Historic and picturesque Cao Bang

Cao Bang Province, about 286 kilometers north of Hanoi, has a landscape that begs exploration and a history that demands looking back at.

The province is famous for Pac Po Cave, Ban Gioc Waterfall and Lenin Stream.

We came to Cao Bang in the late noon. The highlands city was not too noisy as the Bac Giang River starts to roar in the early rainy season. When we were there it was the dry season so there was silence.

Cao Bang  is about 200 meters high above sea level but some areas of the province reaches about 600 meters to 1,300 meters near the border.

After taking a lunch of wild pork and wild vegetables, we headed to Pac Po Cave where we spent an entire day. The cave is in a rugged rocky mountain, about 55 kilometers north of Cao Bang Township.

Pac Po means a mouth where hundreds of streams flow, so the cave has many smaller limestone caverns and fresh streams. Uncle Ho lived in one of the caverns. His cave is eight meters long and five meters wide with many holes to let in sunlight and fresh air. Lit by one of these rays of light was a large rock which the tour guide said was the bed and desk of Uncle Ho.

Near the cave is Karl Marx Mountain and below the mountain is a perfectly clear spring which the former President named Lenin. In front of the cave is a 1,000 square meter yard that is shaded by old trees.

Leaving Pac Po Cave to return to Cao Bang Township, we came to Ban Gioc Waterfall in Dam Thuy Commune early in the morning next day. The roar of the water hitting the cliffs could be heard kilometers away. We had heard it in Trung Khanh so we were keen to see it.

Rafts cruised under the thirty meter tall waterfall that divides into three. At the foot of the falls is a large river, as smooth as glass, lined by different flowers.