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Bac Son valley [Travel guide + Tips + Things to do] 2020

Bac Son valley, Vietnam : An off the beaten track destionation for photographers

The Bac Son valley is an agricultural oasis located 250 miles to the south of Hanoi, Vietnam. This picturesque valley is framed by breathtaking limestone mountains that reach from 500 meters to 1200 meters high.

This amazing view is best seen from the top, a short 500 step hike that delivers an awe-inspiring scene of lush rice paddies surrounded by the mountains.

Bac Son belongs to Lang Son provinces, just 2-hour drive from Lang Son, known as the rising destination for adventure and photographer lovers and for those who like travelling off-the-beaten-track because of a few visitors going there. To me, it is a hidden paradise in North Vietnam. 

Bac Son valley Lang Son

Panoramic view of Bac Son valley, Lang Son, Vietnam

This is an ultimate Bac Son travel guide with everything you need to know to plan a trip to Bac Son valley with all details about things to do, what to eat, how to get there, where to stay and pro tips from local insiders which you aren’t able to find in any other websites on the internet. 

Is Bac Son valley worth a visit?

100% YES because it is an awesome place which is 3.5 hours drive from Hanoi, located in the peaceful setting area, off-the-beaten-path with a stunning view of mountains, rice fields and house on stilts. On the other hand, staying with Tay ethnic community to learn more about their local living is a unique experience includes food, accommodation, activities and more. 

Bac Son valley weather – Best time to visit

In my opinion, Bac Son is the most beautiful when it comes to the rice season is from July to November. Hiking the Na Lay mountain and take a panoramic photo of the whole valley from above is a great ideal for photo hunters 

Bac Son valley Vietnam

Bac Son valley during rice harvest season

How to get to Bac Son from Hanoi

Follow the map below, you will find instructions on how to get to Bac Son from our office. If you are travelling from Hanoi Old Quarter, please replace the departure point to have your right direction

Hanoi to Bac Son by bus

There is a few buses departs from some of the bus terminals in Hanoi such as My Dinh, Yen Nghia, Gia Lam. 

Ke Lan bus company

From My Dinh : 11.45am, 12.30pm

Duration : 3 hours

Ticket rate : 120k

Hotline : 0976.066.909 – 0942.350.555

Dung Nghi bus company 

There offer buses departs either from My Dinh or Yen Nghia bus station. The only thing is the bus leaves very early in the morning either 1 am or 3.30am. Luckily, there is a bus which departs at 11.15am from My Dinh bus terminal

Alternatively, you can also combine Bac Son with Lang Son by staying overnight in Lang Son and take a morning bus from Lang Son bus station 

Hanoi to Bac Son by motorbike

Following the national highway 3 to Thai Nguyen, when you see a T-Juntion between the national highway 37 and 1B, turn right to the direction of Cao Bang (the highway 1B) another 80 kilometers to reach Bac Son valley (see the map above for details)

Where to stay in Bac Son 

There are several guesthouses and homestays in Bac Son. In my opinion, staying with a local family in a homestay is a better choice because you can sleep, eat, interact with locals to learn more about local living and most of the foreign visitor have chosen this option. On the other hand, most of the guesthouses mainly serve for Vietnamese which isn’t enough for Western standard. Please bear in mind that, you will be staying in a community room sharing with others because there is no private room in the homestay. 

Some of the good homestays in Bac Son 

Homestay Bac Son

Address : Tham Pat village, Quynh Son, Bac Son
Mobile : 0847 989 333

Trong Dung Bac Son Homestay 
Address : Tham Pat village, Quynh Son, Bac Son
Mobile : 097 925 13 25

Homestay Duong Cong Trich
Address: Na Rieng 2 village, Quynh Son, Bac Son
Mobile : 097 825 10 55

Things to do  in Bac Son valley – Bac Son valley top attractions

Bac Son is an ideal place for adventurers. There is numerous things to do in Bac Son. Check it out !

Na Lay mountain 

Conquering Na Lay peak is a very interesting experience which most of the travellers to Bac Son want to do. You need to climb over 1000 stepped steps to reach its peak which is  600 meters above sea level. The pathway is good for those who like adventure travel and is in good shape. With its amazing view of awesome rice paddies, the Bac Son valley looks like a colourful picture which makes you feel lost in a real paradise. 

Quynh Son village

The main tourist attractions where most of the visitors staying overnight in a homestay with local family of Tay ethnic group. The village is about 2 kilometres from the town,  lies inside the Bac Son valley with over 400 traditional stilt houses facing to the South and its back leans on the mountain. The whole village looks like a colourful pic with the black of the mountain, the lush green of the rice field, the emerald water of its stream. On the other hand, you can also meet friendly locals who welcome you with a warm smile and kind-hearted. 

Bac Son flower valley

Situated in Tran Yen commune, Bac Son district, 13 kilometres from Quynh Son village, known as the largest flower valley in Vietnam with over 20.000 square meters, opened in November 2018. This is an ideal place for those who love flowers with various type of colourful flowers shining in the endless flower field surrounding by massive mountainous region. 

Bac Son uprising museum

If you are a history lover, Bac Son uprising museum is a place you shouldn’t miss. Located in the highway No 1B, 2.5 kilometres from the town. The museum showcases the Prehistoric period and Bac Son during the French war with some details about the movement against the French colonial. 

