For many visitors to Vietnam, the highlight of the trip is when they leave the hustle and bustle of the lanes and enter the countryside. While there is plenty to see and do in major cities like Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, the northern region of Vietnam is known for its mountainous terrain and unique ethnicity, with its own language and customs. This is a great trekking country, and most tours in Vietnam tend to involve the region, with Sapa being the most accessible. Although there are tours that go deeper into the area.
There are many options for trekking tours in Vietnam, many of which only last a few days and seek to explore Sapa specifically. Almost all Vietnam trekking tours start in Hanoi. However, there are some excellent longer, more in-depth tours out there, and we’ve gathered a selection of both types for you, taking into account itineraries, value for money, and reviews from previous visitors. Here are 5 of the best trekking tours in Vietnam.
Three days of Sapa trekking and bus travel
The classic tours are always the most popular, and tours to Sapa are undoubtedly the most classic Vietnam trekking option. This particular tour is one of the most popular and departs from Hanoi in an air-conditioned coach for three days, including two nights in a three-star hotel. The trek consists of a number of smaller hikes, the longest of which is about 9 km (6 miles) at a time, through rice fields, visiting different villages, including those inhabited by the Black Hmong, Red Tibetan and Zai ethnic groups. All meals are provided, and there are local English-speaking guides.
Walk the Mugzhai on foot.
Not far from Sapa, but inaccessible is the Kimura Tsai area. There is only one main road that runs through this hilly area, so hiking here will allow you to get away from the usual tourist traps and get more out of it. In this area you will find a group of H’mong and Thais living in beautiful villages, mainly farming in terraced fields. There will be many picturesque spots on the hike, such as the Raspberry Mountains, and the route between Sang Nhu and Lao Chai village. Stay in a B&B, one night in a B&B and the next day in a traditional shack.
4-Day Huangsubei to Xia River 4-Day Hiking
Starting Price: $508/person
This is a more intensive trekking and practice tour, requiring longer hikes, and some transportation will be provided along the way to explore the Ha Giang area on the China-Vietnam border. Here, you can learn to fish in a B&B in order to catch dinner that night. On the final full day, you will also visit the tea garden and participate in the tea planting process. There are also opportunities to visit local markets and plenty of hiking through the forest, through waterfalls and mountains.
A five-day trekking tour of the Ha River
From US$ 573/person
Although much of northern Vietnam has seen significant tourism development in recent years, the Ha Giang region remains less popular compared to areas such as Sapa, mainly because of its relative remoteness. That’s why long hikes like this one are the best way to experience the region, both in terms of getting a feel for nature and learning about the cultures of different ethnic groups, including the H’mong, Dao, Tay and Hoa. The hike is a walk from one village to another along a path often used by the locals.
Northern Region Hiking and Mountain Tribal Tours
If just a few days of hiking in North Vietnam isn’t enough and you want to get a general idea of the entire region, this eight-day tour will include all of the areas in each of the above tours, and more. Sapa, Ha Giang and Mu Cang Chai are all on the itinerary, as well as the more isolated Dong Van District, which is located in the northernmost part of Vietnam and borders China. Beautiful peaks overlook the stunning H’mong Palace, and the mountain passes at Mapi Ling Pass are a highlight of the trip. Eight nights of hotel and family accommodations and all meals are included in the price. Vegetarian options are available upon request.