Everyone knows about rich Vietnamese culture, delicious street food, friendly people, and scenic landscapes. Are you an active person who wants to experience Vietnam from a whole different angle? Well, Vietnam is one of the most attractive destinations in the SEA region when it comes to hiking and trekking.
The whole country has a scenic and diverse landscape so that you can pick different hiking routes depending on your current body condition. The northern part of Vietnam is well known for stunning mountains and endless terrace fields, while central Vietnam is filled with coffee fields on the mountains in the middle of the clouds.
What else can you ask for?
In this article, we’re going to give you the list of the best hiking and trekking routes you can do while you’re exploring this stunning country. Some of the hikes require a certain amount of preparation and equipment, while some are perfect for the beginners.
Find a comfortable place and plan your next adventure now!
1. Sa Pa
You probably heard for Sa Pa many times from travelers who’ve been to Vietnam but believe us, once you come to Vietnam, you will hear for this place at least once in every conversation. Many international travelers and Vietnamese people love this place due to the amazing landscape and cool weather. Also, in recent seasons, people experienced snowfall in the area which made this place magical and very attractive for travelers.
Sa Pa is not only one of the most famous places to visit in Vietnam but also a small town located in the mountains in northern Vietnam near the Chinese border. The most popular trek route is called Fansipan and the height of the peak is about 3 kilometers! It’s not a strange thing that many people go to test their endurance there!
The provided information might scare beginners, but don’t worry as there are three different trails you can take, totally depending on your levels!
The first level is suitable for beginners and it’s called Tram Ton. You can climb to the peak and return through the same route. Although to complete the route you will need 2 – 3 days, it doesn’t require you to have any special equipment or skills.
Another route also starts from Tram Ton, but you’re heading to Muong Hoa and Cat Cat which is a totally different area. Trekking on the route will provide you with breathtaking views of the surrounding valley, random waterfalls, and wild river stream. Expect to have endurance levels checked since the route usually takes 4 – 7 days to complete. Also, you don’t need to get any special equipment except hiking shoes, raincoat, and equipment that will keep you and your stuff dry.
The last route that is only recommended for professional trekkers starts from Doc Mit and leads all the way to Fansipan. This route can take up to one week and you need climbing equipment to successfully complete the route. The route is very steep and slippery in many parts, so it is also hazardous. Anyway, the route will give you one of the best trekking experiences and views you’ve ever experienced.
The easiest way to reach a starting point of the trek is by traveling from Hanoi to Lao Cai and then take transportation (bus or motorbike) to Sa Pa. From Sa Pa, there is much information about where and how to start the trek. Also, you need permission to trek to Fansipan. The registration process is pretty straightforward and it costs 200,000 VND (around $10).
Sounds too extreme to reach the top of Fansipan? Don’t worry as there is an easy hike just a few hours from the capital in the heart of Halong Bay. From the top of the limestone, you’ll be able to overlook a stunning Halong Bay and have it all for yourself. Here’s how to reach the peak of Bai Tho Mountain.
2. Tả Liên Sơn Mountain
Are you thinking of trekking to the highest points in Vietnam? Don’t think anymore as Tả Liên Sơn is one of the top 10 peaks in Vietnam with a height of around 3,000 meters. The scenic route will provide you with unforgettable views of limestones, rivers, endless valleys, and diverse plant system. Another surprising fact is that the route isn’t too demanding which means that intermediate trekkers can conquer the peak. You don’t need any special equipment for the route, but expect to take a tent and enough snacks or Vietnamese food with you since the route will probably take about 3 days to complete.
There are many caves on the way which are perfect for setting up a tent for a fantastic camping experience. Once you set your feet on the peak of the mountain, you will be literally in the clouds and the experience is simply breathtaking.
It’s a definitely a trekking route every passionate trekker should do while exploring Vietnam.
3. Pù Luông Nature Reserve
Pù Luông Nature Reserve is the biggest one in North Vietnam. Its location is very easily reachable from Hanoi as it is located in Thanh Hoa province which is just around 100 kilometers south of the capital. The place is filled with mountains, scenic forests, terrace, and paddy rice fields, random waterfalls, and crystal clear river streams.
On the way to the top, you will encounter a rich culture of ethnic minorities and you can stay around tiny villages on the way. Once you reach the top of the trek, you’ll be rewarded by stunning views of the villages and valley above you. It’s an amazing trek for beginners as you can easily climb the top and you don’t need any special equipment except camping gear.
The most convenient way to get there is to take a bus from Hanoi to Thanh Hoa city. Once you set your foot to Thanh Hoa city, navigate to the 15C road which is the part of the famous Hồ Chí Minh trail. From Cang Nang town you can easily get the route to Pù Luông mountain. The trekking trail is well-organized and many homestays provide you with unforgettable local experience. If you’re not planning to take a tent with you, don’t worry as many options enable you to stay overnight.
4. Bạch Mã National Park
Bạch Mã National Park sits in the heart of Central Vietnam near the imperial city of Hue. The whole park sits on about 1.5 kilometers above the sea level and it was a famous French retreat. Today, you can have a fantastic retreat staying in luxury villas with swimming pools.
The national park is the home of a huge ecosystem that has more than 2000 plant species and more than 1000 animal species.
The most beautiful trek in the national park is by far the Hai Vong peak. The whole trek is about 15 kilometers long and people usually finish it in one day. It’s not a demanding route, so even the beginners can climb it successfully.
Many travelers usually head to the famous waterfall that is on the way to the peak called Ngu Ho. The waterfall is famous for its crystal clear and cold water which is a perfect way to re-energize yourself by jumping in.
Also, on the trek, you can stumble the highest waterfall in SEA called Do Quyen. The waterfall is 300 meters tall and you are able to climb at the top by climbing over 700 stairs.
Getting to Bạch Mã is relatively easy and you can get there from Hue or Da Nang. There are many buses and trains, but for the best experience, we advise you to rent a motorbike. There is an entrance fee for the national park and it cost 400,000 VND per person (around $15).
Related read: 12 Plans For Year-Round Vietnam Fun
5. Lang Biang
Lang Biang (or Langbiang) trekking route is located in the heart of Highlands near the stunning city of Da Lat. This route is suitable for beginners as you need about 6 hours to complete the route at a slow pace. Also, you don’t need any special equipment and it’s suitable for day treks.
The best time to walk the route is around the spring since you will experience the blooming of the flowers and plants around you. It’s a stunning thing to experience and the smells are hard to describe.
At the top of Lang Biang, you will be able to see Da Lat city and its surrounding area from the height of around 2 kilometers. The area is usually foggy which gives additional magic to the view and the whole route.
The beginning of the route is located about 20 kilometers away from Da Lat city and there are many options to reach it. The best way to go there is by renting a motorbike. Another widely used option is by taking a bus and the ride will take around 1 hour.
Now you have 5 best places to trek and hike around Vietnam! These places are suitable for all skill levels and every beginner can complete these routes!
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Do you have a fantastic trekking experience in Vietnam? Please share the route and experience with us!