Camping in Vietnam – Where to do it

There’s times when we want to stay in a nice hotel, times when we want to lounge by the pool and there’s the times when we want to escape the hustle and bustle of the cities and escape to nature. What better way to truly immerse yourself in nature than by going camping? Vietnam is a beautiful country full of natural landscapes, jungles, and forests which makes it the perfect country to go camping. The weather is usually warm all year round, depending on where in the country you go – the further south, the warmer – so make sure you do your research before you go camping so you know if you need to pack lighter or warmer.

Suit up and grab your camping gear, pack mosquito spray, sunscreen and other necessities such as banh mi (it’s so good!), snacks and water, head out into nature and enjoy the best of what Vietnam has to offer. Here are some of the best camping places in Vietnam.

1. Cuc Phuong National Park

It’s the biggest national park in the north of Vietnam and has everything a nature lover would want.  If your trip starts in the north, make a pit stop here so you can enjoy the incredible scenery. The national park spreads over three provinces, mainly in Ninh Binh, which is a must-see when you’re in Vietnam. It’s known as “Halong Bay on land” because it resembles Halong Bay, just without the sea. It’s less visited as well so if you prefer to stay away from the crowd, it’s a good alternative. You have rice paddies, ancient temples and hidden caves to explore here, but it’s for the nature that most people come. If you’re planning on camping here, try to go during dry season (December – May) when temperatures are less humid and more pleasant. You must remember to call the local authorities if you’re planning on camping here since the national park is protected.

2. Dong Mo

The tourism area of Dong Mo is especially popular amongst the locals when they want to get away for the weekend. It’s only about 35 kilometres away from the centre of Hanoi, which makes it the perfect day-or weekend trip away from the big city. In Dong Mo, there’s a clear lake, green spaces and a big forest where you can hike, paddle boating, zip lining, set up camp and even play golf. In fact, it’s a popular retreat for those who like to play golf because there’s an international 36-hole golf course in King Island, which also has a clubhouse with tennis courts, guest villas, swimming pools and saunas. So if you by any chance decide that you don’t want to camp, you can always stay in one of their villas.

3. Son Doong Cave

Discovered not long ago, Son Doong Cave is now the world’s largest cave and lies in the heart of Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh Province. It’s since become an extremely popular tourist destination, but you need a permit in order to enter the cave and you must visit with a guide. With that said, if you’re lucky enough to ensure a spot in one of their tours, you’ll be able to experience this incredible cave and even set up camp inside. Imagine sleeping in the largest cave in the world! It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories.

4. The Hai Van Pass

One of the most impressive and beautiful passes in Vietnam, it’s famous for its winding roads which leads away from the coast into the mountains. When you get to the top, you will be awarded with an incredible view. It’s especially beautiful during sunrise, so set up camp nearby the Hai Van Gate and wake up just in time for it. After that, don’t forget to pass by the lagoon and waterfall and take a dip. It’s a beautiful way to begin the day (and will ensure that you wake up).

Things to think about when camping:

  • Don’t litter and pick up your trash. It’s more important than ever to preserve nature
  • Don’t camp anywhere illegally – it’s disrespectful towards the locals
  • Always bring mosquito spray. The little animals are especially vicious during summer
  • Turn off your phone! Don’t spend your time looking at your phone when you’re somewhere this beautiful. You can do that when you get home.
  • Have fun! Camping is about enjoying nature and having a good time with your friends, family or if you do it alone.
  • Don’t forget to apply for a Vietnam visa before you go camping in Vietnam. The immigration officers can deny you entry to the country then, so this is very important.

With that said: Happy camping!