Ban Gioc Waterfall
Ban Gioc Waterfall is one of Vietnam’s best-known waterfalls, and its image adorns the lobby of many a cheap guesthouse. The falls are actually an impressive sight in a highly scenic location, and are fed by the Quay Son River than marks the border with China.
The waterfall is the largest, although not the highest, in the country. The vertical drop is around 30m, but it has an impressive 300m span; one side of the falls is in China, the other is in Vietnam. Water volume varies considerably between the dry and rainy seasons: the falls are most impressive from May to September.
Boatmen will punt you on Bamboo rafts close enough to the waterfall so you can feel the spray on your hair and skin. Rafts on the Vietnamese side have green canopies, those on the Chinese side blue. You’re allowed to swim in the large natural pool on the Vietnamese side, but not in the river or close to the main waterfall.
It’s a very picturesque 10-minute stroll through paddy fields to reach the base of the falls from the parking area. If you’re here at harvest time in September or October the farmers will try to encourage you to try out their pedal-powered threshing machines.
A police permit is required to visit this region, which has to be organized in advance; any hotel in Cao Bang will sort it out for you.When to go?
The water is enough any time year round to make your trip worthwhile. But its volume changes considerably between the dry and rainy season. And best time to visit Ban Gioc Waterfall is from May to September, when the falls are most impressive.