These are travel notes so forgive the laconic style. TF staff wasn't helpful replying to my numerous contributions by email so I'll only let a few (the most useful) trickle on the web.
"Ba Be lake"
Major tourist trap (worse in 7 months in VN): low-value + easily get overcharged if you do not take care. Don't try the boat service: overcharged (9 times the average price in the Mekong Delta, no bargaining possible) and low-quality. Numerous noisy/drunk VN tourists, nonsense stops, etc.
Extremely hard to access without locomotion. Early morning directs can be achieved once or twice a day in the early morning, but with no fixed time (just sit on the road around 0600hrs...).
Nice villages around though and easy-to-access deep caves (with staircases, 15 min walk deep, open on demand against a small fee - check the warden's booth across it). Very pristine ethnic villages and multiethnic markets around. Ask the park staff for local markets (it will take time to get the names) then rush out and arrange everything by yourself (they don't deserve any better, believe me).
Sleep: low value at park (10 USD for a dorm room-equivalent). Better value if you want to sleep over there - Post office guesthouse @ Babe district post office (VNPT), just outside the park doors. Little English spoken but friendly staff. Easy to bargain due to lack (absence) of customers: 10 USD for a full luxury room with TV, AC and no-internet computer).
Tel. 0281 894 455 / Fax 0281 894 456
Mob. 0912 190 757 / 0949 854 854
#1 rdavout has been a member since 18/2/2008. Posts: 14
Photos available here (beautiful aspects only, don't be too impressed):
Should be a really nice place to ride a bike though...
#2 rdavout has been a member since 18/2/2008. Posts: 14