Cao Bang Travel Guide : Everything you need to know about traveling Cao Bang

This is ultimate Cao Bang Travel Guide version 2021 by Hynam Travel with up-to-date information about how to get there and around, good restaurant to eat, where to stay in Cao Bang, Vietnam suggested itinerary and so on. Please check it out

The reason Hynam team write this article: after doing well-researched on the internet, we found that most of travel guide articles about Cao Bang written by travel agents who don’t provide in-depth information, just introduce some attractions in Cao Bang, not more than a destination guide, you don’t get what you want in terms of food, accommodation, where to stay and so on. So we decided to provide down to earth information which you can’t get from any other sites on the internet.

Even we are a travel agent but we DO NOT try to sell a tour, we would like to offer you everything you need for your trip to Cao Bang. On the other hand, the one who wrote this article is David, who has been working as local guide in Vietnam over 10 years, write from his personal experiences by taking tons of clients to Cao Bang 

Introduction to Cao Bang

Cao Bang Travel Map

Cao Bang Vietnam map

Where is Cao Bang?

Cao Bang is a mountainous border province in the North East of Vietnam, 280 kilometers ( 175 miles) or 6 hours drive from Hanoi. With 500,000 inhabitants are now living in the region, it is also home to lots of minority ethnic groups such as Tay, Nung, Dao, H’Mong, San Chay. Cao Bang is well-known for a stunning view of natural beauty with of magnificent Ban Gioc waterfall, wonderful Thang Hen lake,  numerous limestones karst mountains and caves, historical sites of Pac Bo cave where Uncle had lived several years after 30 years travelling around the world.

With cultural identity, a variety of natural resources, what makes Cao Bang a well-known tourist attraction in the North East of Vietnam for any visitors who love nature and adventure travel.

Cao Bang weather – Best time to travel Cao Bang

Cao Bang weather is divided into two distinct seasons: the rainy season from April to September, dry season from October to March of the following year.

If you plan to go to Ban Gioc waterfall, August and September is the best time to go because of plenty of water, which make a gorgeous waterfall

If you are a fan of flower watching, November is the best time to come during the blooming season of buckwheat flower.

If you like watching the snow, from November to February for Cao Bang weather, is the best time to see in the area of Pia Oac forest when it comes to low temperature.

Summer time is from May to August may not a good time to see Cao Bang due to hot weather which may effect your trip.

How to get to Cao Bang from Hanoi?

By Limousine Dcar

It is properly the best choice for travelers with a really comfortable seat. You’d better ask a Vietnamese friend or a hotel staff to call the company in order to reserve a seat, ask for pick up address and so on because most of the transfer service companies don’t speak English.

Ticket rate can be changed without prior notice

Kim Dung limousine


Hanoi to Cao Bang : 6.00am, 11.30am, 15.30pm

Cao Bang to Hanoi: 7.30am, 11.30am, 15.30am

Ticket rate : 280.000VND per person

Hotline : 0766199499

Duration : 6.5 hours

Thuan An Limousine

Pick up address: Icon 4 tower in Kim Ma street near Hanoi University of Transport and Communications

Duration : 6 to 7 hours

Ticket rate : 6 front seats : 280.000VND per person, 3 back seats : 260.000VND per person

They do offer pick up and drop off at Noi Bai airport with the rate is 320.000VND per person.

Hotline :  0889.162.998


From both cities, Hanoi and Cao Bang : 7.00am, 12.00pm and 16.00pm

Duc Cuong Limousine


From Hanoi to Cao Bang : 6.30am

From Cao Bang to Hanoi : 7.20am

Pick up location: For those who are staying in Hanoi Old Quarter, please take a taxi to Tran Khat Tran street, which is 20 minutes drive from Hanoi Old Quarter.

Ticket rate : 03 back seats and 02 front seats: 220.000VND per person

04 middle seats: 240.000VND per person

Hotline : 0985.85.12.85, 0387.727.727

Hanoi to Cao Bang by sleeping bus

Most of the buses depart from My Dinh bus station. There are several companies offers transfer services by sleeping bus to Cao Bang. The option of taking a sleeping bus is suitable for those who would like to save an overnight accommodation.  Please see followings below for details

Hey Travel Bus

It might be the best choice among sleeping buses to Cao Bang. They do have new modern sleeping bus, 34 seats instead of 40 seats like other companies. There is a mini bar on the bus with cold drink all the time.

