If jumping into secluded waterfall ponds is your thing (isn’t it everyone’s?), you’re going to want to check out Ba Ho Falls, just 45 minutes north of Nha Trang on Vietnam’s South Central coast. While the beaches of Nha Trang can get a bit hectic, this out-of-the-way treasure makes for a welcome, adventurous escape away from the crowds.
The Ba Ho waterfalls have three tiers and swimming pools at the bottom of each (Ba Ho means three pools). One of the pools even has a 37-foot jump for the daredevils. The rocks surrounding the pools are famous for jumping, but if hurling yourself off of stones isn’t your idea of a good time, there are other routes into the swimming pools.
While the waterfalls are idyllic, and certainly the main attraction, the adventure of getting there is also a big part of the fun. The most popular way to reach the falls entrance is by motorbiking up the scenic coast, passing cliffs and fishing villages. Once you’ve reached the falls entrance, though, you’d better be in fair fighting shape to make the climb.
The first 20 minutes isn’t bad — just a rough dirt path that requires some focus — but once that track disappears, you’re in for an offroad adventure. To get to the first pool, it’s a challenging 15 minute boulder scramble that requires strength and dexterity; the cold water is a worthy and refreshing reward. The second and third pools are even trickier to get to, but, if you’re fit and adventurous, they’re definitely worth the effort and you’ll find fewer people there too.
The trail is marked with red spray painted arrows, and you’ll likely encounter enterprising locals willing to guide you to the top, carry your things and boost you over rocks if necessary. At about 30 meters, the top waterfall is the big payoff, and, for the thrill seeker, a check off the ol’ bucket list.
How to get there
Ba Ho Falls is just a 45-minute motorbike ride north of Nha Trang. You can drive either via the national highway 1 (QL1A) or go the more scenic coastal route along Phạm Văn Đồng (recommended) which takes you through the coastal fishing villages.
After about 30 minutes you’ll see a blue sign that says “BA HO Tourist”, turn left (west). You’ll follow the road until you see the gate that says Ba Ho Tourism Area. Check out the Google Maps location here.
Once you’re through the gate, you’ll walk 20 minutes up a dirt path until the path disappears and boulders take its place. Climb another 15 minutes over the boulders (follow the red arrows painted on the rocks), and you’ve arrived at the first pool.
What to consider
- Parking is free, but entry to the waterfalls is around 47,000 dong (about $2 USD)
- Motorbikes are easy to rent in Nha Trang for an afternoon; it’ll cost you about $5 USD.
- The bouldering to the waterfall is challenging and isn’t suitable for people with mobility issues.
- Bring plenty of drinking water, more than you think you’ll need. There are places to purchase it before the climb.
- Good shoes or strap on sandals are a must, as the climbing is tricky.