Bach Ma Mountain, the unblemished paradise for nature-associated discover
Lying on the tourist itineraries between Hue and Da Nang, Bach Ma Mountain is the country’s only strip of primeval forest connecting the sea to the Viet – Laos border, with magnificent natural landscapes and a cool climate. The ideal altitude, luxuriant forest trails, as well as a variety of flora and fauna make the mountain an enjoyable trekking spot. Vong Hai Dai, Do Quyen waterfall, Ngu Ho, are attractive places for visiting and photography.
I. About Bach Ma Mountain
With an altitude of 1,450m and an area of 220 km2, Bach Ma is a spectacular mountain range belonging to Bach Ma National Park, located in Phu Loc district, on the border between Hue city and Da Nang. From Da Nang, after crossing 3 passes of Hai Van, Phuoc Tuong, and Gia Phu, then going over Lang Co beach, you will reach the mountain.
The climate here is pleasant all year round thanks to the location by the sea. The best time to visit Bach Ma Mountain is from February to August when the rainfall is low, the weather is sunny and dry. Also, at this time, azalea flowers start to bloom, making the scenery of the whole mountain more vivid.
On the way to Bach Ma, travelers may encounter diverse types of jungle creatures: pairs of cuckoos flying around, wild roosters with colorful feathers and conifers, the brown squirrels jumping from branch to branch, etc. There is a sound combination of the howls of gibbons, the birdsong, and the waterfall rushing. Not only that, but visitors can also see multiple old villas built by the French during the 1930s that are rather well-remained on this mountainous area.
Get to the top of Bach Ma Mountain
Before moving to the top, you need to stop and buy an entrance ticket to Bach Ma National Park, which costs about 40,000 VND/person. Because the distance from the gate to the top of the mountain is quite far, about 19km, you can choose one of the two ways below:
Option 1: Walk. The road to Bach Ma Mountain is quite steep and winding, so if you are healthy and a lover of hiking and trekking, you can choose this way. For most parts, the track is still well-kept with a nice mixture of up and down that is easy enough to walk along.
Option 2: Rent a shuttle car to drive you to the peak. A round trip car rental price is about 900,000 VND.
II. Where to visit on Bach Ma Mountain
Asides from the cool fresh air, trekking on Bach Ma Mountain is truly a priceless chance for visitors to discover the rich ecosystem. Black-white pheasants, snakes, spiders, butterflies, lizards, birds all abound here if you take the time to look and you find them as you walk the jungle trails to the peak. The military and French colonial history around here also adds to the enjoyment. There are also a few more landmarks on the mountain you should visit:
1. Hai Vong Dai
Passing the 19-kilometer road from the entrance to the top of Bach Ma Mountain, visitors will come to the first attraction, Vong Hai Dai, which is also the highest spot in Bach Ma mountain. This is a villa built by the French that lies on the mountain’s peak, creating a wild and mysterious picture among majestic jungles. From here, you will see the ancient Co River flowing to the North and merging with the Han River and then back to Da Nang; in addition, you can also enjoy the panoramic view of Lang Co Bay, Truoi Lake.
2. Ngu Ho (Five Lakes)
Approximately 5km from Vong Ha Dai, you go down on a trail to reach Ngu Ho, which is essentially five small plunge lakes close to each other. The lakes are located deep in the forest, so the water is crystal clear which is nice enough for cooling off and lunch break after walking about 30 minutes on the forest path to the lake. You need to join the difficult path to capture all 5 cascades. It’s good to protect yourself and your partners with safety harnesses.
3. Do Quyen Waterfalls
The next place on the journey, 2-3km from Ngu Ho is Do Quyen waterfall. 400m high and 20m wide, the white-curtain-like falls stand out in the natural scenery. If lucky to visit the area in March, you will observe Azalea flowers blooming around like a giant carpet of floral silk. From the top of the waterfalls, visitors can rest on the cliffs where the water flows to admire the panoramic view of the mountains looming in the clouds. You can also follow the signpost to the foot of the waterfall with nearly 700 steps, although the route requires some climbing and hopping, you eventually swim in the cold spring water and admire the breathtaking views.
4. Truoi Lake
On the way down the mountain, you should also turn into Truoi Lake at the foot of the mountain. The lake, with an area of about 400 hectares, is the largest irrigation project in Hue, to irrigate the fields in the neighboring commune. You can rent a ferry to enjoy the natural scenery of the water, then visit Truc Lam Zen Monastery on the mountain. Here, visitors can breathe fresh air and be guided in meditation practice, however, make sure you book in advance. There is a huge statue of Buddha Shakyamuni meditating on a hill in front of the monastery.
III. How to go to Bach Ma Mountain
From Hue city center, follow the direction to Da Nang along National Highway 1A, go to Phu Loc commune, when you encounter the sea on the right, make a turn as the road sign shows to go straight to Bach Ma Mountain. However, the area has many signs pointing to different landmarks. If you come across the road sign for Truc Lam Zen Monastery, skip it and follow the road to Bach Ma.
From Da Nang, go straight along the route Dien Bien Phu – Ton Duc Thang – Nguyen Luong Bang – Hai Van pass – National Highway 1A to Hue. At Cau Hai Market, turn left and you will see the road leading to Bach Ma National Park.
Some visitors will choose to explore Bach Ma Mountain during the day, so they can be flexible with accommodation in Da Nang or Hue. As for those who expect to spend a night here, you can prepare a camping tent to stay in the national park or book a room in an accommodating place around the area.
There are high-quality villas and budget homestays at the foot of Bach Ma Mountain. The price ranges from 600,000 – 1,000,000 VND/night, depending on the tourist season.
Bach Ma Villa
Do Quyen Villa
V. Notes when visiting Bach Ma mountain
– Wear lightweight clothes, long, comfortable pants that are easy to move in. The most important part is a pair of good climbing shoes since there are some wet roads and small lakes throughout the mountains.
– Bring a lot of water with you, the trek will be a bit tiring. Also, prepare some snacks for a short break.
– If you want to swim, put your swimsuit under your clothes if possible since there is no private place to change. Remember to take your own towel.
– Bring a camera along to capture the beautiful moments.
– Sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat are also useful. You might want to have some medicines, antiseptics and band-aids. Then, pack everything in your backpack because you need both of your hands to climb.