Hotline: 024.32.444.333 – 024. 326. 66.333

Pick up address: In Hanoi : 282 Tran Khat Chan street

In Cao Bang: No 112 – Living Quarter 5, Bang Xuan Ward, Cao Bang city

Schedule: 20.00 pm from both cities Hanoi and Cao Bang

Vinh Dung sleeping bus


From Hanoi to Cao Bang : 14.30pm, 15.00pm, 20.30pm, 21.00pm, 21.30pm,22.00pm

From Cao Bang to Hanoi : 20.30pm

Hotline : 0973755755, 02063755755

Khoa Man sleeping bus

From Hanoi to Cao Bang : 19.00pm

From Cao Bang to Hanoi : 20.00pm

This bus departs from Nuoc Ngam bus station in Hanoi.

Hotline : 0936.971688

Ticket rate : 200.000VND

Thanh Ly sleeping bus

They do offer their services in My Dinh and Gia Lam bus station. Gia Lam station is closer to Hanoi Old Quarter.

Ticket rate : 200.000VND per person

Hotline : 0906.077.077 – 0812.020.888

Bon Hai sleeping bus


From My Dinh bus station to Cao Bang : 19.50pm

From Gia Lam bus station to Cao Bang : 20.00pm

From Giap Bat bus station to Cao Bang : 19.30pm and 20.00pm

Ticket rate : 200.000VND per person

Hotline : 0948.42.42.42

Pro tips for taking shuttle or sleeping bus to Cao Bang

  • In order to avoid the scam, please go to ticket booth inside the station, check the company name and buy it directly.
  • If you are taking during peak seasons such as May Day, New Year, Vietnamese Lunar New Year. You’d better make a phone call to reserve a seat to avoid disappointment
  • Choose a seat right behind a driver is the best and also the safest one
  • Take care of your personal belongings
  • Check the price at the stopover on the way for buying snacks, fruits, food
  • Ask someone to check where do they drop off in Cao Bang and how far will it take from your hotel to the drop off location. In my opinion, check with your hotel in Cao Bang city who know at it best.

Hanoi to Cao Bang by motorbike

There are 2 routes to get to Cao Bang by motorbike

Route 1 : From Hanoi Old Quarter, drive to Thanh Tri bridge, then going to new national highway 3 to Thai Nguyen, at the round bound, take a left turn to Bac Kan, going straight to Cao Bang city.

Please click here for details

Taking this route, you’d better combine with Ba Be national park for 1 or 2 nights staying there.

Route 2 : Hanoi – Lang Son – Cao Bang

From Hanoi, follow the highway 1 to Lang Son, keep going to Dong Dang then turn into highway 4 via That Khe, Dong Khe to Cao Bang city

Please click here for details

If you are taking this route, you might stay in Lang Son for 2 nights for going around. A day trip around Lang Son city to see Tam Thanh, Nhi Thanh cave, hiking to local peaks, eating local food. And another day for Mau Son mountain.

How to get to Cao Bang from Lang Son 

The best way to get from Lang Son to Cao Bang is to travel on a motorbike for a distance of 126 kilometers (79 miles) which takes almost 3 hours. 

Alternatively, local bus is another choice with the following schedule from Lang Son : 6.15 am, 12.00pm, it costs 100k to 130k per ticket with a journey of 3.5 hours. 

If it is no big deal for money matter then going on a taxi or private car is a good choice, the rate ranges from $60 to $70 USD. 

How to get around Cao Bang

By local bus

Local bus to Ban Gioc Waterfall

Bus to Ban Gioc waterfall 2020

Bus to Ban Gioc waterfall

Bus 03 + 07: Cao Bang – Quang Uyen – Trung Khanh – Ban Gioc

Schedule : 5.00am to 17.15pm in every 30 minutes

You need to take first the bus no 3 to Quang Uyen and take the number 7 to get to Ban Gioc waterfall

Ticket rate : 70.000VND per person

From Cao Bang :6.30am, 7.30am, 9.30am,11.30am, 13.30pm, 15.30pm.

From Ban Gioc Waterfall :  6.15am , 8.00am, 13.30pm,14.30pm .

Contact number: Mr Hop 0979.371.923, Mr Thanh: 0988.007.846; Mr Luan: 0975.070.377

Bus to Pac Bo historical site

+ From Cao Bang to Ha Quang : Depart from 5.30am to 17.30pm every day, every 1 hour Companies Hien Hau bus: 0984 505 663 Linh Lieu bus 0912 866 210 Tho Chuyen bus 01663 001 666 Duc Lan bus 0919 768 303

Bus to Tra Linh town or Thang Hen lake

From 7.00am to 17.00pm, every 1 hour

Address of Cao Bang bus station (New one)

Address: Group 21, De Tham Ward, Highway 3, Cao Bang city Telephone : 088 956 58 59

Getting around Cao Bang by taxi

You can easily get around Cao Bang by taxi. Here comes some local taxi agents

Vinh Viet taxi :  0206 3851 851

Huong Sen taxi :  0206 382 82 82

Bao Tram taxi 0206 3850 850

Vinh Dung taxi : 0206 3755 755

Duc Ngoc taxi :  0206 379 79 79

Mai Linh taxi : (02066)58 58 58.

