6 trails with the most picturesque views in Northern Vietnam

Northern Vietnam is an unusual destination offering a wide range of marvellous trekking options.  Anything is possible, from half-day hikes to assaults on the lofty Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest mountain to less strenuous trails established in national parks and nature reserves. Trekkers will have a chance to marvel at unforgettable sceneries and enjoy fascinating minority culture experiences at the same time.   

Among many worthy destinations, here are the best recommendations for you. Whether you are novice trekkers or adventure seekers, these 6 spots will definitely match your own expectations.


Situated 160km to South West of Hanoi, Mai Chau-Pu Luong' s outstanding atmosphere is makeup by an artful combination of rich tropical forests, stunning streams, lakes, uphill mountains, rice terraces, water wheels and charming fuming villages.

Mai Chau is home to various minorities such as the White Thai, Muong, Mong, Dao,... whose authentic cultural values are well preserved over centuries. Meanwhiles, Pu Luong’ s Nature Reserve is a great place for discovering flora and fauna diversity. Comprising 2 mountains parallel mountains and a valley between, this is perfect for an overnight trek.   

Highly recommended trails are Hieu village to Nua village (10- 12 km), Nu village to Son village (15 km), through Pu Luong Nature Reserve (9km), Xa Linh to Hang Kia village 9 (8 km)... Skill levels required vary trail to trail.

Staying overnight there, it’d better to sleep in homestays in PoomCoom village, try local foods. Communicate with people. They are very friendly and can become a good guide to the deep understanding of the region.


It may take you 4 days to cover this off the beaten track.

Immerse yourself in the mountainous culture with homestays. Enjoy limestone mountains, rice paddy fields, and traditional craft villages in a remote village in North East part of Vietnam.

The trek can start from Ma Phuc pass into the Phia Thap – the incense making village, known as home of the Nung. And the unforgettable stops are Vietnam’s most majestic waterfall- Ban Gioc waterfall and the enormous Nguom Ngao limestone grotto with stalactites of various shapes formed by the Mother Nature.

From Cao Bang, it's easy to access Ba Be National Park for fascinating views of the huge Ba Be lake, tranquil ponds and cave discovering.


Trek trails in Ha Giang is marvelous thanks to the rocky highland landscape and diverse weather styles based on different latitudes. The trails run along the mountains from Dong Van to Meo Vac town are very challenging, including many passes and summits. In return, what can be seen during the walks is tremendous. Ma Pi Leng peak is a good example, offering a panorama of mountain ranges, limestone peaks, and canyons. Also, you can not take your eyes off deep valley filled with fields but feel stone's vitality through H'Mong villages.


One spot for those who love to enjoy sea view after long trekking paths is Cat Ba National Park. The Park is located on Cat Ba Island, close to Halong Bay.

Trekking in Cat Ba includes 18 km hiking trail up a mountain. The adventure seems distinct as being absolutely far from the tourist area. Exploring a historic cave, the steep and rugged limestone jungle, before getting to the great view of the Island is something expected. The park is also among the largest biodiversity of the North, throw yourself to the wildlife such as macaques, civets, and deer..... along the walk.


Undoubtedly, Sapa is home to a dense network of trails. You're able to link some of them together, then create your own hike that's perfect to your skill level. However, it is advisable for you to follow a local guide (H'Mong guide) who will lead you through fabulous valleys and mountain peaks, stunning rice terraces and crystal streams. In Sapa, there are some tourism projects whose main purpose is to benefit the local community. The guides are trained in English speaking and tourism.

So, on this way, you can both enjoy the best of trekking time and help improve the locals' lives, as a responsible traveler. Some highlights of Sapa treks are Ta Phin village, home to Red Dao tribe, Muong Hoa valley, Cat Cat village and Y Ty Commune-Blue H'Mong's home.

Please note that Sapa has a lot of changes recently. Tourism has been booming over the past few years, so it might no longer be a perfect option for those who seek for entirely tranquil and relaxing moments.


Trekking within the oldest national park of Vietnam seems amazing because you’ll have chance to both adventure and study tropical biodiversity. This 12km trail is more suitable for immediately trekkers, with inspect and reptiles spotting along the way.

If staying overnight at the destination, travellers can venture in search of the jungle’s nocturnal critters and creatures, including civets, owls, large insects, flying squirrels, and bats at night. That sounds very interesting!

Moreover, from the Park, Trang An and Tam Coc (2 iconic destinations) are easy to access. Taking a local boat trip to between yellow rice field wings, discovering deep caves can be considered as rewards after a half-day trek.  


Author: Footprint Team

Always full of travel spirit and laughter. Our expertises are shown not only through knowledge of the destination but also experience working in the tourism industry for over 15 years.

Footprint Team