Trekking and Hiking
Hiking is a popular adventure activity in Vietnam, but unlike in the U.S., trails can be difficult to navigate for tourists due to lack of signage. For this reason, some travelers may opt to go with a guide.
Some of the most popular established trekking routes include:
Sapa is the place to go if you’ve dreamed of those tiered rice paddies, tropical forests and limestone topography. Located in northwest Vietnam, Sapa has grown from a hidden gem to a popular tourist destination with many of the amenities you’d expect, like local tour operations, homestays and restaurants.
Mount Fansipan, located southwest of Sapa, is the tallest mountain in Vietnam at 10,311 feet. A multiday trek was once the main way to attain the peak, but now a cable car, completed in 2016, can ferry you most of the way up in 15 minutes. Guides still offer hiking tours to the top of the mountain for those who prefer a continuous footpath. Even if you take the cable car, there are still 600 steps to climb to reach the top.
Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003 and is home to more than 64.6 miles of underground rivers and caves. One of the park’s more notable treks is through the Paradise Cave, where tours go as deep as 4.3 miles before turning back to retrace your steps, and might include swimming and/or boating through part of the cave.