Among these choices, Mai Linh is still the best according to its reputation all over Vietnam. If you are staying in a taxi or hotel, ask the hotel staff to help to arrange one for you.

By motorbike

There are several motorbike rental shops to choose from. You are asked to deposit your passport. However, if you use this service at your accommodation is an exception.  

Phuong Hai motorbike rental

Address : 159 Kim Dong Street, Hop Giang Ward, Cao Bang

Mobile : 0915.356.995, 0984.284.901

Mr Quy- Motorbike rental in Cao Bang

Mobile : 0888 067 899

Address : No 28, Living Quarter 29, Vuon Cam street, Hop Giang Ward, Cao Bang

Rate : 150.000VND per day for a gear motorbike and 300.000VND per day for a scooter. All rate above excludes gasoline

Mr Loc – Motorbike for rent

Address : Living Quarter 23, Song Bang Ward, Cao Bang

Mobile : 0985.161.999

Mr Kien : Motorbike for rent 

Address : 211 Kim Dong Street, Hop Giang Ward

An ideal location near the old bus station.

Rate : 200.000VND to 250.000VND per day excludes gasoline

Pro Tips for hiring a motorbike in Cao Bang

  • If you aren’t experienced at motorbike riding, a scooter is the best choice. If you are professional, you should hire a gear one.
  • Please check the rate if you want to hire for 2 days trip including overnight fee or not
  • Always ask for 2 helmets
  • Ask for a route map or tourist map of Cao Bang if possible
  • Check if they deliver motorbikes to your hotel: 60,000VND extra
  • If you are a group from 3 people above, taxi or car for rent might be affordable and more comfortable.

Where to stay in Cao Bang

There is a cluster of hotels, homestays in Cao Bang downtown bases on your budget to choose from. You can easily book on

What I suggest you is to spend 1 night in the city and 1 night in a homestay in Ban Gioc area where you can stay with a local family to learn more about the lives of minority ethnic group, eat local Vietnamese food and enjoy rustic beauty of mountainous regions. Recommendations for a homestay in Ban Gioc Area is down below

In the city area

Jeanne hotel

Located in the heart of Cao Bang city, near the riverbank, 2 minutes walk to the street food area, 4 minutes walk to the bus station, 3 minutes walk to the central square. All rooms are equipped with free Wifi access, flat LCD tivi, cable tivi, mini bar to make your comfortable stay. Their rooms are with street, river or mountain view.

Note : There is no breakfast served in this hotel

Address: 99 Kim Dong St, Hop Giang Ward, Cao Bang

Rating : 2 stars hotel

Room rate: 500.000VND per person per night ($23)

Hotline : 091 213 01 26

Hung Thinh hotel

Located a bit away from the heart of Cao Bang. There is a stream and a suspension bridge behind the hotel. An advantage of this hotel is spacious rooms with 30 square meters, a strong signal of wifi access. If you are looking for a little hotel for a short stay, then it is fine.

Note : There is no breakfast for this hotel

Room rate : $11 per room per night

Hotline : 091 985 61 36

Address: Living Quarter 7, Song Bang Ward, Cao Bang

Max boutique hotel

This is properly the best choice among hotels in Cao Bang. This 3 stars hotel with a premier location, 3 minutes walk to the biggest market in Cao Bang city, the same distance to the well-known Bang Giang bridge, 10 minutes walk to a central bus station.

There are 45 rooms with modern design in order to make your comfortable and cozy stay. All room are equipped with air condition, TV with an internet connection, high-speed wifi, minibar and so on. The rooms is either with river view or street view.

Note : There is breafast included in this hotel .

Address : 177 Vuon Cam Street, Hop Giang Ward, Cao Bang city

Room rate : $25 for a standard room

Hotline : 083 978 1555

There are two others 3 stars hotel which you might take a look called Thanh Loan hotel and Sunny hotel.

Duc Trung hotel

Situated in a quiet street, walking distance to the center. Some of the rooms have nice view from the windows.

Note : Please note that there is an elementary school behind the hotel. It will be a bit noisy during weekdays from Monday to Friday because of the students sing and dance.

There is no breakfast for this hotel

Room rate : $27 per room per night

Address : 85 Be Van Dan street, Hop Giang Ward, Cao Bang city

Hotline :  0206 3853 424

Duong Ha hotel

This is a pretty good boutique hotel in Cao Bang area. Located in the heart of Cao bang, off the main road, walking distance to the central bus station. The staff is helpful, friendly.

