XUAN TRUONG — Bao Lac District [GUIDE]

Xuan Truong (Xuân Trường, Bao Lac District) – a nice commune/village and valley in Cao Bang province.

Information – Xuan Truong
How to get to Xuan Truong
When to visit Xuan Truong
Where to stay in Bao Lac
FAQ + Travel Tips
Photos of Xuan Truong

Xuan Truong – a good place to visit if you are already in Bao Lac town.

    • Xuan Truong (Xuân Trường) in Cao Bang province, Bảo Lạc district, is a small village/commune consisting of several small villages, about 20 km from Bao Lac town in Cao Bang province. Bao Lac may be your first stop when moving from Ha Giang Province to Cao Bang Province from the northern part. It is approximately 72 km from Meo Vac to Bao Lac and 130 km on QL34 from Cao Bang town to Bao Lac.
    • Bao Lac is quite a remote place, but is located on the main road QL34, and because it is a larger town, offers a range of services, restaurants and accommodation. So it is good to stop here for a while and visit some non-tourist places in the area. One of them is the village of Xuan Truong, consisting of several small villages.
Just outside Xuan Truong, in front of Me Pia Pass.

Bao Lac district in Cao Bang is still a non-touristic area of ethnic minorities.

    • The capital of Bao Lac District is Bao Lac town. This non-tourist destination should be your first stop if you want to see the Xuan Truong area. The whole area is a place where various ethnic minorities live, such as residents of the Dao, Hmong, San Chi, Tay, Lo Lo and other smaller groups. While traveling in this area, you’ll probably see them often, but it also depends where you move.

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    • Ethnic minorities  in Bao Lac district live mainly in mountain areas and around small towns and villages in Bao Lac still in classic wooden stilt houses. It is similar to Xuan Truong commune. A motorbike is required to move around the area, otherwise you have little chance of moving around unless you have a private transfer.
Women of the Dao ethnic group are leaving the Xuan Truong market.

Xuan Truong is definitely not an area of ​​tourist attractions and selfie spots.

    • Bao Lac District and Xuan Truong are not a commercial tourist areas, and this can be a great attraction for some adventure travelers. So do not expect any top attractions – virtually there are no. On the contrary, the area still retains its typical North-Vietnamese authenticity, and for those who want to see something other than the crowds of tourists in Ha Long Bay, this place should be an attraction.
    • The area around Bao Lac does not have many good roads, even for motorbiking (unless you ride a motocross). But one of the better ones is the road from Bao Lac to Xuan Truong and beyond. Quite easy to get there on a quality concrete road and motorbike (about 20 km) and drive through nice mountain passages. One of the more interesting is the Me Pia Pass (đèo Mẻ Pia), which consists of a few steep turns and the whole is actually in the form of a snake.
Xuan Truong near Bao Lac is an agricultural area covered with rice fields.

Xuan Truong – this is a valley and a place of rice fields, villages and fine people.

    • In the valley and center of Xuan Truong (just beyond the Me Pia Pass) there are classic North Vietnamese stilt houses, but there are already built concrete houses and smaller houses, so you can see that the area is also undergoing some kind of slow urban change. Certainly here do not expect any tourist hotels, attractions and parties and on the other hand, it is good, so at least the area retains its original character. In the center of the village is a classic Vietnamese marketplace, where you can bu various things, textiles, food and other things from China at very low prices.

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    • You can also refresh yourself here, but personally I saw in the village center about 3 small restaurants with a maximum of 2 meals – Pho, Com (noodles, rice … of course I do not rule out that over time there is something else to appear or build). Maybe you will be a bit of an attraction here, foreign tourists do not come here very much, I personally constantly scanned the eyes of strangers with an occasional smile on their faces.
A small restaurant with Pho in Xuan Truong.

How to get and travel to Xuan Truong in Bao Lac? Travel on a motorbike.

