12 Best Places for Trekking in Vietnam

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12 Best Places for Trekking in Vietnam

Are you an adventure seeker? If so, you may love trekking in Vietnam. The country offers excellent trekking with remarkable sceneries. And, you may get an unforgettable trip with the images of soaring limestone mountains, tiers of rice fields and plunging highland valleys, etc. Read on this quick guide about tips and best places for trekking in Vietnam in Vietnam!

Essential Tips on Trekking in Vietnam

Trekking preparation

Take the following tips for consideration so that you can have the best experience when it comes to trekking in Vietnam.

1. Before Going on Treks

  • Think about how long you will travel, what kind of place you want to see (ethnic villages, mountains or national parks, etc.), the period you are in Vietnam (it’s better to stay here in the dry season – the best time for trekking in Vietnam)
  • Be well prepared and ready for physical and mental challenges
  • Check out the weather forecast. It is not recommended to hike on rainy days when the roads are too slippery.
  • Ask the local people for more instructions or consider hiring a local tour guide with you.

2. What to Take on Treks

  • Enough food and water and a first-aid kit
  • Hiking boots with high quality
  • Raincoat or waterproof jackets and pants in case it rains
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • GPS navigation devices and a map.
  • For long hikes, bring your tent and warm sleeping bag
  • Sunscreen and mosquito repellent

12 Best Places for Trekking in Vietnam

1. Sapa (Lao Cai)

Trekking in Sapa

Level of trek: Easy

Highlights: Located quite far from Hanoi and right next to the neighboring country, China, Sapa is famous for its spectacular mountains, jade hued rice paddies and unique culture as a home of some of the Vietnamese ethnic minorities. It offers diverse and beautiful hiking trails such as Cat Cat village, Y Linh Ho village, Ta Phin village, Muong Hoa Valley, Ham Rong mountain, Sky Gate, etc. Especially, Sapa is the home of the highest peak in Vietnam: Fansipan mount (3143 m).

Best time to trek: from March to May when it is dry and clean; and from September to November if you want to enjoy the terraces

How to get there:

It is 320 km to the northeast of Hanoi. There are several ways to get there: by bus, by train, or by motorbike (drive on your own). Note that Sapa is a mountainous area, and very far, so it’s only for hardcore riders.

Popular treks in Sapa:

There is no specific map if you choose to trek by yourself in Sapa. Most people get lost in the beauty of the land and cannot find the way out. So, there are some recommended trek routes for you if you want to experience quite easy trekking tour level:

Things to keep in mind: 

  • Before taking photos of local people, ask them. In some cases, you must pay money for them.
  • Make copies of all your documents in case you lost the original ones.
  • Bargain half prices for anything.

2. Mai Chau (Hoa Binh)

Mai Chau

Level of trek: Easy

Mai Chau is well known for easy trekking. If you are a beginner, this is a place to go.

Highlights: Only 150 km far away from Hanoi, Mai Chau seems like a totally different world with the idyllic, rural valleys, peaceful atmosphere and laid back ambiance. There are some places to visit: Thac Bo Temple, Thung Khe pass, Mo Luong lake, White Rock pass, Chieu Cave, Go Lao waterfall, Hoa Binh lake, etc.

Best time to trek: from late September to early May

How to get there: catch a bus in My Dinh bus station in Hanoi to Mai Chau, or enjoy driving a motorbike on your own.

Popular treks in Mai Chau:

For experience the slow life of the Thai and H’mong people: Ban Buoc, Cun Pheo, Hang Kia,…

For more challenging trek: Mai Chau valley, Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Cuc Phuong National Park

3. Pu Luong Nature Reserve (Thanh Hoa)

Pu Luong nature reserve

Level of trek: moderate to challenging

Highlights: If you are heading back to Hanoi from the middle of Vietnam, you must add Pu Luong nature reserve to your list. It is the combination of Northern Vietnam’s beauty with beautiful terrace rice fields as Sapa, the magnificent passes as Ha Giang and large fields as Mai Chau. Visiting Pu Luong reserve, you also have the chance to experience the daily life and culture of the Thai and Muong people.

Best time to trek: during rice harvest season, from September to October and from February to May.

How to get there: catch the shuttle bus that takes you directly to Pu Luong from Hanoi Old Quarter.

Popular treks in Pu Luong: A popular trekking adventure will take you to Pu Luong jungle and beautiful small villages like Hang, Kho Muong, Kia villages. Some popular trekking routes: Hieu village – Nua village, Nua village – Son village.

Things to keep in mind: 

Although Pu Luong is a huge national forest, there are still restaurants and accommodation service areas. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about staying overnight there.

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