated on December 15, 2014. The pagoda leans back on Phia Nhan mountain, so you can see the whole majestic Ban Gioc waterfall and mountains from above.

The area of the pagoda is about 3 hectares, with the typical architecture of Vietnamese temples: the three-way gate, the bell tower, the drum floor, the ancestral church, the mother church, etc. There is also a temple to President Ho Chi Minh, General Vo Nguyen Giap, and many other heroes of history. 

Currently, this is the place where the temple is located for the hero of the Nung Tri Cao, who has great merit in protecting the nation and is also a great symbol of Cao Bang culture.

5.8. Visiting Khuoi Ky Ancient Stone Village

Khuoi Ky Cultural Village is located in Dam Thuy Commune, Trung Khanh, and Cao Bang on Provincial Road 206. This is a 400-year-old ancient village that still retains its ancient and somewhat mysterious beauty. Only about 3 km from Ban Gioc Waterfall and about 100 km from Cao Bang city center.

Khuoi Ky stone village has an area of up to 10,000 m2, with its back leaning against the rocky mountain and facing the peaceful and poetic Khuoi Ky stream. In the village, there are 14 Tay ethnic households living in impressive stone-built stilt houses dating from 1594 to 1677.

6. Cuisine in Cao Bang

6.1. Cao Bang rolls

Different from the way of eating rolls in the South and North, which is to sprinkle fish sauce on the cake, in Cao Bang, people will enjoy this familiar dish with bone broth. The crust is thinly coated but still very supple, fragrant with rice, wrapped with some minced meat, and served with a cup of broth with poached eggs, pork rolls, and coriander. When eating, you can pick up a little bit of bamboo shoot soaked with honey to use.

6.2. Ap chao cake

Also known as ap chao cake, this cake is often sold in the cold winter months, namely from November to February next year. The cake has a crispy, sticky rice crust, and the filling is made from seasoned duck meat.

6.3. Peng Ray

This unique cake is a specialty of Cao Bang in April and May. At that time, the forest black ants will grow very strongly, so the ant eggs are especially delicious and greasy. The crust is made from upland glutinous rice and wrapped with young leaves on the outside to always keep its fragrant plasticity. The filling is made from ant eggs, a bit of minced pork, crushed peanuts, and finely chopped palanquin leaves.

6.4. Tram Sticky rice

You can easily find this sticky rice dish anywhere in Cao Bang during the Tram season (around July and August every year). When enjoying, you will feel the fleshy taste of Tram combined with sweet, sticky rice. More specifically, Tram sticky rice was even more classified as a delicacy when it was announced by the Vietnam Record Association as one of the top 100 typical dishes and specialties nationwide.

6.5. Cao Bang khao cake

Cao Bang cake is a specialty dish in Cao Bang with a delicious and elegant taste. In the past, Khao cake was considered a dry food by the Tay and Nung ethnic groups in Cao Bang. Cakes are most often made on the occasion of the full moon in July and the traditional Lunar New Year to display on the ancestral altar.

7. Suggestions for Cao Bang tours itinerary 3 days 2 nights

Ha Noi City – Cao Bang ( Pac Po, Ban Gioc) – Ha Noi City

On this schedule, you can choose to take a sleeper bus from Hanoi to Cao Bang, rent a motorbike in Cao Bang, and then go to explore attractive tourist sites in Cao Bang. In addition, if you do not want to rent a motorcycle, you can go completely by bus to these places.

  • Day 1: Ride a sleeper bus from Hanoi to Cao Bang.
  • Day 2: Cao Bang City – Pac Bo – Cao Bang City

Spend a whole day going to Pac Bo, and in the evening return to Cao Bang City to rest and explore the cuisine and delicious dishes in Cao Bang.

  • Day 3: Cao Bang City – Ban Gioc Waterfall – Hanoi

In the morning, from Cao Bang City, go to Ban Gioc Waterfall and Truc Lam Zen Monastery; in the evening, go back to Cao Bang City; and late at night, get on the bus to Hanoi.

8. Note when Cao Bang tours

It is recommended to prepare warm and heat-retaining clothes when going in the winter because the temperature can drop as low as 3–4 degrees Celsius.

It is necessary to bring items such as raincoats, hats, cotton shirts, maps, spare batteries, medicines, and insect sprays for unexpected cases. 

You need to bring full identification papers because Cao Bang is an important border area.

The roads in Cao Bang are mainly pass roads, so you need to have a steady steering wheel, be fully equipped with protective gear, and check the car thoroughly to avoid damage along the way.

You need to learn a little about the customs and habits of the local people so as not to commit taboos when visiting.

9. Conclusion

The Cao Bang travel experiences shared by Metta Voyage will help you have a great trip. If you have any questions or want to schedule an interesting trip, you can contact us right away.

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