What’s the best time to visit Ba Be?

Ranked as Vietnam’s 8th national park, Ba Be is fast becoming a must-see natural destination in the north-east of the country. With its lush tapestry of rivers surrounded by karst mountains adorned with jungles and hidden caves, the Ba Be region welcomes visitors with simplicity and rugged beauty.

Season Ba Be Lake

Presentation

Ranked as Vietnam’s 8th national park, Ba Be is fast becoming a must-see natural destination in the north-east of the country. With its lush tapestry of rivers surrounded by karst mountains adorned with jungles and hidden caves, the Ba Be region welcomes visitors with simplicity and rugged beauty.

Bac Kan’s two seasons

Ba Be’s climate is characterized by two distinct seasons.

The dry season

From November to April, the weather is generally dry and cool, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C. This season is perfect for hiking, cycling and exploring ethnic villages.

The wet season

From May to October, rains are frequent, accompanied by higher temperatures (25°C to 30°C) and high humidity. The lush vegetation is at its best, offering a breathtaking spectacle, but beware, some activities may be affected by the weather.

Choosing the right season

✓ October and November: these two months offer a good compromise between the beauty of lush vegetation and less intense rainfall.

✓ From November to January, you can look forward to a cool, dry climate, ideal for hikers and trekkers. The landscapes may be less green than in other seasons, but the sunny days and cool nights provide pleasant comfort.

✓ March and April: Temperatures gradually warm up, days get longer and nature wakes up. Sunny days and pleasant temperatures invite you to enjoy orchid blooms and outdoor activities.

✓ May to October: The rainy season brings dense vegetation and verdant landscapes. While hiking may present more of a challenge, kayaking and water sports enthusiasts will be delighted by the lake’s swollen waters.

Ba Be Ethnics

Avoid the following periods

January and February: The cold can be biting, limiting some activities.

July and August: Torrential rains can disrupt excursions and boating on the lake.

Good to know

Public holidays and festivals: Têt Nguyên Dán (Vietnamese New Year) and the Ba Be temple festival attract large numbers of tourists, resulting in higher prices and increased visitor numbers.

Depending on your interests: If you prefer hiking, choose the dry season. To admire the beauty of the green landscapes, the wet season is ideal.

Bonus Tips

Book your accommodation at Ba Be Jungle Houses in advance, especially during the high season.

Be sure to bring clothing appropriate for the season and the activities planned.

Don’t forget mosquito repellent during the wet season.

Our top Ba Be attractions and must-see sites

  • Thach Long pagoda
  • Pac Ngoi village
  • Ba Be Lake
  • Ba Be National Park
  • Long Tong Festival
  • Ba Be Spring Festival

And do not forget to visit our activities page!

To conclude

Although the region’s climate is pleasant all year round, with an average temperature of 22 degrees, it’s best to visit Ba Be in early spring or autumn, or even in summer, between April and November, during the rainy season. Ba Be National Park offers an unforgettable experience whatever the season, but if you can choose the period that suits you best, you’re sure to have an authentic and emotionally rich stay.

The Mandarin ducks of Ba Be Lake: an ode to love and beauty

Spring at Ba Be Lake is a magical time. It’s the perfect time to see Mandarin ducks, the flamboyantly colored birds that migrate from the north to escape the winter cold.

Mandarin Duck

From spectacle to symbolism

These ducks, present from mid-February to the end of March, fascinate by their beauty. The male, with his brightly-colored plumage, and the more discreet female form a united couple, a symbol of love and fidelity in Vietnam. Popular language has kept many traces of our colorful bird:
  • Uyên ương: A married couple.
  • Uyên ương tơ: A young couple in love.
  • Cầu uyên ương: An “S”-shaped bridge symbolizing the union of two souls.
  • Vòng uyên ương: A necklace with two pendants in the shape of Mandarin ducks, offered to couples.
  • Tranh uyên ương: A painting depicting Mandarin ducks, often given as a wedding gift.