Do recommend for budget traveler to Cao Bang.

They do offer scooters, car rental service

Address: No 36, Living Quarter 16, Song Bang Ward, Cao Bang

Hotline : 0206 6265 555

Room rate : $16 per room per night

Homestay in Cao Bang city area

There are a couple of good homestays in Cao Bang area as the following information

Cao Bang Eco Homestay

It is the best homestay in Cao Bang city. Located in a quiet alleyway away from bustle and hustle of the city. They offer both private rooms and dorm beds. Breakfast is included in the room rate. Having lunch and dinner with The local family is at extra cost. This is a memorable experience which you shouldn’t  miss

Address : Street 3/10 No 24, Hamlet 23, Song Bang Ward, Cao Bang

Hotline : +84868252168 (whatsapp)

Primrose homestay Cao Bang

Good location, 800 meters from central bus station. Very friendly and helpful host.

Address : No 18, Hong Viet street, Hop Giang ward, Cao Bang

Hotline : 0983994869 – Mrs Anh

Room rate :  $6 for a dorm bed, $12 for a private room

Where to stay in Quang Uyen Area, near Ban Gioc Waterfall

Kieu Chinh Homestay

Located in a quiet village, away from the noise, 1-hour drive from Cao bang city, 1 hour from Pac Bo historic cave. There are nearby bars, Catholic churches, restaurants and 300 years old knife making the village of Phuc Sen. The homestay offer home-cooked lunch and dinner with simple Vietnamese dishes such as fresh vegetables, spring roll, fried egg and so on

Please note that the host doesn’t speak English but you can communicate with them by sign language. The homestay is cold during winter time from Nov to Feb, it is sometimes 5 degree, you might take 3 blankets to warm up

Hotline : 090 325 81 23

Address: 95 Hong Thai, Quang Uyen

Mr Kim Homestay

This is a house on stilt, lies on a preserved traditional village. It is really peaceful out here nearby a rice paddy field. The host is helpful and friendly. You will be staying on the second floor with 20 mattresses with pillows, a mosquito net, a lamp and an electricity socket.

The host offer breakfast included in the room rate. Lunch and dinner is optional at extra cost.

Address: Phia Thap village, Quang Dan, Quyen Uyen, Cao Bang

Phone no : 097 595 64 88

Rate : Dorm bed $5 per dorm bed, $12 for a private room per night with daily breakfast included

There are several good homestays you can take a look in Ban Gioc Waterfall area such as Mei Linh’s homestay, Khuoi Ky homestay, Truong Giang homestay, Minh Khang homestay.

The rate ranges from 200.000VND to 300.000VND per person per night includes breakfast

Saigon tourist resort in Ban Gioc

This is the best choice for those who like a comfortable stay in Ban Gioc area. This is a 4 stars resort with 50 rooms. There is an onsite spa, restaurant, playing ground for kids

Good for: Family with kids, couple

Room rate : $45 per room per night

Address: Ban Gioc village, Dam Thuy commune Trung Khanh dist, Cao Bang

Tel: 0206 3829228

Hotline: 0915 424 228

Accommodation in Bao Lac Dist

Viet Hoang, Duc Anh, Duc Tai is the best choice among hotels in Bao Lac area

Room rate ranges from $8 to $17 per private room

Things to do and see in Cao Bang

Check out the top attractions in Cao Bang with lots of interesting things to do in Cao Bang which attracts you to spend several days in the area

Ban Gioc : The best waterfall in Cao Bang, Vietnam

Things to do in Cao Bang

Boat ride in Ban Gioc waterfall – A highlight of a trip to Cao Bang

The top choice for a tourist attraction and a must-see for all travelers in Cao Bang area. It is the biggest waterfall in South East Asia with magnificent beauty.The water is 200 meters wide, falling 35 meters which makes gorgeous view It is located on Quay Son river, share the border between Vietnam and China. You can take a bamboo raft on a river is amazing things to do, valued at 300.000VND per private boat

Entrance fee : 45.000VND per person

Please note that you need permission to visit the waterfalls. Nowadays,, you can just buy a ticket valued at $2 at the ticket booth. They might sometime ask for your passport.

Truc Lam Phat Tich Buddhist temple

Cao Bang Attractions

Zen Buddhism Pagoda near Ban Gioc waterfall

Only 500 meters from Ban Gioc waterfall, hiking on the steeped steps to reach the pagoda. You are able to see a panoramic view of Ban Gioc waterfall, lush green rice paddy field.

