Bac Ha Trekking Tours
Located in the highland region, Bac Ha owns many mountain ranges with narrow valleys, Caves and rivers. The land here (mainly forestry), with the average temperature of 25°C, Bac Ha has convenient conditions for tropical trees like plum, apricot, pear and longan.
With 14 ethnic groups (Mong, Kinh, Dao Tuyen (Man Den), Tay, Nung, Phu La, Hoa, etc) living here in Bac Ha town (district capital) and 20 communes, Bac Ha conforms unique tourist attractions among which market fair draws flocks of domestic and foreign tourists all the year round..
To realize the natural beauty, the development of the area, as well as to enjoy the special activities and local foods, Bac Ha Trekking Tours will help you discover its full potentials.
As one of the most famous tourism destinations in the Northern province of Lao Cai, Bac Ha offers a wide range of Trekking Tours, from a day easy treks to longer, more challenging ones.
Right in the town centre, visitors can call at the fair, a unique event of the ethnic minorities, where the local life can be experienced in the most authentic way.
Only a few minutes’ walk, Hoang A Tuong's Palace, where the unrivaled king of the ancient Bac Ha used to live, with superficial architecture, will give visitors an overview of the ruling power of this king in a historical period marked by the exploitation regime.
A short walk from Bac Ha town, you will come to Ban Pho of H’Mong people, where the intact beauty endowed from nature or the passionate cups of corn wine here will definitely be unforgettable impressions that are nowhere to be found.
For longer treks, Bac Ha Trekking Tours will take you to the off-beaten places on the winding paths to local hamlets, peach gardens or terraced paddy fields. During the tours, you will have opportunities to see different landscapes such as Rong Ta Van Chu Cave, Tien Cave and Coc Ly Cave - Chay River, Co Tien Mountain, 3 Mother and Son Mountain in Bac Ha Town, Ban Lien Old Forest and Primitive Forest. Ta Van Chu, Coc Ly timber forest, ancient tea forest of Hoang Thu Pho commune, national cultural and historical relics Hoang A Tuong Palace, Bac Ha Temple, Trung Do Temple, etc…
We, ATA will mention in detail all the popular Trekking Tours hereafter.
Main geographical features of Bac Ha
Administratively, Bac Ha has 20 communes and 1 town, divided into 3 regions with different terrains, weather and climate regimes. At about 1.500 m above sea level are Ta Cu Ty, Ban Gia, Lung Phung, Lung Cai, Ta Van Chu and Lau Thi Ngai. Ban Pho, Ta Chai, Na Hoi, Nam Khanh, Ban Lien, Hoang Thu Pho, Thai Giang Pho and the town of Bac Ha are of 900 - 1200 m and the rest –under 600 m are Ban Cai, Coc Lau, Nam Luc, Bao Nhai, Nam Mon, Nam Dam and Coc Ly.
Geographically, Bac Ha is surrounded by Si Ma Cai and Muong Khuong district to the North, Sin Man district, Ha Giang province to the East, Bao Thang district to the West and Bao Yen district to the South, making Bac Ha a a bridge to connect Lao Cai, Ha Giang and Yen Bai, with the function of transiting and exchanging goods among the areas, enabling the district to exploit potentials and advantages in agriculture, forestry and tourism as well due to the development of infrastructure system here.
Within the district, the upper parts enjoy temperate climate, cool in summer, dry in winter, very suitable for growing local fruit trees such as Tam Hoa plums, Hau plums, peaches, pears ...while the lower ones - tropical climate, with many large rivers and streams, convenient for tourism, industrial plans, fruit trees, fisheries, hydroelectricity .... The central part has a mild climate, cool summers, dry winter, favorable for the development of eco-tourism, mountain resorts, fruit trees, snow tea and agricultural crops.
With such diversity, rich in tropical and subtropical fruit trees and vegetation, tourists coming here can enjoy local products, fresh, delicious, nutritious without ever getting bored.
Best time to visit Bac Ha
Like any other mountainous region, Bac Ha is characterized by montane weather with periods of rain and sunlight alternating during the day. And as the name Bac Ha Trekking Tours refers, the tourism here mainly concerns with outdoor activities. Thus, the best time to visit Bac Ha would be during the dry winter (December to April) with the temperature from 19°C -25°C, favorable for both trekking and doing the shopping.
For those who love to discover the unique culture of Bac Ha fair, this will be Lunar New Year (or Tet in Vietnamese), often falls in late January or early February. Ideally, tourists can spend hours wandering through the gardens full of peach, plum or cabbage flowers. The dry and cool weather is also pleasant and joyful for longer treks to hilltribe villages to experience warm homestay with the locals and enjoy their meals with home-grown products supplying fresh energy for the trekkers
Summer months, from May to November, are hotter than the others with heavy rain sometimes. However, you can make use of the advantages by coming to local hill tribe markets: Bac Ha market is open on Sunday morning, Can Cau market - Saturday, Lung Khau Nhin market - Thursday, Cao Son market - Wednesday, Coc Ly market - Tuesday.
