Na Hang Lake in Tuyen Quang: A Hidden Gem Worth Your Visit in Northern Vietnam

Na Hang Lake in Tuyen Quang: A Hidden Gem Worth Your Visit in Northern Vietnam

If you're seeking a destination that combines natural beauty, cultural immersion, and a sense of tranquility, Na Hang lake & its national park should be at the top of your travel list. It's a place where you can escape the hustle and bustle of city life, connect with nature, and forge meaningful connections with the welcoming local community

Na Hang Lake: The Halong Bay of the Mountains - A Breathtaking Natural Wonder

"Na Hang landscape is often likened to Halong bay on the mountains due to its striking resemblance to the iconic Halong bay in Vietnam. Nestled amidst the lush greenery of the mountains, Na Hang ecological lake boasts a mesmerizing landscape of emerald waters and towering limestone karsts. These towering rock formations jut dramatically from the lake's surface, creating a breathtaking panorama reminiscent of the famous Halong bay's limestone pillars that rise majestically from the sea"

Na Hang - Halong bay on the mountains

That is a part of my brother's story about Na Hang national park & its lake's beauty, which really caught my curiosity about this hidden gem. Consequently, my wife and I made the decision to embark on a 2 day/1 night trip to Na Hang - Tuyen Quang, coinciding with the Vietnamese Independence Day on September 2, 2023 (On this occasion, Vietnamese have 4 days off from work & spend their time travelling around during this holiday)

Our recent trip to this hidden gem left us amazed by its untouched beauty, rich cultural heritage, and the following remarkable experiences we encountered along the journey. 

1. Embracing the Nature's Beauty

Na Hang lake is around 300km far from Hanoi capital on winding mountain roads so it took us time to drive - almost 8 hours with some stops for stunning photos en route.Our journey began with a scenic drive from Hanoi to Tuyen Quang (200km), a province known for its rugged landscapes and lush greenery. As we approached Na Hang town (100km more from Tuyen Quang city), the surrounding hills and forests seemed to reach out and embrace us. Upon arrival at noon time, we were immediately captivated by the crystal-clear waters of the lake, reflecting the verdant hillsides like a shimmering mirror.

Na Hang trip to enjoy the landscapes

2. Awesome Exploration of Na Hang Lake on the Boat Ride

After a quick lunch of local food in Na Hang town, we headed to the pier for the afternoon cruise ( 4-5 hours) to fully explore the beauty of Na Hang lake & its surroundings.It was really a nice day with blue sky & breeze which promised a day of much interesting travel experiences. Since it was a holiday, there was a high demand for boats, so we had to wait at least 30 minutes to get the boat arranged to share with other travelers.As the boat gently glided through the calm waters, we marveled at the limestone karsts towering above and the lush vegetation that surrounded us - so beautiful & relaxing.Throughout the expedition, we had the privilege of glimpsing into the daily life of the locals at the floating village, observing the diligent fishermen catching fish on the lake's surface. Our boat also made scheduled stops at some noteworthy attractions, including Coc Vai Pha, which exhibited a landscape reminiscent of Halong bay, a kayaking site for adventurous spirits, and the picturesque Khuoi Nhi waterfall.

3. Kayaking to Feel the Tranquility of the Landscapes

As we peacefully glided over the serene waters of Na Hang national park, a breathtaking spectacle unfolded before our eyes in Coc Vai Pha area. Here, amidst a backdrop - the same view as Halong bay with its 99 majestic islets jutting dramatically from the water's surface, we found ourselves in awe of nature's grandeur. Amidst these towering mountains, we seized the opportunity to embark on a 30-minute kayaking adventure to explore the surrounding area.This short adventure allowed us to discover secluded enclaves, catch glimpses of the indigenous wildlife, and lose ourselves in the untouched splendor of the wilderness.Really if time permitting, by kayak boat, we could venture further to uncover the lake's hidden treasures: its numerous islands, secret coves, and winding waterways, which are often inaccessible by other means.
Kayak to explore the lake

4. Hiking & Swimming at Khuoi Nhi waterfall

Following the thrilling kayaking activity, the cruise took us away & stopped at Khuoi Nhi waterfall, a gem nestled within the heart of the tropical forest. Only accessible via a scenic boat ride, this natural wonder stood as one of most magnificent waterfalls in the region.

