If you think about Cao Bang, the Ban Gioc waterfalls often come into mind. But one of the most unique places you can visit in northern Vietnam is Nui Thung, also known as the Angel Eye Mountain.
What exactly is Angel Eye Mountain and how can you get there? This complete travel guide will detail everything you need to know about this hidden gem in Vietnam. We’ve also included nearby attractions and the best time to visit to help you make the most out of your trip.
What Is Angel Eye Mountain
Angel Eye Mountain is one of the most unique places to visit in Vietnam. It is located in the northern region and is a part of the Cao Bang UNESCO Geopark. Angel Eye Mountain is a karst mountain situated in a lovely valley dotted with other green and karst mountains. The cave in the center of Angel Eye Mountain is what makes it unique, hence the name "Nui Thung," which translates to mountain with a hole.
Aside from that, the area is home to the Tay ethnic minority, and the mountain is also known locally as "Phja Piót" in Tay language. The hole in the mountain is a 50-meter-wide cave that runs through its center.
Also, this is one of the places in Vietnam where you have to visit soon before it becomes saturated with tourists as it’s still relatively remote but not impossible to get to.
Angel Eye Tours
If you want to explore Cao Bang’s most spectacular sites without worrying about booking and transport, you can opt for a tour package. Here are the most highly recommended tours to book in Cao Bang.
Best Time to Visit Nui Thung
You can visit the Angel Eye Mountain throughout the year!
During the rainy season, which falls from June to August, the valley is filled with water that forms a large lake. These months are the fishing season for the locals who come here to catch carp and catfish.
While the dry season lasts from September through May, the valley is covered in pasture where local farmers come and graze their cows and horses. Local tourists have also been camping on this land in recent years.
Things to Do in Angel Eye Mountain
One of the best things you can do in the Angel Eye Mountain is to camp overnight. For the best experience, we recommend going with a local company that offers camping in the area. This is to make sure that you make the most out of your trip and you are safe while you’re out there. Also, you’ll be giving back to the local tourism. One company we found is Cao Bang Eco Camping, which has great reviews online.
If you visit on a motorbike during the dry season, you can ride around and take in the vastness of the valley. Keep an eye out for grazing cows and potholes along the way.
Looking for the ultimate motorbike loop? Read our Ha Giang Loop Itinerary.
If you don't have much time, bring a blanket, food, and drinks and enjoy the scenery. Just remember to take all of your trash with you when you leave.
You don't have to walk down the valley to enjoy the breathtaking view of Angel Eye Mountain. Right after the open area where you can park your car, there is a lookout platform on your right where you can enjoy the view.
How to Get to Angel Eye Mountain
As it’s a bit too far from Hanoi to do a day trip, Angel Eye hasn’t seen many tourists. We stumbled upon this beautiful view on our motorbike trip and we’re sharing with you all the details to reach this place on your own.
Preferably, spend the night in Cao Bang city, and then drive for about 40 minutes to Angel Eye Mountain. The best way to get here is to type "Cao Bang Eco Camping" into Google Maps.
Here is a more detailed instructions from Cao Bang City:
- Travel southeast on QL3 Road until you see a road sign directing you to ĐT205 Road.
- Take a left on this route and stay on ĐT205 Road.
- Turn left at the school and follow the rough road until you reach the center of the village.
- Take a right onto a smaller path and continue for about 1 km until you reach an open area. The road here can be quite narrow for cars.
- Leave your car or bike here and walk to the lookout.
- Alternatively, you can ride your bike down the mountain, but be cautious because the road is steep and rocky. During the rainy season, the roads can be muddy and slippery.
Other Things To Do in the Area
Besides the Angel Eye Viewpoint, there are also other places you can visit to make the most of your day.
1. Nam Tra Waterfall - This is a small waterfall on a stream located on the right side of the Nam Tra Lake. It’s about 600 meters away and around 10 minutes walk.
2. Local Tay Village - You can visit a few Tay minority villages in the Ban Danh Hamlet and learn more about their local culture. You can see their stilt houses, rice and corn fields.
3. Local Street Vendors - If you're lucky, you might come across a line of local women selling various types of vegetables on the side of the road about 10 kilometers from the viewpoint. The address is available here.
4. Phia Thap Incense Village - Not far from the local vendors is this traditional Nung An incense village. The Phia Thap incense is made entirely of natural materials found in karst areas. Explore the area and see how the locals make their crafts by hand.
5. Ban Gioc Waterfall - Located about 60 kilometers from Angel Eye Mountain, you can visit both in a single day to make the most of your day trip from Cao Bang City. Travel to the falls in the morning and stop by Nui Thung on your way back.
Where to Stay
Here are some places to stay in Cao Bang City if you plan on staying the night. The majority of accommodations provide basic amenities, with homestays being the most popular.
And there you have it!
We hope that you’ve found helpful information in this travel guide to Angel Eye Mountain. Share this guide to your friends for your next Vietnam adventure trip and discover one of the best things to do in Cao Bang.
Let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below.
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