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Ngoc Con – Phong Nam valley in Cao Bang – A hidden paradise

No too far from the well known Ban Gioc waterfall you will find the unknown Phong Nam valley. Even though the area is so close to waterfalls, this fairy tail looking valley is hardly visited by tourist and that is strange. Because in this stunning valley you will find impressive mountains with vast jungle, stretch out rice fields, picturesque villages of minorities and a calm, beautiful stream running through it.

What to see in Phong Nam valley

The best way to explore the valley is by motorbike (or on the back of one). If you want to be a bit more protected by the elements of weather you can also go there by car with driver. The largest town in Phong Nam valley is Trung Khanh town and is connected with a 10 km long road. Though there is hardly any traffic, the quality of the road with many potholes indicated that it is also being used by some big trucks driver to and from the border, because Trung Khanh is also a border town with China.

ngoc con – phong nam valley in cao bang – a hidden paradise

Chinese border

The town is divided by the Quay Son river running from China and continues running through the landscape of rice fields. This river, with rice fields and high jungle mountains on either side of the valley is giving the area a feeling you are driving through a fairy tail. Especially during the harvest season, also called golden season, when the rice fields are turned golden yellow the views are epic along the way.

ngoc con – phong nam valley in cao bang – a hidden paradise

Phong Nam valley is a great place to bring a drone with you.

ngoc con – phong nam valley in cao bang – a hidden paradise

Quay Son river

Don’t be to fixed with only driving around the area of Trung Khanh town, because the Phong Nam valley is a lot bigger. There are dozens of smaller roads away from the main river. Make sure you visit the area further south of the villages Na Chang, Na Tong, Lung Dieng, Na Doan and Da But. They are even more remote, with more stunning rice fields, smaller streams and huge mountains. You can experience here the local life of farmers working on the rice fields and buffaloes, horses and donkeys wandering around the area.

ngoc con – phong nam valley in cao bang – a hidden paradise

Rice fields are placed between the montains.

ngoc con – phong nam valley in cao bang – a hidden paradise

Farm animals walking on the roads

ngoc con – phong nam valley in cao bang – a hidden paradise

Smaller stream run through other parts of the valley

ngoc con – phong nam valley in cao bang – a hidden paradise

Phong Nam valley viewpoint

If you want to make a stunning photo of the landscape high up without a drone, or you just want to be amazed with a beautiful view, you can visit the Phong Nam valley viewpoint. Just be aware as this valley is not touristy, don’t expect a well made path up to the viewpoint. The start of the path up to the viewpoint is a bit hard to find and after rain, the path can be dangerously slippery.

Start of the path up: Google Maps. The start is next to a house, close to a blue pond.

The path up is quite clear, so you don’t need a local guide, though it is not a super easy way up. It takes around 1 hour to get to the top and the view is absolutely worth it. Locals recommend to get there around sunrise, when some of the mountains are peaking out from the clouds and valley is shining gold from the sun.

ngoc con – phong nam valley in cao bang – a hidden paradise

View from the Phong Nam valley viewpoint

How to get there?

The valley does not have any big towns and is not a tourist hot spot, so there are no public buses to this area. Also, as distances for discovering the area on foot are a bit far, so it is useful to have a way of transport there with you anyway. For does two reasons it is best to go there by motorbike or car with driver.

Trung Khanh town is around 80 km from Cao Bang city and 2,5 hours driving. From the Ban Gioc waterfall it is just 26 km and less than 1 hour driving. You can reach Cao Bang City from Hanoi by bus, mini bus or private car in 6 to 7 hours.

Tip: Are you really excited to visit Phong Nam valley? Check out our unique custom designed tour “Off the beaten Cao bang loop” that brings you to this place and other stunning highlights of Cao Bang, both known places such as Ban Gioc waterfall as off the beaten track like Nui Thung mountain and Me Pja pass.

Best time to visit

This area is stunning all year round, but if you want to see the valley in “golden season” – harvest season, when the rice fields are all golden yellow, you just visit at the end of September and the beginning of October. Also the months right before can be very nice when the rice is still green.

Other places to visit around Phong Nam valley

The valley might seem a bit too far from Hanoi to visit for a day. Luckily you can combine your trip to other stunning sights in Cao Bang. As mentioned before, very close to the valley you can find the infamous Ban Gioc waterfall, the most impressive waterfall of Vietnam. Another stunning destination is Nui Thung mountain and the Thang Hen Lakes (60 km).

Read here all the best things to do in Cao Bang.

Đăng bởi: Thuỷ Nguyễn

Từ khoá: Ngoc Con – Phong Nam valley in Cao Bang – A hidden paradise

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