Ba Be lake is said to be the Halong Bay of the mountains. Having not been to HB I can't comment. I started the day with a visit to the local market, where the pork arrives freshly killed on the back of a motorbike and butchered while you wait.Then we boarded a boat for a cold misty ride down river, which was wonderfully eery with the mist rising up and limestone cliffs appearing out of the fog. We visited a local village where the rice was being harvested, and passed through a river cave, walked to a waterfall, and then motored through into Ba Be lake. The lake water is a lovely green colour and is surrounded by vegetation fringed limestone peaks but I wouldn't say it was drop dead gorgeous scenery. Am I getting jaded?? After lunch we headed north to Cao Bang, where we farewelled our driver as tomorrow I start walking!