Advanced Education Program (AEP) students’ journey in Ba Bể

15 May 2015 AEP Administrator

On November 7-9, 2014, the trip to Ba Be National Park was headed by Dr. Tran Van Dien – rector of Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry; Dr. Thao – Vice director of International training center; the special presence of Dr. Ken- the Japanese professor in biotechnology from Kyushu University; Jonathan Sharkey – the lecturer from Australia, and other staff of International Training Center at Thai Nguyen University of Agriculture and Forestry.


Exploring one of the World’s Heritage and the largest natural freshwater lake in Vietnam- Hồ Ba Bể is an awesome destination of Vietnam. Ba Bể means "Three Lakes" in the local language of Tay people.  These parts of lake including PeLeng, Pe Lu, and Pe Lam are connected to each other. While different groups travel the lake, the National Park shows mainly the limestone and evergreen forest. Most tree species of the limestone forests are Burretiodendronhsienmu (Tiliaceae) and Streblustonkinensis (Moraceae). Climbing bamboo (Ampelocalamus) is an endemic plant, which is very common on the hill slopes near the lake shore. The main mission of this plant is to keep the soil from erosion. Moreover, there are many other species of birds, reptiles, fish and even butterflies. The groups of students went to main spots such as “Puong  Cave” , “the Fairy Pond”, then experienced the morning drizzle over the lake and Dau Dang Waterfall, which is formed by Nang River.

Located on Nang River and about 5km from the town of Ba Be District- Bac Kan province, “Puong Cave” was created by rivers, as these rivers flow next to the base of Lung Nham Mountain, which is a chain of Limestone Mountains. It is a great view of nature.
 Looking into the cave, you will see that it is inhabited by thousand of bats belonging to 18 species. After exploring the cave, you will note that Nang River flows at the foot of the limestone mountain, goes through “Puong Cave” to reach Ba Be Lake and consists of a series of spectacular cascades among perpendicular walls of rock.

The "Fairy Pond" is completely filled with clear water which seeps through the surrounding limestone rock. Like other special features of Ba Be, “Fairy Pond” is recalled a local legend. The name is in reference to the story of a local hunter who visited the island and became enchanted by fairies whom he found bathing at the pond. 

Dau Dang Waterfall is 16km from Ba Be District, 3km from Ba Be Lake. It is an interesting place with a magnificent scenery for tourists in Vietnam traveling to explore and enjoy. Dau Dang Waterfall is located in a place where Nang River enters Tuyen Quang Province. It flows 2km where Nang river is blocked by various sized stones slopping for nearly 500m. The pleasant look of the waterfall and the primitive nature of the forest are extremely impressive.

Bo Lu Village and neighboring Coc Toc, directly opposite the main landing are great places to take a short walk through history. There is currently a road accessing all these villages and the park reception although boats still offer the most relaxing and enjoyable way to make a visit. Refreshments are available in all these villages, and there are many choices of arranging home-stay in a number of traditional houses of Tay people.


In order to experience an amazing way to get a local life, some traditional dances, songs or enjoy local food, students decided to settled in one local house during the period of the tour. The local people made us surprised at their graceful dancing skills and wonderful voices in many song performances.  They showed us the richness of their culture. A small party was held in the first nigh at a house where everyone stayed in. The second night had a bonfire that made students enjoyed. This was a good opportunities for us to have a short break and interesting experience to each other. It is deniable that it is very important to improve the involvement of students in this kind of tour, which helps us to realize the value of biodiversity and the need to maintain a future functioning ecosystem also. This is an important tool in gaining knowledge and become more effective in the field of servicing environmental protection in Vietnam. Even heavy rain could not stop every one for this adventure.


Jimlea Nadezhda A. Mendoza K44 CTTT- AEP- Student from Philippines