When traveling to Hoa Binh – Vietnam, people often think of famous places such as: Mai Chau valley, Hoa Binh hydroelectric dam, Kim Boi mineral spring tourist area,… among which, it is impossible not to mention Da Bac.
Da Bac may be a rather unfamiliar name, but for tourists who are passionate about exploring and traveling, this is always a destination that holds extraordinary appeal. Da Bac’s peaceful, wild and dreamy scenery has captivated many travelers.
1. Where is Da Bac?
Da Bac is a high mountain district in Hoa Binh province, about 20 km west of Hoa Binh city and about 90 km southwest of Hanoi capital.
- The North borders Thanh Son and Tan Son districts of Phu Tho province.
- The South borders 3 districts of Cao Phong, Tan Lac, and Mai Chau.
- The East borders Hoa Binh city.
- The West borders Phu Yen and Van Ho districts of Son La province.
2. How is Da Bac unique?
Located at an average altitude of 560 m, with many mountains over 1,000 m above sea level, Da Bac has alternating terrain of mountains, hills, rivers and streams forming many narrow strips. This is the contiguous place between the Northwest and Northeast regions of Vietnam, so there is the interference of many different cultural streams, creating the uniqueness and charm of this land.
Da Bac has rich and attractive resources, majestic mountainous terrain with beautiful cave systems, large and small islands on Hoa Binh Lake. Along with the diverse and rich natural forest ecosystem, the rich culture of the Tay, Muong, Dao ethnic groups… These are the potentials and advantages for Da Bac to develop various types of eco-tourism and cultural tourism, culture and history.
Besides, humanistic tourism resources with unique tangible and intangible cultural values such as: Thac Bo temple, historical relics of Muong Diem war zone, historical relics of Tu Luong, Toan Son guerrilla team , Le Loi stele,…
The Dao, Tay, and Muong ethnic groups in the district still preserve many unique cultural features in their lifestyle and activities. All of these factors are extremely favorable conditions for developing community tourism in Da Bac.
3. When is the best time to travel to Da Bac?
Da Bac only has an average altitude of about 500m, not too high, but because it is located close to the Hoa Binh lake bed area, the climate is relatively cool. This place is very suitable for relaxation on hot days.
- You can go to Da Bac to avoid the heat around May-August. However, visitors also need to remember that this is the rainy season in Northern Vietnam so they need to monitor the weather carefully. If it rains, moving to this location is relatively difficult and also quite dangerous due to landslides.
- From September onwards, the weather is mostly dry, cool and gradually colder towards the end of the year. Now come to Da Bac to relax with activities such as swimming, climbing, trekking or kayaking.
Therefore, the ideal time to travel to Da Bac is from September to April next year.
4. How to get to Da Bac?
4.1. By personal vehicle:
With available personal vehicles, you can be proactive in moving to Da Bac. From Hanoi, you follow Thang Long Avenue with your car (with motorbikes on the side road) and then go straight to the intersection of Vietnamese Ethnic Cultural Village, then change direction to Hoa Binh along the new route. In just about 1 hour you will be in Hoa Binh city.
From here, you turn along Provincial Road 433 to go to Da Bac, this is the only route to this district. If you go to Hien Luong commune, the distance is about 30 km. But if you go to Tien Phong commune, the distance is about 50 km. Many sections of this route are under construction, so travel speed cannot be fast.
4.2 By public transportation:
From Hanoi to Hoa Binh
From Hanoi, you can catch bus routes to Hoa Binh that run continuously, these buses usually depart from My Dinh and Yen Nghia bus stations. If traveling from other bus stations, you can choose passenger buses to Son La or Dien Bien, of course, remember to choose a bus during the day.
From Hoa Binh to Da Bac
From Hoa Binh to Da Bac by public transport, it is most convenient to use the waterway. Because you can take advantage of the opportunity to visit the lake. Bich Ha port is located right in the city center (near the hydroelectric dam). Boats provide tourism services to explore the lake. From here you can reach famous community tourism communes in Da Bac such as Hien Luong or Tien Phong.
