Ha Giang Adventure Tours

Ban Gioc waterfalls for 45 minutes

Finally, it was time to leave and we pulled out, turned one corner and… waited for people to show up. Haha. Oh Vietnam...We didn't really leave the city until about 6 a.m. The next bus was leaving at 6:30.

My bus left early in the morning, I walked across the street about an hour early hoping to find some breakfast. No such luck. The only stall open was this chubby lady's restaurant. I sat down and stared as she cut up a whole chicken, a bunch of pork, a few bowls of limes and some sausages. This took 45 minutes and when I finally asked for some food she said no.

I wandered around the terminal until I found someone selling baguettes. The man made me a divine egg sandwich for 50 cents, no questions or starving required. 

Finally, it was time to leave and we pulled out, turned one corner and… waited for people to show up. Haha. Oh Vietnam...We didn't really leave the city until about 6 a.m. The next bus was leaving at 6:30, so I wonder what time they actually left at .

The scenery on the way was incredible, it felt just like Apocalypse Now. The road was bumpy and twisted and turned unpredictably. I tried to imagine what it would be like in the dark, near impossible to stay alive on this road probably. There usually weren't any guard rails or barriers on the edge of the steep cliffs. We rambled through rice fields and muddy rivers flowing in between mountains, and our bus wound its way through pot holes and eventually stopped in a small town. 

"Cao Bang?" I asked. I don't know any other words.


What? It's only been two hours, it's supposed to take five. 

I borrowed the bus driver's phone and translated "Where is the bus to Trang Khanh?" I was supposed to switch in Cao Bang to get to a smaller city, then take a motorcycle to the waterfall. He only says "Cao Bang. Yes!" OMG you are so unhelpful.

I went looking around for another bus, but they were all empty, so I figured this was only a rest stop. Thank you geniuses, for all your help. 

When we actually got to Cao Bang, a man jumped onto my bus and attempted to push me onto his bus. Seriously, I just endured a five hour bus ride, I have to pee and get lunch first, thankyouverymuch.

After peeing and eating, he was still there, waiting for me to take his bus, shouting "WATERFALL WATERFALL" over and over in my face. He wasn't leaving for an hour still, so I was at a loss as to why this was so urgent. I took a nap in the back seat of the van until we left. 

His bus turned out to be a literal milk run, people would flag us down and give us packages for their friends up the road. Once, we drove back and forth looking for someone who was waiting for a package from us. 

The scenery again, was amazing. The karst peaks reminded me of China of course. They are the same mountain range as in Guilin and Zhangjiajie . We would frequently stop for water buffalo and people toting things on their shoulders along the way.

Every once in a while though, someone would literally barf in a plastic bag and throw it out the window, harshly ripping me from my dazzling dreamland in the jungle. Tell me why I do this for fun again?

At the waterfall, I was given about 45 minutes to look around and go back to the bus stop. There is a nice rice field that you have to walk through to get to the waterfall, it takes a few minutes to walk there an walk back, so he didn't give me enough time. But it was the last run of the day, so when I got there, I jumped in the water for a swim anyway. The water was so clean and refreshing, I didn't want to get out. 

When I got back, there were two nice Vietnamese people also waiting for the bus. One of them spoke English so we chatted a little on the way back. He helped me find the night bus to Hanoi and we got some chicken soup and waited for my bus together. 

My bus was the kind with the beds, all pimped out with rainbow lights and a leopard print blanket, so cozy in the blasting air conditioning. 
From Hanoi, I quickly got another bus home and made it back to Ha Long at about 9 a.m. I kept saying "Hon Gai! Hon Gai!" and they didn't try to drop me off on the tourist island, they actually dropped me off at the right spot this time. Persistence pays.

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