An inseparable couple

Uyen and Uong, as they’re affectionately known, are never apart. They sleep, eat and swim together, a model of marital bliss. Their presence at Vietnamese weddings symbolizes the union of the spouses and their commitment to remain united.

A lucky charm

The Mandarin duck is also a symbol of fertility and happiness. Giving a pair of ducks to a couple wishing to have a child is a common tradition. Its presence in a home is considered a lucky charm, bringing joy and prosperity.

Legendary love

The Mandarin duck is also present in Vietnamese folklore. There are many stories and legends about these birds and their symbolism.

Let me tell you the legend of the mandarin duck and the fairy

Long ago, in a peaceful village in Vietnam, there lived a young man named Trương Chi. Poor as Job, his only possession was his immense beauty. One day, while strolling nonchalantly, he spotted an extraordinarily beautiful fairy, Mỵ Nương, descending from the sky to bathe in a lake.

Instant love at first sight! Trương Chi fell in love with her at first sight, and so did she. And so began a love story worthy of the greatest fairy tales. They married and lived happily ever after, as if in a daydream.

But, as in every good story, there is always a villain. One day, a cruel village mandarin, an arrogant and unscrupulous bigwig, fell under the spell of Mỵ Nương. Desiring to possess her at all costs, he ordered Trương Chi to give him his wife.

Trương Chi, a courageous man and mad lover, flatly refused. The mandarin, furious at his refusal, had him killed without mercy.

Mỵ Nương, inconsolable and devastated, went to the lakeside where she had met her lost love. There, she miraculously transformed herself into a Mandarin duck, the symbol of eternal love. She swam across the lake singing a sad song, expressing her pain and immense sorrow. One day, a kind-hearted fisherman heard the melancholy song of Mỵ Nương. Touched by her sadness, he caught her and took her home. Mỵ Nương lived with the fisherman for many years, telling him the tragic story of her lost love.

When Mỵ Nương died, his soul once again took the form of a Mandarin duck and flew up to heaven. The story goes that, in the afterlife, she was finally reunited with her beloved Trương Chi, and they now live happily ever after, far from injustice and evil mandarins.

Moral of the story? True love is stronger than death, even in the face of insurmountable obstacles. It’s a force that crosses time and space, capable of overcoming all hardships.

 

There are other versions of this love story… Tran Trong Kim and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai’s (or Le Van and Nguyen Thi, depending on the version) is a veritable concentrate of love, tears and magic, all sprinkled with a zest of Mandarin duck.

Under the Tran dynasty, these two lovebirds fall for each other like pepperoni pizza fresh from the oven. But their families are enemies, as ruthless as hungry ninjas. Marriage is out of the question!

That’s where the Mandarin duck comes in. A bird like no other, capable of miracles. Wounded or magically appearing (we’re not sure), he bides his time. And when the lovers are on the verge of despair, paf! The duck steps in and fixes everything.

The result? Tran Trong Kim and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai (or Le Van and Nguyen Thi) finally get married, and live happily ever after, accompanied by their lucky duck.

All of which goes to show that love is stronger than anything, even enemy families. And if you’ve got a Mandarin duck in your family, take good care of it! He just might save your ass one day…

Uyen Uong - Ho Ba Be

Ba Be Lake, a natural sanctuary

Let’s come back down to earth, or rather to the shores of Ba Be Lake, for a chance to spot yellow-headed ducks (scientific name: Anas penelope – Eurasian Wigeon), a migratory bird species that is rarer than Mandarin ducks in Vietnam.

In addition to Mandarin ducks, Ba Be Lake is home to a rich and varied biodiversity. It’s the largest natural freshwater lake in Vietnam, with 500 hectares and 10,000 hectares of virgin forest. A true haven of peace for nature lovers.

So, if you’re looking for a unique experience, come and watch the Mandarin ducks of Lake Ba Be. Be enchanted by their beauty and discover the deep symbolism attached to them.

A word of advice: get up early to observe the Mandarin ducks in their natural habitat. Enjoy the calm of the morning and the beauty of the landscape for an unforgettable experience.

