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Vietnam Trekking: Most Popular Trekking Routes in Vietnam

The forested hills of Vietnam offer the best trekking opportunities for trekking enthusiasts worldwide. And though Vietnam's top hikes can be challenging, our experts are here to help you reach the top. Simply pick a route and set out!

Here is a detailed guide that explores some of the most popular trekking destinations in Vietnam, providing a comprehensive overview of each region's unique offerings!

Top 1: Trekking through the Majestic Mountains of Sapa

Trek Level: Moderate to Challenging
Best Time to Trek: March to May & September to November

Sapa is a town in the northwest of Vietnam, surrounded by the Hoang Lien Son mountain range. It is home to various ethnic minority groups, such as the Hmong, the Dao, the Tay, and the Giay, who have preserved their unique cultures and traditions for centuries.

Sapa is also famous for its stunning terraced rice fields, which change colors with the seasons, creating breathtaking scenery for trekkers. Some of the most recommended trails in Sapa are:
The Sa Pa Valley Trail: It is an easy and scenic walk through rice terraces and villages, with views of the waterfall, the river, and the mountains.
The Fansipan Mountain Trail: It is a challenging and adventurous hike to the summit of the highest mountain in Indochina, with a breathtaking panorama of the region.
The Hoang Lien Son National Park Trail: It is moderate and diverse trek through the lush and diverse forest of the national park, with various flora and fauna, and remote and authentic villages.
The Mount Y Ty Trail: This is a difficult and off-the-beaten-path trek that takes you to one of the most isolated and beautiful areas of Sapa.

If you are looking for an adventure that combines nature, culture, and challenge, then having a Sapa trekking through the majestic mountains is the perfect choice for you. 

Top 2: Cat Ba National Park Trekking with Cat Ba Island Hopping

Trek Level: Moderate 
Best Time to Trek: September to April

If you love nature and adventure, you should not miss the opportunity to explore Cat Ba National Park and its surrounding islands. Cat Ba is the largest island in the Halong Bay archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Trekking in Cat Ba National Park will allow you to discover the tropical forest, the limestone karst formations, the caves, and the waterfalls. Some of the most popular trails Cat Ba National Park are:
● The Ngu Lam Peak Trail
● The Kim Giao Forest Trail
● The Frog Lake Trail
● The Viet Hai Village Trail

After trekking in the national park, you can hop on a boat and visit the nearby islands in Lan Ha Bay and Halong Bay. These islands are famous for their stunning karst formations, crystal clear water, and sandy beaches.

You can enjoy activities such as kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and rock climbing. You can also spend a night on a Halong Bay cruise or a homestay and experience the local culture and cuisine.

Top 3: Trek around the Con Dao Islands with Island Activities

Trek Level: Easy to Moderate
Best Time to Trek: November to April

The Con Dao Islands, renowned among Vietnam islands for their historical significance , offer a unique trekking and island-hopping experience. Trekking around the islands allows exploration of diverse ecosystems, while island activities such as kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling reveal the beauty of Lan Ha Bay!

Some of the most popular trails around Con Dao Islands are:
● The Ong Dung Beach Trail
● The So Ray and Ong Dung Beach Loop
● The Hang Duc Me Cave Shrine, Bang Beach and/or Dat Tham Beach Trail
● The God Mountain Trail

Besides trekking, you can also enjoy other island activities, such as kayaking, swimming, fishing, rock climbing, and watching turtles laying eggs on the beach.

You can also join a boat tour to visit the nearby islands in the bay, such as Bay Canh Island, Tre Lon Island, and Tre Nho Island, where you can see more of the stunning karst formations, crystal clear water, and sandy beaches.

Top 4: In-Depth Trekking of the Northern Vietnam

Trek Level: Moderate to Challenging
Best Time to Trek: September to November & March to May

If you tend to have a Vietnam advanturous tour experiencing the authentic and untouched side of Vietnam, you should go for an in-depth trek of northern Vietnam! This region is full of mountains, valleys, rivers, and ethnic villages that are off the beaten track.

