Situated more than 60 kilometers from Ha Giang Province, Bac Me is a quiet town thriving on the left bank of the Gam River, and is striking enough to tempt passers-by to stop at its historical and cultural attractions.
Cang Bac Me, or Bac Me Prison, nestled in a forest of old trees, is a destination for those who want to look back into history to the time when the French ruled the region. Historical documents say the French used Cang Bac Me as a military base before 1938 but then converted it into a prison for revolutionaries. The prison in Yen Cuong Commune is surrounded by a stone wall of some 190 meters long and 2 meters high. Though the watch tower and other components of the national historical site were restored five years ago, many ruins remain, giving visitors a glimpse of the hard life of the revolutionaries.
Cang Bac Me has more to offer. As the site is perched on the side of mountains and overlooks the Gam River, it becomes a place of choice for relaxing at a destination of beautiful mountain and water landscape.
The Gam River itself is a wonder that the Nature Mother has given to Bac Me and other parts of northern Vietnam. The river runs along the National Road 34 section of Bac Me District in Ha Giang Province and weaves its ways through mountains and hills, carving stones along its banks into art works of different shapes. The riverside scenery is beautified by terraced paddy fields and old trees standing straight or falling across either of the banks.
The best place to view and take pictures of Bac Me Town is a slope which is about 500 meters from Ha Giang Town. There, the scenery is like a painting, with red-roof houses partly hidden behind branches of old trees, mountains silhouetted in the clear water of the Gam River and boats arriving and leaving the wharf near the town. Travelers who have negotiated the bumpy road from Bac Me to Bao Lac are rewarded with the beauty of the scenic riverside. On the road sections under construction, friendly local people smile at the passers-by and herds of butterflies in different colors fly out from bushes and the river to greet them.
In Bac Me, there is a plan to develop a tourist complex comprising of Cang Bac Me as well as Dan Cum and Na Chao caves as a destination with both historical and archeological attractions.
Archeologists have found tools and artifacts believed to be used by the people who had lived in the region more than 10,000 years ago.