 

Photos : Dan Tri online magazine
From : Dịp hiếm ngắm nhìn chim uyên ương khi du Xuân hồ Ba Bể

Celebration of the full moon of the first month of the year: Tết Nguyên Tiêu

Tet Nguyen Tieu, also known as the Lantern Festival, is a traditional celebration in Vietnam and other Asian countries. Its origins date back to the Han dynasty in China and it symbolizes the tribute to the ancestors, the end of a rebellion and the revival of spring. A popular legend tells the story of an emperor who meets a goddess and receives a magic lantern as a gift. This festival marks the end of the Tết festivities and the beginning of the lunar new year.

Tet Nguyen Tieu

Tet Nguyen Tieu,overview

The emperor Han Wudi received a precious gift from a goddess, a magical lantern. He vowed to use the lantern to guide his people and decreed that it should be lit every year on the 15th day of the first lunar month. This tradition spread throughout China and became an important celebration. The 15th day of the first lunar month is considered a day for divination and spiritual purification. Lanterns represent light that drives away evil spirits and brings luck. During Tet Nguyen Tieu, people consult fortune tellers for predictions about their future. Divination involves various methods such as astrology, palm reading, spirit invocation, and dream interpretation. These practices provide guidance on love, relationships, career, and finances.

Tet Nguyen Tieu, a family celebration

Tet Nguyen Tieu is a festival celebrated on the 15th day of the first lunar month, marking the end of Tet and the beginning of a new year. It holds spiritual significance, with lanterns symbolizing light that dispels darkness and brings luck. The festival is a time for reflection, making wishes for the future, and celebrating with family. The full moon on this day represents perfection, harmony, and family gatherings. Traditional food, such as banh chung and xoi gac, is enjoyed during the festival, with each ingredient symbolizing different aspects of life. The sharing of round sticky rice cakes, known as banh troi nuoc, represents family bonds and hope for a sweet and prosperous new year.

Dance of the Dragons

The Tet Nguyen Tieu festival is not just about lanterns and legends, but also a time for families to come together and share traditional dishes. It is marked by dragon and lion dances, creating an exciting atmosphere. The festival has different meanings and origins, including the celebration of spring, victory and peace, and Buddha’s birthday. It is a celebration of Vietnamese culture and heritage, symbolizing resilience and the spirit of the people. The festival is deeply rooted in history and tradition, allowing people to honor their ancestors and cultural heritage. It is a reminder of the strength of the Vietnamese people in the face of adversity.

Traditional Dishes for Tet Nguyen Tieu

Tet Nguyen Tieu, a spiritual connection

Tet Nguyen Tieu is a time of purification and renewal in Vietnam. People participate in rituals and ceremonies to cleanse their homes and minds, starting the new year with a fresh start. The festival is filled with vibrant colors, music, and dance, but also includes reflection, homage to ancestors, and seeking blessings for the new year. Making lanterns is a significant activity during Tet Nguyen Tieu, symbolizing the essence of the festival. Families gather to pay tribute to Buddha and ancestors and wish for a peaceful and prosperous year. They prepare beautiful offering trays and visit temples to pray for peace and prosperity. The celebration extends beyond families and temples, with large-scale festivals throughout the country.

To conclude

Tet Nguyen Tieu is a vibrant festival in Vietnam that brings people together to celebrate and reflect on the past year while welcoming the new one with hope and optimism. The festival is filled with colorful displays, delicious street food, traditional lanterns, and energetic lion dancers. However, it can cause disruptions in public transportation for travelers. Overall, Tet Nguyen Tieu showcases the rich culture and traditions of Vietnam.

Read more : Lunar New Year Festival in Vietnam

A Vibrant Dance of Traditions: Unveiling the Magic of Tet Nguyen Dan

Imagine a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors, the sweet aroma of exotic spices, and the joyous symphony of laughter echoing through bustling streets… Welcome to Tet Nguyen Dan, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, a feast for the senses and a celebration that weaves history, mythology, and family into a vibrant tapestry.

lunar-new-year

Deeply rooted in ancient agrarian practices, Tet has evolved into a celebration of life’s renewal. For a week, Vietnam transforms into a stage where traditions dance, each act imbued with meaning. Tet is more than just a spectacle; it’s a portal to understanding the Vietnamese soul. It’s a time for reflection, forgiveness, and embracing new beginnings. It’s a reminder that amidst the hustle of life, family, tradition, and a dash of playful superstition hold the key to true happiness.

