Located in Bắc Kạn province, Ba Be National Park is around 150 miles (240 km) north from Hanoi. The best way to visit Ba Be is by road—you can get there by private transfer, rental car, shuttle bus, and local bus from Hanoi, Sapa, Cao Bang, and Ha Giang. The park gets very busy in the summer months but is beautiful in spring and winter.
It’s well worth spending a few days exploring the lake and the park. There are plenty of homestays in villages around, and you can use a bicycle, motorbike or moto-taxi, private car or rental car to get around the park itself.
You can also visit Ba Be National Park as part of a tour, like this 6-day Hidden Beauty in North Vietnam itinerary that also includes a boat trip on the Ba Be lake and river, tours to the caves and the waterfalls, and guided treks through some of Vietnam's most beautiful countryside. Our local travel specialists can also help you put together a personalized itinerary including transport and accommodation.
By Private Transfer
The journey to Ba Be National Park from Hanoi should take around five hours. The roads are pretty good, and the scenery is some of the best in Vietnam. It’s worth taking a private transfer or driving yourself so you can make photo stops along the way.
Private transfers also include pick-up and drop-off at your accommodation, whereas taking buses can involve transferring several times, taking taxis and motorbikes out to different bus stations, and finding your own way to your accommodation once you arrive.
There are daily tourist shuttles from Hanoi to the Ba Be Tourism Center in Bo Lu Village, or you can also take local buses and minivans from My Dinh bus station in Hanoi. You can take a taxi or moto-taxi from Hanoi Old Quarter to My Dinh.
There is also a bus from Lao Cai near Sapa and the Chinese border at Hekou. You have to change in Thai Nguyen and Cho Don town. Or you can go from Cao Bang to Phu Thong town and Bo Lu village.
By Rental Car or Motorbike
Whilst the drive through northern Vietnam to Ba Be National Park is stunning, if you rent a car or motorbike/scooter in Vietnam make sure that you have your international driver's license, motorbike/scooter license from your home country—if applicable—and appropriate insurance. You'll also want to make sure you leave with a full tank of gas as gas stations can be hard to come by in the mountains.
Once you get out of the big cities the roads are great, but you have to keep an eye out for children, dogs, buffalo, and other bikes. We don't recommend riding a motorbike or scooter in Vietnam if you don't have much experience.