If you travel in a group of about 4-5 people, you can rent a taxi from the city center to desired locations in Da Bac such as Hien Luong or Tien Phong. The distance is about 30-50 km, the taxi fare will probably range around 100-150.000 vnđ/person.
5. Sightseeing & things to do in Da Bac
It’s a combination of passion for conquering nature, love of exploration, sports, adventure and most of all, the feeling of finding yourself. Trekking routes are often very wild but also full of fun and surprises.
This is a form of tourism that helps visitors have the opportunity to exercise, immerse themselves in nature and have new feelings about life and people where they pass. You can trek between villages or ask local people about beautiful routes to trek on your own. It’s a more memorable trip with our private tour guide in Da Bac that you can get in depth local couture & customs…
Wading in the stream
Quite an interesting activity if you have children with you. The area around Hien Luong commune has many small streams flowing from high mountains to lakes. Children will love to experience the feeling of walking. in the cool stream.
Many homestays in Da Bac have bicycles available for tourists to borrow for walking. Cycling routes often run around the village or along Hoa Binh lake.
Most of the lakeside tourist destinations in Da Bac, Thung Nai, and Ngoi Hoa village in Tan Lac have this activity available for tourists to participate in. With a cool space and calm water, kayaking on the lake is great. This activity is suitable for most ages because it is not too tiring.
Some homestays in Ke hamlet, Hien Luong have swimming pools built by the homeowner. The pool’s water source is from spring water so it is always cool. Another place where you can swim is the hydroelectric lake bed, however when swimming on the lake you are required to wear a life jacket because the terrain of the lake bed is uneven and the shallow depth is uneven, making it relatively dangerous. dangerous.
Take a boat to visit Hoa Binh Lake
In most community tourism villages in Da Bac, people have boats available to transport tourists around the lake. If you are traveling in a large group, you can rent a whole boat to conveniently get to your desired destinations
5.2. Community tourism destinations
Hien Luong commune
Hien Luong has Ke hamlet located close to the edge of Hoa Binh lake, where 80 Muong ethnic households live. The landscape is almost pristine and the cultural identity of the local people is still preserved.
Visiting Ke hamlet, visitors can explore the mountains, majestic old forests, and the vast lake, allowing them to live together and experience the cultural, labor, and production life of local people.
Cao Son commune
Cao Son commune has Sung hamlet, located at an altitude of about 530 m above sea level, behind is the majestic Bieu mountain range, at the foot are terraced fields stretching along the romantic hillside. Sung hamlet has 73 households, of which 100% are Dao ethnic people. This is a place where many traditional cultural values of the Dao Tien people are still preserved.
In addition to visiting and exploring the customs, habits, and lifestyle of the people here. You can admire the ancient Tro tree, which is several hundred years old. Especially walking about 30 minutes through the old forest to explore Sung cave.
Vay Nua commune
More than 20km from the district center, with the advantage of landscape and fresh climate along the lake, various types of tourism services in Vay Nua are gradually developing. In Vay Nua commune, there is Ba Chua Thac Bo temple. It’s a very famous temple that many tourists cannot miss when traveling to Hoa Binh lake.
Da Bia Village – Tien Phong Commune
The uniqueness of the Muong ethnic cultural identity is preserved by the people of Da Bia hamlet for community tourism. Stilt houses, gong sounds, Xoe dances; The traditional cuisine and agricultural production methods of the Muong people create a special attraction for tourists.
Currently, in Da Bia hamlet, there are 5 households doing community tourism, but 100% of the people in the hamlet have supported the households doing tourism with the desire to promote the uniqueness of Muong Ao Ta culture to tourists.
Mo Hem village
With a wild and poetic natural landscape along with the living space of the Muong people, located between two community tourist attractions of Ke hamlet and Da Bia hamlet on the Hoa Binh lake tourist route, Mo Hem village, commune Tien Phong is currently a community tourism village that attracts tourists to experience and explore.
