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Ban Gioc Waterfall in early winter

Ban Gioc is the world's fourth-largest waterfall among those on the border between Vietnam and ChinaTrung Khanh District of Cao Bang Province has its treasures in every season. The beginning of winter is dubbed Ban Gioc’s golden time for visitors when the rice paddies at the foot of Ban Gioc Waterfall reach their glorious peak, drowning the whole area in yellow hues.

The shiny golden hues of ripe rice grains, the glistening blue Quay Son River, and the white cascade of Ban Gioc Waterfall blend perfectly together to create stunningly picturesque scenery. On sunny days, travellers will be mesmerized by the beauty of the rainbow lighting up the top of the waterfall. The charm of cascading rainbows created by dawnlight and water droplets embellished with vegetation and green moss at the foot of the waterfall is a rich source of inspiration for many artists, photographers, and travellers to cultivate their talents.

Located at the heart of the Non Nuoc Cao Bang UNESCO Global Geopark, Ban Gioc is the world’s fourth-largest waterfall among those on the border between Vietnam and China. The waterfall cascades down the Quay Son River, featuring turquoise shades of blue and crystal-clear water. When visitors take a boat trip upstream to reach the foot of the waterfall, they will be overwhelmed by the spectacular beauty of the landscape, the sound of the waterfall pouring down constantly, and the bright sunshine glowing in the water.

Just around four kilometers from Ban Gioc Waterfall, Nguom Ngao Cave is one of the must-visit destinations in Trung Khanh District. The cave was formed about 300 million years ago inside a mountain and was found in 1921. Last year, the ceremony marking 100 years of the Nguom Ngao Cave’s discovery was organized by the Cao Bang Province’s authority. Inside the cave are various stalactites and stalagmites with unique shapes like lotuses, hair streams, and magnificent palaces. It takes at least an hour and a half for visitors to explore this mysterious 2,144 meter maze.

Khuoi Ky ancient stone village is part of Ban Gioc Waterfall tourist area, located right on the way to the Nguom Ngao Cave. Khuoi Ky means “small streams” in the Tay language. According to historical data, the village was formed in the Mac Dynasty (1594-1677) when the army went to the border area to set up defensive fortresses. All the houses were made entirely of stone, typical of the architecture of the indigenous Tay people’s stilt houses.
Khuoi Ky village spans an area of around 10,000 square meters with 14-15 stone houses, of which the yinyang tiled  houses are ancient ones, while the rest has been upgraded to serve tourists as homestays. “The stone stilt houses are warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Despite the earthquake a few years ago, the wall of the house has been still intact,” said Nong Tho, the owner of Quang Thuan Homestay in the village. With adequate investment and appropriate planning, the village will promisingly become an exciting destination with its fairyland-like beauty in Trung Khanh District.

Near Ban Gioc Waterfall has located another unique tourist attraction, the Truc Lam Ban Gioc Pagoda. Since its inauguration end of 2014, the pagoda has not only been a spiritual place for visitors but also offered spiritual protection for the country. Resting its back on the Phia Nham Mountain, the pagoda affords the front view of Ban Gioc Waterfall. Once travellers visit Truc Lam Ban Gioc, they will have a chance to hear the bell sounds of the pagoda, the souls of mountains and rivers there.

Cao Bang is a mountainous province of the northeast region. Cao Bang’s tourism is not busy with bustling activities and modern entertainment forms compared to other localities. Anyone visiting Cao Bang province, especially Ban Gioc Waterfall, will prefer to immerse themselves in nature, admire the breathtaking beauty of the landscape, and explore the local people’s lifestyle, cultural traits, customs, and habits.

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