A 90 minute ride from Cao Bang, Trung Khanh, home of the spectacular Ban Gioc Waterfalls, passes through one pleasant little stone village to the next, like pearls on the bluish-green string of water from the river in the valley. The falls aren't disappointing, even in the dry season and it was fun for us to wave at the Chinese tourists enjoying the view from the other side. Totally undeveloped on the Vietnamese side, the Chinese side had a hotel and a gaggle of tourists walking in pods or riding horses. To explore the area a bit, we followed the lazy, milky-green river complete with scores of bamboo waterwheels. The gorgeous river drew us in and we stopped to make our vegetable salad and soaked our feet amid the clusters of bamboo, mini waterfalls and interesting rock formations. We spent several days wandering rural paths and exploring villages. The villagers were always friendly, but we were careful to have a stick for overly protective dogs.