The Majestic Thac Bac Waterfall – Highlight of Sapa Tourism

Travel Guide to Silver Falls in Sapa

Rachel Tran
Rachel Tran | Published: January 9, 2020

With its majestic and stunning appearance, throughout the years, Thac Bac Waterfall (Silver Falls) has always succeeded in attracting thousands of visitors, both domestic and international. Originating from an admirable height, the silver water of the waterfall strongly flows down the cliff, splashing and growling, creating magnificent waves with white foams and refreshing vibe. Not matter which season of the year, Thac Bac Waterfall always lure travelers to stop by.

    Location: 4D Highway, San Sa Ho Commune, Sapa District, Lao Cai Province
    Entrance Fee: 20.000 VND / person
    Map to the Thac Bac Waterfall:

I. Highlights of Thac Bac Waterfall

Highlights of Thac Bac waterfall
Photo: lalalandtravel.com

1. The special location of Thac Bac Waterfall

Unlike other tourist attractions of Sapa, the Thac Bac Waterfall is located 12 kilometers from the center of Sapa, making it rather quiet and peaceful. Although it may take quite some times to get to the waterfall; however, at the end of the journey, you will find the distance absolutely worth it.

On the way to Thac Bac Waterfall, you will easily spot the diverse and lively beauty of Sapa. On one side of the road, there are mountains with vast with breathtaking pine forests, rubber rigs and other types of plants. On the other side, you shall find extensive fields which all never seems to end. Such stunning landscapes lie in the land of Sapa, so serene and soothing, almost like there has never been a single person set their foot there. The tranquil way will make you relax and calmer than you ever thought.

In the middle of the 4D highway, the only sound you can hear is the growling and roaring of the waterfall flowing down the hill, the splashing when water hit the bottom. Without the crowded and bustling people, you can freely enjoy the stunning landscapes of Thac Bac Waterfall, without being disturbed or annoyed. Looking for a relaxing destination to calm your soul? Thac Bac Waterfall is the right place to be.

Another interesting fact about Thac Bac is that the waterfall is that the place is located on the height of 1,800 meters, under O Quy Ho Pass. With such an impressive position, from the top of Ham Rong Mountain – which lies near the center of Sapa, one can clearly see Thac Bac Waterfall. 

Why it is called Thac Bac waterfall
Photo: @frazzlestravelz

2. Why is it called “Thac Bac”?

“Bac” means “silver” in English, that is why the Waterfall also has another name, which is “Silver Waterfall”. It is because the water here is very strong, therefore when it flows fiercely toward the bottom, it creates a brilliant white strip of water, striking and outstanding on the rocky cliff. Therefore, local people start to call it “Thac Bac”, or “Silver Waterfall” in English.

When the water hits the small lake under the Waterfall, it splashes and makes stunning white foams. On sunny days, the whole waterfall seems to shine dazzlingly and brightly. Most people can even see the Waterfall from afar thanks to that. It is no wonder that this destination earns itself such an impressive name.

3. Thac Bac Waterfall has one of the coldest winters in Vietnam

Being located near the foot of O Quy Ho Pass – which is 1,800 meters from the sea level, Thac Bac Waterfall is one of the coldest places in Vietnam during winter. When the temperature starts to drop, fogs and mists are ready to cover nearly half the upper part of the Waterfall. The water also turns extremely cold, just like ice that causes goosebumps to everyone who stops by.

In Sapa, the snow falls the hardest in Thac Bac Waterfall as well. There was a time when the snow was 15 meters thick, making such an eye-catching sight. If you are a winter lover then Thac Bac Waterfall is somewhere you can miss.

4. Thac Bac Waterfall has a significant height

Thac Bac Waterfall has a height of more than 200 meters, which is partly why the water here flows so strong and fierce. It makes people have to crane their necks and squint their eyes to see the top of the Waterfall, therefore creates a thrilling and exciting feeling to everyone who wants to conquer the destination.

Due to the impressive height, conquering the Waterfall will take quite some time and strength. Nowadays, there had been a system of stairs being built in the Waterfall so visitors can actually climb up and admire the whole Waterfall from above. 

5. Such magnificent view of Thac Bac Waterfall

The majestic appearance of the Thac Bac Waterfall, with white stunning water flow and the unspoiled jungle which covers around, plus lying in the middle of the wide highway, visitors will find the place so wild and untouched. Standing under the Waterfall, surrounded by the never-ending rows of trees, under the bright blue sky, we will suddenly feel so small compared to nature.

If you are starting to feel suffocated and overwhelmed when staying in the busy and crowded city, coming to Thac Bac Waterfall, you will feel extremely refreshed, relax and healthy. The clean atmosphere and the quiet, calming vibes of nature will do nothing but heal you, both mentally and physically. This is why most visitors who come to Sapa can’t seem to leave Thac Bac Waterfall out of their itinerary.

II. What to See and Do in Thac Bac Waterfall?

Climb on the staircase to discover Thac Bac Waterfall
Photo: @sun_csw

1. Climb on the staircase to discover Thac Bac Waterfall

To make the trip easier for visitors, two staircases had been built on each side of Thac Bac Waterfall, one is the way up while the other is the way down. Standing on the rocky stairwells, not only you can have a closer look at the Waterfall but also get to see the breathtaking, magnificent view of the whole Sapa town around.

