The first Ban Gioc Waterfall Tourism Festival in Cao Bang province

Nga Do
The Ban Gioc waterfall is a very imposing waterfall on the Quai San river in northern Vietnam. Currently Iguazu is the fourth largest waterfall in the world, located on a national boundary after the Victoria and Niagara waterfalls.

The waterfall, which is regarded as the natural border between China and Vietnam, has caused a lot of tension between the two countries before. Vietnamese named Ban Gioc, Chinese called Detian. The waterfall now attracts visitors from both countries without any problems. The biggest drop of the 3-step waterfall reaches 30 meters.

From October 7 to 8, a waterfall festival will be held at the Ban Gioc Waterfall Tourism Complex in Dam Thuy Commune, Trung Khanh District, in the northern province of Cao Bang.

The festival, the first of its kind in the region, aims to promote the image of the province and its people to domestic and international tourists. According to Pham Van Cao, secretary of the Trung Khanh District’s Party Committee, the festival will become a significant event to promote regional tourism.“Here in Trùng Khánh we are creating and promoting high quality tourist products to become one of the province’s key economic ventures,”  Cao said.

Ban Gioc Waterfall is one of Vietnam’s most impressive natural sights. Thirty metres high and 300 metres across, it is the widest, but not the highest, in the country. The falls occur on the beautiful jade-blue water of the Quay Son River as it flows through a pastoral landscape of rice fields and bamboo groves, surrounded by limestone mountains.

The festival will begin on Saturday with a Buddhist prayer ritual for peace and prosperity of the nation at the Phat Tich Ban Gioc Truc Lam Pagoda. The ceremony will be conducted by monks of the Buddhist Sangha of Vietnam.

This will be followed by an agenda full of activities near the falls. This will showcase the rich culture of the region, especially of the prominent Tay ethnic group. The activities will include traditional art performances, an ethnic costume fashion show, folk games and sports competitions. A cooking contest of local specialties will also be held.

Of note will be a performance of a style of singing known as then, a unique art of the ethnic Tay, Nung, and Thai minorities in Vietnam’s northwestern region. This has been recognised as national intangible cultural heritage.  

The agenda will also include a cultural exchange programme between Trung Khanh Commune and two Chinese border communes. The event aims to strengthen the mutual understanding and friendship between people of the two countries’ border communes.

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