Yen Bai is a mountainous province in the north western part of northern Vietnam. Yen Bai province is a non-touristy travel destination which offers therefore a wide range of adventure travel tours and outdoor activities. Options include Vietnam trekking homestay, hiking, mountain biking, road cycling, ethnic culture, photography tours.

Yen Bai province shares borders with six provinces which are Ha Giang Province, Lao Cai Province, Lai Chau Province, Phu Tho Province, and Tuyen Quang Province. Forestry and farming are the main economic stay of the province. Terrain includes mountain, hill and valley. The network of rivers is complex with many falls and waterfalls.

There are many ethnic groups in Yen Bai Province. The Kinh people, who form the majority population of the country, settled here a long time ago and in unison with the local minority tribes established themselves in the region and developed cultivation practices. The Kinh people’s ancestry is traced to the Hai Duong Pham Ba Luc for nine generations till date and a monument erected in 1937 in Doc village in Hong Commune is highly revered as an ancestral home.

When to go

Yen Bai has the tropical monsoon climate with the average temperature of 220C – 230C, the average rainfall of 1,500 – 2,200 mm per year, and the average humidity of 83 – 87%, which are favorable for agriculture and forestry development.

According to the terrain, Yen Bai is divided into 5 small climatic sub-regions: Mu Cang Chai sub-region has the average altitude of 900m and the average temperature of 180C – 200C, sometimes under 00C in winter, which is good for temperate animals and plants.

Van Chan sub-region – the south of Van Chan has the altitude of 800m and the average temperature of 180C – 200C; the north has much rainfall and the south has the least rainfall of the province, which is suitable for the subtropical and temperate animals and plants.

Van Chan – Tu Le sub-region has the average altitude of 200m – 400m, the average temperature of 210C- 320C, which is good for planting tea, fruit trees and forestry, food crops.

The south of Tran Yen – Van Yen – Yen Bai city – Ba Khe region, with the average altitude of 70m, the average temperature of 230C- 240C, has the most drizzling rain of the province, which is good for food crops, forest trees, fruit trees.

Luc Yen – Yen Binh region with the average altitude of under 300 m, the average temperature of 200C- 230C has the most water surface area of the province, like Thac Ba lake with the area of 19,050 hectares, which is favorable for food crops, forestry, aquaculture and tourism.

Getting to Yen Bai

Yen Bai City is 180km from Hanoi. The province is on the railway from Hanoi to Yen Bai then Lao Cai. There is National Highway No.32 linking to Lao Cai and National Highway No.37 connecting to Tuyen Quang. Buses leave daily for Yen Bai from My Dinh Bus Station (Hanoi).

By train

Yen Bai lies on the railway that runs northwest from the capital and largest city in the north of the country, Hanoi, to the border town of Lao Cai and into Yunnan in China. The railway also passes through the towns of Mau A and Co Phuc. The railway has been a major freight corridor between China and Vietnam since its construction, and runs approximately along the Red River. National Route 70 is the highway that goes from Lao Cai southeast into Yen Bai Province, through Yen Binh just north of the town of Yen Bai, and joins up with National Road 2—which leads to Hanoi—at Doan Hung.

By road

Running parallel to and a few kilometres to the southwest of National Road 70 is National Road 32, which goes from Hanoi northwest to the town of Yen Bai through Son Tay, Lam Thao and Phu Tho. National Road 37 connects the town of Yen Bai to Nong Truong Tran Phu to the south. The latter town is also serviced by National Road 32, which takes a northwesterly direction through Nghia Lo, Nong Truong Lien Son into the mountainous northwest of the province and into neighbouring Lao Cai Province. The province lies about 183 km away on the 340 km Lào Cai to Ha Noi road.

What to see

The artificial Thac Ba Lake is a scenic spot as well as a historical place. The lake consists of 1,331 hill-islands, varies vegetation cover and a diverse ecological setting. In the middle of the lake stands the Mong Son Grotto, home of the Yen Bai Party Committee during the anti-American resistance. Coming to Thac Ba, tourists are able to relax in the lake, climb the mountain and explore the forests.

Other attractions include Dong Cuong and Dai Cai temples. Archaeologists have found many remains of the Son Vi culture in the Dong Cuong Temple area. Dai Cai Temple was built on a large area covered with many green trees and beautiful riverside roads.

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