Because there are many exciting activities within the distance, tourists do not need to worry about sunny or rainy weather here.
Popular Bac Ha Trekking Tours
Perhaps, the most tourist strength of Bac Ha, as the name Bac Ha Trekking Tours refers, is the tours to the villages and markets of the ethnic minorities here. We, ATA, will recommend you the most striking tours in Bac Ha among many others.
1. Bac Ha center to Hoang A Tuong Palace
Right in the center of a crowded residential area stands an impressive and outstanding ancient castle, Hoang A Tuong Palace. This mansion was under construction from 1914 to 1921 and though covered with an antique moss layer, this Asia – Europe combination style always arouses the curiosity of its formation and its owners as well.
Report has it that under the French colonial support, father and son Hoang Yen Chao - Hoang A Tuong treated the locals badly by occupying fertile land, forcing people to pay servitude and tribute, monopolizing in trading salt and consumer goods, drugs and food, mercilessly exploiting forest products for French stations and the henchmen to have financials for the Palace. The location of the Palace was also carefully chosen according to feng shui theory, on a large hill to the southeast, with mountains behind and on the two sides, and a stream in the front, making it the most charming and powerful house in the area and a magnificent tourist spot ever since.
2. Bac Ha to Lung Phinh - Thai Giang Pho-Ban Pho village
Coming to Thai Giang Pho commune, about 4km to the east of Bac Ha center in the last months of the year, especially on the occasion of Tet holiday, visitors will feel very excited because the whole area is filled with the scent of joss- sticks, made by the Mong people here, a long-existence traditional craft retaining its identity and beliefs of the Mong people.
Moreover, you can enjoy Say San Festival with many rituals, cultural activities - folk art, physical training and sports, including the game Stick-pushing, deeply imbued with ethnic identities, very pristine and unique.
Ban Pho village, near Bac Ha center, on a mountain cliff, is the home of mainly Black H’Mong and Flower H’Mong people. Passing through the winding roads, you will be emerged in the green valleys of corn, a main ingredient for the famous, distinctive corn wine here. Here and there are the vast gardens of Tam Hoa plum, a kind of fruit trees, favorable only to the soil and weather here, too.
In the immense green of forests, corn valleys, plum gardens, dotted with the locals’ houses like bird’s nests, from high above, Ban Pho village looks like a vivid water-color painting, which hypnotizes visitors.
3. To the markets in Bac Ha
There are many markets in Bac Ha: Bac Ha market on Sunday, Can Cau market on Friday, Brand New Bac Ha Night Market on Saturday among the others.
The market is not only the trading center but it’s also the place for couples, friends, and relatives to get together. There are many stalls with a great variety of goods, from fresh home-grown products, textiles including crockery, scarves, statuettes, and shawls – are very attractive and beautifully made, to livestocks, which draws people into the vortex of this lively, dazzling event.
Taking time to wander around the market, you’ll feel an enjoyable atmosphere and have fun trying out the trading skills with the friendly local people.
If you like, have lunch in a local restaurant where a variety of foods are available for your delectation and taste. You can even try the specialities Thang Co (horse stew) and strong corn wine!
If time permitted, you can spend it on your own, trekking to nearby hilltribe villages or doing whatever you like.
4. Tien Cave landscape
To have more a romantic sense, Bac Ha Trekking Tours will take you to Tien Cave, one of the most beautiful caves in Bao Nhai commune.
To reach Tien Cave, you will have to ride a boat about 6 km up the Chay river from the center of Bao Nhai commune. Passing through Trung Do ancient citadel, you will go through Tien stream, whose flows falling from above like a white silk strip in the middle of a primeval forest, making the whole area a great bath which tourists can’t resist trying on hot days.
Inside the large cave are many beautifully-shaped stalactites, which sparkle when the sunlight shines on, making the cave a vivid picture. The deeper you get into the cave, the more impression of getting lost in a stone maze you will feel.
Legend has it that three fairies, permitted to visit the earth by the Jade Emperor, didn’t return due to the charming beauty here. The Jade Emperor angrily sent the thunder genie down with severe punishment to the fairies. Feeling too scared, they hid themselves in a cave corner which was trampled in a rage by the thunder genie. Knowing that it was impossible to escape, the three fairies threw themselves into the stream. Their cadavers drifted downstream to Bao Nhai commune today. The locals picked them up and built a shrine for them, named Ba Co Temple.
5. Bac Ha temple
Bac Ha temple was built from the late 19 century to worship two brothers of Vu Van Uyen and Vu Van Mat, the national heroes who had great merit in constructing the Military bases and stabilizing the life of people in a wide frontier area in a difficult time then.
Today, Bac Ha Temple, ranked as a National Historical and Cultural Heritage on October 29, 2003, is a place of religious activities, attracting not only the locals but the tourists far and wide as well.
Bac Ha, a potential tourist destination, with diverse cultural and religious beliefs, many pristine landscapes of mountains, rivers, and most importantly, the nature of people here, very gentle, friendly and sincere, will surely bring you by far the most exciting experiences that can’t be found anywhere else.