Vietnam with its picturesque mountain landscapes and its ethnic groups is an ideal country for trekking. Here are some of the most beautiful areas of North Vietnam to explore during your Têt holidays.
Sapa one of the most known destination for trekking in North Vietnam was formerly a Spa spot during the colonial time, for people living in Vietnam. The town is located at 1,500 meters above the sea level and is the gate of the mysterious ethnic minorities and the sublime rice terraces landscapes. Unfortunately, Sapa has been a victim of its success for a few years and the city knows a massive flow of tourists. However, all the surroundings remain to be seen. Sapa’s attractions can be found in the Lao Chai, Ta Van, Ling Ho, Ban Khoang, Ma Tra and Ta Phin valleys. Some of the routes are quite crowded so if you are looking for a wilder trek, you will have to go through other routes like Den Thang, Seo My Ty, Ta Trung Ho.
The Mount Fansipan (3143 m) is located 9 km southwest of the city of Sapa. Called the roof of Việt Nam, the Mount is the highest peak of Indochina. Splendid, this trek requires 2 days of quite hard walking. To get there, it is essential to go with a local guide. This trekking can be a challenge so do not forget good shoes and warm clothes!
Thong Nong is a limestone massif of Cao Bang, a province located in the far north-east of Vietnam, on the Chinese border. The region covers an area of 263 square kilometers and is composed of karstic massifs. This chaotic and majestic place is a paradise for walkers. It is also the territory of the H’mong, Nung, Tay and Dao ethnic groups who live there in an almost total autarky. To get to Thong Nong, the best way is to rent a car or for those who do not have the budget, take a Bus from Hanoi to Cao Band City and pick up another local bus or motorcycle taxi to go to Thong Nong. To have a guide is recommended. The temperature is generally around 22 ° (72 ° F), but can also be cold and snowy during the winter.
MASSIF OF THE HIGH SONG CHAY
This massif is located in the north-west of the country, about 300 km from Hanoi, in Hoang Su Phi district, Ha Giang province, bordering Yunnan. The region is the home of the Hmongs. Spared from mass tourism, this wild beauty territory home an incredible ethnic group diversity. The trekking takes place in the heart of sumptuous landscapes made of rice terraces, on ridged ridges draped with fog scarves leading to villages nestled in the mountain.
The capital of the Hmong, 3 hours drive from Sapa, is known for its ethnic markets taking place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays. The landscape in Bac Ha is not as impressive as the one in Sapa. There you’ll find verdant oasis valleys with terraced rice fields and meet the Hmong, Phu La, Daos, Tay and Hoas, ethnic groups. To spend some nights among hill tribes is recommended to discover and understand these complex but fascinating cultures.
THE PU LUONG NATURE RESERVE
A kind of Eden where the beauty of the landscapes is only equaled by the hospitality of the Muong and the Thai people living there. The Pu Luong limestone landscape is an area of outstanding beauty, cultural interest and high biodiversity value stretching from Mai Chau in the North to West to Cuc Phuong National park in the South East. The place is blessed with rich forest, limestone panoramas, magnificent rice terraces and breathtaking scenery. Established as a reserve in 1999 and only 170km from Hanoi these 17 662 ha of land where 3/4 of the nature reserve is a primary tropical forest is a great destination. Trekking in the forest in long rice paddy fields, cycling through the reserve and visit many beautiful small villages are among the activities travelers like.