Viet Nam News
by Trúc Lâm
The border district of Bình Liêu, in the northern province of Quảng Ninh, has become a new hotspot for tourists in recent years.
The district, which is around 270 kilometres from Hà Nội, is known for its fresh air, beautiful landscapes and various ethnic minority groups.
Bình Liêu, as it borders China, has a great number of border markers. They are situated on a mountain road that runs for 50 kilometres and is about 700m above sea level. The road is full of obstacles and difficult to access by vehicles other than motorbikes.
There are a total of 64 markers but you shouldn’t miss four, including numbers 1300, 1302, 1305 and 1327. These particular points offer stunning panoramas of the district.
Between milestones 1302 and 1305, travellers will come across the ‘dinosaur’s spine’: a spectacular ridge from which the vista stretches miles into the distance.
Rays of life: Stunning sunset in Bình Liêu. — Photo ivivu.com
To reach bordermarker 1305 one must cross the spine of the dinosaur, which can take up to two hours in good weather. 1305 is one of the two highest landmark in the province, and so is not easy to reach.
But for those you meet the challenge, views of great mountains and green rice fields await. There’s also the chance to see the white flowers of reed fields, which are ranked top in the Việt Nam National Radio Station’s list of nine best travel destinations this year. They are in full bloom in late autumn and early winter.
For those people who want to stay in "paradise", Cao Ly, Quảng Nam Châu and Cao Xiêm peaks are wonderful spots to rest amongst the clouds.
Summer in Bình Liêu is the season of waterfalls such as Khe Vằn and Khe Tiền. For green terraces and yellow rice harvesting season it is recommended to visit in July and December.
Located 15 kilometres from Bình Liêu town, Húc Động Commune is the home of the ethnic Tày. This journey reveals the natural beauty of the borderland region. It is also the path to Khe Vằn waterfall.
Steep ascent: To reach Bình Liêu, visitors must first conquer winding paths. — Photo psytravel.vn
The waterfall, which is close to Húc Động, is the most famous scenic spot in the district. It can be reached by motorbike or on foot. The wide waterfall crashes from a height of 100 metres. In the rainy season water is plentiful, and the three levels make for an impressive sight.
Meanwhile, Khe Tiền waterfall is in Đồng Văn Commune. It is shaped from water which flows halfway down Quảng Nam Châu mountain.
More than 90 per cent of locals are ethnic minorities such as the Tày, Sán Chỉ and Dao. The area is also home to special cultural festivities like the Soóng Cọ and Sán Cố folksong singing festivals and Lục Nà festival.
Visitors are in for a treat if they manage to catch the festive period, and can listen to the traditional songs.
If you visit on a Sunday, souvenirs, garments and food can be bought at Bình Liêu and Đồng Văn markets, where you can also see the Dao Thanh Phán women with their special long hats made from bamboo.
Thanks to its mountainous landscape, the district boasts wonderful natural scenery and charming cultural traditions. Bình Liêu has put together a number of activities to promote the image of the district, focusing on the development of community tourism and ecotourism. — VNS