Explorers try Bac Son cuisine: Black glutinous rice cake (Banh chung den) and wampee leaf cake (Banh ngai)


Northern Vietnam is the place for our adventurous explorers and nature lovers. The major destinations like charming Sapa and mysterious Mu Cang Chai are nothing strange to Vietnam’s visitors. But have you ever heard of Bac Son?

Bac Son is a small district of Lang Son Province. Located in Northern Vietnam, Bac Son is also blessed with the raw tropical beauty of highlands nature – magnificent ranges of mountains with winding rivers and evergreen forest. It also possesses the most characteristic features of Northern Vietnam beauty – vast rice fields.


Bac Son’s endless green paddy fields

But its most advantageous feature might be its geographical location – only 140 kilometres from the city of Hanoi, making it perfect for a weekend getaway.

And, it is also the place where you can try the two Vietnamese culinary wonders – Black glutinous rice cake (Banh chung den) and wampee leaf cake (Banh ngai)  


Impressive beauty of Bac Son

If you are free this weekend then don’t be worried, text your travel buddy and get for your Bac Son tour! Here is a brief introduction to Bac Son and its two distinctive dishes – bonus a mini guide to prepare for your Bac Son tour!

About Bac Son:

Bac Son truly deserves the title of” green paradise”.  Its most famous spot is Bac Son Valley with impressive ranges of mountains, golden paddy fields, and its poetic river.

Na Lay Peak is the spot where people often go to have a panorama view of the valley. From the peak, you can see everything and enjoy its peaceful beauty in the open. Breathe in the fresh air from the top of the mountain while calmly contemplating the harmonious beauty of nature and human lives is one the best feelings.

Bac Son is also a great destination for trekking. Get some exercise while visiting the villages of some of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities while you are there. Go through the bamboo forest and gain some insights into the life of the locals in the lush countryside.

So why not treat yourself to a trip at the weekend to rewind?

About black glutinous rice cake and wampee leaf cake:

Go on a Bac Son culinary tour and try these two dishes. Glutinous rice cake is a symbol of tradition in Vietnam. It is a special dish served in celebration of the New Year. However, Bac Son cuisine puts an exciting twist on this dish.

These black glutinous rice cakes take after a cylindrical shape instead of the usual box shape. And do not be taken aback when you see its glossy black colour. Its combination of soft and sticky texture and sweet and fatty taste makes this cake incredibly hard to resist.

And before, only during Tet Holiday can you try this dish. However, due to the high demand, you can now buy it as a gift for people when you visit Bac Son.

And have you ever heard of wampee leaf cake? Treat your taste buds and try this specialty of Bac Son.


Eye-catching wampee leaf cakes

The cake is the harmonious combination of wampee leaves, glutinous rice powder, black sesame seeds and cane sugar. The cake can be steamed or fried.

The wampee leaves are incredibly healthy. They are nutritious and can be used to reduce pain and relief itching. It is also said that the leaves can improve blood circulation.

So what could possibly keep you back from booking a Bac Son tailor-made tour?

Mini guide:

When to go:

From July to October is the best time. This is the time when the rice is ready to harvest so you have the chance to see beautiful golden rice fields!

How to get there:

There are two routes from Hanoi to get to Bac Son:

  • Route 1: follow the direction of Nhat Tan Bridge to Vo Nguyen Giap street. Continue to Highway 18B and from there, continue to Hanoi Highway to get straight to Thai Nguyen and then Bac Son.
  • Route 2: Follow Thang Long Highway to Noi Bai airport. Continue to travel to reach Soc Son, Thai Nguyen and then Bac Son.

It is about 150 kilometres from the capital of Vietnam – a roughly four-hour drive. Motorbikes are highly recommended.

Where to stay:

Visitors usually opt for homestays during their trip. The price is affordable – around 150.000 to 200.000VND, and you can have your meals prepared by the host as well.

Author Since: Jan 23, 2019

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