Ban Gioc among Earth's most beautiful waterfalls

Nga Do
Russia’s Sputnik agency has revealed top 16 most beautiful waterfalls on Earth in observance of World Water Day (March 22), including the Ban Gioc waterfall on Quay Son River in the northern mountainous province of Cao Bang.

Located about 365km from Hanoi in Cao Bang province, Ban Gioc is the most beautiful waterfall in Vietnam. Around 30 meters high and 208 meters wide, Ban Gioc falls can be heard from afar as the water is hitting the cliffs. Opposite the falls, the river is calm and peaceful, clear as a mirror and painted by rice paddy fields that is beyond imagination and when standing in front of, looking at the falls, it is like looking into a watercolor painting. The beauty is just unreal!

Ban Gioc Waterfall is situated in Dam Thuy Commune, Trung Khanh District. It originates from the peaceful Quay Son Rivers. The Quay Son River rises from China and when it reaches Dam Thuy Commune of Trung Khanh District, the mild river circles around Co Muong mountain bottom and flows to rice fields of Dam Thuy towards the large maize alluvial plain of Ban Gioc village. The River forms the border between Vietnam and China; consequently the falls are half in Vietnam and half in China. The flow divides into many branches that create Ban Gioc Waterfall.

Ban Gioc is the largest in the country, though not the highest. With a height of 53 meters and a width of 300 meters, the waterfall is divided into 3 layers.  It is separated into three falls by rocks and trees, and you can hear the thundering sounds of the water hitting the cliffs kilometers away from Trung Khanh. The flow drops sharply down making a curtain of white spray. If you want to have the most impressive sight, you should come to Ban Gioc from May to September. From a distance, you can see the flow from Quay Son River falling down on the stone and creating water droplets.  Because of the water mist in the air, the temperature near the waterfall is cool. 

Tourists can travel on a bamboo raftto go close to the waterfall, for better views of the cascade and feel the spray on hair and skin. The ‘ride’ lasts about 10 minutes and you’ll definitely get wet. Moreover, you aren’t allowed to swim in the river or close to the main waterfall but in the large natural pool on the Vietnamese side. A large river is at the foot of the waterfall, as calm as glass; the banks are surrounded by many precious kinds of flowers, grass cover and evergreen forest. Rising from middle of the waterfall is a water mound covered with trees, splitting the river into three white silk strips. 

On hot summer days, being close to the falls and feeling the mist and spray in the air are refreshing. In the early morning, the sun shines through water stream as white silk bands create a sparkling rainbow. When you’re walking toward the waterfall, youvcan see rice fields with happy buffaloes swimming in the mud, a small house, some souvenir shops, and old women from the Nung ethnic minority group. The North East of Vietnam is home to the Tay and Nung ethnic minority groups, a small number of H’mong and Dzao people.

Farming techniques can’t have changed much here in centuries; most of the work is done by hand and is impressive. One piece of this ‘technology’ you’ll see along the banks of the river is the bamboo water wheel. This attractive, medieval-looking device scoops up water from the river, carries it up to the level of the fields, and drops it into earth gutters, which channel the water into the fields to irrigate the crops. It’s a hypnotic, peaceful and timeless sight. Recently, Ban Gioc Waterfall (Vietnam) has been listed in top 10 greatest waterfalls in the world by WondersList website – a dedicated blog to present top 10 lists from around the world in a variety of categories. 

The great Ban Gioc Fall, the quiet beauty of water, forest and clouds, with mountainous village atmosphere of ethnic minorities,are a gift of nature. With splendid natural beauty, the waterfall of Ban Gioc is Cao Bang’s biggest tourist attraction.

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