The North has been a famous paradise to active travel Vietnam lovers. This region gives you a valuable chance of challenging trekking and hiking tours. Also, if you love mountain climbing, cycling and motorbiking, the North side of Vietnam is also an ideal destination.
The Norther Vietnam – a mountainous destination – will surely make your trekking tour wonderful with its landscape and secrets.
Sapa and surrounding areas
Sapa, located about 5000 feet above sea level, in the midst of the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, has become the center of trekking holidays in the country in recent years. Trekking in Sapa Vietnam is obviously a challenging task for urban dwellers, but once you dare, stunning views is definitely rewarding for your effort and dare to complete it. Sapa region is very famous for its beautiful paddies alongside the hills and you can also meet local people wearing colorful ethnic clothes along the way.
Trekking in Fansipan is harder and longer because this is the highest mountain in the Indochina. Only having crossed mountains of primeval forests, vast plateaus, herbal fields and various cliffs, you can touch the 3143m peak. This trip is not meant for the faint-hearted due to the terrain getting more and more complicated with many stone slopes, muddy lagoons, and meandering alleys. Consequently, not everyone can touch the heights of Indochina. However, the feeling of conquering the challenge and panoramic view during this active travel Vietnam can be an ease and a memorable experience for a lifetime.
The best hiking in Vietnam might be a trip to Bac Ha, Ha Giang Province. You begin your holidays with a visit to the Bac Ha market, open only on Sunday morning, then trek through some of the remotest hill tribe villages in Bac Ha and Ha Giang province, meeting up with H’mong, Phu La, Red Dzao, Tay and Nung people.
During your trip, you can spend most of the nights at homestays where the locals might offer you a real, authentic life experience. The trek trip with up and downhill climbs is a very tough, challenging one. That is why it is highly recommended for active travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path itinerary. Your reward is magnificent and beautiful landscapes of the Bac Ha Highland, the Chay River Massif as well as a fabulous land of the remote far north; not mention the discovery of local tribal ethnics’ unique cultures and ways of life.
O Quy Ho – The longest
If you want to climb big mountains in Vietnam to make your active travel more fantastic, the North is an ideal destination, too. In here, O Quy Ho – the pass between the provinces of Lao Cai and Lai Chau – is for those who are not afraid of big challenges. This is such a breath-taking and tough road that stands approximately 2,000 meters above the sea level. During the trip, you can cross the Hoang Lien mountains, where stands the majestic Fan Si Pan, the highest mountain in Indochina.
Ma Pi Leng – The King
Ma Pi Leng, in the northern province of Ha Giang, is probably the most legendary mountain pass in Vietnam. It is famous for beautiful, surreal cliff road at the top, surrounded by peaks that seem to pierce the sky. That is why you will feel like you are flying in the descent towards Meo Vac on reaching the top. While you go on this winding road, you will see dozens of members of this ethnic group.
A ride on the north side of Vietnam is for those who love a challenge. The remote and rugged landscapes make for a breathtaking ride and a fascinating travel experience. Your cycling Vietnam routes might include Hanoi, Ha Giang Province, the Northeast, Northwest of Vietnam and the popular hilltop town of Sapa. This area is home to a dazzling number of hill tribe communities from the Hmong, to the Dzao, the Tai and all the subgroups within those minority groups.
Leaving the Red River Delta where Hanoi sits and heading up towards the border with Yunnan (China), the topography becomes dramatic and you will find yourselves among limestone cliffs, deep gorges, and valleys where a scenic delight awaits you around every bend. Roads with hardly any traffic on them and strong historical and cultural themes in a country have experienced a great deal of change over the centuries, which make this a highly memorable journey.
When it comes to motorcycle tours in Vietnam, the fascinating and captivating region north of Vietnam tends to escape most traveler’s itineraries. Mountains rise dramatically from the pastures like gargantuan bee hives. Rice terraces stagger down valleys, mimicking the steps of mythical giants. By leaps and bounds, the best way to explore Northern Vietnam is by motorcycle.
The famous Ha Giang province has been proved to be the most memorable part of the active travel Vietnam. The UNESCO Dong Van Karst Geopark – 2350 km² of imposing limestone mountains – is reminiscent of scenes from the Hollywood movie, Avatar. Words cannot accurately express the grandeur to be found just past Ha Giang; an area that still requires special permits to travel through legally. Lunar landscapes and abundant karst scenery are unlike anything to be seen elsewhere in Southeast Asia. If no other reason draws you into this undeservedly neglected territory, this UNESCO Geopark site – only the second one in Southeast Asia – should be enough to make you change your plans and seek refuge in the North.