Posted By : Threeland Travel / Vietnam Travel Guide
Holiday to Vietnam filled with spectacular landscape, diverse tropical climate, and abundant biodiversity, Vietnam has so much to offer active travelers looking for some outdoor adventures. From hiking and bikking in the dramatic mountains to kayaking or riding the bamboo boat throughout the majestic waterways, Vietnam has it all. Below comes the “what-and-where” on the top 5 outdoor activities in Northern Vietnam you should never miss.
1. Biking in Sapa (Sa Pa)
Holiday in Sapa for a decade has won its reputation worldwide as the most beautiful mountainous destination in Northwestern Vietnam. Sapa is home to spectacular moutain views with Fansipan – the highest peak of Indochina, endless rice terrace fields, and colorful hillstribes. Popular activities in Sapa including hiking and visiting the waterfalls and the villages of ethnic groups. However, if you look for something more adventurous and intriguing, you may want to do the biking off the road in the town to avoid crowds and explore to the most authentic corner of Sapa.
Sapa is located over 300km to the northwest of Hanoi. The popular transportation to Sapa is by overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai – the gateway to Sapa town. For train tickets you can choose your favorite train and book right here. Or thanks to the new high way, there are Dcar limousine bus/ sleeping bus driving you from Hanoi straight away to Sapa. Some reliable bus company are Green Sapa Bus, Sapa Express, Luxury Sapa Bus, Eco Sapa Bus. For more bus suppliers please visit here.
2. Trekking in Pu Luong
Pu Luong Nature Reserve is the lesser-known mountainous areas in the North Vietnam, now is interested destination in Vietnam holiday packages. If Sapa welcomes 2 millions visitor per year, Pu Luong has only been able to draw 6000. But it doesn’t mean that Pu Luong is less attractive. Pu Luong offers challenging trek routes for anyone who wants to prove their fitness with magnificant views to green terraces and vegetation, and lovely hidden villages everywhere they go. Trekking in Pu Luong is like no other, when you hardly catch up with any foreign tourist on the way, since the place has not been exposed to mass tourism. Pu Luong’s peaceful ambiance and tranquil setting will for sure blow your mind away and make you temporarily forget all the hustle and bustle of urban life.
Pu Luong Retreat is the most popular homestay-style resort in the area that provide inclusive services from two-way transfer Hanoi – Pu Luong, amazing accommodations of bungalows with panoramic views to the endless scenery, restaurant, to tour service. Pu Luong Retreat prides themself on their second-to-none services, including the perfect trekking tour that leads you to discover through the mesmerizing Pu Luong’s mountains.
3. Boating in Tam Coc
Tam Coc is a magnificent waterway in Ninh Binh, where most of travelers visit for a day trip from the capital city of Hanoi. Ninh Binh is well-known as “Ha Long Bay on land” thanks to its stunning limestone karsts and the green rice fields rising from the narrow water. Doing the bamboo boat (or sampan boat) in Tam Coc is a must-try experience.
The skillful boat riders will take you through the calm river and into the caves where you can admire the formations created thousands years ago. This outdoor activity doesn’t require any advanced level of your fitness, all you need to do is just relax and enjoy whatever nature offers to your views.
Located nearly 100km from Hanoi to the South, Ninh Binh province is the home to certain national nature and culture heritages such as the ancient Hoa Lu – the first capital of Vietnam in 10th century; Bai Dinh pagoda – the largest Buddhist complex in Southeast Asia; Trang An Landscape Complex – UNESCO Heritage; Cuc Phuong National Parks, Tam Coc – Bich Dong, Van Long lagoon, and many other attractions. Popular transportation from Hanoi to Ninh Binh is by shuttle bus or private car.
4. Day trip to Cuc Phuong National Park
Established in 1962 by President Ho Chi Minh as Vietnam’s first National Park in Ninh Binh Province, Cuc Phuong is renowned for both its scenery and exceptional biodiversity including many endangered species. Cuc Phuong National Park is reported to be home to 2234 species of plants, 122 species of reptiles and amphibians, 135 species of mammals and 336 species of bird. On arrival at the Cuc Phuong, take a visit around the interesting Visitors Center and be introduced to some of the park's valuable natural resources and its unique environment. The center aims to increase the conservation awareness of visitors as well as local Vietnamese citizens. Spend the rest of the day walking around/cycling through the park following a guided tour which offers a wonderful opportunity to discover the tropical fauna and flora of the national park.
Located only 120km southwest of Hanoi and nestled between the provinces of Ninh Binh, Hoa Binh and Thanh Hoa, the most convenient way to travel straight to Cuc Phuong National Park is by a private car. However, you can still take shuttle bus or train from Hanoi to Ninh Binh and then take a local taxi from the bus/train station to Cuc Phuong.
Many people combine their visit to Cuc Phuong in the day tour to Ninh Binh alongside another attractions such as Trang An or Tam Coc, while somes who want to learn about the national park in depth or fancy having truly natural expedition would like to stay overnight in Cuc Phuong. Check it out the standard lodging and restaurants or any other information you need to know about the park HERE.
5. Kayaking or Stand Up Paddling (SUP) in Lan Ha Bay
While UNESCO-titled Ha Long Bay steals all the attention, its neighboring Lan Ha Bay is no less dramatic and mesmerizing. Not having exposed to mass tourism, the emerald water, hidden caves, secluded beach, and quiet atmosphere of Lan Ha offers such truely amazing opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to explore the bay by kayaking or SUP. As you paddle through the calm water caves, you will be able to make sense the comprehensive seascapes of Lan Ha. This is a completely different and far more exciting ways to explore the bay system, especially for young people, compared to the limited exploration offered by relaxed cruising in Ha Long Bay.
Lan Ha Bay located in Hai Phong City, is about 134 kilometers from Hanoi. To visit this isolated bay you have to take a 2-hour (via normal way) or 4-hour (via high way) drive from Hanoi to Hai Phong City. Then take a speedboat from the city’s port to access Cat Ba island. And from the island you start to explore the bay by boat.
There are some options to reach Hai Phong City by tourist bus (Good Morning Cat Ba bus and Cat Ba Express are highly recommended). If you want to avoid all the hassles along the way, you can book all-in-one overnight cruise package to Lan Ha Bay from reliable cruise companies, which covers 2-way transfer Hanoi – Hai Phong, overnight cabin, all services on boards including the kayaking or bamboo boat. Some reputed cruises operating in Lan Ha Bay are Era Cruise, Orchid Cruise, Genesis Cruise, Peony Cruise, Mon Cheri Cruise. Fancy truly active and adventurous experience? Design your holiday to Vietnam with Threeland Travel travel experts who can provides complete SUP packages including the Lan Ha Bay adventure.
As a leading local DMC for any holiday to Vietnam with 20 years of experience, Threeland Travel offers all types of holidays that Vietnam has to offer, from relaxed family beach vacations to true outdoor adventures. Visit our Vietnam epic adventure options here and chose your favorite one for your upcoming tour to Vietnam. Want a specially customized tour just for you? Email us at email@example.com and our travel guru will turn your requests into dream-like adventure.