If you're a fan of hiking, know that the best hiking trails in Hanoi are not directly in Hanoi, but can be found close by in their gorgeous national parks. Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, and rocks some amazing walking tours that take you around the city. However, if you really want to hike while in Hanoi, you'll have to visit destinations near Hanoi, which house their spectacular parks. In addition, a big consideration when choosing your trails, is knowing the difference between nature trails and village trails. Natural trails are just what they suggest: Waterfalls, flora and fauna, lakes and the like. Village trails center around villages, such as the Ta Phin Village trail, Cat Cat Village trail, and so on.
10. Hoan Kiem Lake or Lake of the Restored Sword
If you're absolutely new to the idea of taking up hiking on nature trails, then Hoan Kiem Lake, or Lake of the Restored Sword is a good start. By simply reading he reviews for this destination, you'll find how much people enjoy their treks around the lake.. However, if you choose to trek here, know that it's a 'touristy' area, not a trail off the beaten path.
9. Ham Lon Loop Trail
The Ham Lon Trail is located close to Soc Son, Hanoi. This loop trail is rated as moderate, and takes hikers on a scenic 4.3 mile hike. Take caution with this trail, as hikers have complained that the trail is not well developed. They've stated that the trail is much longer than the 4.3 miles claimed. The views are lovely, with plenty of wildflowers to entertain the eye. However, while the trail is listed on many travel sites, it might be a good idea to research the reviews before you go.
8. Soc Son Trail
The Soc Son Trail otherwise known as the Ho Dong Do Loop is a moderate, 10.1 mile trek near Soc Son, Hanoi. While the trail is rated as moderate, some hikers found parts of the trail a bit more difficult than others, so do your homework if you plan on this one. If you're not fond of narrow paths, then this is the hike for you, since most of the paths are wide enough to fit a vehicle. This long, loop trail is known to host a variety of bird and animal life, as well as offering hikers some gorgeous views of the region.
7. Cat Cat Village Trail
The Cat Cat Village Trail is a solid favorite for those looking to get a glimpse of authentic Vietnamese village life, while taking in a 2.6 mile hike. The Cat Cat Village Trail is an easy going loop trail that is family friendly. The scenery is lovely and includes a waterfall. Know that this is a 'touristy' trail, and not one that's considered to be off the beaten path, so you'll be in the company of a good many tourists depending on the time of year.
6. Lang Bian Mountain Trail
Lang Bian Mountain is considered by many to be one of the more popular hiking trails in the region. At 2.7 miles, this moderate, point to point trail is easier to complete than most. If you love flowers, remember to bring your camera because the abundance of wild flowers is said to be outstanding. Take care if you go after a rain, as the trail can get quite slippery. The Wander Walkers rate it a 4 out of 9 for difficulty. It takes from 3 to 4 hours to hit the mountains summit, and the trail itself is close to camping areas in case you'd like to spend the night. There are other peaks of interest in the vicinity you may wish to take advantage of: Radar and Unnamed Peaks. Please note that the trail does have some steep areas especially towards the end. Trail markers are also placed along the trails to keep you on target.
5. Mai Chau Trail
Look on any list that shares the best hiking trails in Hanoi, and you'll find Mai Chau or Hoa Binh. This is the trekking experience to enjoy if you're either a beginner, or introducing someone to hiking in general. Known as an easy trail, you'll be swept away by the combination of peace and beauty that awaits you on the Mai Chau Trail. Here, you'll come in contact with everything from rice paddies to local villages. Depending on how you engineer your trips itinerary, you may just consider ending it on on the trails of Mai Chau.
4. Sapa Bamboo Trail
As previously stated, Sapa or Sa Pa as some call it, offers some of the absolute best hiking trails near Hanoi, and the Sapa Bamboo Trail is no exception. This trail takes you along a 4.1 mile loop where you'll come across the lustrous Muong Hoa River, the Silver Waterfall, and Hau Thao Village. Regarding exertion, this trail is rated moderate, and showcases a great deal of Vietnam's wildlife. The trail will take you up and through terraced rice paddies,signal that you're about to enter the amazingly beautiful, Bamboo Forest.
3. Mount Fansipan Trail
The 5.9 mile Mount Fansipan is one of the more sought after hiking tours in Sapa. While you can do it alone, it's recommended that you hire a guide, as the trails needed to reach the summit of Mount Fanispan can be taxing. There are two other trails of interest here, Tram Ton and Sin Chai. Whichever one you take, be prepared to get a workout, as the Mount Fansipan Trail is rated as difficult. These trails aren't the easiest and can wear you out rather quickly. if you're not in good shape, it's recommended that you go for an easier trail elsewhere.
2. Sapa Valley Trail
One of the more prominent tourist activities in Vietnam is hiking in Sapa. In fact, if you perform Youtube search for hiking in Vietnam, you'll see hikers documenting their experiences in the Sapa region. Sapa is home to an absolute labyrinth of trails for all levels, but the most popular trail is the Sapa Valley Trail. A good stretch of the leg at 5.3 miles, it's considered moderate in terms of exertion.Highlights of this trail include encounters with rice paddies, villages, river and a waterfall.
1. Cuc Phuong Trails
Located just 2 hours from Hanoi via car, you'll find one of Vietnams most prized possessions, the Cuc Phuong National Park. It's here where Vietnam concentrates its conservation responsibilities. Known as one of the best hiking trails in Hanoi,the area is packed with a generous offering of both flora and fauna, as well as attractions and activities for the traveler to enjoy during their stay. While you can hike through the wilds on your own, it's encouraged you hire a guide as money generated from your trekking adventures goes to their conservation efforts and to support the local villages.
Written by Liz Flynn
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