8 Best Adventure Tours in Vietnam

Planning for an adventure of a lifetime through Vietnam and not sure what to see and things to do in this country? Well, let's find out what is suitable for you with our recommended destinations and activities for the best adventure tours in Vietnam.

 1. Adventure Travel Tours in Lao Cai
Located to the North-West of Vietnam, Lao Cai has mountainous terrain with those among the highest mountain peaks in Vietnam. The land is inhabited by a profusion of ethnic minorities whose cultures are well retained and distinctly different from one to another. There are different types of tourism here and if you love adventure travel, this is the dream land for you!

Golden rice terraces at Muong Hum, Bat Xat, Lao Cai, Vietnam
Golden rice terraces at Muong Hum, Bat Xat, Lao Cai, Vietnam

Trekking tours in Lao Cai: Trekking tours which range from 1 day to 7 days are popular in Sapa, Bac Ha and Bat Xat. On these tours, you trek from one ethnic village to another and at night you stay with local ethnic families. These tours offer breathtaking natural landscapes and engaging cultural experiences. The level of difficulty may range from moderate to extremely hard. Often you trek mostly on high altitudes over 1,000m above sea level with cool climate all year round. The best time to take these adventures is during the dry season from late November to early April.

Captivating mountains at Trinh Tuong, Bat Xat, Lao Cai
Captivating mountains at Trinh Tuong, Bat Xat, Lao Cai

During the winter months from November through the first half of March, the temperatures may get below freezing point and you'd better bring along warm clothes.

Mountain trekking/climbing tours in Lao Cai: These tours are for the really fit and adventurous travelers who yearn for conquering heights. There are quite a few mountain peaks more or less than 3,000m above sea level in Lao Cai: Fansipan, Ky Quan San (Bach Moc Luong Tu), Nhiu Co San, Lao Than… The tours normally take 2-3 days that you stay in mountain huts and tents at night. Local guides, porters and cooks are required for all these tours. Those complete these treks are awarded with stunning beauties of several mountain peaks around them!

Nhiu Co San Mountain, View looking from a trek to the summit of Lao Than Mountain in Bat Xat, Lao Cai
Nhiu Co San Mountain, View looking from a trek to the summit of Lao Than Mountain in Bat Xat, Lao Cai

Motorcycling and mountain-biking tours in Lao Cai: There is a plethora of hilly small roads and trails in Lao Cai which are traffic-free and which offer splendid landscapes. Taking on these lovely trails, you'll ride your way in captivating nature and purely fresh air. There are guest houses, hotels and homestays in several areas of the province. Expect lovely communion with locals on your adventures here!

For those who love adventures but do not want to sacrifice amenities on your holidays, then it is very easy that you take a day excursion to visit the tourist spots and come back to the comfort of your hotel at night.

Lao Cai is 300km from Hanoi and can be reached by road or by rail. The fasted road journey takes 5 hours and the overnight train trip takes 9 hours.

2. Adventure Tours in Ha Giang
Ha Giang is certainly a land beyond extraordinary and your adventure through Ha Giang is no doubt filled with fun, awe, thrill,… and long lasting beautiful memories. This is the land that you normally find in fairy tales and this is the land that takes your breaths away the moment you set foot in it. Let's imagine you suddenly behold several serrated ridges lining the horizon, bottomless ravines, rugged mountain gorges, colorful ethnic minorities tilling their corn farms on rocky hillsides…. You are not day-dreaming at all; you are already in Dong Van Karst Plateau, Ha Giang Province!

Breathtaking mountains at Du Gia, Yen Minh, Ha Giang, Vietnam
Breathtaking mountains at Du Gia, Yen Minh, Ha Giang, Vietnam

You can visit Dong Van Karst Plateau by taking a hiking tour, a motorbike tour, a mountain-biking tour or a jeep tour. You should spend from 2 days to several days in the fresh and cool climate of Dong Van and still enjoy the unreal and sublime nature here. The highlights at Dong Van include the Ma Pi Leng Pass, the rock valley of Sung La, the markets of Dong Van and Ma Le, Quan Ba limestone forest, Vuong Family Residence…

Ethereal beauty of Dong Van Karst Plateau in Ha Giang, Vietnam
Ethereal beauty of Dong Van Karst Plateau in Ha Giang, Vietnam

Another of Ha Giang's attractions is the mesmerizing rice terraces at Hoang Su Phi which turn into burning golden colors in late September early October. A trekking tour through Hoang Su Phi takes from 1 day to 4 days.

Imposing rocky mountains at Meo Vac, Dong Van Karst Plateau, Ha Giang
Imposing rocky mountains at Meo Vac, Dong Van Karst Plateau, Ha Giang

3. Adventure Tours in Yen Bai
Yen Bai is best known for the most amazing golden rice terraces at Mu Cang Chai and the incredible mountain peaks which are also among the highest in Vietnam. A tour to Yen Bai takes around 3-5 days from Hanoi. The road from Hanoi to Mu Cang Chai is 300km and to Tram Tau is 230km. There are several hot-springs in Yen Bai that could make you feel rejuvenating after adventures.

Impressive golden rice terraces at Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai, Vietnam
Impressive golden rice terraces at Mu Cang Chai, Yen Bai, Vietnam

  • Trekking tours can be done at Mu Cang Chai for 2 days. Accommodation is at a local Hmong family with sweeping view of rice terraces. Else, you can go on trekking tours for 1 day or 2 days to the summit of Phu Song Sung (or Ta Chi Nhu), Ta Xua, and Lung Cung Mountains.
  • Bicycle tours can be done around the Muong Lo Valley and between Muong Lo and Tram Tau. Mountain bike tours can be done between Muong Lo and Mu Cang Chai.
  • Motorcycle tours to Yen Bai from Hanoi can take from 3-5 days and can be extended to include other attractions in the Northwest of Vietnam.
  • Photo adventures can be arranged at Mu Cang Chai during the rice transplanting season and rice harvesting season for shutterbugs.