Echoes of Ancestral Whispers

The first act opens with a poignant tribute to ancestors. The Vietnamese believe that their ancestors are still watching over them and guiding them. Têt Nguyen Dan thus provides Vietnamese people an important opportunity to connect with their ancestors and express their thanks. Families gather, their faces illuminated by flickering candles, as they offer prayers and delicacies, seeking blessings for the year ahead. The air hums with a sense of reverence, a reminder that the past lives on within us. A Spring Cleaning of the Soul Before the festivities begin, a meticulous cleansing takes place. Homes are scrubbed, not just of dust, but of negativity, making way for fresh beginnings. They then decorated their homes with flowers, lanterns, and banners. New clothes are donned, symbolizing a shedding of the old and an embrace of the new.

A Feast for the Senses

The aroma of banh chung, a sticky rice cake bursting with savory goodness, fills the air. Round fruits, symbols of prosperity, adorn tables alongside vibrant flowers. Each bite, each sip, is a celebration of abundance and togetherness.

A Dance of Lions and Red Envelopes

Children’s eyes sparkle as they chase playful lion dancers, their pockets jingling with lucky money tucked inside red envelopes called Li Xi, a symbol of good fortune and blessings for the year ahead. The Li Xi tradition is seen as a symbol of good fortune, happiness, and success.

li-xi-envelopes

Whispers of Legends and Myths

As stories of Ong Tao and the race of the zodiac animals are shared, children’s imaginations take flight. The story goes that animals raced across a river, hoping to win a place in the zodiac cycle. Despite being the smallest, the quick-witted rat hitched a ride on the mighty ox, securing first place and setting the order for the remaining animals: tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Each year in the 12-year cycle is then associated with a specific animal, believed to influence the personalities of those born under its sign. This year, 2024, celebrates the powerful and ambitious Dragon.These ancient tales weave a thread of cultural heritage, reminding everyone of the values that bind them.

Ong Tao is a Tale of Redemption

In a bygone era, a lumberjack and his wife, Thi Nhi, lived peacefully in a village. Sadly, they faced the hardship of childlessness, which led the lumberjack to drown his sorrows in drink and mistreat his wife. Unable to endure this, Thi Nhi found solace and new life with a hunter from a nearby village.

Years passed, and remorse struck the lumberjack. He sought forgiveness, visiting Thi Nhi’s home. To avoid conflict, she hid him in a barn near the cooking fire. But fate played a cruel hand. A stray ember set the barn ablaze, trapping the lumberjack inside. In a selfless act, Thi Nhi and the hunter rushed to save him, sacrificing their own lives in the fiery struggle. Touched by their tragic tale and unwavering love, the Jade Emperor, ruler of the heavens, bestowed upon them an eternal honor. He transformed them into the Three Geniuses of the Foyer, known as Ong Tao, protectors of the Vietnamese household and its kitchen.

Each year, on the 23rd day of the last lunar month, Ong Tao ascends to the Jade Emperor’s court, carrying reports of the family’s past year. To celebrate this journey and seek Ong Tao’s favor, the Vietnamese observe Tet Ong Tao, a festive day filled with offerings and gratitude. In 2024, Ong Tao embarks on this important mission on February 2nd.

This is a story of hardship, redemption, and ultimately, the enduring power of love and selflessness. It serves as a reminder of the importance of family harmony and the role of kitchen hearth as a symbol of warmth and togetherness.

tet-ong-tao

Superstitions Whispering in the Wind

Tet is sprinkled with playful superstitions, believed to usher in good fortune. From avoiding hair washing to embracing red and gold hues, these charming traditions add a touch of magic to the festivities.

