Flora, Fauna, and Birds of Northern Vietnam



Cao Bang

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Well off the beaten track in the high mountains along the Chinese frontier, the thickly forested area around the small town of Cao Bang is home to several ethnic minorities, including the Tay, Dao, and Nung. While the town itself is not particularly distinctive, its  surroundings are spectac- ular, and many visitors are  drawn to its abundant trekking opportunities. The Vietnamese regard it as a place of historical significance. The scions of the 16th-century Mac Dynasty ruled here, and years later, Ho Chi Minh made it his first base on returning to Vietnam after nearly three decades.

Environs  Around 37 miles (60 km) north- west of town, Hang Pac Bo or  Water Wheel Cave is where Ho Chi Minh stayed on his return in 1941 from self-imposed exile. The cave has great historical importance as the birth place of the Viet Minh struggle. A small museum here makes for an interesting stop. About 56 miles (90 km) northeast of Cao Bang, Thac  Ban Gioc is the largest water- fall in Vietnam. It straddles the  Sino-Vietnamese border and it is necessary to get a pass at Cao Bang’s police station to visit the area.

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