Vietnam

Top 7 Waterfalls of Vietnam: Water Wonder Thrills and Magic

Vietnam is known for its natural beauty and waterfalls are an inseparable part of that. Waterfalls are scattered throughout the country from the South to the furthest end of the North. They may be a key attraction in a nature theme park, a national park, or in unbound beauteous scenic spots.

In Vietnam, multi-layered waterfalls which are a few hundred meters tall are more the norm than extremely high cascading ones. Interestingly, beautiful waterfalls tend to have a mythical love story to the origin of their names.

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Pongour — One of Most Beautiful Waterfalls in Vietnam

Pongour— One of Most Beautiful Waterfalls
[ by otrotrangian from Pixabay ]

Many splendid waterfalls are in the South of Vietnam, more specifically, around the plateau city of Dalat. Pongour Waterfall was titled the best waterfall of Vietnam by King Bao Dai and most magnificent by the French. It’s just outside of the city and the way there is easy to go by yourself.

Pongour is a well-preserved National Heritage Site and the area is home to a number of endangered species. After a short walk through the pine trees, cascading water and overlapping stone ladders await. The park used to only sell a few grilled snacks but it’s more developed with a few diners.

About 92 km away is the Dambri Waterfall which is also quite beautiful for an extended day trip. It’s one of the victims of over-commercialization but it’s still worth it if you have the time.

Stepping Down to the Rocks of Elephant Waterfall in Dalat

Step Down Along Elephant Waterfall
[ by Anne and David from Flickr ]

Elephant Waterfall (Thác Voi) is an untouched gift of nature and a National Heritage Site outside the center of Dalat. At the bottom of the waterfall, you’ll see rocks shaping a herd of elephants playing in the water.

Around Elephant Waterfall are the cool shades of the forest. The 145 stone steps to the bottom are equipped with handles but a good pair of shoes is still recommended. Behind the stream is a small Bat Cave that you can actually wander into.

Sporty Thrills at Datanla Waterfall in Dalat

Extreme Sports at Datanla Waterfall
[ by Trans World Productions from Visualhunt.com / CC BY-ND ]

Datanla Waterfall is a serene sight but with outdoor thrills and extreme watersports in Dalat. Enjoy all activities in the theme park with supervision and instruction from professionals. To kickstart the fun, the rail sled can take you from the entrance straight to the bottom of the waterfall.

Next up, you can test your physical capability with obstacles at the High Rope Course. The Canyon Tour at Datanla includes waterfall cable climbing, zipline diving, and stream sliding. In addition, stream kayaking can be a nice team activity.

Cliff Jumping at Ba Ho Waterfalls near Nha Trang

Trek Through the Ba Ho Waterfalls
[ by F.Edelstein from Flickr ]

Ba Ho Waterfalls (thác Ba Hồ) is a nice heat getaway alternative to the beaches of Nha Trang. It’s one of the few places where you can do cliff jumping in Vietnam. To be precise, the river forms 3 lakes and lake number one is where you can do this. Also, before April and the start of the dry season is the best time.

For a physical quest, you can first follow the arrows to the tranquil second lake. Then, it’ll take some easy rock climbing to get up to the third lake. Along the way, you’ll see water swings, treehouses, and picnic tables. At the leveled stream of Ba Ho Waterfalls, you can rent kayaks, rubber dinghies, and paddle boats.

This water theme park also has a restaurant, coffee shop, and swimming pool. For lodging, there are bungalows, container rooms, and a designated camping area. You can rent a vehicle or book a tour to get to Ba Ho Waterfalls.

Yang Bay Waterfall for Group Picnics near Nha Trang

Yang Bay Waterfall
[ by Yang Bay Waterfalls from Facebook ]

Yang Bay Waterfall is in a pretty green valley of primal forest outside of Nha Trang city. Interestingly, you can get close to the cascading stream on a bamboo raft. You can also get a fish pedicure (from small flesh-eating fish) here or some Instagram photos at the crossing bridge.

Furthermore, this theme park is filled with both engaging and leisurely activities for families and also large groups of friends. Every day, they hold a traditional music performance of the Raglai ethnic group — a branch of the Cham people.

There’s a Sacred Tree where you can write your wishes onto a piece of cloth and tie it to. Other activities include bottle-feeding some fish, alligator fishing, archery, pig racing, and riding an ostrich at the Bird Garden.

For wellness, the theme park has the Hocho Hot Spring with different mineral and herbal hot tub treatments. Also, check out the Yang Bay mud baths and finger pressure massage.

Yang Bay Waterfall has restaurants and guest rooms for staying overnight. Additionally, an evening BBQ by the fire can make for a nice team-building segment.

Hiking or Trekking to Rhododendron Waterfall in Bach Ma National Park

Rhododendron Waterfall
[ by Hoi An Express from Facebook ]

Rhododendron Waterfall (thác Đỗ Quyên) has a sublime setting of Rhododendron flowers which bloom in March. It’s inside Bach Ma National Park (Vườn quốc gia Bạch Mã), accessible from the once-capital Hue and the seaside Danang.

