Mountains, Waterfalls and CavesOctober 27, 2017 in Vietnam
So we obviously did not drink enough of the corn wine last night as the firm mattress and sounds of the countryside won against our sleep. Up just after sunrise for a surprisingly hot shower before homemade pancakes, bananas and honey. We said goodbye to the host family and drove even further north, stopping at a village known for forging. We got to watch the blacksmiths at work making knives (with no ear defenders, eye protection, gloves or even shoes).
Our next stop was the Ban Gioc–Detian Falls, a huge waterfall straddling the Vietnam-China border. It consists of multiple smaller waterfalls creating an impressive display. We were able to walk around and get some pictures before boarding a wooden raft which took us closer until we were in the spray. Long enjoyed borrowing our cameras to take photos before hiding under a lifejacket from the spray.
Next we were taken to Nguom Ngao Cave, which translates to Tiger Cave as there used to be many tigers in the area and locals believed they lived in this cave. Long took us inside, around a kilometre of impressive stalactites and stalagmites.
We had a long drive to Ba Be National Park, stopping for lunch and to enjoy the views down Snake Pass. When we arrived in the park Long told us about the ethnic minorities that live within it and how livelihoods have changed from fishing-based to tourism (mostly Vietnamese from the cities). We got to Ba Be Lake where we quickly changed into our swimwear and got a boat out to a small island where we then jumped in for a swim. Long directed us up the island to a place we could jump off from, it was about 5m high but felt more like 50m. It was a great way to cool off and stretch our legs after a long drive. We clambered back into the boat and were taken the rest of the way to our next homestay - Mr Linh's.
After showering and a beer we sat down for dinner, another array of foods was laid out in front of us, including some purple sweet potatoes and green sliced pumpkin. Once full we headed up to our room to relax and get an early night (the mattress feels a little more promising tonight).Read more