While Vietnam is an excellent destination for almost every style of travel, it is when it comes to trekking that the country really shines. From endless rice paddies to rolling green hills, lofty mountains and meandering river valleys, there is spectacular scenery almost everywhere in Vietnam. This holds especially true for the North, where large areas remain unaffected by modern urbanization and development, resulting in untouched landscapes and a wealth of diverse local cultures and traditions. The people here are always kind and welcoming, and are quick to smile or laugh in genuine happiness.
Nowhere in the north emblemizes this more than Ha Giang
, also know as Vietnam’s “Final Frontier
”. This mountainous province is practically brimming with a diverse array of local ethnicities, including the H’mong, Tay, Dzao, Man, Lo Lo, Giay and many more. Examples of great treks here are visiting the many various minority villages, summiting one of the mighty peaks near Dong Van, climbing the snaking paths along Ma Pi Leng Pass, and descending deep into the valley of Meo Vac, among others. For a great tour package covering all this and more across 5 days, have a look at our Ha Giang Trekking Tour
Trekking in Ha Giang provides you with plenty of great views.
Next up on our rundown of exceptional trekking destinations in the North of Vietnam is Ba Be National Park. Here you have the chance to trek through verdant rainforests and hills littered with ethnic villages where you can enjoy their traditional culture and cuisine, and visit the beautiful Ba Be Lake, Vietnam’s largest freshwater reservoir. This means that it’s a great option for trekkers who also want to do some kayaking, as the lake makes for probably the most serene waters to float around on in all of Vietnam. For a glimpse of what three days in Ba Be can include, read through our Trekking Tour in the park
Ba Be Lake is surrounded by gorgeous landscapes.
Deep in the valleys of Sapa is where you’ll find the most concentrated dose of traditional H’mong culture. In these stunningly lush valleys, you will be surrounded by rice paddies, fields of flowers, and villages inhabited by Black H’mong especially, but also other H’mong groups as well as other ethnicities like Dzao, Tay and Zay. For trekking in Sapa we recommend spending at least 3 days, preferably staying in traditional homestays to get the most out of your experience. If Sapa sounds like it’s up your alley, check out our Three Day Tour
Sapa is famous for its seemingly endless rice fields.
Over in the idyllic valley of Mai Chau, you can get perhaps the best and most in-depth look at rural Vietnamese agriculture, with a seemingly endless sprawl of rice paddies filling the valley. Here the local Thai and Muong ethnic minorities carry on their life and traditions as they have for centuries and millennia, undisturbed by the often disruptive influence of the outside world. Pu Luong Natural Reserve is also located here, which offers stunning hikes through flourishing forests teeming with exotic wildlife. Check out our 3 Day Trekking Tour of Mai Chau and Pu Luong
for more details.
There are some great viewpoints in Mai Chau to trek to.
Meanwhile, Hoang Su Phi offers more stunning rural Vietnamese scenery, and some moderate-intensity treks. Here you can experience how the Dzao ethnic minority goes about their daily life, while enjoying day-long treks through tea plantations, rice paddies, forests and scenic mountain slopes. Staying with a local Dzao family is recommended as always, as it’ll give you a deep understanding of their way of life, not to mention allowing you to taste their unique and delicious cuisine. Mr Linh’s Adventures offers a 3 Day Trekking Tour to Hoang Su Phi
, so check that out for further details.
Rice terraces are a staple sight when trekking in Hoang Su Phi.
If you’re planning to trek in Vietnam during late September/early October, then there is no better place to go than Mu Cang Chai. The district is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to rice production, and as such the harvest time that takes place in these months provides a stunning combination of beautiful ripe rice fields, and people from the local minorities hard at work to secure their harvest. If you’re lucky you might even get to participate in the harvesting, though be sure not to join in for too long, as unless you’re an experienced rice-farmer, you’re likely to slow the locals down! We recommend our 3 Day Trekking Tour of Mu Cang Chai
, especially if you happen to be in Vietnam for the rice-harvest.
Mu Cang Chai is ideal to visit in September/October.
Maybe you want to combine your trekking with some water activities like kayaking? Then Cat Ba is the ideal destination for you. The majority of the massive island is designated as a national park, ensuring that there’s plenty of space to lose yourself in the wonderful nature. Given that it’s an island, it’s also a great place to go kayaking among the karst outcroppings of Lan Ha Bay
, or perhaps even combine with a cruise of the famous Ha Long Bay, situated not far away. For a great time trekking the interior of the island and kayaking in the bay, check out our 3 Day Cat Ba Trekking Tour
Trekking in Cat Ba is a great way to see Ha Long both on land and at sea.
Can’t quite decide on which of these amazing trekking destinations to go to? Why not combine a bunch of them in an extended off-the-beaten-track trekking tour, taking you through Sapa, Ha Giang, Ba Be and even the spectacular Ban Gioc Waterfall? If you’re someone who wants the ultimate extensive trekking journey through Northern Vietnam, then this option is ideal for you. Check out our 8 Day Northern Vietnam Off The Beaten Track Tour
for more details.
Ban Gioc Waterfall is the largest in Southeast Asia.
While it’s hard to go wrong with any of these amazing destinations if you’re looking for excellent trekking, it can be easy to get lost in all the choices and options in Northern Vietnam. We here at Mr Linh’s Adventure can happily solve this problem for you, as booking your Vietnamese trekking adventure through us ensures that you only get the best of the best in terms of sights, activities and authentic experiences.