Ba Be Lake and travelling onwards (13-17 Feb)
Trip Start Jan 01, 2008
87Trip End Dec 29, 2008
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Where I stayed
Duy Tho Guesthouse
Ba Be is Vietnam's largest natural lake and is at the centre of an extensive National Park. The park and the surrounding area is limestone country, so lakes, waterfalls, caves and unusual rock formations abound. The whole area is richly forested and home to many ethnic minority communities. The scenery was stunning even in the cold and damp weather and we spent the whole day exploring the vast lake (8kms long) on a longtail boat, seeing no other tourists at all, just oone or two fisherman along the way
The following day, a local took us on a guided walk - we had a choice of 28 km or 7km and we chose the 7km route. This was practically an uphill climb all the way and was really hard work, but once again the scenery was amazing and we saw some very remote village homes at the height of the walk before returniong to our homestay and wandering off alone to a few other places here and there.
We stayed in a local homestay, where all the meals were cooked by the family and were some of the best food we tried in the whole of Vietnam. The homestay was built of wood on stilts and all the rooms were upstairs - including the open fire in the kitchen (for cooking) on. The family were really nice and the host insisted on supplying us with copious quantities of a rice wine complete with a vial of Snake Bile in it, to help us keep warm. According to the owner of the house it is to "fortify" us men - can't say I noticed any particualr effects! Our bedroom consisted of a pile of quilts on a floor with more quilts piled on to to keep us warm. Quite chilly but cosy at the same time.
Afterwards, we had along drive back to Hanoi Airport for our flight to Da Nang for an overnight stop before heading onwards to Hue by train