Are you a fan of adventures? Then you will enjoy hiking in Vietnam. Our country offers a variety of breathtaking hiking routes through many scenic spots and with many levels of difficulty, making them suitable for all sorts of hikers. Joining these trips, you will get the best of Vietnam travel with striking sights of remote villages, pristine national parks, majestic mountains and valleys, etc.
1. TOP national parks and nature reserves for hiking in Vietnam
1.1. Cat Tien National Park in Dong Nai – a must-see for hiking in Vietnam
Cat Tien National Park spans across three provinces in Southern Vietnam: Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, and Lam Dong, approximately 150 kilometers away from Ho Chi Minh City. The tropical forest here is well-known for being home to various animals, including Asian elephants, clouded leopards, sun bears, and hundreds of different kinds of fish, birds, and reptiles.
It is an ideal place for those who wish to escape from the chaotic city, reconnect with nature, and go hiking in Vietnam. Some popular hiking trails in Cat Tien are those that lead to the Giant Tung Trees, Crocodile Lake, Wild Gibbon Rescue Center, and the ridge of a dormant volcano at Green Hill. The best time to hike here is during the dry season from December to May, when the weather is most pleasant.
1.2. Cuc Phuong National Park in Ninh Binh
Cuc Phuong National Park preserves a massive collection of flora and fauna, making it a unique natural museum. There are numerous hiking trails that you can take without a local guide. However, some unique trails require their service.
The most attractive hiking route in Cuc Phuong is the one from the main forest to Muong Village, which is 30 kilometers long and takes two days to complete. Also, a journey to the marvelous May Bac Peak, which is 700 meters high, is also highly recommended.
1.3. Cat Ba National Park in Hai Phong
Some of the most epic trails for hiking in Vietnam are found in Cat Ba, a stunning island in Hai Phong, near Ha Long Bay. Standing out with karst peaks and dense forests, Cat Ba National Park on Cat Ba Island is a great location that will satisfy the thirst for adventures of any traveler.
Visitors to Cat Ba can take a two-hour excursion to Ngu Lam Peak or a day-long hike to Viet Hai Village. For those looking for a solo adventure, the short but challenging climb to Ngu Lam Peak is an excellent choice to capture the stunning forest scenery. Otherwise, a professional guide is required if you prefer hiking to Viet Hai Village.
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1.4. Ba Be National Park in Bac Can – a great choice for Vietnam hiking tours
Covering 100.48 square kilometers, hiking through Ba Be National Park will allow you to immerse yourself in the diverse landscapes here. Small trails, uneven terrains, tropical forests, rice paddies, and small rural villages are all rolled into one thrilling adventure.
There are several hiking places in Ba Be worth exploring, including Po Lu Village, An Ma Island, Puong Cave, and Dau Dang Waterfall. The best time to hike to these beautiful destinations is from April to October.
1.5. Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh
Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a magnificent karst landscape, a vast network of caves and underground rivers, as well as unique flora and fauna. This park offers some of the best hiking trails in Vietnam, thanks to its breathtaking scenery, biodiversity, and karst-specific geomorphology.
Organized hiking tours are the best way to encounter Phong Nha - Ke Bang’s lush landscape, as a local guide will lead you along hidden trails unknown to other tourists. If you enjoy wildlife, consider taking a night tour or visiting animal rescue centers on a two-day hiking eco-tour. Otherwise, you can choose the fantastic hiking trail to Phong Nha Cave - one of the biggest, longest, and most stunning caves in the world.
1.6. Pu Luong Nature Reserve in Thanh Hoa
Located in the remote areas of Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa, Phu Luong Nature Reserve is one of the most beautiful places to unwind. It is endowed with a lush forest, limestone vistas, magnificent rice terraces, and breathtaking scenery.
Hiking through the reserve's forest and rice paddy fields and visiting beautiful small villages such as Ban Sai, Ban Hang, Ban Kho Muong, or Ban Hieu are among the most popular activities here. The best time for hiking in Phu Luong is during the rice harvest season, from September to November or from February to May, as you can capture the stunning sight of the gorgeous golden rice fields.
