There’s a lot to do in Vietnam and one of them is to go hiking to some spectacular spots. If you prefer to be more active on your vacation, or simply want to explore other parts of Vietnam besides the beach, you should take advantage of the many hiking spots in the country. Whether you’re planning on staying only in the north, the south, or travel to both, you’ll find that there’s plenty of hiking opportunities here.
Just remember to get a Vietnam visa before you enter the country. You now have two online options, depending where you are from. The first is the Visa on Arrival, which is by far the easiest visa to apply to. However, you can only enter Vietnam by air with this visa. This means that if you plan on going with bus, train, car or motorbike, you can’t apply for this visa. The other online option is the E-Visa, which is a 30 day, single-entry visa. Only certain nationalities can apply for this type of visa though. The last option is to get a visa at the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate. With this type of visa, you are able to enter Vietnam with any means of transportation.
So if you’re wondering what to do in Vietnam, you should add hiking to the list. Not only will this get your blood pumping, but you will also hike along some of Vietnam’s most beautiful landscapes, see waterfalls, befriend locals and when you reach your destination, get some breathtaking views.
1. Ha Giang
Far up in the north of Vietnam lies Ha Giang, which borders to China. This beautiful province in Vietnam is still quite unexplored, so now is a good time to go. Ha Giang is a lot about nature so expect plenty of hiking and trekking activities here. It’s very serene and quiet here so if you want to go somewhere a bit livelier, you should probably skip Ha Giang. However, if you want to see quiet farming villages, lush and green nature, grand mountains, pine forests and heavenly views wherever you go, this is the place to go hiking. But since Ha Giang isn’t as exploited as other tourist sites in Vietnam, it can be a bit more difficult to find tour guides, accommodation and dining options for example. Ha Giang is definitely the route you wanna go to if you like adventure.
A very popular alternative to Ha Giang is to go to Sapa. Also in the north of Vietnam, Sapa has seen a huge increase in tourism in the past years, so things are a bit more developed here and “easier” one can say. You’ll find plenty of tour guides that’ll be more than happy to come hike with you. One very popular trek is to conquer the Mount Fansipan, which is the highest mountain in Vietnam. You cannot do this independently though, you are required to go with a tour guide. However, it’s up to you if you want to go on a bigger tour or just with your tour guide. If you prefer something easier, there’s plenty of hikes you can choose from which only takes a few hours to complete.
3. Cat Ba Island
Halong Bay’s biggest island should be visited even if you’re not looking to hike. But if you are interested, there’s an incredible hike which takes about 6 hours to complete, with a tour guide. The trail is about 18 kilometres and runs through the Cat Ba National Park. Keep your eyes open to spot wildlife such as the macaques.
4. Ba Ra Mountain (Binh Phuoc Province)
Moving further down south, you have the incredible Ba Ra Mountain, which is one of the three highest mountains in southeast Vietnam. It’s actually considered a sacred place for the locals, who often refer the mountain as BonomBrah. The hike is easy – you “just” need to walk up 1,767 steps from Bang Lang Hill. If your feet are getting tired, there’s also the option of hopping on a cable car to the peak.
5. Ta Nang – Phu Dung
Considered as Vietnam’s most beautiful trekking route, this incredible trek requires you to have a good physique since it’s a three day trek into the jungle. You’ll also have to come mentally prepared – the mosquitoes can be aggressive here and you’ll most likely not have any telephone signal during these days. But what you get to see on the trek makes it all worth it. You’ll cross streams, pass through three provinces, climb and marvel at the untouched nature. It’s easy to see why this is considered the most beautiful route once you’re on it.
6. En Cave, Quang Binh
One of the must-do’s in Vietnam is to hike to En Cave, the third largest cave in the world with its own unique ecosystem. It’s still “off-the-beaten-track” so it’s the perfect time to hike there now, if you want to avoid the crowds. You can hike here with guides that’ll lead you deep into the cave. This is a 2 day 1 night hike, where you’ll spend the night camping inside the cave. The hike is moderate and the groups are small. Imagine sleeping inside a cave – how many times in your life will you have that opportunity?