As we drew closer, the grandeur of Khuoi Nhi waterfall unveiled itself—a breathtaking cascade tumbling gracefully from the surrounding limestone cliffs into a pool of glistening, crystal-clear water below

Visitors can hike along well-marked trails that wind through dense forests, leading to various vantage points to view the waterfall. The trek is relatively easy, making it accessible to the hikers of all skill levels. Along the way, you'll encounter a vibrant array of exotic flora and fauna, enhancing the overall experience.

Khuoi Nhi fall

Swimming in the natural pool formed by the waterfall is a must-do activity, especially on a hot day. The water is cool and refreshing, providing a perfect escape from the tropical heat. Additionally, you can relax on the smooth river rocks and enjoy a picnic amidst the tranquil surroundings.

5. Admiring Na Hang Lake's Landscapes at Sunset

As the afternoon came to an end, our cruise continued its leisurely journey back, allowing us to bask in the serene beauty of Na Hang lake at sunset. The water, once a brilliant blue under the midday sun, now transformed into a canvas of warm, golden hues as the sun dipped below the horizon.

As the sun's final rays illuminated the landscape, it was as if nature had crafted a masterpiece just for our eyes. The reflection of the limestone cliffs in the mirrored surface of the lake created an almost surreal scene, blurring the lines between reality and the fantastical.

Na hang sunset

6. Rich Insights of Local Culture 

Na Hang is not just about its natural beauty; it's also home to several ethnic minority communities. After the cruise, we drove to Na Tong village & spent a night homestaying with a local Tay ethnic minority family, an experience I had eagerly anticipated since I first heard about the rich culture and hospitality of this community.

Upon arriving at the village, we were warmly greeted by Mr. Tuan, the head of the household. He wore a traditional Tay outfit, a dark indigo tunic and baggy pants adorned with colorful embroidery. His wife & their two children were all smiling as they welcomed us into their charming stilt house, perched on the edge of the lake.

The stilt house itself was a masterpiece of indigenous architecture, crafted entirely from locally sourced bamboo and wood. Its elevated design allowed for a breathtaking view of the lake and the surrounding karst limestone formations.

Na Hang homestay - Hoang Tuan

A day full of activities & long drive made us a bit tired, we checked in the homestay, got our dinner served with typical local dishes with some cold beers, enjoyed the talk with the host & the traditional shows, and went to bed around 11h00 p.m

After a good night, we were waken up by the roosters's songs - that we haven't experienced in the daily routine of the city's life : really quiet, pristine & fresh !

The morning, we hired bikes to cycle around to explore some nearby villages - getting to know more about the locals & their authentic life. In fact, the warm smiles of the villagers made us feel at home, and we had the opportunity to witness traditional crafts, try local cuisine, and even participate in their dances and rituals. It was an eye-opening experience that left us with a profound appreciation for their way of life

Around the noon time, we drove back to Hanoi with a stop for lunch in Thai Ran restautant near Tuyen Quang city & were in Hanoi at 7h00 p.m

Best time to visit Na Hang lake & the region.

Na Hang boasts its beauty throughout all four seasons, but the best time to experience Na Hang's charm is during the spring and early summer. Those periods offers pleasant weather, high water levels, and a minimal risk of storms. Two most recommended seasons for tourists to explore Na Hang are:

  • January to April: This period coincides with local festivals, providing visitors with the chance to partake in the vibrant celebrations of the Tuyen Quang people. Moreover, the northern region is adorned with cherry blossoms during this season, while Tuyen Quang is renowned for its captivating white plum blossoms, typically in full bloom around March.

the view of Ha Hang damp & national park

  • May to September: This season marks the rainy period, resulting in higher water levels in the lake and more water flowing in the streams and waterfalls, enhancing the natural beauty of the surroundings. However, it's advisable to avoid the peak of the rainy season, which occurs in July and August, to ensure a safe and enjoyable exploration without the risk of unfavorable weather conditions ( you should check the weather forecast in advance).

Recommended places to visit when planning your trip to Na Hang

1. Na Hang Ecological Lake ( as we shared in the first part of this blog)

Your journey to Na Hang Nature Reserve begins with a visit to the crown jewel of the area - Na Hang Ecological Lake. Nestled over 100 kilometers away from Tuyen Quang's city center, this iconic attraction beckons with its vast, mirror-like lake reflecting the serene beauty of its surroundings. Dotted with charming islands and embraced by majestic green mountains, the lake offers an oasis of relaxation and tranquility.

boat ride in Na Hang lake

To fully immerse yourself in this natural wonder, you must rent a boat and take in the breathtaking scenery from the water. Here are the associated costs you can get for your best reference :

  • Lake entrance fee: 10,000 VND per person per visit.
  • Boat rental for a group of 10 people: 1,000,000 VND per trip.
  • Boat rental for a group of 20 people: 1,500,000 VND per trip.
  • Boat rental for a group of 35 people: 2,000,000 VND per trip.

