By Jenna Jolie
The rugged and remote landscapes of Vietnam are a trekker's paradise. Adventurous trekkers can find a serene setting among the jungle-cloaked hills that leads them to remote villages, admiring lofty lookouts or even witnessing the spectacle of tumbling waterfalls. The mountainous areas in North Vietnam are perfect destinations for those seeking an outdoor adventure. Meanwhile, in the South, tourists can enjoy trekking through the lowland jungles near Ho Chi Minh City. If you plan a trekking tour in Vietnam, all you need to do is pick a route and set out on your journey.
So, whether you're a seasoned trekker or just starting, here are our top picks for the best trekking destinations in Vietnam. From picturesque villages to panoramic mountain summits, there's something for everyone. Get ready to experience Vietnam's natural beauty like never before!
Check Out Top 5 Destinations For Trekking In Vietnam
When thinking about the top destinations for trekking in Northern Vietnam, Sa Pa is likely the initial choice that comes to mind. Hill-tribe treks from Sapa are now an integral part of the tourist experience in northern Vietnam, and trekking here has become quite mainstream. Sa Pa serves as a premier base camp for trekkers to launch themselves into the surrounding countryside of cascading rice terraces and tiny hill-tribe villages that seem to be a world apart.
Trekking in Sapa is an experience that truly immerses you in the natural beauty and cultural richness of this enchanting region. For most tourists, two days are ideal for a perfect trekking experience in Sapa, with a warm-up walk to Muong Hum Commune being a great start. There are various options for longer treks that take you away from the crowds. Sin Chai, Cat Cat, Ban Ho, and Y Linh Ho are lovely destinations where you can explore deeper into more indigenous communities such as those of the White Hmong, Dao, and Giay.
Trekking in Sapa can be done all year round, with each season will give you different trekking experiences. However, autumn seems like a particularly appealing time to go, with mild temperatures and stunning views of the rice fields. The verdant hills and terraced rice paddies stretch out as far as the eye can see, while the traditional hill tribe villages offer a glimpse into a way of life that has remained largely unchanged for centuries. The air is crisp and fresh, and the gentle sounds of nature provide a soothing backdrop to your journey. This is an adventure that will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired, with a deep appreciation for the natural world.
Trekking in Sapa is an experience that truly immerses you in the natural beauty
In the Northeast of Vietnam lies Ha Giang, another well-known trekking place for adventurous travelers. Trekking in Ha Giang is an adventure that will take you on an incredible journey through Vietnam's most breathtaking landscapes.
As you ascend to the highest peaks of Dong Van, a border town with stunning mountain passes and valleys, you'll be captivated by the majestic scenery of this remote and mysterious province. The trails from Dong Van to Meo Vac town are challenging but worth it, with awe-inspiring views of mountain ranges, limestone peaks, and canyons. For a closer look at the small minority villages, trekking around Ha Giang City is recommended. Strolling through the charming villages is an incredibly peaceful experience that will leave you feeling relaxed. The Tay people predominantly reside in these villages, and their traditional stilt houses made of wood and bamboo are a sight to behold. As you walk along the streets, you'll often see farm animals grazing under the houses, including buffaloes and playful pigs. The tranquil ambiance of the villages, combined with the natural beauty of the surrounding area, make for an unforgettable trekking experience.
There are various options available to trek in Ha Giang, including half-day, full-day, or multiple-day treks with an overnight stay in a local homestay. If you're looking for an unforgettable trekking adventure, the rice fields in Hoang Su Phi during the harvest season from September to early October are a sight not to be missed.
Travelers are captivated by the majestic scenery of Ha Giang province while trekking
Pu Luong Nature Reserve
Pu Luong, located on the border of Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa provinces about 160km southwest of Hanoi, is an increasingly popular weekend getaway for visitors. Blessed with rich forests, limestone panoramas, magnificent rice terraces, and breathtaking sceneries, Pu Luong offers various trekking adventure tours that take you through the dense jungle and authentic minority villages.
At an elevation of about 1,700 meters, Pu Luong Peak is among the most favorite trekking mountains to conquer due to its steep and challenging terrain with many twists and turns. It takes about 6 hours in good weather conditions to trek to the top of Pu Luong, where you can fully admire the poetic landscape of the mountainous forests, fields, and valleys at the foot of the mountain.
There are two ideal periods of time to go on a trekking tour in Pu Luong. Late May to early June is a magical time in Pu Luong, as a new rice crop begins and the lush green terraced fields mingle with glistening golden ones, painting a breathtaking scene that will captivate any travelers. And there's more! You can go trekking in the refreshing summer breeze and watch light mist delicately floating in the early morning, making this experience even more enchanting. But wait, there's another stunning spectacle waiting for you! The entire mountainous region is covered in a stunning golden hue from September to October, thanks to the ripening rice crops on the terraced fields. It's truly a sight to behold, akin to paradise on Earth. While trekking in Pu Luong during this period, you'll also get to embrace the tranquil and rustic life of a mountainous region brimming with grandeur and poetry.
Pu Luong offers various trekking adventure tours
Bach Ma National Park
Located on the border between North and South Vietnam, around 45 kilometers southeast of Hue City and running from the Laotian border to the East Sea at the Hai Van Pass, Bach Ma National Park offers trekkers a tranquil and breathtaking destination.
The highlight of a trek in Back Ma National Park is the opportunity to discover various sorts of plants, wild animals and relax in the verdant surroundings. The cool air in Bach Ma adds to the poetic journey of conquering its mountains. Walking through the park to the beautiful Five Lakes, you can chill out and soak in clear waters surrounded by lush greenery before resuming your trek to reach the cascading Do Quyen Waterfall. Stand at the foot of the falls to witness and feel the iridescent torrent of water pouring over you. And to complete your trekking achievement, bathe in the picturesque setting of the mountain falls and abundant flora.
When planning to trek in Bach Ma National Park, you should be well-prepared because this attraction is located quite far from populated areas. To make the most of your experience, consider hiring a local guide from the tourism center at the base of the mountain, especially if you are interested in bird watching.
Learn more about Travel To Vietnam: The Ultimate Guide here.
Bach Ma National Park offers trekkers a tranquil destination
Cat Tien National Park
Nam Cat Tien National Park, a true nature lover's paradise, locates just 160 kilometers northeast of the bustling Ho Chi Minh City. Let’s get ready for an unforgettable trekking experience amidst pristine wilderness, where you'll be surrounded by an incredible array of wildlife, including gibbons, sambar deer, wild boar, and elusive black-shanked douc. But that's not all! The park also boasts rare and exotic flora, with some plants hardly found anywhere else on Earth.
You can choose one of two thrilling trekking options - a journey to the peaceful Crocodile Lake or a shorter trail that leads you to awe-inspiring centuries-old giant trees and unique species of flora. It's essential to be prepared with water, snacks, insect repellent, and sturdy walking shoes as you embark on this thrilling adventure. With its breathtaking scenery, Nam Cat Tien National Park is a great destination to immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of protected trees, nature, and wildlife - a true natural wonderland that will leave you spellbound.
Vietnam is a treasure trove of breathtaking trekking destinations that are sure to captivate the adventurous soul. Trekking through mesmerizing terraced rice fields of Sapa or the pristine wilderness of Nam Cat Tien National Park offers an unforgettable experience that will leave you with lifelong memories. Applying for a Vietnam visa is a necessary step for international travelers. And Travel Insurance is strongly advised to tourists to ensure a safe trip when taking part in trekking tours in Vietnam. So pack your bags, and let's embark on an extraordinary trekking expedition!