Story about Pac Ngoi - a beautiful village on Ba Be Lake
We drove on the Highway 3, passed Phu Thong and Giang pass, and then turned into Ba Be district from Na Phac crossroad. And here, there was a small beautiful wooden sign writing “Pac Ngoi 3 km”. I saw around that the groups of foreign visitors saw the sign, then drove the motorbikes running straight into the road covered the green tree through the jungle. Our group also went on the road under the thick foliage which no any sunlight can go through, and we went about ten minutes, then we see Pac Ngoi village.
Ba Be Lake is a destination located about 50 km from Bac Kan town and 220 km from Hanoi; it is so beautiful that many foreigner tourists are stunned in their Vietnam Adventure Tours. Ba Be Lake consists of three lake branches, Pe Lam, Pe Lu and Pe Leng and it is the very vast lake between the limestone mountains and the green forest. Near the area of the lake are beautiful resorts and hotels on the side of road, but they look quite sparse.
The form of staying in the house of local people (homestay) has been recently preferred by visitors. The most populated is perhaps Pac Ngoi village and its homestay services in Nam Mau commune. The village is lying on a quite flat land, in front is a rich corn field, and behind is the Rocky Mountains as a giant wall barrier. This place is also a convenient one to go to a ferry for barges to Ba Be Lake.
Pac Ngoi village with the homestay services for tourists.
Almost all houses in the village lean on the mountains side and turn face to the lake, creating the beautiful scene of mountainous region. In the past, Ba Be Lake was the water surface of only Tay people. And they live, eat, play, sleep following the season of the lake.
In spite of having done tourism for the past few years, Pac Ngoi is one of few places still keeping most of the traditional Tay customs. From a distance, there are more than 70 ancient houses in the style of the local stilt house on the cliffs, this creates a peaceful feeling.
The stilt house of Tay people is built from four to seven rows of columns forming two distinct areas. The upper part of the floor serves as living room, the stove area and the area to live; the below part of the floor is the place to store farm equipment and the cage. As usual, the roof of the stilt is two- roof or four- roof structure and made from the tile or straw or palm leaves.
When visiting Ba Be, I think no one will want to miss the feeling of going around the lake on a dug- out canoe; if you have more free time you can go with the fishermen to catch fish. In the evening we watched the Tay young girls weaving cloths, singing and playing instruments. In the morning of the next day our group went together local people to visit the other villages around the lake.
We are very happy in our journey of revealing Pac Ngoi and Ba Be.
In that trip like a New Orient Experience, we also played a visit to Hua Ma cave lying in the middle of the mountain, the trees here are green all the year. When going inside, I saw the floor of the cave quite flat, in the middle were the dozens of stone pillar firmly standing which was created by the nature. The cave was also covered by countless stalactites with many beautiful shapes. You know, exploring Hua Ma cave is a really new activity in Ba Be, and according to Mr. Chuyen, Ba Be always brings people the new things if they are the visitors loving wild nature.
After hard hours of visiting lake and mountain, all of us enjoyed the typical delicious meals of Tay people. In the meal there were rice, shrimps, sour meat, sticky rice ..., the dish people ate fastest is the fish- a kind of small fish was made cleanly and roasted on the charcoal, it is very fragrant and sweet. In addition, there were energetic dishes such as pork hanging in the kitchen, Chinese sausage in the kitchen, Ba Be grilled shrimp, lemon steak chicken ... If you eat these dish and sip the wine of Tay people, it is really wonderful. To balance the meal there was also vegetables as bamboo shoots… fried or cooked soup, it is both cool and light sweet.
Ba Be Lake is vaporous and bewitching in the early morning.
The dishes are totally made depending on the order of customers, about $6 per one person. Moreover, the price for tourists staying overnight is about $3.5 per one person.