The pagoda was designed after the Vietnamese traditional style with rosewood, tile roof. Highlight of the pagoda is a bell house with a bell over 1.5 tons weight and other structures includes : three reception gate, statue of Kwan Ying (Lady Buddha), a house of buddha patriarch, Vietnamese mother goddess temple, Saint Tran altar (worshipping the well-known general Tran Hung Dao, who defeated Mongolian in 13rd century), Buddha garden of Eden, a temple of Nung Tri Cao, a national hero, who was a leader of locals with a great talent in army and diplomat, led the locals to protect Vietnamese Northern border.

This is a cool place to check out if you are traveling to Ban Gioc waterfall.

Nguom Ngao grotto

Nguom Ngao Grotto

Nguom Ngao Grotto – An awesome limestone cave in Cao Bang

Only 3 kilometers from Ban Gioc waterfall, the cave is divided into 3 chambers, known as the most beautiful caves in Vietnam with incredible stalagmites and stalactites in various shapes like the boat, silver water, upside down lotus flower tower. According to scientists, the limestone cave was formed 300 million years ago. The total length is 2 kilometers but 1 kilometer is open for tourists.

According to a legend which said, there used to have lots of tigers living in the grotto so people called it “Tiger grotto”

Entrance fee: 30.000VND per person

Thang Hen lake system (30 kilometers from Cao Bang city)

Thang Hen lake

Thang Hen lake – An off the beaten track destination in this area

Located in Tra Linh Dist, 1-hour drive from Cao Bang city. It is the biggest freshwater lake comprises 36 different lakes on a hill 800 meters above sea level. Surrounded by wonderful limestones mountain, lush green color of forests. You’d better visit the lake during rainy season

Tips : Hire a local guide to show you “Tuyet Tinh Coc”. There is a cave going through on side to the other to form a big hole in the mountain

There is a closed by Nam Tra waterfall (dried up some time). From Doanh village, set the foot for hiking for 1.5 kilometers to “God Eye Mountain – Nam Tra waterfall”. From the top of the mountain, you will be amazed by the stunning view of Nam Tra lake with 15 hectares has dried up. An endless lush green carpet is surrounded by mountains which make scenic view. The lake is filled by water from June to July. They need to wait until August and September when the lake has dried up to herd water buffaloes.

Phia Den – Phia Pac natural reserve

It is a zone of special-use forest with over 10.000 hectares, It is used to be a resort area founded by built by French in the early 20th century. It is home to 125 species of floras, 66 species of butterflies.

According to the record, the French had built old villas in the early 20th century. During this period, the French colonial promoted tin ore mining. They collected thousands of workers from all over the country to exploit labor power

5 kilometres from the forest, there is a famous villa built by the French called “Red House”. This is the biggest and oldest villa in the Pac Oac region.

Ky Rang cave – A Palace on the earth

Ky rang cave

Ky rang cave – One of the most beautiful limestone cave in the region

Located in Tra Linh Dist, around 1.5 kilometers in the Northwest from Thang Hen lake area. The cave is 417 meters long, 34 meters deep, the largest point is 30 meters, the narrowest is 0.7 meters. It is a really beautiful cave worth a visit with numerous stalagmites and stalagmites in various shapes. Reaching the end of the cave, you’ll see the most awesome part of the cave, there is a crystal clear water stream

Entrance fee : 40.000VND per person

Pac Bo Cave Historic Complex – Where Uncle’s Ho used to live and work

The cave complex is located right next to the border between Vietnam and China, 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Cao Bang city. After 30 years going aboard to seek the ways for national independence. In 1941, the great leader Nguyen Ai Quoc had crossed Boundary stone 108 to enter Vietnam from China. He worked and lived in the cave area for 4 years from 1941 to 1945, began planning a revolution against French and Japanese

Coc Bo Cave

Pac Bo cave

Pac Bo cave – A place where Uncle Ho used to work and live when he returned from China

In order to get to the cave called “Coc Bo where Ho Chi Minh hideout, you need to hike on stone steps along scenic Lenin Stream at the bottom of Karl Marx Mountain (named by president Ho Chi Minh). There is a bed inside where he slept, ate and work. There is a stalagmite named  Karl Marx by Ho Chi Minh. During the border war between Vietnam and China in 1979, Before 1979, Coc Po Pond was about 15m wide.

The origin of the stream was a large stream flowing from the rocky mountains whose source is the northern side of this mountain and in Chinese territory. During the China -Vietnam border war in 1979, Chinese troops had use bomb to explore the cave. Nowadays, part of the cave had been restored to be open for visitors

Non Nuoc Global Geopark

Non Nuoc Global Geopark Map

Cao Bang Geopark map

With total area of 3275 square kilometers in Cao Bang province which is home to 250.000 people with 9 ethnic minority people: Tay, Nung, H’Mong, Dzao….

