Although Vietnam is popularly known for its rich history and tradition with delicious local cuisines, it is also a great destination for hiking. The country is surrounded by a number of picturesque places perfect for hitting the trail. These include easy walks through villages to long-distance jungle treks. The best part about choosing Vietnam as a hiking destination is that you can head to the northwest, northeast, and the central highland regions for a variety of cultures and types of hikes. Here are some of the most popular for all levels of hikers.
Northern Vietnam is an enormous mountainous region with stunning landscapes. It’s also where the highest mountain in Vietnam (Fansipan) is located, reaching 10,000 feet. You can conquer this mountain by taking one of the three routes available starting from Tram Ton Pass, Sin Chai Village, or the Cat Cat Village. If you’re looking to relax and enjoy the scenery rather than lead yourself, you can easily find tours in either Hanoi and Sapa. If you want a longer hike, you can opt for mountains like Putaleng and Back Moc Luong Tu, where you get an even better panoramic scene of the region.
If you want to discover the culture and the lifestyle of the locals, make sure to through some local villages like Sapa and Hoang Su Phi. On these trails, you’ll be privy to majestic mountains and local villages hidden in terraced fields and stretching along the hillsides. You might also get a chance to visit with the friendly locals.
Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park
Central Vietnam offers the incredible Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park–one of the best places to go hiking in Vietnam. Don’t miss the the Son Doong cave, known as the largest cave in the world. You can easily find tours that you can join if you want to explore both the park and the cave. However, keep in mind that you will need to be in good health to register for this tour since you will be heading down fairly deep into the earth’s crust.
Lang Bitan and Ta Nang-Phan
If you have more time on your side, head to Dalat–a city located in the Lang Biang highlands. You can then join a tour that will take you to to the peak of Lang Biang mountain. On the route to the peak, you’ll pass through pine trees, vegetable farms, coffee plantations, and a jungle forest that is home wild animals and varieties of birds. There are also varieties of long routes in Central Vietnam like hiking along the Ta Nang-Phan Dung mountain range. On this route (which can take several days), you’ll pass through three different provinces including Ninh Thuan, Lam Dong, and Binh Thuan.
Nam Cat Tien National Park
In the southern region of the country, you can’t miss Nam Cat Tien National Park. Nam Cat Tien National Park can be found in the southern highlands and stretches over 72,000 hectares of land–plenty of opportunities for hiking! For climbers, this is where you will want to head to Vietnam. The park is also popularly known for its biodiversity, which includes ancient trees dating back to over a thousand years ago.
This four-day hike will take you through some of Vietnam’s most memorable scenery. You can’t moss the Ban Gioc Waterfall located here–stop and take a boat ride or snap a photo. You also have a chance to meet a number of people from different tribes, including the Hmong, Tay, Nung, and Red Dao people. Finally, finish off the hike at the Ba Be National Park, which gives several additional days of outdoor activities.
The Dong Van mountain range is the star of this hike, which takes you some stunning passes and gives you several options of hiking trails. While it can be a challenge to continually top new peaks along the way, the views are well-worth the effort and spending five days away from the cities. Before you end your hike, don’t moss the Hmong Palace built in 1902 and featuring traditional Chinese architecture.
Do you have any favorite hikes in Vietnam?
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