    • Xuang Truong can be reached by motorbike from Bao Lac. Travel distance from Bao Lac to Xuan Truong is approximately 20 km through the village of Cốc Pục and further across the Me Pia Pass. Use Google Maps navigation. The road is relatively easy, made concrete quality road to Xuan Truong, but still be careful, especially on the way back. In the direction from Bao Lac to Xuang Truong it is mostly flat and then uphill.
    • I recommend to buy a full petrol tank before leaving Bao Lac town. There is a small shop above the Me Pia Pass in front of Xuan Truong, and there is also possible to buy petrol. Unfortunately I do not know if there are some local buses to Xuang Truong, but I would not rely on it at all. Alternatively, you can take a private taxi from Bao Lac if you manage to catch one. It is also better to buy some food before you leave Bao Lac.
The best option how to come to Xuan Truong from Bao Lac is your own motorbike.

How to get to Bao Lac? There are more variants, e.g. from Meo Vac or Cao Bang.

    • Bao Lac is a remote area in the northwest of Cao Bang province. For those who ride a motorbike, for example, it is appropriate to combine this visit with a visit to the province of Ha Giang. From Meo Vac to Bao Lac (approx. 70 km) you can ride a motorbike – a nice but also more difficult road, without much traffic, authentic non-tourist areas, rural villages, nature, rice terraces and fields.
    • From Cao Bang to Bao Lac you can also ride a motorbike, a long journey (about 130 km), also very nice scenery, authentic area, mountains. There are several places on the route where you can refuel your motorbike, several smaller towns along the route. There are local buses between Cao Bang, Meo Vac and Bao Lac, but you need to check the departure times at the location before you leave. Note: motorbike routes can be recommended for people who already have experience in driving a motorcycle.
Me Pia Pass (Đèo Mẻ Pia) in front of Xuan Truong. Be careful about falling rocks.

When to visit and go to Xuan Truong (Bao Lac District)?

    • The best time to visit Xuan Truong (+ Bao Lac district) can be dry season (autumn – winter). If you drive in the summer months (monsoon season) you have to count on the higher occurrence of precipitation, so some roads may be less passable, landslides are possible. If there is a risk of more rain or flooding in this area, I recommend rather avoid this place and choose another area or another time. And mainly because of the already written – there may be a risk of landslides by roads or impassable roads.

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    • September – October is the rice harvest season in the Xuan Truong area, Bao Lac (as in many other places in northern Vietnam), so the Xuan Truong and Bao Lac areas will play a yellowish-golden color and may be even more photogenic. E.g. so October may be a suitable month to visit this place, I recommend to watch the weather always before your departure, sometimes you can not rely on the fact that it is just a dry season.
The rice fields in Xuan Truong in the harvest season – October.

Where to stay in Bao Lac? Hotels, homestays, guesthouses?

    • You will probably stay in Bao Lac town and from Bao Lac you will be traveling to Xuan Truong. Bao Lac offers classic cheaper vietnamese guesthouses or homestays and smaller cheap hotels. There is also a better hotel on the market square (Hotel Duc Tai). Prices for accommodation in Bao Lac are low and for example double room in a guesthouse costs about 10 USD. In Bao Lac there are plenty of shops where you can buy almost everything, food, clothes, groceries, coffee … Some accommodation facilities in Bao Lac can be easily booked online, see. below.

icon-home Accommodation in Bao Lac town:

Đức Anh Hotel – Bao Lac
Việt Hoàng hotel
Bao Lac Homestay & Hostel
Hotel Đức Tài

A competition in Bao Lac.

icon-info-circle Frequently asked questions – Xuan Truong (Bao Lac):

1️⃣ How you can travel from Hanoi to Cao Bang town?

    • From Hanoi to Cao Bang town you have to travel by sleeper bus / car or motorbike, because there is no railway and no flight. Travel time by bus from Hanoi to Cao Bang is about 8 hours.
    • Book bus tickets or private car from Hanoi to Cao Bang town online with Baolau or 12go.asia.

