The Ban Gioc Waterfall, also known as Detian Falls, is Southeast Asia's largest waterfall. It is distinguished by three cascading waterfalls with clear blue water that are surrounded by lush valleys. Because of its majestic beauty, the Ban Gioc waterfall has become one of the most visited tourist attractions in Northern Vietnam and has grown in popularity in recent years.
So, if you're wondering how to get from Hanoi to Ban Gioc Waterfall, then this guide is for you! We've listed the best ways to get to the waterfall, as well as, the best time to visit and all the information you need to make the most of your visit.
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Where is Ban Gioc Waterfall Located
The Cao Bang province in northeastern Vietnam is home to the Ban Gioc waterfall. It is situated on the border of Vietnam and China, making it accessible from both countries. It is also part of the Non Nuoc Cao Bang Geopark, which adds to the area's beauty with karst peaks and valleys.
How to Get from Hanoi to Ban Gioc Waterfall
It is about 360 kilometers from Hanoi to Ban Gioc waterfall and is not suitable for a day trip. We recommend splitting your trip to the waterfall into two days and stopping in Cao Bang city. Fortunately, there are several ways to get to Ban Gioc Waterfall from Hanoi.
Taking the local bus is the cheapest way to get to the Ban Gioc waterfall. From Hanoi, take a bus to Cao Bang City from My Dinh bus station. The journey takes approximately 8 hours and costs around 15 USD.
To give yourself a break from your transportation, we recommend spending the night in the city before heading to the waterfall. Alternatively, you can take a sleeper night bus from Hanoi to Cao Bang City and then transfer to another bus that will drop you off at Ban Gioc Waterfall. This can be exhausting, but it is doable if you don't have a lot of time.
If you spend the night in Cao Bang ity, you can take the Hoa Binh Bus directly to the waterfall in the morning. This is a small yellow bus that travels for about 2 hours and departs every 30 minutes. It runs from 5:30am to 4:30pm and costs 3 USD. You can return to Cao Bang City on the same bus.
If you're thinking about renting a motorbike to get to Ban Gioc waterfall, we recommend taking the local bus to Cao Bang City first and then renting a motorbike from there.
If you’re already on a motorbike trip around the area, then a stop to Ban Gioc waterfall should be on your list. The drive from Cao Bang City to Ban Gioc waterfall takes about two hours. If you ride a motorcycle, there are various areas to stop along the way, including the Angel Eye Mountain and the Phia Thap incense village.
A day trip to the waterfall on a motorbike is possible, but we recommend staying in the area for at least a night before returning to Cao Bang City.
There are also numerous Ban Gioc waterfall tours available from Hanoi. Booking a tour is the most convenient way if you want everything organized for you. This is a great option if you just want to visit the waterfall from Hanoi and are short on time.
There are different tours you can choose from 2 days to 3 days, combined with other places to visit along the way. Here are the best rated Ban Gioc tours avialable.
Best Time to Visit Ban Gioc Waterfall
You can visit Ban Gioc waterfall at any time of year, as it offers different experiences depending on the season. The best time to visit is during the dry season, which is from September to November. The weather is pleasant during these months, and the waterfall is calm.
Photographers who want to capture the golden rice fields should go before the rice fields are harvested, which is typically between September and October.
The monsoon season lasts from June to August, and the waterfall overflows, causing the tiers to merge into one. It’s also the busiest season so expect crowds and some heavy rains. It can be a sight to behold, but photographing it can be difficult because the spray will be more widespread.
Ban Gioc Waterfall Information
Cost: The entrance fee to the Ban Gioc waterfall is about 2 USD. If you have a motorbike, a parking ticket costs less than 1 USD.
Raft: Riding the raft is an excellent way to get close to the waterfall. The ride takes about 10 minutes and costs 2 USD.
Food and Drinks: If you plan to stay at the falls for a while, bring some food and drinks with you. There are also stalls at the entrance where you can buy some snacks though the prices are a bit higher.
Drone: Drones are not permitted in the area due to the waterfall's proximity to the Chinese border. It's against the law, and you risk having your drones shot down by patrols.
Looking for more Vietnam Tips? Read our top 17 things you need to know before visiting Vietnam.
Is Ban Gioc Waterfall Worth it?
Visiting Ban Gioc waterfall is absolutely worth it if you have a few days to visit the area around it as well. Cao Bang has beautiful nature all around and it'll be a shame to just visit the waterfall. We think it’s too far to just visit the falls if you’re coming from Hanoi and we strongly recommend that you stay for a couple of days to make the most out of your long journey. If you have more time, you should consider doing a motorbike loop combining the Ha Giang and Cao Bang regions.
Can You Swim at Ban Gioc Waterfall?
No, swimming is not permitted at Ban Gioc Waterfall. You will see some signs in Vietnamese warning people not to swim. The waterfall shares a border with China, so it is actually illegal to swim. You can, however, rent a raft that will take you closer to the falls for an additional fee.
Where to Stay
Here are some places to stay in the area if you plan on spending the night in Cao Bang. The majority of the city's accommodations offer basic amenities, with homestays being the most common.
We stayed at the Max Boutique hotel during our visit, which we recommend. We liked how centrally located it was, as well as how clean the rooms and beds were.
If you want to spend a few days exploring the area around the Ban Gioc waterfall, we recommend staying at the Khuoi Ky stone village, which is about 2 kilometers away. Rock plays an important role in the life of the local community because it is located in an area of abundant limestone. Thus making this ancient village from the Tay ethnic minority a truly unique place to stay.
We stayed at Minh Khang Homestay, which was the oldest homestay in the ancient village, during our trip. The hosts are the family's 8th generation and we recommend staying with them. The homestay is simple but has everything you need to make your stay enjoyable.
And that’s the guide to visiting Ban Gioc waterfall from Hanoi!
We hope we've answered all of your questions regarding the best way to get from Hanoi to Ban Gioc waterfalls. If seeing the falls has been on your bucket list, you should visit soon before it gets too crowded.
Let us know if you have any other questions in the comment section below.
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