There are several famous attractions in the geopark such as Ban Gioc Waterfall, Phia Oac National park, the preserved zone of eastern black gibbon (Vuon cao vit) in Trung Khanh Dist, Cao Bang, Thang Hen Lake, Ky Rang cave

Phuc Sen forging village

Phuc Sen blacksmith village

Phuc Sen blacksmith village – A good place to buy high quality of knives

The Nung An ethnic in Phuc Sen village has done forging tools for over 200 years old, which is a very unique village all over Vietnam what makes it a well-known attraction for shopping knife among tourists. The job has been passed from generation to generation. There 150 families in the area doing this job for their main income. They make high-quality products: knife, scissors…

Bao Lac area – Off the beaten path area for traveling from Ha Giang to Cao Bang

Khuoi Khon village

Khuoi Khon village in Bao Lac area – A cool trekking spot

Lied on the west of Cao Bang, 75 miles from the city, it might be the first stop for traveling from Ha Giang to Cao Bang. You can feel the authenticity of local living in the region.

Don’t forget to check out Khuoi Khon village, which is home to 50 families of Lo Lo ethnic group with the cultural identity of brocade weaving, hearty local food, immerse yourself in the beautiful nature, witness local living and staying overnight in a house on stilt.

What and where to eat in Cao Bang? : Local specialities

Cao Bang is famous for lots of local specialties and unique cuisines. Here is local food that you should try and where to try as followings

Egg ant sticky rice cake

Banh Trung Kien

Banh Trung Kien : A weird Cao bang’s specialty

Very typical food in Tay Ethnic living in North East region of Vietnam. The main ingredient to make this dish is ant egg. Local only make it a certain period of time of the year in April and May when is the most growing season of the wild black ants.

As it named, the main ingredient to make it is young eggs to make its filling, glutinous rice powder, young leaves of fig tree to wrap.

In order to have young egg ant, they have to find hills of no poison ants like Ochetellus. They set up their hill on Bambusa nutans Wall, neohouzeaua, indigo berry tress. The egg ants is as big as a white rice seed, milk white, round shaped body.

After washing the egg ants, add it into a saucepan fried with dried onion. In order to make it more flavorful, we need to add some minced pork, crushed roasted peanuts, sliced allium Chinese leaves. Root of allium Chinese leaves is sliced into small pieces. fried into a saucepan to make it smell good, also add egg ants until it is cooked.

The cake is made of glutinous rice, well-cleaning, steeped into the water for an overnight, dried it, grinds into flour, knead it carefully and model, mixed with water. Rolling dough into half centimeter, paste it into a fig tree leaf, add filling on top of the leaf, then add another fig tree leaf on top of the filling. Make sure that the filling is fully wrapped. Steamed in 45 to 50 minutes then it is cooked.

Trung Khanh chestnut

Cang Bang Chestnut

Chestnut : A good local snack to try

Very well-known specialties in Cao Bao province. Whatever the method of cooking such as roasting, boiling, drying; it still keeps good smell. There is a plenty of them in November, you might want to buy some for tasting or bring home.

Banh Cuon (Steamed rice roll with minced pork and black fungus)

Cao Bang Steamed rice roll

Banh Cuon is totally different from the one you have in Hanoi. It’s worth trying

Very typical food in Northern Vietnam. However, this dish in Cao Bang area has a special flavor because of its broth with a sweet taste from stewing pig bones for a long time, unlike sweet and sour flavor from rice vinegar and fish sauce like other regions

Where to try : Mrs Hai restaurant – A good choice for breakfast

Address: Hoang Dinh Giong street, Cao Bang city. Opening hours : 7.00am to 21.00pm

Pho Chua (Sour rice noodle soup)

Sour Pho Cao Bang

Pho Chua : You can only find this dish in the mountainous region

Must-try on your eating list in Cao Bang with local speciality of “pho chua”. Created from well-known Vietnamese Pho Bo (Beef noodle soup), unique flavor from lime juice and rice vinegar with dry noodle. There is a variety of choice for main topping such as shrimp, pork, pig liver, beef. They also serve you a small bowl of broth

Place to try

Address: 5 Hien Giang street, Hop Giang ward, Cao Bang city Price: Less than 50.000VND Contact: +84 3 770 3828

Xoi tram Cao Bang – A local delicacy

Xoi Tram Cao Bang

Cao Bang Sticky rice

Vietnamese sticky rice dish mixed with Carnarium tree’s fruit for purple color.

Coong Phu (glutinous rice ball with brown sugar )

Cao bang dessert

glutinous rice ball with brown sugar – A nice dessert in Cao Bang

Made of both ordinary rice and glutinous rice. Its filling is crushed roasted peanuts, some brown sugar and sesame seed. The ball has white snow color, some people mix rice flour with spiny bitter gourd’s seed or steep plain glutinous rice with pineapple leaves to make it more colorful and better taste.