A Closing Symphony of Laughter

As the week draws to a close, the last act unfolds in a symphony of laughter and goodbyes. Families cherish the memories forged, the bonds strengthened, and the hope for a prosperous year ahead.

Tet Nguyen Dan is more than just a celebration; it’s a vibrant tapestry woven with threads of history, family, and hope. It’s a reminder that even in the face of change, some things remain constant: the love of family, the power of tradition, and the unwavering spirit of renewal.

So, the next time you hear the whispers of Tet, remember the vibrant dance of traditions it embodies. Open your heart to its magic, and let it remind you of the beauty of life’s simple joys, celebrated with loved ones under the warm glow of a new year.

From original article : The Lunar New Year in Vietnam: a thousand-faceted millennial celebration

Christmas in Ba Be National Park

Christmas in Ba Be National Park

Christmas in Vietnam is a unique cultural mix, where Christians and non-Christians participate together in the festivities.

Christmas-Ba Be Lake

Christmas in Vietnam, a short introduction

In Vietnam, celebrating Christmas is a relatively recent custom, then that we owe to the French settlers, settled in Indochina during the 19th century.

If some Portuguese and French missionaries testified to having celebrated a Christmas mass in Vietnam in the 16th century, it is the opening of the Blue Dragon Country to the outside world, initiated by the economic policy of Doi Moi in the late 1980s, which really popularized this typically Western festival.

Nowadays, Christmas in Vietnam is a special atmosphere, festive, popular and good-natured, where Christians and non-Christians come together to share moments of peace and joy, each according to their beliefs.

Celebrate Christmas in Vietnam today

If Christmas is obviously first of all a religious holiday, we see in Vietnam a kind of large commercial mass in which shops, restaurants and other brands compete for promotional offers.

Vietnamese people love Christmas trees, lights and candles. In addition, they like to eat traditional Christmas foods, such as buche, gingerbread and sweets. Churches, houses and shops are adorned with lights, garlands and other flashy objects. Families and friends gather in churches to pray and receive communion, others gather to share a meal often similar to that of the Vietnamese Tet and to exchange gifts. In big cities like Ha Noi, Ho Chi Minh City or Da Nang, we like to stroll in the streets decorated and dizzying animation, surrounded by the sound of Vietnamese Christmas music, while Santa Claus scooter parades and shows help to make this holiday a period full of good humor and atypical.

Did you know that?  In Vietnam, Christmas is not a holiday, so most shops, restaurants and sights are open on December 24 and 25.

merry-christmas
christmas-tree

Christmas celebrations in the Northern Provinces Vietnam

Considered the cradle of Catholicism in the Land of Palanches, the provinces of Ninh Binh and Nam Binh (in northern Vietnam) list many Catholic families who celebrate Christmas with fervour. They attend midnight mass, sing Christmas carols and stage the nativity by installing sumptuous nativity scenes on the forecourt of churches.

Did you know that? Ninh Binh has the largest concentration of churches in the country, including the impressive Phat Diem Cathedral, remarkable for its unique architecture, mixing Eastern and European influences. It is also the seat of Catholicism in Vietnam.

Even further north, the regions of Tonkin and Upper Tonkin Vietnam offer beautiful landscapes, which can be enjoyed especially during the Christmas period. You can for example visit the mountains of Sa Pa, the rice terraces of Mu Cang Chai or Pu Luong, Halong Bay or Ba Be Lake. So many destinations to admire nature, hike, kayak or bike… and enjoy the local cuisine !

Christmas in Ba Be National Park

Appreciated for its wild beauty easily accessible from Hanoi, the Ba Be National Park is an exceptional natural heritage, refuge of a rare and diversified ecosystem. During Christmas time, enjoy the legendary lake, one of the world’s largest natural freshwater lakes, explore caves, hike through the jungle… and rest at Ba Be Jungle Houses.

Did you know that? Ba Be National Park hides a cave now known as «Son Doong of North-Vietnam», in reference to its big sister located in Phong Nha – Ke Bang (Central Vietnam), whose wild beauty and geological interest, but also accessible (and much cheaper).