An attractive spot for photography at Mu Cang Chai
An attractive spot for photography at Mu Cang Chai

4. Adventure Tours in Mai Chau – Hoa Binh
The Thai villages near Mai Chau Town in Hoa Binh Province used to be extremely popular for tourists from Hanoi thanks to close proximity and friendly villagers. But the land beyond the town is also wonderful for adventure tours like biking and trekking. The small trails from Hang Kia Valley to Mai Chau Town go via rugged mountains, dense forests and scenic valleys are lovely for adventure seekers. On these tours, you'll spend the nights at local Hmong or Thai families. In October-November, the vast spinach farms in the valleys are in bloom and you'll wend your way in a real wonderland!

Peaceful valley of Mai Chau, Hoa Binh, Vietnam
Peaceful valley of Mai Chau, Hoa Binh, Vietnam

Mai Chau Town is 150km from Hanoi and the trek requires a car transfer 40km further. The tour duration is from 3-5 days.

5. Adventure Tours in Ba Be National Park
Ba Be National Park is 200km or 300km from Hanoi depending on the routes you take. The park is known for the serene lakes, scenic river cruises, imposing mountains and tropical forests. The national park is popular with tourists from Hanoi at weekends, but most people only come here and have a boat trip on the lake for a day.

Ba Be National Park, Bac Kan, Vietnam
Ba Be National Park, Bac Kan, Vietnam

There are scenic trails going through the forests which lead to ethnic communities who inhabit in the high mountains around the park. To visit these villages, you are to hike for 1 or 2 days. Some trails are not too hard to trek on but some require you to be really fit. You have the option to stay at a village in the mountain or come back for accommodation in the park's headquarters. There are guest houses or homestay to choose from. Local cuisine is a highlight of the trip to Ba Be National Park for sure.

A boat on the lake of Ba Be, Bac Kan
A boat on the lake of Ba Be, Bac Kan

6. Adventure Tours in Pu Luong Nature Reserve in Thanh Hoa
Pu Luong is 170km from Hanoi and 20km from Mai Chau Town, the nature reserve is in Thanh Hoa Province. If you love to trek through villages and forests and if you want to get away from the crowds, Pu Luong is for you.

The trekking tours in Pu Luong can be from 2 days to 4 days. There are two mountain ranges running in parallel to each other and a valley in between. You'll trek on trails on a mountainside which go through patches of forest and which offer some breathtaking views looking down the valley every now and then. If your trip to Pu Luong happens to be in late September and early October, expect to get splendid photos of the golden rice fields.

Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Thanh Hoa, Vietnam
Pu Luong Nature Reserve, Thanh Hoa, Vietnam

The treks at Pu Luong are not hard in dry weather. But if it rains, the trails can be very slippery and you'd expect to get dirty. Accommodations are at Thai houses on stilts which are clean and which have hot water and Western toilets. Expect your adventure to Pu Luong a lovely time to get your mind and your soul refreshed!

7. Adventure Tours in Cao Bang
Cao Bang is an amazing place which the name may suggests: The High Plains. The province is famed for the Ban Gioc Waterfall and Nguom Ngao Cave which are considered the most spectacular of the types in Vietnam. The land is wonderful for motorbike adventures, trekking tours and jeep adventures.

Bucolic country landscape at Trung Khanh, Cao Bang
Bucolic country landscape at Trung Khanh, Cao Bang

While a jeep adventure brings you to scenic landscapes by the roadsides, a motorbike adventure and a trekking tour make you access remote ethnic villages and wild landscapes. A trekking tour at Cao Bang may range from 2 days to 5 days. The trekking areas are around Ta Lung – along the Chinese border, near Meo Vac District (Ha Giang Province) and around the hill station of Phia Den. All treks at Cao Bang are hard adventure tours and you have to be very fit to do them.

While the landscape of Cao Bang is well-known, the province is not much visited by Vietnamese and foreign visitors which is due to inconvenient and expensive transport. Most foreign travelers who make their way through Cao Bang are adventurous ones who love to stray from the well trodden path. If you plan a trip through Cao Bang, consider to combine with the other destinations in the North East of Vietnam.

8. Adventure Tours in Lai Chau
Lai Chau is an interesting place with those of the highest mountain peaks in Vietnam: Tu Ta Leng, Ngu Chi Son, Ky Quan San (Bach Moc Luong Tu), Pu Si Lung, Ta Lien Son,… Most adventure travelers only take a day trip by jeep or by mountain bike from Sapa to Tam Duong and do not venture further to explore this wonderful place.

Amazing scence of mountains and valleys at Than Uyen, Lai Chau, Vietnam
Amazing scence of mountains and valleys at Than Uyen, Lai Chau, Vietnam

What you may like to know is that the rainy season is from June to August and the dry season is for the rest of the year. The temperatures are pleasant almost all year round, save in January and February when it could get extremely cold.

Lai Chau is great to explore by motorbike or by mountain bike. The tour can be around 5-7 days and can be combined with other attractions in the North-West of Vietnam. Do not miss the Sin Ho Plateau with lovely nature, fresh air and cool climate.

For mountain enthusiasts, you can take tours for 3 days/2 nights to climb either Ky Quan San (Bach Moc Luong Tu) or Pu Ta Leng. The landscape is extremely beautiful from February-March with forests of rhododendron in full blossoms.