Saying goodbye to a good trucker, we began to descend along the road to the Ban Gioc waterfall. It is the fourth largest waterfall in the world and the largest in Southeast Asia. And already from far away he admired his greatness. A young man in a beige uniform stopped us and said that we should pay for the entrance. And when he answered the question “How much?”, We were pleasantly surprised. It turned out that the entrance to the waterfall from the Vietnamese side costs only 150-200 rubles! In comparison with the cost of entry from the Chinese side (2000 rubles) – at least ten times more profitable. But later we realized that this was not the main advantage of the Vietnamese side. And the main advantage is the Ban Gioc waterfall itself!
Ban Gioc waterfall
The road from the ticket office to the waterfall runs along the picturesque bridge past the picturesque rice fields through the not very picturesque market, which sells souvenirs, all sorts of unnecessary staffs, as well as food and drinks. The only market street will lead you to the wide bank of the Quashon River, with two large canals falling from a height of 120 meters. The left channel of the river (you will have it on the right) divides the Earth into Vietnam and China. It is wider, it is considered the main waterfall and, by a lot of jets, it falls down from the rocks, in three large steps. At the lower reaches of the main waterfall there is a large lake smoothly flowing into the river bed. On the lake on bamboo rafts ride tourists so that they can take a closer look at the waterfall. You too can come closer to him, passing along the bridge. But if you first pass to the left, then you will stop at another azure lake, washed by the right (which is to the left) course of the river, high powerful jets falling from its entire height. Here you have the opportunity to take a closer look at the entire Ban Gioc waterfall, and this, in our opinion, is the main advantage of the Vietnamese side. But now it is a little about other important pluses.
Одно из таких преимуществ – возможность покататься на каяке прямо под водопадом и заодно искупаться в лагуне с лазурной водой. И пока мы восхищались и фотографировали без остановки, начало смеркаться, и ребята стали собирать инвентарь. Мы поторопились спросить покататься и, недолго думая, они согласились. Стоит такое удовольствие всего десять долларов в час на двоих, а поплавать на каяке под одним из крупнейших водопадов мира – это просто восторг и счастье!
We rolled and bathed, and while we were drying, the guys got together and left. A few tourists, too, slowly go away. In the end, it was dark and only we were left alone with each other, the stars and the waterfall. On the Chinese side guards shining light. So we disappeared in the shade of a wide spreading tree, prepared to eat and began to put up a tent.
In the morning we got up with the first rays. There is no one yet, and we first went swimming naked. A swim in the natural pool, around the tall rocks, from which water flows, a refreshing shower right under the waterfall and diving from a two-meter fragment of the rock – that’s all I dreamed of. This is what we have come all this way for. And it is worth all the time and nerves. This happens once in a lifetime and never forgotten.
Only we had time to swim, as the first tourists arrived, which means it was time for breakfast and the time for another surprise. I scoop water from a stream and suddenly jump off. There is a snake! Water snake! Welooked around -they are everywhere! Five or six, floating from edge to edge. That was lucky last night that they didn’t bite us. Now, even afraid to go into the water!
We decided to stay for the night and did not even begin to remove the tent, hung out to dry our things everywhere, pulled out rugs and went to the sun. All day we attracted the attention of tourists, but did not cause any questions from the locals. Guys – kayakers only occasionally seen how and what we cook and discussed us cheerfully. We walked, took pictures and took pictures, enjoyed the views and the beautiful weather. We went to the market to see what was there and tried some large roasted nuts, appetizing outside, but like baked potatoes in taste and texture inside. I must say that the nuts were very cheap and satisfying!
They wanted to swim again in the evening, when there will be fewer people. But when you sit in the heat, and the guys take kayaks and dive from them into the water – it’s impossible to wait for the evening. I swam to the rocks, dived, earned applause and discontent of the guys who rent kayaks. In general, you can not swim there, but if you take a kayak for hire, you can swim. And I swam for free and they started screaming and whistling. At first I could not understand the reasons for their discontent and did not hurry to go out, but then I decided not to annoy them.
Then we found a cave in the rock right behind the waterfall in its right side. To visit such a cave was my dream since childhood, when I watched films about Indiana Jones. And like those treasure seekers from the film, who were passing behind a waterfall and plunging into a secret room, Nastya and I climbed into a cave. It turned out that it is not so difficult, you do not even need to swim, but you only need to climb over a couple of boulders, and you are in a room three by three meters and one of its walls is Banziok waterfall. We scream with delight, attract the attention of tourists and kayakers, but we can not but scream, because it’s so cool! Well, dreams come true, after a year, three, ten, twenty, but come true. And it’s very cool when this happens at the most unexpected moment!
We experienced everything possible for our money and even more, and at the end of the day, when it was almost dark, we were asked to leave. We were upset, slowly took off the tent, made a meal, ate, and then again set up the tent and went to bed to the sound of waterfalls.
In the morning we got up even earlier, bathed and took a shower, ate and went to catch the car. And on the way, we realized that if you arrive before seven o’clock in the morning, you can walk to the Ban Gioc Falls for free, because there are no gates and fences here, and the workers are probably still sleeping at this time.