CAO BANG, A CAPTIVATING REGION TO TRAVEL OFF THE BEATEN PATHS
Located in north-east of Vietnam and bordering China, Cao Bang is a remote mountain region with wild nature, uneven landscapes and limestone piton forests, some of which might be among the most beautiful sceneries of Vietnam. An off beaten track destination, home of many ethnic minorities, it will delight every traveler seeking adventure into the unknown.
A high-historical-value region
The bloody battle on the colonial route 4 happened from September to October 1950 as the Vietminh opposed the French Expeditionary Forces. It was one of the greatest battles of the First Indochina War and ended in a French defeat. The colonial route 4, or RC4, was a strategic route following the Chinese border, linking Cao Bang’s garrison to Mong Cai, in the China Sea, passing through several stronghold cities such as Lang Son, That Khê and Dong Khê. Called “The Bloody Road” because of the repeated attacks the Vietminh army launched on French convoys, the CR4 became the battlefield that started as a military operation, conducted by the French Expeditionary Force, to evacuate the cities of Cao Bang and Lang Son and every army post located on the road. That operation ended up in a disaster since the Expeditionary Force got destroyed by Vietminh forces. This bloodbath counts over 5000 French soldiers killed in one night in Coc Xa. Today, if you take that Cao Bang – Lang Son road, you can understand the background of this terrible battle and might discover remnants of the Indochina War.
The Pac Bo Historic Site is located in a beautiful natural scenery at 60 kilometres north of Cao Bang. The green valleys hide the Coc Bo cave, where in 1941, back from 30 years abroad, the Father of the Nation, Ho Chi Minh, found refuge and started a long fight for Vietnam’s Independence. Right next to that cave, you will find the barrack of Khuoi Nam where President Ho Chi Minh, in May 1941, chaired the 8th Plenary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam.