Once coming to Vietnam, you can never miss our charming capital city – Hanoi. If you have been fascinated by its cultural heritage and historical sites, it’s time to have a more adventurous experience by going hiking and trekking in Hanoi.
An Introduction to Hiking and Trekking in Hanoi
Since Hanoi is surrounded by nature reserves, it only takes you a couple of days to have a hiking adventure. Apart from your hiking and trekking activities, you should grab this precious opportunity to explore the life of locals or discover the diversity of Vietnamese nature.
Things to Pack for Hiking and Trekking in Hanoi
A well-prepared bag will reduce the potential failure of the trip as you can easily take the initiative. Here are what you should pack before hiking and trekking in Hanoi:
- A water-resistant backpack
- One or two comfy outfits
- A pair of trekking shoes/boots and a pair of sandals/flip-flops for short walks
- Hiking poles/walking sticks
- Camera, mobile phones, and their chargers
- First-aid kit
- Personal medication
- High factor sunscreen, lip protection, after-sun, sun hat, and sunglasses
- Insect repellant and after-bite
- Hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes
See also: To-pack List for Vietnam.
Best Places to Go Hiking and Trekking in Hanoi
Cat Ba National Park
You must have heard of our world wonder – Ha Long Bay. But do you know that not far from this marvelous spot, there is an exotic Cat Ba National Park? Coming here, you will be introduced to an eighteen-kilometer hiking trail up to the mountains and have an opportunity to discover wildlife, including civets, macaques, and deer. To make the most of your experience, you should do this hike in six hours with the proper guidance from a tour guide.
- Distance from Hanoi: 150 km
- Worth-visiting spots: Lan Ha Bay, Kim Giao Forest, Ngu Lam Peak, Viet Hai Village
- Best time to visit: October to January
- Popular trails
As a biosphere reserve, Cat Ba National Park covers both terrestrial ecosystems (islands) and marine ecosystems
Ba Vi National Park
The easiest way to go hiking and trekking in Hanoi is to opt for Ba Vi National Park. Interestingly, a part of this park is located in Hanoi, and the other occupies two districts in Hoa Binh Province. What’s special is that apart from the striking scenery, several beautiful constructions from the French colonial period are also occupying the land.
- Distance from Hanoi: 65 km
- Worth-visiting spots: The Old French Church, Cactus Garden, Thuong Temple
- Best time to visit: April to October
Ba Vi National Park is home to several precious plants like Chitta Gong Wood and Calocedrus Macrolepis
Cuc Phuong National Park
Established in 1962, Cuc Phuong National Park is Vietnam’s oldest and largest national park. Biodiversity is what comes to people’s minds first when mentioning Cuc Phuong. With outstanding primeval forests and karst mountains, Cuc Phuong offers a variety of hiking trails catering to all skill levels. In case you don’t know which one to choose, you can take a look at the list of day hikes available in the park.
- Distance from Hanoi: 130 km
- Worth-visiting spots: Muong Village, Primate Rescue Station, May Bac Peak
- Best time to visit: December to April
- Popular trails
This miraculous scenery is what you can expect about Cuc Phuong
Ba Be National Park
This national park is quite popular among domestic tourists as it is situated on Vietnam’s biggest natural lake – Ba Be Lake. Having mysterious rainforests, deep valleys, stunning waterfalls, and spectacular limestone mountains, Ba Be National Park not only challenges hikers with winding tracks but also astonishes them with its mesmerizing nature.
- Distance from Hanoi: 230 km
- Worth-visiting spots: Coc Toc Village, Lo Mo Cave, Ba Be Lake
- Best time to visit: May to September
- Popular trails
Ba Be – an undiscovered gem
This misty city is home to the most challenging trails and is the foremost hiking destination in Vietnam. The place is popular for linking the trails together and creating a wonderful hike experience for your expertise level. As Sapa possesses a variety of incredible mountain landscapes, going hiking and trekking here is like going on a sightseeing tour.
- Distance from Hanoi: 320 km
- Worth-visiting spots: Cat Cat Village, Fansipan Mountain Peak, Thac Bac Waterfall, Ta Phin Village
- Best time to visit: September to November
- Popular Trails in Sapa:
- Lao Chai and Ta Van: Trek on small trails down the Muong Hoa Valley toward Lao Chai Village to explore the life of Black H’ mong people and visit the golden rice terraced fields. After that, walk to Ta Van village where Giay people live.
- Fansipan: You can either start your journey of conquering Fansipan from San Sa Ho – Ban Sin Chai, Cat Cat Village, or Tram Ton Pass.
- Thac Bac Waterfall and Tram Ton Pass: Drive 8 km out of Sapa to Thac Bac Waterfall, then continue 7 km to Tram Ton Pass.
Standing on the mountain peak, you can admire the beauty of these attractive terraced fields
Fansipan is a mountain peak that any hiking enthusiasts should conquer
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Final Thoughts on Hiking and Trekking in Hanoi
Like a timekeeper of the country, Hanoi offers visitors traditional values that you could hardly find anywhere else across the S-shaped land. In addition to this beauty, its terrain is no less impressive as it creates wonderful destinations for those taking pleasure in conquering mountains. If you are one who fascinates such things, don’t hesitate to strive for these places for hiking and trekking in Vietnam.
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