2️⃣ How to get to Bao Lac?

    • You can arrive by motorbike or local bus from Ha Giang province, e.g. from Meo Vac, Bao Lam. Another option is to go by motorbike/bus from Cao Bang to Bao Lac. Both paths offer nice passages and nice sceneries, some road sections may be in a bad condition. Drive carefully and slowly.

3️⃣ How to get from Bao Lac to Xuan Truong?

    • Xuan Truong from Bao Lac can be reached by motorbike or by taxi in the city. Travel distance is only about 20 km. Whether local buses run is not known to me, but unfortunately, buses in this remote area cannot be relied upon.

4️⃣ Is there anything you can buy at Xuan Truong?

    • Yes, in Xuan Truong you can buy snacks, food (Pho, Com) or something at the local market. But everything is very limited, it is a small village composed of several villages. There are no big restaurants or tourist hotels in Xuan Truong.

5️⃣ Where to eat in Bao Lac?

    • Bao Lac town offers a variety of classic Vietnamese restaurants and shops, and prices are low. In the so-called square in Bao Lac is also a market place and there are served traditional Vietnamese dishes, pho, rice, vegetables, etc.

6️⃣ Where is Xuan Truong?

    • Xuan Truong village is located in the Bao Lac district (Cao Bang province) and is about 20 km from the town of Bao Lac, Xuan Truong lies in a valley. Bao Lac is located about 320 km from the capital of Vietnam – Hanoi.

7️⃣ When to visit and go to Xuan Truong?

    • You can visit Xuan Truong all year round. I recommend to choose a dry season (autumn-winter), as in the area some roads may be less passable in the monsoon season if there is a risk of rain or floods. Watch the weather before you leave Bao Lac town.

8️⃣ How can Xuan Truong be interesting to you?

    • For most people, Bao Lac is such a stop when moving from Ha Giang Province to Cao Bang or vice versa. There are no „top must see“ places. However, I recommend staying there some day and looking at Vietnam from a different perspective than just the top tourist sites. Foreign tourists do not come here in the crowds, but rather just pass (it may be an advantage for some people). On the way from Bao Lac to Xuan Truong you will see the interesting Me Pia Pass. The area is also interesting for the life of the small Lo Lo ethnic group, you can occasionally see people from this minority in the town of Bao Lac.

9️⃣ How to move around Bao Lac/Xuan Truong?

    • If you want to move around Bao Lac town or Xuan Truong, you have to rent a motorbike or your private transfer. There are not too many good roads and some roads are really field, almost impossible to drive on a semi-automatic motorbike, but there are still some roads in a good condition.

🔟 How safe is Xuang Truong and Bao Lac?

    • These places are absolutely safe even for foreign tourists, there is nothing to worry about.

➡️ Where to rent a motorbike in Bao Lac?

    • If you want to rent a motorbike in Bao Lac town, ask at your hotel/guesthouse. If you want to rent a motorbike in Hanoi try to search your bike online with Bikesbooking.


icon-map-marker Map of Xuan Truong and travel route from Bao Lac:

(from Bao Lac to Xuan Truong leads one relatively decent concrete road, in front of Xuan Truong Me Pia Pass)

Route map from Bao Lac to Xuan Truong and Me Pia Pass.

Xuan Truong (Bao Lac District, Cao Bang) – Photos:

On motorbike in Xuan Truong / Bao Lac.
View of Xuan Truong village from Me Pia Pass.
Such a traditional market in Xuan Truong.
Me Pia Pass (Đèo Mẻ Pia) in Xuan Truong – Bao Lac District.
Main road through Xuan Truong village.
Rice field and mountain range in Xuan Truong.
Close to the market in Xuan Truong.
View from Me Pia Pass (Đèo Mẻ Pia) towards Bao Lac.
Area in front of Xuan Truong in Bao Lac district.
Area just outside Bao Lac, at the Xuan Truong exit.

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