Christmas in Ba Be National Park is an opportunity to experience the culture and traditions of local ethnicities, such as the Tay, Nung, Dao and Hmong, in addition to offering opportunities for hiking on land and underground, kayaking, biking or boating.

Ba Be Jungle Houses is the ideal starting point: Jungle Resort located in the heart of the Park, this homestay is designed and built according to the architectural rules of the local ethnic groups, especially the wooden house on stilts, typical of the Tay ethnic community. The accommodations combine comfort with natural and local authenticity, offering a unique experience of immersion in Vietnamese culture.

Connected to nature and local communities, experience a Christmas holiday like no other in the Ba Be National Park, Bac Kan Province, North Vietnam!

Follow this link to know all about Ba Be Jungle Houses (where it is, how to get there, what to do…)


Terms & Conditions | Ba Be Jungle Houses

Booking:

– All bookings must be made via the reservation form featured on our website or via email to the address
info@mrlinhadventure.com
– Response will be forthcoming within 48 hrs. Mr Linh’s Adventures will confirm your booking request once the deposit (30% of the total cost) has been received.
– Note that for promotions and sales, 100% of the fee must be paid before confirmation, but the same rules regarding refunds apply. See next section for more details.
– The remaining 70% is due at the homestay before departure.
– We accept full payment with VISA and MASTERCARD.
– All prices and fares are quoted in USD.

Cancellation fees, modifications and refund:

– Once you have paid your 30%, your trip is confirmed.
– Promotions and sales require the full 100% of the fee to receive a booking confirmation.
– For Promotions and sales, the same rules of cancellation and refunds apply.
– Any cancellation of a booking must be in writing and shall only be effective upon its acknowledged receipt by Mr Linh’s Adventures.
– No refunds are given in case of ‘force majeure’.

Fees applied:
– 30% of the total payment if the cancellation is made 7 days prior to the estimated arrival date stated in the booking confirmation
– 50% of the total payment if the cancellation is made 6 to 3 days prior to the estimated arrival date stated in the booking confirmation
– 100% of the total payment if the cancellation is received 3 days prior to the estimated arrival date stated in the booking confirmation.

Check-in and check-out times:

– Check in time is 2:00 PM while check out time is 12:00 PM.
– Early check-in and late check-out are subject to room availability.
– Early check-in between 5:00 AM and 9:00 AM will result to 50% charge of the room rate. Early check-in between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM will result to 30% charge of the room rate.
– Late check-out between 12:00 PM and 3:00 PM will result to 30% charge if the room rate. Late check-out between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM will result to 50% charge of the room rate. And late check-out after 6:00 PM will result to 100% charge of the room rate.

Children policy:

– Children up to 5 years old can share the room with their parents or guardians at no additional charge. A complimentary extra bed can be provided upon request.
– Children from 5 to 11 years old sharing the same room with their parents must pay for extra bed.
– Children from 12 years old are considered adults and must pay the full rate.

Package Inclusions :
– Each rate includes room, breakfast and service charge (5%).

Ba Be Adventure Race 2023

BA-BE-ADVENTURE-RACE-2023-4

With the aim of creating an exciting, challenging, and humanitarian sporting event for sports enthusiasts, while also promoting the magnificent natural beauty of Ba Be, the Ba Be Adventure Race 2023 has been carefully prepared for a long time and is officially sanctioned by the Bac Kan Provincial Department of Culture, Sports, and Tourism to be held from November 16th to 18th, 2023. The race spans three days, consisting of two stages with two different disciplines: SUP/kayaking and trail marathon. The competition will involve 15 teams, each comprising 6 members. What makes this race unique and captivating is that each stage will incorporate “cultural challenges” such as spear throwing, archery, rice pounding, etc., to enhance your experience of the race in Ba Be. All proceeds from ticket sales will be used by the organizing committee to support equipment and educational tools for schools facing difficulties and shortages in Ba Be. Joining us means not only participating in a race but also creating lifelong experiences and everlasting humanitarian values.

Ba Be Adventure Race 2023 is ready to welcome 15 passionate and strong teams.