Visitors have 5 hours to visit the Ban Gioc – Duc Thien waterfall landscape area, but immigration procedures take about an hour and a half.
On September 15, the first groups of tourists came to experience Ban Gioc (Cao Bang – Vietnam) – Duc Thien (Guangxi, China), the first joint exploitation landscape area on the Vietnam – China border, including 200 hectares of Vietnamese territory and 200 hectares of Chinese territory.
On September 17, Mr. Ha Kim Cuong (Cao Bang) had a 5-hour tour experience. “Having seen the waterfall from the Vietnamese side many times, I was curious about what the waterfall landscape would be like on your side,” Mr. Cuong shared the reason.
Mr. Cuong said the tour price on September 17 is 680,000 VND per person, including the cost of entry and exit procedures, a lunch, the cost of a tour guide (guide) to transport the entire route, a travel card and travel insurance.
From 9:00 a.m., tour guide picked up Mr. Cuong and other members of the group at the checkpoint in the landscape area to complete entry procedures into China.
The first place the group visited was International Street, where specialties and souvenirs were sold, as well as art performances. Mr. Cuong was impressed with the art and music performance program of the Zhuang ethnic group in Guangxi, China.
Then the whole group had lunch at a restaurant on International Street with Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine. Mr. Cuong prefers dishes with Vietnamese flavors such as boiled chicken, fried shrimp, and fried fish. Chinese dishes have a new taste but do not suit his taste. The amount of food was quite a lot. His group consisted of 18 people but only ate a third of it.
After lunch, the group continued to walk along the road with shops selling coffee, drinks, bread museums, yogurt shops, and experience markets with a variety of Chinese food. Then the group moved to the place to see the panoramic view of Ban Gioc – Duc Thien waterfall from above and take check-in photos. There are steps leading down to the foot of the waterfall for visitors to admire from a close distance or take a boat to see the waterfall. The boat ticket price is 33 yuan per person (about 100,000 VND).
After taking a boat trip to see the falls, the group moved back to Coffee Time Farm and to the Prayer Tree, where red pieces of paper with visitors’ prayers were hung. The last location of the tour is Trong Dong Square. There are models of giant bronze drums decorated with patterns.
At 2:00 p.m., the group returned to the checkpoint to complete procedures to return to Vietnam. Around 4:00 p.m., the group arrived at the Ban Gioc waterfall landscape area.
The road is covered with silk ribbons.
Vietnamese yogurt shop.
Road down to the foot of the waterfall.
Visitors can experience a boat ride to see the falls.
Trong Dong Square.
One of the models in Trong Dong Square.
Mr. Cuong said that the Chinese side planned the landscape and provided services methodically. Tour guides from your country are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about Vietnamese culture. However, drink prices are 2.5 times more expensive than at Ban Gioc waterfall. “A cup of coffee costs nearly 100,000 VND,” he said.
One shortcoming that Mr. Cuong hopes will soon be improved is the entry and exit procedures in both countries. During the 5-hour experience, the total time for entry and exit takes about 1.5 hours. “The remaining time to visit and experience is still a bit lacking,” Mr. Cuong said. According to him, viewing the waterfall from the Cao Bang side “is more beautiful, because there is also a view of golden rice fields”.
Tourists should take advantage of the tour from now until early October when the waterfall has a lot of water and can watch the ripe rice fields in Cao Bang . By mid-October, people will start harvesting rice. Mr. Cuong recommends preparing Chinese money in advance to facilitate payment when visiting Duc Thien waterfall, because products and services such as drinking water and boat tickets are not included in the tour price.
Ms. To Thi Trang, Deputy Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Cao Bang province, said that the Ban Gioc-Duc Thien landscape area will be piloted from September 15, for a period of one year. There are currently two tour providers in Vietnam: Cao Bang Tourism Joint Stock Company and Saigontourist.
During the pilot period, tourists from both countries will register for tours in the form of group departure and group entry, with the number of each group not exceeding 20 people. Temporarily the tour is only for Vietnamese and Chinese citizens . The stopover time of each group at the other side must not exceed 5 hours, and visitors are strictly prohibited from staying illegally. Tourists from the two countries enter the landscape area using passports (no visa required) or entry and exit passports, according to Cao Bang province’s electronic information portal.
Visitors need to register for the tour one day in advance. Tourists contact directly through the hotlines of the two tour providers to receive advice on conditions and tour registration procedures. The cost of making a passport is not included in the tour price.
During the pilot operation, tourists from the Chinese side pass through the Vietnamese landscape area according to the route: Checkpoint on the way through the landscape area – the area at the foot of the waterfall – Saigon Ban Gioc hotel – epidemic area Services, food – return to the checkpoint to return the card and exit to the Chinese side of the landscape. Tourists from the Vietnamese side pass through the landscape area on the Chinese side following the route: Checkpoint on the way through the landscape area – De Thien waterfall point – shopping street – walking in the landscape area – walking along the river in the area landscape – checkpoint going back and forth to the landscape area – returning to the landscape area on the Vietnamese side.
After the first week of opening, the current price of the Ban Gioc – Duc Thien waterfall tour is 790,000 VND per person, said an employee of Cao Bang Tourism Joint Stock Company.
Photo,Video: Internet (Vinlove.net)