2. Take impressive pictures

Coming to Thac Bac Waterfall, it will be waste if you don’t bring home some impressive and admirable pictures of the destination. In the Waterfall, there are plenty of corners to snap wonderful photos, so don’t let this chance slip away.

3. Visit the salmon breeding center

The salmon breeding center of Sapa is located at the foot of the slope that leads to Thac Bac Waterfall. The salmons here are raised carefully with international standards. The products from this center are made by strict processes. Each year, the center publishes tons of salmon products to serve the need of people.

Take a look at O Quy Ho Pass
Photo: @sucker4pain89
Sunset at O Quy Ho Pass
Photo: @sucker4pain89

4. Take a look at O Quy Ho Pass

From Thac Bac Waterfall, you only have to travel a small distance to reach O Quy Ho Pass. The Pass belongs to Hoang Lien Son mountain range, lies on the border between Lao Cai and Lai Chau Province. Located on the height of 2000 meters above the sea level, O Quy Ho is the longest and most stunning pass in Vietnam, with the magnificent landscapes of giant mountains and deep valleys.

5. Go to Ton station

This is another tourist attraction near Thac Bac Waterfall. From the Waterfall, you can head straight toward the direction of Lai Chau Province for a few moments before reaching the station. The nature sceneries here are absolutely stunning, so this is another famous hang out destination for backpackers and travelers.

Explore Love Waterfall
Photo: @agata.co

6. Explore Love Waterfall

Another impressive waterfall of Sapa, located near O Quy Ho Pass. While Thac Bac Waterfall is strong and majestic, the Love Waterfall is somewhat calmer, quieter and slower. This is a famous place for couples as well.

7. Come to Muong Hoa River

Lies across Muong Hoa valley, with a length of 15 kilometers, Muong Hoa River really has the simple yet elegant beauty of the Northern countryside of Vietnam. The lovely beauty of the river is enough to charm even the grumpiest person.

III. What to Eat around Thac Bac Waterfall?

What to eat near Thac Bac waterfall
Photo: @violettphan

1. Baked eggs

Baked egg is a specialty that only available in high mountainous areas of Vietnam, such as Sapa. Not only cheap and easy to eat, but baked egg also has a distinguished flavor that resembles perfectly the refreshing and cool atmosphere of the highlands. The eggs are baked at 50 – 70-degree Celcius, therefore, they have a rich and charming flavor. Baked egg is the most delicious during winter, the warm dish will surely leave you with a deep and wonderful impression. Aside from meat, you can also find other grilled dishes such as sausage, chopped fish and mushroom as well.

2. Grilled skewers 

Sapa is known for its delicious grilled dishes. The locals often cut meat, usually forest birds and porks, into small pieces and then grill them with skewers. The unique flavor of the mountainous meat, plus the slightly burnt smell of charcoal and the local’s spices are what make those dishes so popular. The weather in Sapa is usually cold so enjoying a hot dish of grilled meat is really suitable and delicious.

IV. Tips on Visiting Thac Bac Waterfall

  • One can visit Thac Bac Waterfall in almost every season of the year. However, according to locals and some well-experienced visitors, the time when the Waterfall is most beautiful is from February to June. During these months, the water flows with its strongest strength, making the whole landscape brighter and more stunning. In the winter, the water seems to be calmer so the Waterfall’s beauty fails to reach its best condition.
  • Remember to wear warm clothes when going to Thac Bac Waterfall. Even if it’s summer, the weather there can get quite cold and foggy. Make sure to wear long pants and bring a thin coat just in case you get cold. 
  • Due to the vast amount of trees, as refreshing as it is, there will be mosquitos and insects lurking around. It’s best if you have a small bottle of insect spray to avoid being bitten. If you don’t feel like bringing it, wearing long sleeved-clothes is enough.
  • Wear comfortable shoes is highly recommended. As mentioned above, tourists will have to climb up the stairs to conquer the Waterfall, so you should not wear sandals or high heels because it will only cause sore feet. A warm pair of shoes and socks will also protect your feet from getting cold as well, therefore ensuring your health during the journey.
  • It’s best to travel by motorbike. Although traveling by car is also a great choice, only motorbikes can give you the fullest experience and help you able to watch the sceneries on both sides of the road.
  • Thac Bac Waterfall is one of the cheapest tourist attractions in Sapa if you know how to travel in the right way. If you want to save money, Thac Bac is the ideal place to hang out in Sapa town. 
  • It’s best to travel since early. Thac Bac is quite far from the center of the town, and in order to fully immerse the beauty of Waterfall, it will take some time as well. The mountain road may get dangerous if traveling during the night, when there is not enough light, so it’s best if you start your journey early and return before sunset.

Thac Bac Waterfall is undoubtedly one of the most attractive, stunning and worth visiting nature tourism sites of Sapa town. Coming to Sapa, Lao Cai, it will be a waste if you don’t rent a motorbike and travel to this magnificent landscape at least once. This is the perfect tourist destination for all adventurous souls that are burning with the desire to conquer the magnificent nature. Take some time of your vacation to stop by Thac Bac Waterfall as well as the destinations near by, you will be deeply awed by the majestic, stunning nature and the breathtaking beauty of the mountainous area in Northern Vietnam. Surely, it will be a great change from the normal life of yours in the middle of the bustling, crowded and busy city that you can never forget.

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