The park has a number of trails for hiking and trekking and Rhododendron Waterfall is one of the favorite stops. To the fall, there’s an easy path and a challenging path with gripping ropes to cross some streams.

At the end of the trail is the top of the waterfall at 300 m. It takes 700 steps to get to the bottom and vice versa to the top again.

More about the Bach Ma National Park

Silver Waterfall — Cascading Dragon of Sapa

Destination Silver Waterfall
[ by Nyanakorn Min Weerachai from Facebook ]

Standing atop Silver Waterfall (Thác Bạc), the scenery opens up with terraced rice fields towards the highlands of Sapa. It’s a glimmering three-tiered 200 m waterfall on Lo Sui Tong mountain peak. The waterfall is also one of the key attractions on the way for climbers aiming to conquer Fansipan Mountain.

Furthermore, you can see it from a number of scenic viewpoints around Sapa on bright days. Many of these viewpoints are included in various popular tours to Silver Waterfall. The steps up can be slippery from spraying water, so prepare a good pair of shoes.

More about the Silver Waterfall

Honorable Mentions

Vietnam has a lot more spectacular waterfalls to offer. However, they can be quite out of the way or too under-developed for easy access. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t miss them if you have the chance or are simply fascinated by the waterfalls of Vietnam.

Ban Gioc or Detian Waterfall on the Vietnam-China Border

Ban Gioc Waterfall
[ by MarieXMartin from Pixabay ]

Ban Gioc Waterfall (thác Bản Giốc) is actually a pair of mesmerizing waterfalls on a river with a peculiar location. It’s right on the border between Vietnam and China which effectively makes it part of each country. The Chinese name for it is Detian Falls (德天瀑布). The shared ownership of this waterfall is agreed upon, acknowledged, and stated by both governments.

Ban Gioc Waterfall is in an area of amazing karst formations forming a number of levels. It’s considered one of the biggest waterfalls in SEA and one of the most beautiful in both China and Vietnam. Additionally, its peculiarity earned a number of record titles including ‘the 4th biggest waterfall on a border in the world’.

Ban Gioc Waterfall used to be under the radar as it’s quite far off on the Northern end of Vietnam. However, its scenery is gaining rapid popularity among both Vietnamese and foreign visitors. You can rent a bamboo raft to row along the turquoise water of this natural masterpiece.

Ban Gioc Waterfall is around 330 km away from Hanoi in Cao Bang Province (Cao Bằng). There are tours from Hanoi straight to the fall which you can find online. Also, you can take a travel coach from My Dinh Station to Cao Bang Station then another to the waterfall.

Persevere Through Dray Nur Waterfall in Dak Lak

Dray Nur Waterfall
[ by vitieubao from Pixabay ]

Dray Nur Waterfall is a favorite natural attraction near Buon Ma Thuot City (Buôn Ma Thuột), Dak Lak Province. You can fly or take a travel coach to Buon Ma Thuot from both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.  It’s popular among younger people for its energetic outdoor activities and surrounding mountains and forests.

At the bottom of Dray Nur Waterfall, you can either walk through the cascades or around. By plowing through, you’ll feel the adrenaline rush as water crashes down on your body. When you open your eyes, you’ll suddenly find yourself in a large and dark cave. Your safety is guaranteed though, with life vests and professional lifeguards.

You can also swim in the three natural pools created by the stream of Dray Nur Waterfall. The first one, suitable for all, is easy to reach and shallow. Meanwhile, the second has a rocky bottom and the third is over 8 meters deep.

However, Dray Nur Waterfall’s most engaging physical challenge is the ‘Biking – Trekking – Rafting’ tour. It includes a bicycle ride in the peaceful scenery, a short mountain trek, and then a spot of  river-rafting. Equipment and an accompanying guide are provided. 

This theme park is home to the Ede ethnic group whose handicrafts you can purchase. You can enjoy a traditional BBQ and Can wine (rượu cần) by the fire. Afterward, people gather around the fire and dance to folk tunes.

Wandering to Suoi Tranh Waterfall in Phu Quoc National Park

Phu Quoc National Park
[ by Sdiscotrip – Phu Quoc from Facebook ]

Phu Quoc National Park (Vườn quốc gia Phú Quốc) isn’t quite developed for tourism compared to other Vietnamese national parks. However, it opens up for some free roaming under the shades combined with some motorcycling. As of 2021, there’s no entrance fee.

By following the concrete roads surrounding the park, you’ll hit Suoi Tranh Waterfall (suối Tranh). It’s a small theme park to cool off with a freshwater dip and rock bathing.

On another note, you can take the trails to the center of the park. You’ll get to Da Ban Stream (suối Đá Bàn) and the top of Chua Mountain (núi Chúa) with panoramic views. Phu Quoc Island is the largest island in Vietnam and a popular tourist hub. It has an international airport accessible from both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

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