For those who have itchy feet and are dying to embark on an exciting adventure, we have compiled a list of destinations below for you to add to your bucket list.
Sapa, Lao Cai, north of Vietnam
Sapa has been famous for so many years among tourist for being northern Vietnam’s premier trekking base. People come here to launch themselves into the rugged landscape of the region, go on a strenuous hike to Fansipan or make a long trek to Muong Hoa valley. If you want to save your legs yet explore this mountainous area, rent a motorbike from one of the hotels in town. But bear in mind that you need to be a skillful rider to cope with various craggy trails in Sapa.
The trail that leads to Fansipan summit (Source: Internet)
The Fansipan adventure can be done on your own if you are fit enough for a day hike; however, a guide is required for staying overnight. On the top of the mountain, you will have commanding view of undulating mountain ranges below and exhilarating moments when you realize you have just conquered the roof of Indochina.
Muong Hoa is an ideal destination for both trekking lovers and photoholics. The valley offers the panorama of tiny bungalows clustered in cascading rice terraces and several rocks containing ancient patterns that stretch for kilometers. The trek can be done by yourself but a guide will show you the best points to have dramatic backdrops for photos.
To get to Sapa from Hanoi, choose either a sleeper bus or a train. The bus is much cheaper but you would have more space in a train cabin. To know more about your options, read this article How to get to Sapa from Hanoi.
Lan Ha bay, Cat Ba Island, north of Vietnam
Lan Ha is world-renowned Ha Long bay in a smaller scale and also less-visited. Going on a cruise is common among tourists but a more exciting option is to go kayaking. Some highlights of the trip might be paddling alongside the mammoth cliff faces and exploring deserted beaches.
Lan Ha Bay from above (Source: Internet)
The bay teems with wildlife and you could see and hear their presence along the way. Above you are sea eagles circling at all times of day and swooping down for fish. When inside the caves, there is haunting noise of birds and monkeys mixed with the splash of your paddles in the water. If you are lucky enough, you may catch sight of a school of flying fish jumping out of the water surface. Thanks to its proximity to Ha Long Bay, Lan Ha is a perfect destination for an adventure holiday in Vietnam.
To know how to go to Lan Ha bay from Ha Noi and Ha Long, see this article.
Cuc Phuong National Park, Ninh Binh, north of Vietnam
Cuc Phuong is the very first national park of Vietnam and home to a large range of flora and fauna. Many species in Cuc Phuong are listed in Vietnam’s Red Book of endangered species. The park also provides nature trails that interest lots of hikers. Prepare to trudging on soil trail, step over gigantic tree roots and clamber up rock boulders. Riding on the back of a motorbike while balancing yourself as they usually go extremely fast along meandering roads are an adventure itself.
The way to Cuc Phuong National Park (Source: Internet)
As for getting there, you can go by bus, train or motorbike and the trip will take about 3 hours from Hanoi. To know more, see this article.
Cat Ba National Park, Hai Phong, north of Vietnam
Cat Ba national park features some good hiking trails; the longest leads to the mountain summit and cover a distance of 18 km. This trail is for hard-core hikers and a guide is recommended to make the most of the journey. Bus or boat to reach to trailhead and to go back need to be arranged; basic supply can be purchased at kiosk in Viet Hai village. You’d better avoid the rainy season as the trail will get muddy and slippery. Conquering one of the most strenuous trails in Vietnam will definitely be your best Vietnam adventure tour.
The trail in Cat Ba national park (Source: Internet)
Any hiker or trekker can find some things to love about Vietnam. If you have discovered other places that you would like to share, please leave a comment with explorevietnam.net.