Nong Luc temple

Built in 1927 under the reign of Nguyen Dynasty, Nong Luc temples is known as one of 20 religious sites in Bac Son with a unique architectural style, with a combination between the traditional style of the Northern region and the stilt house of the Tay ethnic group. There is a lots of art motif to be explored. 

Dang Mo waterfall

If you are in a search of a place to cool off, have fun and connect with nature, Dang Mo waterfall is a good choice. What makes the waterfall unique is because of its pristine natural beauty and hidden charm need to be explored in the forest. It is about 20 kilometres or 40 minute-drive from Bac Son, in my opinion, you can spend your second to explore the waterfall after a night staying in Bac Son. 

What to eat in Bac Son ? Signature dishes or specialities in Bac Son

We not only explore beautiful tourist attractions in Bac Son but also taste local cuisine in Bac Son with the best dishes which you must-try such as black round sticky rice cake (Banh Trung den), sticky rice in the bamboo pipe (Com Lam), roasted duck etc…

Black round sticky rice cake

It is known as a signature dish of Bac Son, made of sticky rice, mung bean and pork. Thanks to its soil and weather condition, which makes the sticky rice flavorful, soft and sweet. After soaking the rice for about 6 to 8 hours, then drain the water from the rice and let it drip dry in a colander and mix with ashes from sticky rice plants filtered. It is wrapped by hand in a cylinder shape with 30 centimetres long, 7 centimetres of its diameter, tied by a bamboo string. Before bring it to boil, people dip in into water one more time then move to a big saucepan, add water and boil it in 4 to 5 hours. It is cut into small round shape before serving. 

Brown sticky rice

It is also known as the featured dish of Bac Son valley, dyed into purple by the leaves of the violet glutinous rice plant. Every single grain of rice is well-selected, the leaves are pounded, squeeze to get the water. After washing rice, soaking rice with the water from the leaves of violet glutinous rice for about 4 to 6 hours in order to make the purple of the leaves sinking in rice. 

It is served with sesame salt which makes a unique taste of brown sticky rice in Bac Son valley

What to bring when travelling Bac Son 

  • Walking shoes for hiking and walking around the village
  • Hat or umbrella 
  • Insect spray
  • Warm clothes if you travelling in the winter from November to March, or a light jacket when going in the summertime because it might be a bit chilly in the late evening 

Bac Son valley, Vietnam – A great place for photo lovers

While rice is the main crop, it is not the only crop produced in the BAC SON VALLEY‘s rich soil. Sweet potatoes and corn are also popular crops. Farming is the main occupation of the inhabitants of the valley. The diversification of crops- rice is planted twice a year, and the introduction of corn and sweet potatoes has boosted agricultural income by 80%.

Bac Son valley view

The BAC SON VALLEY is more than just an agricultural wonder in a beautiful setting. The BAC SON VALLEY is famous for its lakes and rivers running through the rice fields. The valley is also home to charming villages of traditional stilt houses inhabited by original ethnic Tay people that have lived in this region for generations after moving to the area from the LANG SON region, north of Vietnam.

Bac Son in the harvest season

LANG SON was explored in 1922, revealing 43 sites that were related to the prevalent culture preserved in the BAC SON VALLEY and the Bac Son Mountains. The tour through this beautiful valley is a chance to view more than just the landscape, but a rare chance to see a culture that is hundreds of years old.

Bac Son valley view point

Perhaps the most impressive view of BAC SON VALLEY is from the very top of the mountain. While this climb can be tiring for the average person, the opportunity to see the lush fields, rivers, and stilt houses dotting the valley is more than rewarding. For the photographer in you, the photo opportunities from the top of the mountain are panoramic and impressive.

A Farmer working on the rice field

Make visiting this picturesque region a priority. There’s so much to see and experience in this valley that you will be amazed. The best way to reach the Bac Son valley is by taking national highway No 1 from Hanoi toward Thai Nguyen and then take National Highway 1B. There are also plenty of tourist boards and organizations to provide you with any help you may need to plan your perfect day.

Visiting the valley is more than just a pleasant side trip as it gives you the chance to see Mother Nature at her most magnificent. The panoramic views and majestic mountains are excellent reminders of the splendor all around us.

Bac Son valley during the French war in Vietnam

Bac Son valley used to be a war base during the French colonial period. It was also famous for rich tradition during the revolution against the French and Japanese in 1940 in the Bac Son area under the leadership of the Vietnamese Communist Party 

Bac Son review

This is my favourite place for those who are in search of adventure travel, off the beaten track and love the locals. You’ll find authentic experiences, awesome natural beauty, meet friendly locals and try hearty local food

See more reviews of Bac Son valley on Trip Advisor

Bac Son valley travel tips

  • I recommend getting around Bac Son either by motorbike or bicycle. You are able to see local living, amazing view of the mountainous region
  • Sleeping overnight on a homestay in Quynh Son is much better than staying in the town 
  • Motorbike parking fee at the tourist attractions is from 5k to 10k
  • Hiking Na Lay mountain in the morning to catch the dawn is an amazing thing to do
  • There is only one ATM is the town.  The maximum amount of money which you can withdraw is two million Vietnam Dong
  • There is no tourist bus going to the town, there are several options for travelling by local bus as mentioned above

Found this Bac Son travel guide helpful?

Hynam travel is here to make an unforgettable holiday to Bac Son from day tour to multiple days. Please feel free to contact us via email at hynamtravel@gmail.com

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Bac Son valley Vietnam

Bac Son valley in the harvest season

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Read more : Suggested itinerary for Bac Son valley

 

 

 

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