• Binh Lieu: Feel every heartbeat in a corner of nature

Besides the charming Ha Long Bay - a World Natural Heritage, Quang Ninh also embraces an emerald gem with majestic natural landscape and unique cultural colours in the border regions of the country. Binh Lieu would be the next stop for nature lovers in the Northeast of Vietnam.

French novelist Marcel Proust once said, the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. So does Binh Lieu, the new land is waiting for travellers around the world to explore and to purify the mind.

Binh Lieu is a mountainous district located in the northeast of Quang Ninh Province, about 270 km from Ha Noi. This remote district of Quang Ninh is a relatively pristine destination yet is an ideal place for tourists to enjoy all the features of mountain and forest nature, a place covered by majestic mountains and poetic waterfalls, above are dreaming and floating clouds. This place has a mild year-round climate, diverse topographic structures and beautiful natural scenery, promising to become a new 'muse' for those who love to travel.


Binh Lieu is a year-round travel destination since visitors can enjoy and experience the characteristics of this border district anytime. Spring is the time for spiritual tourism, an opportunity to participate in special festivals such as the Luc Na communal house festival and the Soong Co singing festival. Summer with rolling waterfalls and lush green terraced fields, and to witness a "muse" Binh Lieu blushing in the sun and rain, sometimes is too sour and scornful with clear sky in here and unexpected light shower in there. In the fall and winter, reeds cover a vast border area, with the harvest season and the So flower festival - the typical flower of Binh Lieu and the only flower that blooms in winter, along with the new rice celebration, enjoy the scent of red maple leaves.


Dao ethnic people at Binh Lieu So Flower Festival (Photo: Bui Bich Thuy)

No matter where you are, nature always has a way of bringing peace to the mind and grounding a person. Whether it's watching blue, rolling waves crash against the sandy shore or hearing birds chirping in a green, luscious forest, there is something so remarkable and beautiful about being immersed in nature.

Coming to Binh Lieu is grabbing an opportunity to learn about ethnic minority culture. The district is home to over 96% of the population that are ethnic minorities, most of whom are Tay, Dao, San Chi, Hoa… Visitors to Binh Lieu will immerse themselves in the cultural identity of the people here, wearing outstanding ethnic costumes with several bright patterns and colours. On weekends, visiting Binh Lieu, visitors have the opportunity to stroll through the market in the town centre or Dong Van commune market. The market opens every Saturday and Sunday. People from all over the village from neighbouring communes and districts also bring goods and agricultural and forestry products to the market to trade. Bathing leaves, medicinal herbs of ethnic minorities, wild honey, wild bamboo shoots... are typical items at this highland market.


Dao ethnic people in red shirts with typical floral embroideries at the mountainous market (Photo: Pham Long)

Milestone 1305 and the “Dinosaur Spine”

One of the specialities in Binh Lieu is the milestone to mark the border. Milestone 1305 is located on the Binh Lieu border patrol road, and is one of two boundary markers located at the highest position in Quang Ninh. The road to Milestone 1305 is winding, hugging the mountain. This is also the most beautiful part of the road to the milestone. The Dinosaur Spine is the phrase to refer to the ridge on the way to Milestone 1305 - an ideal trekking route with more than 2,000 steps and slopes, and 3 rest stops. Going over the Dinosaur Spine for about 2 hours, visitors will reach the milestone.


Dinosaur spine taken from Milestone 1305 (Photo: Nam Hoang)

Besides, milestones 1300, 1302, 1317 and 1327 are beautiful and sacred landmarks that cannot be missed when coming to Binh Lieu.


Binh Lieu border patrol road (Photo: Bui Vinh Thuan)

On the way back, spare some time to pass by Hoanh Mon Border Gate, one of the border gates between Vietnam and China. Milestone 1317 located on the Vietnamese side here.

Cao Ly mountain


Sea of clouds in Cao Ly (Photo: Can Dinh Loan)

Cao Ly is a high mountain range stretching over an area of over 40 km² with 8 peaks over 1,000 m high in the border district of Binh Lieu. This is a camping and picnic spot suitable for groups of young people or families. From July to the end of October, visitors will enjoy the purple colour of late blooming Mua flowers, stretching to cover the hillsides and hunting clouds.

Khe Van Waterfall


Khe Van Waterfall (Photo: Bui Vinh Thuan)

Khe Van Waterfall originates from the Khe Van - Thong Chau mountain range with a terrain altitude of about 330m, in Binh Lieu District. Khe Van Waterfall is nestled amidst majestic mountains and forests. The waterfall with 3 levels of water flows at a height of about 100m, pouring down in the middle of the forest, below are large rocks, on both sides are moss-covered cliffs. Surrounding Khe Van Waterfall is pristine protective forest and rich vegetation, a destination to visit and enjoy the natural scenery of mountains and cool streams.

Terraced fields in ripe rice season


Terraced rice fields in Binh Lieu (Photo: Nguyen Thanh Trung)

Visitors are no longer travelling a distance to witness the golden season in Mu Cang Chai while October every year is the time when Binh Lieu becomes poetic with the sweet scent of rice, the yellow colour spreading across the terraced fields. The scenery of Binh Lieu in the ripe rice season can be witnessed in Khe O, Cao Thang, Ngan Pat villages (Luc Hon Commune), located on the western slope of Cao Xiem mountain, about over 3km from National Highway 18C. In addition, Song Mooc and Khe Tien villages (Dong Van Commune), Ngan Cam, Cao Son and Hoanh Mo communes are ideal places to admire Binh Lieu during the golden rice season.

Binh Lieu specialties

Visitors to Binh Lieu should not miss the typical delicacies of this border mountainous region such as Binh Lieu vermicelli, grilled stream fish, tree root wine, bao thai wine, porridge cooked from bao thai rice, Meo beans, stir-fried bamboo shoots, and so oil…