Coming here, visitors can participate in experiencing activities such as: rafting, catching fish, shrimp, fishing on the lake, cycling, walking to explore around the village…
5.3 Tan Minh market
Also known as Enh market, held every Tuesday in Tan Minh commune. This is considered the busiest market of Da Bac, converging many identities, and is a meeting and trading place for Tay, Muong, and Dao ethnic people.
6. Specialties when traveling to Da Bac
When traveling to Da Bac, visitors not only get to visit the majestic natural scenery but also have the opportunity to enjoy the specialties of this land.
6.1. Grilled pork
Pork belly is chopped into small squares, marinated with Mac Khen seeds, grilled until golden brown and eaten when just cooked, it is also extremely attractive. The sweetness of pork mixed with the aroma of spices creates a special dish that anyone cannot refuse.
6.2. Grilled chicken
In the highlands, chickens are often raised naturally in the garden so the meat is always chewy, fragrant and sweet. The chicken is not big but in terms of deliciousness, it is beyond the table. Depending on your preference, you can ask the host to grill or boil it.
6.3. Grilled fish
Song Da currently has many types of fish such as milkfish, lentil fish, fried fish, barb fish… that can be processed into dozens of different dishes such as grilled fish, grilled fish, fish cooked with sour bamboo shoots…
Each fresh fish caught from the river is cleaned, salted, then clamped with old and fresh bamboo sticks, grilled over charcoal. Each hot fish skewer is dipped in white salt mixed with doi seeds and a few slices of chili to feel the sweetness of the fish.
6.4. Sour bamboo shoots cooked with chicken
Free-range chickens, weighing about 1 kg, are cleaned and their internal organs are removed. Then, chop the chicken into many small pieces and marinate it with sour bamboo shoots (the longer salted bamboo shoots and bamboo shoots are, the better).
Marinate with spices for 20-30 minutes to infuse the flavor of bamboo shoots and spices into the meat. Then, put it in a pot and simmer around the charcoal stove for about 1-2 hours. When the chicken and bamboo shoots are cooked, sprinkle a little crushed roasted guava seeds.
7. Accommodation when traveling to Da Bac
When traveling to Da Bac, visitors can refer to some of the accommodation facilities below. Most accommodation establishments are concentrated in the town area to facilitate tourists’ movement between tourist destinations.
- Chau Anh Guesthouse. Address: Provincial Road 433, Da Bac Town, Da Bac, Hoa Binh.
- Huyen My Guest House. Address: Tel 433, Da Bac Town, Da Bac, Hoa Binh.
- Hien Luong Guest House. Address: Da Bac Town, Da Bac, Hoa Binh.
Located along the flow of Da River and Hoa Binh hydroelectric lake, Da Bac mainly develops homestay accommodation. The homestays are mainly in Hien Luong and Tien Phong communes and are built mainly based on the old stilt houses of local people.
- Ngoc Nhom Homestay. Address: Tien Phong, Da Bac, Hoa Binh.
- Homestay Lake View. Address: Tien Phong, Da Bac, Hoa Binh.
- Sanh Thuan Homestay. Address: Hien Luong, Da Bac, Hoa Binh.
- Sac Luyen Homestay. Address: Hien Luong, Da Bac, Hoa Binh.
- Huu Thao Homestay. Address: Hien Luong, Da Bac, Hoa Binh.
Around the communes of Da Bac, there are many vacant lots located right next to Hoa Binh lake, very suitable for setting up tents and sleeping overnight because these areas are relatively cool. However, because it is located quite far from the residential area, you need to prepare all your belongings before moving to the tent location.
If you want to get close to the lake, only high-clearance vehicles and motorbikes can go, small low-clearance vehicles will have difficulty passing bad roads. Da Bac with its beautiful natural landscape and rich culture also deserves to be a destination not to be missed on your upcoming trip to Hoa Binh.
If you are planning your Hoa Binh tour to Da Bac, immediately contact Origin Vietnam. We, a professional Vietnam tour operator, possess a team of experienced, dedicated, and thoroughly knowledgeable consultants, tour operators, and local expert guides. We are committed to taking you on a tour of Vietnam to discover Da Bac, providing many interesting experiences and creating unforgettable memories for you.