Cao Bang location mapGeneral Information

Located in the Northeast of Vietnam, Cao Bang is a mountainous province with 6,707.6 km2 of natural land area, including 12 districts and 01 provincial city and 199 villages, towns. The province is adjacent to Guangxi (China) in the north and the north-east, to Tuyen Quang Province and Ha Giang Province in the west, to Bac Kan and Lang Son Provinces to the south. Cao Bang is considerably remarked as the land of revolutionary traditions of Vietnamese people. Visiting Cao Bang on a tour to Northern Vietnam, visitors have a chance to travel back to the Vietnamese heroic historical period through the stories about every place, every forest and every road which all associated with the early stages of Vietnamese revolutionary history and the President Ho Chi Minh’s life. It’s not over exaggerated to describe Cao Bang as the place of grand history, stunning wild beauty, and diverse cultural heritage.

Cao Bang is a border highland with the terrain of mostly mountains and limited land for habitation. Mountainous forests account for more than 90% of the province area. There are 3 distinct areas within the province, including the eastern area with many rock mountains, the western area with limestone and mountains, and the southwestern area with earth mountains and dense forests. The Ban Gioc Waterfall is the most famous natural destination in the province. Gam River in the west and Bang River in the center are the two largest rivers in the area, which have formed the Peninsular valley of the Cao Bang Province. Besides, there are some other rivers like Quay Son, Bac Vong, Nho Que, Nang river or Hien river.

Cao Bang Weather

Cao Bang has a temperate climate with 4 distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter. The average temperature is 25oC – 28oC in summer and 16oC – 17oC in winter. There is probably snowfall on high mountains such as Trung Khanh, Tra Linh.

Cao Bang weather - Cao Bang Travel Guide
Weather in Cao Bang

Ethnic Minorities in Cao Bang

Dao people in Cao Bang - Cao Bang Travel Guide
Dao people in Cao Bang

Cao Bang is the homeland of many ethnic groups living together such as Viet (Kinh), Tay, Nung, Dao, H’mong, San Chay, which make up a colorful picture of traditional culture. Tay group takes the majority part in ethnic minorities’ community. They have their own handwriting (Tay-Nung language group).

Getting to Cao Bang

There are some various bus companies providing bus services to Cao Bang both in the morning and in the evening. Ticket price is about VND 160,000 – 200,000 dong and it takes about 6-8 hours to Cao Bang. When you arrive at the bus station in Cao Bang, you can hire a taxi or motorcycle to the destinations or take a bus.

Getting around Cao Bang

To Ban Gioc Waterfall

Ban Gioc Waterfall - Cao Bang Travel Guide
Ban Gioc Waterfall

To get to Ban Gioc waterfall, you can catch a bus or go by motorbike. It is advisable to ask at the bus station or at the hotel for the bus timetable. Some can choose to rent a motorbike to be active in time and explore the fascinating places on the way.

To Ba Be National Park

It is about 130km from Cao Bang town to the park. You can ask the bus station or your hotel to buy a bus ticket to go to Phu Thong, then catch another bus to Cho Ra town, which is about 10km from the park. In there, you need to catch a motor taxi to Ba Be National Park. Apart from it, you can hire a motorbike to travel by yourself with a map tracking.

Where to Stay in Cao Bang

There are not many hotels in Cao Bang. In the city of Cao Bang, you can find the local hotels at a very reasonable rate of 10 to 20 USD per room per night.

It is highly recommended to book the hotels in advance. Here are some quality hotels in Cao Bang:

In the city center

  • Duc Trung Hotel

Address: No. 85, Be Van Dan Street

Phone number: 03853 026 424

  • Bang Giang Hotel

Address: No. 2 Kim Dong Street

Phone number: 026 431 3853

  • Hoang Anh Hotel

Address: No. 131, Kim Dong Street

Phone number: 03858 026 969

  • Anh Duong Hotel

Address: No. 78, Kim Dong Street

Phone number: 03858 026 467

  • Hoang Long Hotel

Address: No. 51 Kim Dong Street

Phone number: 03855 026 178

In Trung Khanh District

  • Le Hoan Guesthouse: 026.826221 / 0915425531
  • Thien Tai Guesthouse near the market: 026.3826537
  • Dinh Van Guesthouse near the market: 026.3602789