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2. Where to go hiking in Vietnam? – Majestic mountains and valleys
2.1. Muong Hoa Valley – an ideal place for hiking in Sapa Vietnam
Muong Hoa Valley is famous for its green rice terraces, golden rice paddies, majestic mountains, and forests. This valley is also a cultural center in Sapa and home to various Vietnamese minorities like Mong, Tay, Ta Van, etc.
Hiking through Lao Chai and Ta Van Villages allows you to see the best of Muong Hoa Valley and discover the local’s rice cultivation methods. The highlight of these hikes is staying at a local homestay, where you can learn about the local traditions of Vietnamese ethnic minorities.
2.2. Tu Le Valley in Yen Bai
Tu Le Valley bears the typical beauty of the Northwestern mountainous region, complemented by an abundance of terraced rice paddies, mountains, and streams.
The hiking trail in Tu Le Valley is small and narrow, but it is still among the most diverse and beautiful options for hiking in Vietnam. Strolling around can also help you catch a closer glimpse into the life of the Mong, Thai, and other ethnic minorities of Vietnam.
2.3. Mai Chau Valley in Hoa Binh – among the top-rated sites for Vietnam hiking
Surrounded by mighty mountain ranges, Mai Chau is like a totally different world with its idyllic, rural valleys, peaceful atmosphere, and laid-back ambiance. It is also where you can find some of the best trails for hiking in Vietnam.
If you want to explore the slow pace of life of the Thai and Muong people in Mai Chau, you are highly recommended to join the hiking tour around Ban Buoc, Xam Khoe Market, Cun Pheo, Te Village, and Black River.
For a more serious challenge, Mai Chau has a lot of hidden trails deep inside the forests and mountains. These trails are unnamed and unmapped, so you should book an organized group tour.
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2.4. Sung La Valley in Ha Giang
Taking the hiking trail from Yen Minh to Dong Van, you will get to see the spectacular views of the entire Sung La Valley. Sung La is known as an “oasis” and the most attractive highland commune in the Dong Van stone plateau.
In this journey, you can see the green color of corn and rice, the purple color of buckwheat flowers, and the dark green color of forest. To get the best of Sung La, you should come in spring, when flowers bloom on the rocky plateau, transforming the bland scenery into a beautiful picture.
2.5. Phong Nam Valley in Cao Bang
Phong Nam Valley resembles a fairyland with impressive mountains, a vast forest, stunning rice fields, ethnic villages, and a calm stream.
The best way to explore the valley is by wandering around. There are dozens of intriguing trails from the main river to areas further south, including the villages of Na Chang, Na Tong, Lung Dieng, Na Doan, and Da But.
Otherwise, you can hike to the viewpoint of Phong Nam Valley. The path can be dangerously slippery, but the view is worth it. If you arrive here around sunrise, you can witness the whole valley gradually sparkle up under the sun.
2.6. Lang Biang Mountain – where to get the best hiking in Dalat Vietnam
Dalat is a city in Central Vietnam, reputable as a misty town and an alpine holiday destination for locals and tourists. Located in Lac Duong District, Lang Biang Mountain is the most famous hiking site in Dalat thanks to its panoramic view across the highland.
Hiking to the peak of Lang Biang in Dalat can be slightly challenging. The climb is about 4 kilometers and can leave you out of breath, but it is still worth trying. Getting to the mountain peak, you can admire the Golden and Silver Streams and the whole Dalat city itself.
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Aside from hiking in Vietnam, there are many other wonderful things to do in Vietnam, such as enjoying the traditional cuisine, learning about the local culture, and trying fantastic indoor and outdoor activities. Some touristy destinations that you should not miss out on in Vietnam are Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, Ha Long, etc.
Visiting these stunning places, you can stay at Vinpearl Phu Quoc, Vinpearl Nha Trang, Vinpearl Hoi An, Vinpearl Resort & Spa Da Nang, and Vinpearl Resort & Spa Ha Long. As Vietnam’s leading hospitality brand, Vinpearl has footprints in the most popular destinations of the country, promising to provide high-class accommodations and professional services for all visitors.
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Vietnam has various tourist attractions, some of which are easily accessible by modern transportation while others can only be explored on foot. Hiking in Vietnam is an ideal way to see the country at its best. To have a safe and sound hike, you should prepare well, wear comfortable clothes, bring enough food and water, and hire a local tour guide if necessary.
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