The peaceful charm of Hoa Binh lake

Located 70 kilometers west of Hanoi, Hoa Binh lake is one of the largest man-made reservoirs in Vietnam with a storage capacity of nearly 9.5 billion cubic meters. Formed during the construction of Hoa Binh hydropower plant, Hoa Binh lake is called “Ha Long bay on the mountain” with its wild natural beauty.

The best time to visit Hoa Binh lake is at the end of the year when the water rises to its highest point. To reach the lake, one can take a boat from Bich Ha river port, around 5 kilometers from Hoa Binh, or Thung Nai port in Cao Phong district. But to see the lake from above while enjoying the nice scenery on the way, one should choose Bai Sang, a port a bit further distant, which is located on Road 6 in Tong Dau commune, Mai Chau district.

A corner of Hoa Binh lake.

It’s nice for visitors to stay overnight on the lake to enjoy the beautiful sunset and sunrise.

The Muong’s villages by the lakeside are interesting destinations.

The best time to visit Hoa Binh lake is at the end of the year.

Lake on the mountain in Ngoi Hoa commune attracts a lot of visitors.

The peaceful life of the locals in Hoa Binh.

A corner of Hideaway resort in the Hoa Binh lake area.

The resort offers luxury services.

Rowing a boat through calm and pristine scenery.

Located not far from Road 6 with its heavy traffic, Hoa Binh lake is surprisingly tranquil. Seen from above, the lake is gorgeous with a calm surface as green as an emerald, and hundreds of small islets looming over the water. Faraway are villages of the Muong modestly nestled in the mountains. The peaceful atmosphere of Hoa Binh lake makes visitors feel calm and relaxed.

Going by boat, visitors are stunned by the beauty of the natural scenery here with numerous spectacular places such as Thac Bo and Hoa Tien caverns, Bung cave, and Ngoi Hoa bay.

Beautiful scenery is not the only attraction of Hoa Binh lake. The unique culture of the Muong who live in the lake area is truly appealing. Visiting Muong stilt-houses located by the lakeside, one can see the simple but interesting daily routines of locals and learn the legends and folktales about the Muong and their native land.

Visitors who want to experience the local daily life can stay at community tourist lodges in Ba Bia, Ngoi and Ke villages for just 10 US dollars/night. Here, they can enjoy delicious Muong dishes made by their hosts such as sticky rice with buffalo meat and fish caught from Hoa Binh lake.

Muong villagers welcome visitors to Ban Ke in Tien Phong, Da Bac.

Visitors prefer to stay in stilt-houses by the lake to experience the local life.

Visitors can experience the daily life of the Muong.

Visitors learn how to make banh oc (snail cake), a traditional dish of the Muong.

Locals prepare Muong traditional dishes for visitors.

Muong people are friendly to visitors.

Muong girls in their traditional costume in Ngoi village.

Muong girls from Ngoi village peform a traditional dance.

At night, visitors can enjoy traditional Muong dance performances while drinking ruou can (rice wine drunk out of a jar through stalks), a special drink of the locals.

For those wishing to receive luxury services, Hideaway resort with a room rate of around 100 US dollars/night is a perfect choice.

By Viet Cuong