Ban Gioc Waterfall, also known as Detian Falls or Ban Gioc Ducthien, is one of the most majestic natural attractions in Vietnam. It is the widest waterfall in Vietnam at 300 meters wide, and the fourth largest waterfall in the world that’s along a national border!
What makes Ban Gioc so special?
I thought this, too, when I first heard about the place. Why is this particular waterfall so popular? Let me try to describe it for you: The waterfall is 70 meters tall, cascading over a multi-tiered cliff, and separated by the lush greenery. Add that to the breathtaking backdrop and the friendly guides, it makes for one of the most surreal experiences in my life. The best part, at least for me, is that there aren’t a lot of tourists since it’s not a mainstream attraction (yet)! So, you can fully enjoy lounging around and taking in the view without having to walk elbow to elbow with everyone.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop gushing about the beauty of Ban Gioc (hence, this blog post), but it’s just one of those things that you’ll have to experience for yourself to truly understand what I mean!
Where is it located?
The Ban Gioc Waterfall is located on the Quay Son River which, as it happens, is located on the border between Vietnam and China. To be more specific, it’s located in between Trung Kanh District of Cao Bang Province and Daxin County in Guangxi, China.
When is the best time to visit?
Although it is possible to visit the falls year-round (trust me, I asked), it’s recommended not to visit during Vietnam’s rainy season, June to August. During this time, the river swells, the falls are merging together from the pressure, and it’s almost impossible to take photos of the falls without your camera getting wet. Bummer, I know.
You can, instead, visit during the dry season, September to October. The greenery around the area is at its most vibrant and the waters are a lot calmer.
How do I get there from Hanoi?
- Take a bus from My Dinh bus station (Nam Tu Liem district of Hanoi) heading to Cao Bang. This journey takes about 6-8 hours so I suggest taking the overnight bus.
- Next, take another bus heading to the falls which departs every 30 minutes from the morning until the afternoon. A one-way bus ride costs around 150 PHP or 3 USD, and it’ll take you about 1.5-2 hours to get to the falls.
via local bus
During the peak season, they arrange for tourist buses to take you to the falls. If you opt for the Vietnam local bus, it’ll basically be the same as the commute version except they pick you up from your hotel with an English-speaking guide. A one-way ride would cost you 25 USD, but it is a lot less of a hassle.
What do I do while I’m there?
- Take the most majestic Instagram photos. You can check my Ban Gioc photos here, here, and here!
- Ride a bamboo raft and get up close and personal with a waterfall. Warning: you will get wet!
- If there’s one thing that’ll make you feel like a mystical nymph, it’s swimming in a large river with the backdrop of cascading waterfall. So, if you wanna dive in, come close and let me tell you a little secret: you technically can’t swim in the river, but there usually isn’t anyone around to stop you. Just make sure to stick to the shallower pools and smaller falls.
How much will the trip cost me?
Let’s assume we are coming from Hanoi and then we’ll tally it up, shall we?
Your bus ride from Hanoi to Cao Bang will cost $8-12. Then, another bus ride from Cao Bang to the falls will cost you 3$. Next, the entrance fee is another $2. If you wanna ride, the raft to get closer to the waterfall, that’ll cost you another $2. The ride back to Hanoi will cost you about the same so:
12+3+2+2+3+12 = $34
That’s 34 USD or less than 790,000 VND (or approx. 1,720 PHP, if you’re too lazy to pull up a converter)! That’s an amazing deal, I mean, there are budget hotels that are more expensive that!
Now, if you opt to stay overnight at the falls, that’s an additional 10-14 USD or 500-700 PHP. But, you do get full board meals and, if you stay at the same one we did, they might even offer free bikes for you to get to the falls!
Should I visit Ban Gioc?
YES! A hundred times, yes! Why are you still here? Book a flight to Vietnam now! The falls are waiting for you!
Trying to figure out what other Asian destinations you should visit? Check out my other blog posts below!
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