Ba Be Lake is the largest natural lake in Vietnam. This national park rich in flora and fauna is a destination still little known to the general public. In this little corner of northern Vietnam, you can enjoy a little peace. Follow the rhythm of the Thai minorities who live around the lake, grow rice and fish on the lake.
Ba Be Lake is 240 km from Hanoi. It takes at least 5.5 hours to reach the lake by bus. The natural park is made up of 3 lakes. When you arrive at Ba Be National Park, there is only one route that leads down to the lake.
Where to sleep at Ba Be Lake ?
Coming from the main road which leads down to the lake, you come to a small metal suspension bridge. This bridge crosses one of the rivers which feeds the lake. Crossing the bridge, we arrive at the village of Pac Ngoi. It is the largest village around Ba Be Lake.
It is in the village of Pac Ngoi that one can easily find a place to sleep. In fact, many houses are bed and breakfasts (homestay). It is therefore easy to find accommodation to sleep with the locals.
Since Ba Be Lake is the territory of Thai ethnic minorities, most of the houses are on stilts. The house on stilts is the traditional home of the Thai people. Among the locals, the comfort is quite rudimentary but most of the locals are very welcoming and warm. Very few residents speak English, let alone French, so it is difficult to communicate with them without a guide.
There are almost no restaurants around the lake. One of the best ways to eat is to eat with the locals. Les Tays can cook superb local dishes with fresh local produce.
What to see / what to do at Ba Be Lake ?
Ba Be Lake can be visited by boat. It’s the easiest and fastest way of getting from one village to another. Leaving the village of Pac Ngoi, the villagers’ boats are parked at the pier located about 1 km from the center.
Locals are used to taking tourists to visit the lake by boat. The walk lasts half a day. There are different places to visit by the lake.
In the middle of the lake is the An Mã temple on the island of An Mã.
After the boat tour of the lake, it is possible to visit the Hua Ma cave. This cave is accessible by bicycle from the village of Pac Ngoi. After climbing the steps to reach the entrance to the cave, take the stairs to descend to the bottom of this impressive cave, the legend of which is fascinating.