For a sightseeing tour of the northeast region, a fantastic place to start is Ba Be National Park in Ba Be District, Bac Kan Province. There is a huge amount to explore here, with a vast variety of flora and fauna, as well as interesting geology and landscapes to discover.
Ba Be Lake covers a vast limestone mountain range of Ba Be District, Bac Kan Province, which is around 180 km north-west of Ha Noi. The lake serves as biggest natural water lake in Vietnam with the water area of around 500ha, spreading over 8km through the areas of Nam Mau, Khang Ninh, Cao Thuong, Quang Khe, Cao Tri communes. Let's explore Ba Be Lake via this 2 day homestay.
The lake itself is actually three small lakes joined together – Pe Lam, Pe Lu and Pe Leng. The area was established as a national preserved forest and tourist centre in 1978, before being established as Vietnam's eighth national park in 1992. It was recently recognised by UNESCO as the third Ramsar site in Vietnam - an important wetland of the world. Located 145m above sea level, the lake has an average depth of 20-25m and its deepest part is 35m. The lake bed is made up of limestone with millions of crags and crevasses that are ideal for a large variety of marine life - there are over a hundred of species of freshwater fish in the lakes.
According to the decision No.41/-TTg dated 10.1.1977, Vietnam Prime Minister recognized Ba Be Lake as a forest preserve area.
In decision No. 83/TTg dated 10.11.92, Vietnam Government gave its approval on the econo-technical study on Ba Be National Park conservation.
One of the best ways to get a feel for the area on arrival is by boat on one of the three lakes - kayaks for the more adventurous or guided motor boat tours for those who want to relax a little. Ba Be National Park has appeared on hundreds of newspapers, magazines, forums and blogs, but nothing can prepare you for experiencing its intoxicating landscapes and clear waters first hand. The lakes have a lot of interesting to discover, including waterfalls, rivers, valleys, lakes, and caves all set amidst picturesque landscapes. From Ba Be Lake, tourists can also visit other neighbouring attractions such as Dau Dang Fall, Puong Cave and Tien Pond.
With further exploration of Ba Be National Park, tourists will also begin to discover some of the villages in the region. This is best done by joining one of many trekking tours which can be arranged, as they include a guide that will introduce you to the people of the various ethnic communities that are resident here. Bo Lu Village is a great example, and by visiting the village, tourists have a chance not only to admire old stilt houses but also to learn more about culture and daily life of Tay people.