Nui Coc Lake and an interesting legend of eternal love

Nui Coc Lake and an interesting legend of eternal love

Thai Nguyen - Lang Son 14.05.2021

Nui Coc Lake is one of the ecotourism sites famous for its poetic natural landscape and an interesting legend of love.

Translated by nguyendo

Written by giangdt

Nui Coc Lake and the legend of love

About 100km from Hanoi, Nui Coc Lake is an artificial freshwater lake in the East of Thai Nguyen city, whose South bank is next to Pho Yen town and Song Cong city while the West and the North banks are next to Dai Tu district. Nui Coc is a part of Cong river (one of the tributaries of Cau river) flowing around a mountain called “Coc”. After the Cong river was blocked, the lake was built from 1973 to 1982 on an area of 25 km2 with a depth of 35m and a capacity of about 176 million m3 of water.


 The peaceful Nui Coc Lake. Photo: mytour

The lake is associated with the legend of love of Ms. Cong and Mr. Coc. It is said that Mr. Coc, who could play the flute very well, lived at the foot of Tam Dao mountain. Due to his poverty, he could not get married. In the village, Ms. Cong (the daughter from an official’s family) was very good at singing and dancing. Although many people ask for her hand, she was only in love with Coc. Knowing that, the official strongly discouraged their love and expelled Coc from the village. Due to his deep love, Mr. Coc stood still in a place for a long time and then became Coc mountain. Meanwhile, Ms. Cong was locked in the house and cried so much that her body melted into water flowing around the foot of Coc mountain - which is later regarded as the gentle Cong river. The lake in Coc mountain today is considered as evidence for the loyal love of Mr. Coc and Ms. Cong.

Places to discover at Nui Coc Lake


Entrance to Nui Coc tourist area. Photo: dulichhonuicoc

Nui Coc Lake is now an entertainment center with a lot of interesting places. You can both admire the beauty of nature and play exciting games.

The complex of “Principle of Causality”


The magnificent 45m-high Shakyamuni statue. Photo:

Coming to Nui Coc Lake, not only can visitors enjoy a variety of games, but they can also admire the unique architecture of the complex "Principle of Causality", visit places for worship, hear prayers for peace as well as lessons about compassion as well as healthy lifestyles from Buddhist texts. You will be impressed by the magnificent empty 45m-high statue of Shakyamuni with a majestic Golden Waterfall pagoda in the heart.

The complex of caves

There are three caves in Nui Coc Lake tourist area, namely Huyen Thoai Cung, Ba Cay Thong, Co Tich and Am Phu caves. Notably, Huyen Thoai Cung Cave is based on the tearful love story of Mr. Coc and Ms. Cong.


Ba Cay Thong Cave is associated with the awkward love story  of two twin boys and a beautiful girl. Photo: mytour

Ba Cay Thong Cave is also associated with an awkward but touching love story. Legend has it that in the past, there were identical twins; one day the older brother went down the mountain to meet the most beautiful girl in the area and the two fell in love. The next day, when she was looking forward to seeing the boy again, the younger brother went down the mountain again and met her by chance. Mistaking it was yesterday's guy, the girl could not imagine that it was another man. The love triangle continues without anyone knowing the truth. One day, they set a date to discuss the marriage. Under the sparkling moonlight, the twins and the girl appeared in the same place and all 3 were surprised. Knowing the truth, they were so embarrassed and did not know what to do. Acknowledging this awkward relationship, God allowed them to stay together by turning them into three pine trees: one female tree and two male trees. From this legend, people created Ba Cay Thong Cave (Three Pines Cave).


The amusement park includes water park, water music, thrilling games and so on. With an area of more than 1ha, the water music area has a water column of nearly 40m high and 3,000 seats to serve tourists all day. It is noted that you can enjoy the art of puppetry here. One of the most attractive areas is the thrilling game area with a wide range of interesting games such as pirate ship, flying saucer, sliding down game, ferris wheel and roller coaster. The water park attracts visitors thanks to the games such as slides, “ca chep” and so on. You can definitely relieve your stress when coming to Nui Coc Lake amusement park.


