Vietnam, your next best destination for trekking
Vietnam is the perfect country to explore and there is no better way to take it all in than on a trekking adventure. Whether you choose to walk or cycle, the spectacular landscape, remote villages and vibrant towns are sights not to be missed. You will remember this destination forever.
Anyone who is looking for a new and exciting destination for a trekking holiday should take a good look at Vietnam. Featuring awe-inspiring landscapes as well as exciting city sights, this country has much to appeal to travellers. Vietnam is the ideal location for senior class trips, especially for geography and social studies students. The topography of this country is a study in its own right and the cultural traditions of its people are absolutely fascinating.
No trip to Vietnam would be complete without a visit to one of the larger traditional towns to sample the local cuisine and to witness some of the spectacular entertainment such as juggling, dancing and a marching band show.
Where to Start
Some of the favourite bases for travellers are Cao Bang, Sapa and Bac Ha, which are all in northern Vietnam, Pleiku and Cat Tien National Park in the south or Bach Ma National Park, which is central.
All of these provide excellent opportunities to explore remote villages, see sights that cannot be found anywhere else in the world and to simply enjoy the natural beauty of Vietnam’s diverse countryside.
Types of Trek
There are many ways to enjoy trekking in Vietnam, depending on the level of comfort required. Hardcore trekkers will most likely choose the option of a self-guided trek, camping between stops, whilst those who prefer their creature comforts could opt for a hotel base and daily treks.
The most popular choice is to use a trekking camp as a base. Most centres offer guided treks but will happily supply routes for those who wish to go it alone. They will also include the option to hire any equipment that visitors may require to save transporting it from home.
More active and adventurous trekkers could well enjoy a visit that includes the opportunity to climb Fanispan, which is Vietnam’s highest mountain. The ascent takes a total of six days.
Those fond of culture will love a visit to the ancient city of Hanoi, which dates back to 1010 and has preserved much of its exquisite architecture. All of the original 36 streets are intact and there are more than 600 temples and pagodas to visit.
Hanoi people love to entertain their visitors and a visit to the Night Market is essential. It’s alive with tiny food stalls offering everything from noodles to cobra meat and featuring a wealth of traditional entertainment including the famous marching band show.
For the more peaceful trekker, visiting some of Vietnam’s remote villages is a fascinating experience. Many are uniquely insular and self-supporting with the residents not at all in touch with the 21st century, making for a really refreshing glimpse at life hundreds of years ago. Despite this, villagers are always genuinely happy to greet, feed and entertain visitors.
Many villages have their own specialist crafts, which could be anything from hand made lacquer ware to sculpting jade statuettes; all are alike in their love of demonstrating not just their unique arts and crafts, but also their whole way of life.
James Tucker writes regularly on adventure holidays in Vietnam for a range of websites and blogs. He also owns a family run camp, which specialises in senior class trips with an educational bias.