Where to try : Mrs’s Hop stall on Hoang Van Thu street is the oldest one in town, near the stadium. The second choice is Mrs’s Diep stall on Ly Tu Trong street near Thu Tuong restaurant. For daylight, you can find one in Xanh market.

Roasted duck

Cao Bang Roasted duck

The unique flavor of roasted duck in Cao Bang

A well-known dish in Cao Bang region. People also call it seven flavor roasted duck. Its taste is unique to this region.

Good restaurant in the Cao Bang area

Pho Moi restaurant – Xuan Truong

Located in a quiet area, closed to the city center. They serve lots of local cuisines such as roasted duck, Silkie chicken, Xoi Tram (Vietnamese stick rice mixed with fruit) and so on. Good food at a reasonable price

Pho Heo Quay – Rice noodle soup with roasted pork

A very well-known restaurant among locals. You may also want to buy some Lap Xuong ( Chinese sausage) as a gift

Address : No 4, Vuon Cam street, Hoang Van Thu Ward, Cao Bang

Opening hours : From 6.00am to 22.00pm

La Co Xanh – Green Palm Leaf restaurant

A good choice to taste local cuisine with a variety of choice

Address : Living Quarter 10, Song Hien Ward, Cao Bang city

Telephone : 0263 859 958 or mobile at 0982 652 308

Moc Quan restaurant

Address : 52 Hien Giang Street, Hop Giang Ward, Cao Bang Breakfast, Lunch Hotline : +84 91 327 91 98

Dinning in a small restaurant but cozy, warm. Their main menu is congee (Rice porridge) and stiky rice served in clay pot. There are drinks available such as fresh juice, milk shake. A friendly, cartering host which makes your dinning experience memorable.

Nga Ba Song restaurant – A place for fish lover

Address : Pac Bo street, Cao Bang

Telephone : 0206 3856 913

Located on riverside of Bang river, which offer a great river view and cool off during hot weather during summer time. Fish hot pot is a must try here with fresh fish with secrect recipe. You can also try some fish dishes such as fish salad, fried and grilled fish. For a fan of fish, Nga Ba Song is the best choice for a dinner in Cao Bang

Pizza Chi – A cool place for fast food

Address: 85 Vuon Cam Street, Cao Bang city

Telephone : +84 91 459 35 69

Serving pizza and pho Cuon (Vietnamese steamed rice roll with fresh green and beef)

Pedro Pizza

Address : 273 Bang Giang Street, Cao Bang (Back gate of Xanh market)

Telephone : 0206. 295. 2898

They do offer 20 type of pizza to eat onsite and get delivered. You can also find vegan and vegetarian pizza here.

Thu Ngan restaurant

If you want to eat a regular meal of a Vietnamese what we called “Com Binh Dan”. This restaurant is a good choice, where you point to choose what to eat, like a buffet rice meal

Address : 121 Vuon Cam Street, Cao Bang city

Telephone :  094 534 86 86

Thu Tuong restaurant

A good place for dining if you are looking for a clean, spacious restaurant. They do serve local cuisine and Vietnamese food.

Address: 38 Ly Tu Trong street, Hop Giang ward, Cao Bang

Hotline: 0914595029- 0206.3858826-0206.3853826

Ngon restaurant Cao Bang

A type of luxury restaurant in Cao Bang area. They do serve both local specialities and Vietnam food. You might want to try egg ant cake here.

Address : 05 Hoang Nhu street, Hop Giang Ward, Cao Bang

Hotline : 091 604 65 70

Anh Tuan restaurant

This is a good restaurant to eat and ask for more information to travel in and around Bao Lac area. The staff here speak English and offer an English menu with also take away food and drink at a reasonable rate.

Address : Bao lac Town

Telephone : +84 39 405 0953

Useful travel tips for Cao Bang

ATM : There is a few ATMs from local banks in the area. Please click here

Please note that each transaction is under 2.000.000VND for every cash withdraw

Money exchange : Ask for a local bank near your place with a passport for money exchange. The bill must be in a good condition like the tiniest, barely visible tear. Most of the banks working hours is from 8.00am to 4.30pm

What to pack : From November to late March, it is quite cold here in Cao Bang so don’t forget to bring warm clothes such as jackets, pullovers

From May to August, it is the summertime in Vietnam so the weather is quite hot here, remember to bring lots of water when travelling during this period

Other useful numbers :

Cao Bang general hospital: (+84) 263 852 431

Cao Bang police : (+84) 069 2406112

Suggested itinerary for travelling Cao Bang area

There are a few options below for your choice. Please pick of those below which is the most suitable for you.