Exploring the amusement parks of Nui Coc Lake. Photo:

Nui Cai Island


200-year-old house on Nui Cai Island. Photo: xahoi

Nui Cai (also known as Culture Island) has an area of 18.6ha and it is the largest of 89 islands in Nui Coc Lake, very famous for its vast space and pristine nature. You can hear the sound of birds, wind and leaves rustling here. There is an old house made of ironwood featuring Northern style of Vietnam with 200 years of existence. The entrance to the house is designed in the shape of a curve rising up with 108 stairs. Notably, there are over 2,000 traditional artifacts from more than 90 craft villages across Vietnam inside the house. A few meters away is another old house built entirely of mossy wood existing over 100 years.

Punting on Nui Coc Lake


Nui Coc Lake is most beautiful at dawn and dusk. Photo: mytour

Nui Coc Lake is most beautiful at dawn (when the morning mist has not yet melted) and at sunset (when the sun “spreads” red sunlight on the lake surface). Enjoying punting on the lake will help you feel the “purity” of nature here. The peaceful scenery is as beautiful as a charming ink wash painting that will leave a strong impression on visitors thanks to ranges of mountains surrounding and trees reflecting on the surface of the lake.

Enjoy the quintessence of cuisine at Nui Coc Lake

Bighead Carp from Nui Coc Lake


The meat of bighead carp from Nui Coc Lake is fragrant and tough. Photo: motogo

Unlike other types of bighead carps, the ones from Nui Coc Lake are especially delicious, tough and fragrant. The locals here can make up to 9 different dishes from this ingredient, giving visitors the perfect experience when enjoying the regional specialty.

Forest bamboo rat

This is the specialty in the Northwest mountainous regions or highland provinces only. Bamboo rats are rodents which usually eat bamboo, rice, corn, tubers and so on. That's why its meat is usually delicious, sweet, rich in protein and very good for health and bones. When steamed with lemongrass or grilled, it can give you the best experience.


Discover the quintessence of cuisine at Nui Coc Lake. Photo: nhahangquangon

When should you visit Nui Coc Lake?

The most beautiful time to visit Nui Coc Lake is from July to October when the lake is full of water, making it easy for the boat to move around. Without much rain, it will be convenient for sightseeing.


Inside Nui Coc Lake tourist area. Photo:

When visiting Nui Coc Lake, visitors must purchase entrance tickets for amusement parks to participate in activities. Admission fees in 2020 are as follows:

- Adults over 1m2: VND 130,000/time/person.

- Elderly people, former soldiers: VND 80,000/time/person.

- Children under 1m1, disabled people: Free of charge

Visitors will need to pay an additional VND 30,000/person for the punting cost.

Transportation to Nui Coc Lake


Entrance to Nui Coc Lake tourist area. Photo:

When traveling from Hanoi to Nui Coc Lake, you can choose one of the following travel routes:

Coach: My Dinh - Thai Nguyen coach routes at My Dinh bus station; any coach from Cao Bang, Bac Kan, Lao Cai, Yen Bai and Phu Tho passing through Thai Nguyen station. When getting in the coach, remember to tell the staff to drop you off at Thai Nguyen station.

Private vehicles (motorbike, car): For those who want to experience the way to Nui Coc Lake, please follow the Hanoi - Thai Nguyen highway to Thai Nguyen city, then stick to the route Thai Nguyen city - Dan - Tan Cuong - Nui Coc Lake.

Staying at Nui Coc Lake

- Dong A Hotel 1: 142 Hoang Van Thu - Thai Nguyen City, about 13km from Nui Coc Lake with the rate only from VND 350,000/double room/night.

- Hoang Mam Minh Cau Hotel: No. 2, Minh Cau - Thai Nguyen City - 13km from Nui Coc Lake; rate: VND 430,000/double room/night.


Nui Coc Lake has many accommodation options for you. Photo: dulichhonuicoc

- Phuc Xuan Resort: 142 Hoang Van Thu - Thai Nguyen city - Only 3km from Nui Coc Lake; rate from: VD 760,000/double room/night.

- Thai Duong Hotel: VND 500,000 - 600,000/room/2 people; an additional fee of 200,000 VND/person if sharing.

- Cong Doan Hotel: rate VND 300,000/person/room; an additional fee of 150,000 VND/person if sharing.

- Doan 16 Hotel: Located right in the Nui Coc tourist area; rates from VND 200,000/room and VND 350,000/VIP room; offering cooking services.

Nui Coc Lake not only has a peaceful and pristine nature, but it is also a place where visitors can relax with entertaining games. This is definitely the place you should not miss when coming to Thai Nguyen.