Vietnam has long been praised for its stunning beaches and the thousand-year-old culture, but it is also a well-known fact that 3/4 of the country is mountains and hills. This unique geographic terrain creates not only distinctive weather conditions in the mountainous regions but also impressive landscapes.
Going cloud-hunting in Vietnam is by and large the optimal way to observe the spectacular view of Vietnam’s mountains and valleys. Ready to feel the breezy clouds caressing your skin while being impressed by the panoramic view? Read on to plan your cloud-hunting adventure in Vietnam.
What to Prepare for Cloud-Hunting in Vietnam
When is the best time to go cloud-hunting in Vietnam: a favorable weather condition is a prerequisite for a successful cloud-hunting trip. It should be cold enough for the greatest cloud effect, yet not so cold or rainy that might impede your trip. In general, the mountainous areas in Vietnam have cool weather and a winter season that last more than just three months, and often September – November is when it is cold enough for cloud-hunting but not so rainy or stormy.
What to pack for cloud-hunting in Vietnam: most cloud-hunting trips require some hiking to reach the desired altitude, so make sure to pack your hunting gears. Besides, to cope with the weather that can drop to 0 Celsius degree, some sufficient winter clothing such as a scarf and gloves will come in handy.
Check out our To-pack List for Vietnam.
What to look out for going cloud-hunting in Vietnam:
- It is advisable to go with a local guide or in a group since the mountainous terrain can be quite tricky to navigate through.
- From 5 – 6 AM – when the morning dews still linger in the air – is the prime time to catch the clouds and then treat yourself to a magnificent sunrise.
- Vietnam’s largest mountains and hills are mostly in the northeast and central region, and we will find out where you can go cloud-hunting in Vietnam below.
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Cloud-Hunting in Northeast Vietnam
Fansipan Peak (Sa Pa Town – Lao Cai Province)
Fansipan is both the highest mountain peak in Vietnam as well as “the roof of Indochina.” While to the public eye, Fansipan is the most terrific point of “check-in” for hikers and nature lovers, it is the best spot to grasp the entire view of Sa Pa’s valleys too. Typically, you can reach the Fansipan’s top by a 15-minute cable ride or a 3-day hike. Though the cable service doesn’t open until 8 AM, thanks to Fansipan’s impressive height, you can still catch the glorious sight of the clouds when taking a cable ride to the mountain’s top.
Terraced fields view in Sa Pa
Temple on the top of Fansipan
Y Ty (Lao Cai Province)
Y Ty is another favorite destination in Lao Cai for cloud-hunting in Vietnam. The mountain is 2000m high from the sea level, so it’ll take a multi-day hiking trip to reach the top. Unlike Fansipan, Y Ty is not quite tourist-centric as Fansipan and tourist facilities are quite limited. On the bright side, since the majority of visitors here are solo travelers, you’ll get the golden chance to enjoy some peaceful time watching the ethnic villages and the terraced fields unveil themselves from the morning mist.
Cloud-hunting in Y Ty feels like getting lost in a magical land
Ta Xua (Son La Province)
Ta Xua is a popular cloud-hunting destination among Vietnamese hikers. The mountain is tucked behind other massive mountain ranges, so it hasn’t always been accessible for solo travelers. Thanks to developed infrastructure and more tourist facilities made available, Ta Xua has become more travel-friendly, welcoming visitors to its natural grandeur and ethnic cultures.
The signature cliff in Ta Xua makes a unique photo spot
Ha Giang is a more prominent name for motorbike trips in Northeast Vietnam, but thanks to the elevated terrain and favorable weather, cloud-hunting is still a popular activity. Aside from being a charming motorbike route, the Ma Pi Leng Peak in Ha Giang turns into a magical spot where the entire landscape is embraced by fluffy clouds at the crack of dawn.
Cloud-covered plantations in Ha Giang
Cloud-Hunting in Vietnam Central Highlands
In addition to impressive mountain tops, scatter around Da Lat are small hills and shallow valleys. As a result, there’s no need to go great distances for splendid cloud-covered landscapes. Simply book a homestay on one of Da Lat’s famous hills, such as Cau Dat Tea Hill or Da Phu Hill, and you can wake up to a magnificent view embraced by billowing clouds.
Wake up to an enchanting morning in Da Lat
Mang Den (Kon Tum Province)
For a sneak-peek into what Da Lat was like before tourism flourished, make your way to Mang Den. Though it is crowned as the second Da Lat thanks to the many similar natural features, Mang Den is much less busy and still retains its rustic beauty. Mang Den is a 2-hour-drive from Kon Tum City center, but the mountain view on the way as well as when you go cloud-hunting is well worth your while.
The wild beauty of Mang Den
Chu Yang Lak Peak (Dak Lak Province)
Chu Yang Lak Peak is a part of the Chu Yang Sin National Park, and the route to hunt clouds is not particularly easy. Travelers have to reach the height of 1700m, crossing over hills and valleys, to seize the clouds. This is one of the trails that require stamina and a guide who knows by heart the way to the top.
Of all the cloud-hunting destinations in Vietnam, Chu Yang Lak arguable requires the most preparation to make the trip
Final Takes on Cloud-Hunting in Vietnam
Admittedly, cloud-hunting is an activity designed for adventures who are willing to wake up early and capture the rare beauty of the day. Waking up early and hiking up the steep slopes might seem like too much hard work in the beginning, but to encounter the fairytale-like scenery of the cotton clouds is a much worthwhile reward.
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions, and follow our Vietnam travel guides for updated Vietnam travel information.