Bản Giốc Waterfall

Useful Information

Location: Đàm Thuỷ, Trùng Khánh, Cao Bằng.
From Cao Bằng QL3 34 km, turn left towards Quảng Uyên, ĐT206 46 km.
(22.8537648, 106.7229695)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: Adults VND 45,000.
Classification: SpeleothemRimstone Pool Speleologytufa caves.
Light: n/a
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Bản Giốc Waterfall
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Thác Bản Giốc (Bản Giốc Waterfall) is located in a remote area of Northern Vietnam, on the border between China and Vietnam. Actually the river is the border, so half of the waterfalls belongs to Vietnam, the other half to China. As a result it also has a Chinese name, which is 板约瀑布 (Detian Waterfall). The formal name is even longer: 德天跨國瀑布景區 (Detian Transnational Waterfall Scenic Area). The typical descriptions tell it was the fourth-largest waterfall in the world, being 300 m wide. But this actually misses the important stuff completely. This is a series of tufa rimstones, deposited by the limestone rich water from a karst spring. The Ban Gioc Waterfall is located within the Non Nuoc Cao Bang UNESCO Global Geopark.

The waterfall is used to create hydroelectric power. Unfortunately, this reduces the amount of water flowing down the waterfall drastically. As a compromise, the hydroelectric power plant is deactivated twice daily so the tourist can enjoy the full strength of the river for a short time.