Ban Gioc Waterfalls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls that I have ever seen and is on most top 10 list of waterfalls of the world. The falls is fed by the Quay Son River that marks the border between Vietnam and China. It is the largest waterfall in Asia and the fourth largest in the world along a national border after Iguazu Falls, Victoria Falls and Niagara Falls.
This series of cascading waterfalls is located about 200 miles north of Hanoi, Vietnam. It is located in the remote province of Cao Bang and the landscape of the drive to the waterfalls is filled with beautifully dramatic scenery.
The Ban Gioc Waterfalls is still relatively unknown to the tourist circuit and is not crowded making the waterfall even more impressive because you might have the entire place to yourself. We visited for two days and we literally had the waterfalls to ourselves for periods of time and when other did show up there were just a few people at a time and they didn’t stay too long.
The waterfalls are more than 800 feet wide with a drop of 98 feet and consists of two sections which can be seen in the photo below. The right side is a multiple cascaded drops from the top to the bottom of the falls while the left side is a single drop. The two sides have completely different effects but they are both beautiful as they are surrounded by lush tropical jungle.
The right side seems to get more attention as it is wider with more cascaded drops and more water paths dropping. This side is where the river continues to flow and can be accessed from both Vietnam and China.
There are no bad views of the waterfall but I think the best view is from the middle of the river. Small boats are available that take passengers close enough to the waterfalls that you will feel like you are taking a shower in the mist created from the waterfall. The boat is powered with an on deck motor using a long shaft and a small prop that is held just below the surface of the water.
The left side of the waterfall is less popular but I think it is equally beautiful. This side of the waterfall is easy to walk right next to the fall and there are sever places that make for spectacular photos but this side can only be accessed from Vietnam.
People at the Falls
There were never many people at Ban Gioc Waterfall during our two day stay but the beauty of the waterfalls makes for a stunning backdrop for great photos. Some people that come to the falls dress in traditional Vietnam clothing to create an even more iconic photo.
The waterfall is a tourist attraction that people come to visit but the local people in the small towns also use the river and you may see some people using bamboo rafts and bamboo poles to cross the river.
The Ban Gioc Waterfalls is in a very remote location within Vietnam but once you reach the northern border it is easy to access the falls themselves. I think the Ban Gioc Waterfalls are among the most beautiful waterfalls in the world and there really were no crowds during the time that we visited.
My time at the waterfalls made me feel like I was in an Asian paradise. The hills surrounding the falls are beautiful and green, just in front of the falls are rice fields, water buffalo are grazing in nearby fields and there are several places with large clusters of bamboo. If you could imagine the perfect Asian nature setting, this would be it.
The right side of the falls gets most of the attention and it truly is spectacular but the left side is more accessible and I think they are just as picturesque. There is a small lake in front of the falls and the rocks are covered in tropical vegetation which makes for an amazing setting.
The Ban Gioc Waterfall will always be one of my favorite travel experience, natural beauty at its best!