Kayaking was priorly famous in well-known tourist attractions but is now popular among young travelers at other destinations such as Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba Bay, etc.
During my time visiting Hanoi's Old Quarter, I accidentally came across a tourist exhibition. I just rambled on until a poster of Ba Be Lake caught my interest. It was the green of the lake that made me forget the heat of Hanoi. Unlike the famous rice terraces in Sapa or Mu Cang Chai, the lake is surrounded by endless green, giving me a relaxed and happy feeling. So I decided to stop by to gather a little more information from the consultants. The more I know, the more I am excited by its wildness, authenticity and pristineness.
Boats at Ba Be Lake
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, I arrived at Ba Be on a sunny day in May. After 4 hours of driving, I finally arrived at one of the largest natural freshwater lakes in the world. The scene in front of me was so surreal, it made me feel like I was in a wonderland.
I chose "Mr Linh’s Homestay", a place right next to the lake. I was surprised by the location and traditional architecture of this homestay. It’s a stilt house with wooden floors and a palm-leaf roof of the Tay minority, with wide railings for sunbathing. I haven't seen this type of design for a while.
The view from Mr Linh's Homestay
The rooms here are very comfortable and modern but still have many typical Thai cultural features. The owner was really friendly and hospitable, I spent the whole evening listening to his stories. I was surprised that I can rent the kayak from the homestay because I thought it can only be available at places like Ha Long Bay or Cat Ba Island. So my roommate and I decided to wake up early to explore the breathtaking beauty of Ba Be Lake.
Kayaking at Ba Be Lake
The boat we rented was new and sturdy. After putting on lifejackets and listening to the directions from our wonderful host, we barely started our journey.
The boat glides over the lake, making small waves, which are wound in two rows like soft green silk. Sitting on the boat slowly drifting away, letting the wind and the morning sun pass through our face, leaving my mind free from the chaos and daily worries. Breathing in the fresh air with the scent of the jungle, listening to the sounds of birds and cicadas coming from the deep green mountains, and looking at the lake in the morning and dawn, while the lake was still shrouded in mist. Strangely, peace of mind, my teacher's voice seems to echo in my ears about the legend of the lake "Once upon a time, there was a widowed mother and daughter..."
A memorable photo at Ba Be Lake
Although I have experienced kayaking before, somehow I still have to struggle for a while. Beginning to feel a bit tired, I had to let the boat drift along the calm water of the lake, enjoying the moment and the breathtaking view in front of me. Its pure beauty and open-air made me feel like my sadness seems to have driven away. Perhaps this blue feeling was floating along the waters of the lake.
Ba Be Lake - Hidden gem of North Vietnam
After taking lots of photos, we headed back to the homestay. I have never been as relaxed and calm as I was then. I was happy to have made the right decision to be there. The lunch was full of delicious Ba Be food. The host was very enthusiastic to have invited me to try a few glasses of wine brewed by himself. I felt a bit dizzy, I don't know if it was because of the good wine or the enthusiasm of the people there, or maybe it was because the scenery was so shimmering that I thought I had been lost in some magical place.
Exploring Ba Be Lake by motorboat
Besides kayaking, we also experienced many other activities such as canoeing to Ba Be National Park, swimming, and fishing. I will share more about my experience next time, so stay tuned for more and follow my journey at Ba Be Lake! Certainly, if you like traveling, you will be very impressed and have a good time at this so-called northeastern green jewel!
Source: Du lịch hồ Ba Bể
Translated by Ha Phuong, intern at Mr Linh's Adventures
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