A typical visit to Na Hang lake lasts around 4-5 hours, so remember to bring hats, sun protection, and some snacks to keep your energy up during this enchanting adventure.

2. Na Hang Hydroelectric Lake & Damp

Na Hang Hydroelectric Lake, the fourth-largest in northern Vietnam, is situated in the Gam River basin, covering Vinh Yen Commune and Na Hang Town. Besides supplying electricity to Tuyen Quang, it serves as a captivating tourist destination for those exploring Na Hang. Here, you'll encounter a massive hydroelectric dam with cascading white waters resembling a magnificent waterfall. On sunny days, you may even witness colorful rainbows as sunlight dances through the rushing waters at the dam's spillway.

Na Hang power station

3. Mo Waterfall (Thac Mo)

Nestled within Na Hang Natural Reserve, Mo waterfall is a renowned national scenic spot drawing countless tourists. Comprising three distinct waterfalls, each possesses its own unique and captivating beauty. When you visit Thac Mo, prepare to be awed by the spectacular sight of water cascading from above, creating a glistening white curtain against the backdrop of lush, untouched mountain forests. On sunny days, a trip to Thac Mo provides a refreshing and comfortable experience akin to stepping into a naturally air-conditioned oasis.
Thac Mo

4. Admire the Beauty of Plum Flower ( Hoa Le) in Spring Time

Experience the magic of Hong Thai village in Na Hang during the flum flower season. As the spring arrives with its warm embrace, the village gardens transform into a sea of soft, pure white silk, thanks to the plum blossoms in full bloom. These delicate blossoms cluster on slender branches, filling the air with a fresh, enchanting fragrance. To witness this breathtaking display, plan your trip to Na Hang in February or March when the plum blossoms are at their peak, creating a mesmerizing atmosphere perfect for capturing stunning photos of this mountainous specialty flower.
Le flower - Hong Thai village

5. Hong Thai Terraced Fields - Na Hang

Beyond the plum blossom season, visitors have the opportunity to explore Hong Thai village, which will be at its best during the flooding water or rice ripening seasons. This destination showcases the enchanting terraced fields, a unique sight in the northern mountainous region. While not as renowned as the terraced fields in Mu Cang Chai, Y Ty, Ta Van, or Hoang Su Phi, it remains a worthwhile stop for those eager to witness this captivating landscape in the Northeast Vietnam.
Rice terraces in Hong Thai village - Na Hang

6.Ba Be Lake

While on your Na Hang adventure, don't miss the chance to include Ba Be lake in your itinerary. Located in Bac Kan province, this pristine lake is a famous tourist attraction along the Northeastern travel route. Situated within Ba Be National Park, a national-level conservation and tourism area in Vietnam, Ba Be lake ranks among the world's largest freshwater lakes. From Na Hang, embark on a scenic boat ride along the Nang River, followed by a leisurely 1-kilometer walk along the riverbank before renting a boat to cross over to Ba Be Lake. It's an opportunity to explore another breathtaking natural wonder in the vicinity.
Ba Be lake - Bac Kan

How to get to Na Hang Lake & its nature reserve?

Na Hang lake & its tropical forest is nestled in the remote mountainous region of Tuyen Quang Province, approximately 300 kilometers away from Hanoi. Here are various ways to reach this pristine destination:
  • By Car or Motorbike: To embark on your own adventure, consider renting a car or motorbike to journey to Na Hang Town. The route spans approximately 100 kilometers from Tuyen Quang City, the capital of Tuyen Quang Province. You can effortlessly access this picturesque destination via a private car with a driver or opt for the exhilarating experience of riding a motorbike through local farms and scenic countryside.

How to get to Na Hang

  • Join a Private Guided Tour: If you are eager to delve deeper into the captivating stories and local insights of the region, we highly recommend participating in a comprehensive package tour that explores the North East Region of Vietnam, with a highlight visit to Na Hang area. These tours typically include transportation, a knowledgeable guide, and visits to other nearby attractions. For further details about our tour  & car rental services, please reach out to us at or whatsapp us to +84.988451530
Regardless of your chosen mode of transportation, it is essential to stay informed about road conditions and the weather forecast before embarking on your journey to Na Hang
See you in Na Hang - Vietnam
Golden Holiday Travel Team

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