The site ranges in altitude from 150 to 1,098 m. The geology of the area is predominantly limestone, with numerous rugged peaks and deep, steep-sided river valleys. The limestone karst landscape contains many caves, the largest being the 300 metre-Long Phuong cave, through which the Nang river passes.
Be lakes (three lakes) is on the height of 145 meters above the sea level, it is composed of 3 smaller lakes linked together, Ba Be is the biggest natural lakes in Vietnam. The lake is 8 km long, 3 km wide and 20-30 meters deep with a total area of more than 500 ha. It is located among a vast range of limestone mountains and surrounded by dense jungles. Around the lakes are caves and grottoes of all sizes, underground streams and waterfalls.
As an eco tourism site, Ba Be lakes is amongst the complex of Ba Be National Park with 21 attractive points such as Bat Cave, Puong Grotto, Fairy Pond, Dau Dang waterfall and the Nang river which ferry tourists from the town of Cho Ra district, Bac Can town to the center of the lakes. If travelling on the path along the rivers, tourists would be surprised to see children playing with wild pigs, these pigs are caught by local people from the forest when they are small.
With an area of 23.000 hectares, National Park Ba Be is a precious natural heritage. This is a system of primary forest on limestone mountains, surrounded the blue lake. Here there are 417 plant species and 299 animal species with a spine. There are many kinds of rare animals like land phoenix, wild chicken, monkeys of all kinds.
Dau Dang waterfall is the meeting point between Nang river and Tuyen Quang province. The fall is about 2 km long, it is where the river is blocked by rocks of all sizes overlapping each other over a slope of 500 meters, forming a spectacular waterfall, here also appears Chien fish, some weigh over 10 kg, which is very rare today.
Ao Tien (Fairy Pond) is a small lake, up about 3 hectares is located on top of the mountain. Being surrounded by tropical forests, climate here is very cool and fresh. Legend has it that this is where fairies from heaven would come bathing and playing chess
Puong Grotto is on the Nang river, it was formed by water coming through a limestone mountain. The grotto is 200 meters long with an average height of 25-30 m with a variety of stalagmites and stalagtites of all shapes. the cave is home to hundreds of thousands of bat. The cave is really a particularly unique and attractive point.
Pac Ngoi village of the Tay minority group lies on the side of the lake, it is a small village of around 60 families who live on rice corn cultivation. The stilt houses are beautifully located on the hill sides. Tourists to this area all take a boat trip to visit the lakes, enjoy spectacular scenery of islands among the wild nature
How to get there
Ba Be lakes is in Cho Ra district, Bac Can province, around 250 km from Hanoi. The only means of transport is by car or public buses. From Hanoi, people can catch a bus to Bac Can town, from here there are other buses which run to Cho Ra district which is about 40 km away.