Option 1 : Hanoi – Ba Be – Ban Gioc waterfall (Highly recommended)

Day 1 : Hanoi – Ba Be lake area

Take 5.5 or 6 hours drive to Ba Be lake with early starts at around 7.00am to 7.30am. Have lunch in Cho Ra town (10 kilometers from Ba Be lake). 14.00pm, arrive in Ba Be, check in the homestay. Off for the boat ride on Ba Be lake for 3 hours. Free and easy in the evening.

Day 2 : Hua Ma cave – Quang Uyen. Overnight in Quang Uyen

After breakfast, take 1-hour hiking to Hua Ma cave to see an amazing view of rock formation. After that, drive 5.5 hours to Quang Uyen. You might have lunch in Cao Bang. About 16.00pm. Arrive in Quang Uyen. Free at your leisure.

Day 3 : Ban Gioc waterfall – Nguom Ngao Cave – Phuc Sen village

After breakfast, a short drive to Ban Gioc waterfall. It takes 1 hour for sightseeing at Ban Gioc waterfall and takes a bamboo raft if you would like too. Then 10 minutes drive to Nguom Ngao cave for another hour in the cave. After that, check out Phuc Sen village and check out knife making workshops.

After that, take 5.5 hours drive to Lang Son city. Overnight in Lang Son.

Day 4 : Tam Thanh, Nhi Thanh cave – Hanoi

Check out two senic caves : Tam Thanh and Nhi Thanh and a Mother godness temple. Drive back to Hanoi after lunch. Trip ends

Option 2 : Hanoi – Ha Giang – Yen Minh – Quang Ba – Dong Van – Bao Lac – Nguyen Binh – Cao Bang – Ban Gioc waterfall

Day 1 : Hanoi – Ha Giang (6 hours drive)

Drive to Ha Giang. On the way, pay a visit to Tuyen Quang tea plantation area. Overnight in Ha Giang

Day 2 : Ha Giang – Quan Ba – Yen Minh – Dong Van

9.00am : Drive to Dong Van. On the way, pay a visit to the heaven gate in Quang Ba with a great viewpoint to see panoramic view of rice paddies. Lunch in Yen Minh.  Check out Vuong Chi Sinh (H’Mong king’s palace) . Arrive in Dong Van in the afternoon.

Have some coffee in Ca phe pho co (Old Town’s cafe) , dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 3 : Dong Van – Bao Lac – Khuoi Khon community-based tourism

After breakfast, take a drive to Bao Lac. On the way, stop for photo shooting at Ma Pi Leng pass. Have lunch in Bao lac town. Then keep going to Khuoi Khon village. You can stroll around the village and stay overnight in a homestay.

Day 4 : Bao Lac – Nguyen Binh – Cao Bang – Ban Gioc

Take 6.5 hours drive to Ban Gioc waterfall. Overnight in a homestay in Quang Uyen.

Day 5 : Ban Gioc – Nguom Ngao – Thang Hen lake – Cao Bang

After breakfast, short drive to Ban Gioc waterfall. It takes 1 hour for sightseeing at Ban Gioc waterfall and take a bamboo raft if you would like too. Then 10 minutes drive to Nguom Ngao cave for another hour in the cave. After that, check out Phuc Sen village and check out knife making workshops. Then drive 2 hours to Thang Hen lake. Then back to Cao Bang for staying overnight.

Day 6 : Cao Bang – Ba Be boat trip

3.5 hours drive to Ba Be in the morning. After lunch in a homestay. 3 hours boat trip in Ba Be lake

Day 7 : Ba Be – Hua Ma cave – Hanoi

Check out Hua Ma cave in the morning. Drive 5.5 hours back to Hanoi. Trip ends.

Cao Bang travel map

Cao Bang travel costs

Food14 USD
Drink4 USD
Accommodation14 USD
Motorbike for rent 10 USD
Fuel2 USD
Entrance fee2USD
Total46 USD

Cao Bang review

I definitely recommend Cao Bang for those who like to travel off the beaten path, adventure travel and love nature. There are more and more people talking about Ban Gioc waterfall. But Cao Bang has a lot more to offer from breathtaking scenery, hearty local food to friendly locals, a rich history.

What I like the most about Cao Bang is authenticity, by staying in a homestay with a local family in the Quang Uyen area, which allows me to learn so much more about local living in this region, eat, sleep, work with locals is what make me feel a real travel experience. 

Cao Bang guide – Useful links

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Hynam Travel hopes this ultimate Cao Bang Travel Guide 2021 will help you some way in planning a trip to Cao Bang, Ban Gioc waterfall. If you find it helpful, please share this article by clicking the button below because lots of people out there need it.  Thanks!


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