Near Ban Gioc Waterfall

  • Van Dinh 2 Guesthouse: 0263.82.80.82

What to See in Cao Bang

Ban Gioc Waterfall

The imposing Ban Gioc Waterfall - Cao Bang Travel Guide
The imposing Ban Gioc Waterfall

Spreading out on the border with China, Ban Gioc Waterfall is no doubt the number one attraction in Cao Bang with the 4th rank in size among the largest waterfalls in the world. It is a cannot-miss natural landscape when traveling to Vietnam. Ban Gioc Waterfall is over 200m wide and the water crashes from a height of 70m over 3 sections, which creates an imposing and poetic scenery and a mighty roar echoing across the land like the call from the past. The cascading water set against the back of the immense mountain is a uniquely captivating sight.

Nguom Ngao cave

Nguom Ngao cave - Cao Bang Travel Guide
Nguom Ngao cave

Ban Gioc Waterfall and Nguom Ngao Cave discovery is the un-missed combo for a trip to Cao Bang. Nguom Ngao Cave is just a short distance from Ban Gioc, stretching over 2 km with 3 doors: Nguom Ngao and Ban Lom Nguom Nguom. The cave is abundant in stalactites and stalagmites in differing shapes and sizes. Their forms appear from the cliff face and depict mythical creatures or magical scenes.

The name itself comes from Tay language which roughly means ‘Tiger Cave’. Tay people believe that there used to be tigers inhabiting the cave and catching pets. When exploring the cave, people were surprised at the amazingly beautiful scenes of rock formations.

Thang Hen Lake

Thang Hen Lake - Cao Bang Travel Guide
Thang Hen Lake

Thang Hen Lake is a freshwater lake in a tranquil valley in the middle of rocky and forested mountains in the commune of Quoc Toan in the Tra Linh district of the province of Cao Bang.

The lake’s name in Tay’s language means bee tail as the lake looks like the bee tail when looking down. In the sunny days, the brightness from the sun seems to make the blue turquoise and the green trees deeper. Visiting here on a trip to Vietnam, visitors can take a voyage around the lake on small wooden boats waiting on the shores.

Pac Bo Cave

Pac Bo Cave - Cao Bang Travel Guide
Pac Bo Cave

Pac Bo Cave has a particular historical meaning in the national revolution in Vietnam. The relic belongs to the commune of Pac Bo in Ha Quang district or at 55km from the north of the city of Cao Bang.

Visitors can have a chance to learn about a heroic stage in Vietnam history through a lot of vestiges: memorial house of Uncle Ho, Pac Bo cave, Lung Lan cave, Cave of Nguom Vai source of Lenin, Stone table where Uncle Ho worked, etc.

In the past, Uncle Ho used to spend his days writing poetry and reading and translating the texts of leaders he admired.

What to Eat in Cao Bang

1. Peng Ray

Peng Ray - Cao Bang Travel Guide
Peng Ray

Peng Ray in Tay’s language means egg cake. It is a seasonal food for Tay community in Cao Bang. In April or May, Tay people usually go to the jungle and collect ant’s eggs, bring back and make a delicious cake with it. The ingredients include flour, ant’s eggs, and fig leaves. This cake impresses visitors by the fat of eggs, the flavor of onions, and the fresh taste of fig leaves.

2. Sour pho of Cao Bang

Cao Bang sour pho - Cao Bang Travel Guide
Cao Bang sour pho

Cao Bang Sour Noodle Soup is the specialty of Cao Bang. The noodle is ductile, which combines with the bacon fat, duck and other seasonings and herbs.

This food can make appetizers addicted after three times enjoying it.

3. Trung Khanh chestnut

Trung Khanh chestnut - Cao Bang Travel Guide
Trung Khanh chestnut

Trung Khanh is the famous place which can provide the most delicious fruit in all country. If you visit Cao Bang in late autumn, you will have an opportunity to try this food.

Chestnut is brown and plump. The smallest one is like the big toe with hard shells. It can be boiled, steamed or cooked, which the best way to keep the natural scent.