There are many options for in-depth trekking of the Northern Vietnam, depending on your preferences, time, and budget. Some of the most recommended tours are:
● The Fansipan Mountain Trail
● The Tu Lan Cave Expedition
● The Pu Luong Nature Reserve Discovery
● The Jungle Trekking and Villages of Vietnam
● The Ba Be National Park and Tham Phay Cave Trekking

Top 5: Trek to the Hidden Gem of Vietnam: Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Ban Uoi Village, Cuc Phuong National Park

Trek Level: Moderate
Best Time to Trek: September to May

If you are looking for a trekking adventure that combines nature, culture, and history, you should not miss the opportunity to visit Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Ban Uoi Village, and Cuc Phuong National Park.
Pu Luong Nature Reserve is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve that covers 263 km of land and sea. You can trek through the lush forests, the stunning waterfalls, and the charming villages of the area.
Ban Uoi Village is located at the foot of the mountain and is one of the most beautiful valleys in Pu Luong. From Ban Uoi Village, you can look down and see a picturesque view of winding terraced fields and majestic limestone mountains that resemble Halong Bay’s rocky islands.
Cuc Phuong National Park is the oldest national park in Vietnam and one of the most accessible parks in the country. It is known for its spectacular limestone karsts, lush forests, and diverse wildlife. You can also trek through the pristine forest, visit the caves and grottos, and observe the flora and fauna in their natural habitat.

Top 7: Jungle Trekking and Villages of Vietnam: Ba Be National Park, Tham Phay Cave Trekking

Trek Level: Moderate
Best Time to Trek: September to April

If you are looking for a thrilling and adventurous way to explore the jungle and the villages of Vietnam, you should try trekking in Ba Be National Park and Tham Phay Cave.
Ba Be National Park is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve that covers 263 km of land and sea. It is home to over 1,500 plant species, 32 mammal species, and the world’s most endangered primate, the Cat Ba Langur.
Tham Phay Cave is a new discovery in the north and a great reason to visit Ba Be National Park. It is a river cave system that has yet to be documented by geologists and is sure to bring out your inner explorer.

There are many trekking trails to choose from, ranging from easy to hard, short to long, and scenic to adventurous. Some of the most popular trails are:
● The Tham Phay Cave Expedition
● The Jungle Trekking and Villages
● The Kayaking and Boat Trip

Top 8: Central Vietnam Trekking: Dong Hoi, Tu Lan Cave Trekking

Trek Level: Moderate to Challenging
Best Time to Trek: November to April

Central Vietnam, often overshadowed by its northern and southern counterparts, presents its own trekking beauty. Dong Hoi, a gateway to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, offers access to the mesmerizing Tu Lan Cave system.

Trekking tours for Central Vietnam range from one day to six days, and range from easy to hard. You can hike through the lush forests, the stunning waterfalls, and the charming villages of the area. You can also swim in the underground rivers, plan a Vietnam cave tour, and camp in the jungle.

Some of the most popular Trekking tours for Central Vietnam are:
● The National Park One Day Trekking to Hang Vom Cave
● The Tu Lan Cave Expedition
● The Wild Tu Lan Cave Explorer 

Most Useful Trekking Tips in Vietnam

1. Choose the right time and destination: Trek from October to April for favorable weather. Check regional climates for precise planning.
2. Pack essentials: Bring a backpack, sleeping bag, tent, flashlight, water bottle, first aid kit, and map. Wear comfy shoes, clothes, a hat, and use sunscreen and insect repellent.
3. Hire a local guide or join a tour for safety: Vietnam's diverse terrain requires local knowledge to plan itineraries and arrange transportation. Tourist agencies like Indochina Tours can help you arrange everything!
4. Respect the environment and local culture: Avoid littering or damaging nature, and adhere to wildlife protection. Follow local customs, seek permission for photos, or enter homes.

Wrapping Up

Vietnam trekking tours are amazing and should not be missed if you’re a trekker. You will be amazed by the diversity and beauty of the landscapes, cultures, and people in this country. And whether you want to hike in the mountains, forests, or rice fields, you will find a suitable trekking spot for your preference! If you have any inquiries or concerns about trekking in Vietnam, don't hesitate to reach out to us.

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