Although the country is known for its beaches, rivers, Buddhist pagodas and bustling cities, the mountains in Vietnam are also just as amazing, if not more! In fact, the Northern region of the country is full of impressive mountain ranges that take up a third of the country’s land, so it’s no surprise that trekking is becoming increasingly popular here. Many climbing enthusiasts are making the journey to this rugged landscape to escape the city crowds, explore the nature and conquer new heights. Sound like something you would love? If mountaineering is your adventure, here is our list of the best mountains in Vietnam.
What better way to kick off our best mountains in Vietnam list than with the highest of them all, Mount Fansipan. This gigantic beauty stands at an impressive 3,143m tall just outside the center of the stunning Sapa area. Known to the locals as “Hua Si Pan” (aka Huge Rock), this majestic mountain is also labeled the rooftop of Indochina! If you want to take on this beast, the trek will take you approximately 2-3 days if you’re fit and have an experienced guide.
Unfortunately, they have recently opened up a cable car that can take you to the top of the mountain in 20 minutes. As you can imagine, the number of people cueing up the area ruins a bit of the climb. For those that decide to trek on, you will be surrounded by the remarkable nature of the Hoang Lien Ranges, as you walk upwards on the ever-steepening trail (that is potentially muddy from the rain). Despite modern commercialism creeping in, Fansipan is a favorite of the mountains in Vietnam and a true adventure playground.
- Height: 3,143 meters
- Time to Summit: Trekking tours are 2-3 days
- Difficulty: Difficult
How to get there: Take a train from Hanoi to Lao Cai, and then a minibus to the town of Sapa.
Pu Ta Leng Mountain
One for the adventurous travelers, for those who love a challenge and relish in the undiscovered destinations that aren’t on the tourist radar. Pu Ta Leng is the mountain you’ve been looking for! Located in the Lai Chau Province, the green paradise of Northern Vietnam, stands this beast that can only be conquered with the support of a local leader in Pho Village. The trail starts off misleadingly easy, with flat easy trekking and a little climbing over big rocks along the streams. Soon, however, the trails become less trail-like and more like rock obstacles through a dense forest that gets steeper and steeper, exhausting you as they go. Although it might sound quite mad, many travelers do refer to this hike as the “Fair Route,” due to the many small poetic streams along the way that make recovery periods all the more relaxing. Sound like your kind of challenge?
- Height: 3,049 meters
- Time to Summit: Approximately 4 days
- Difficulty: Very Hard
How to get there: Take the overnight bus from Hanoi at My Dinh bus station (departs at 9:00 PM). It will arrive at Tam Duong the next day at about 7.00 AM. You can then take a motor-taxi to Ta Leng village.
Related: Where to Stay in Hanoi
Tay Con Linh
This mountain had to make our best mountains in Vietnam list purely because of where it is: the Ha Giang Province. One of the most secluded areas in Vietnam, Ha Giang is an absolutely stunning scene of rolling green mountains, with winding roads and some of the most breathtaking mountain views. Hiking in Ha Giang is as much a cultural experience as it is activity, with one of the best times to climb being during the Lunar New Year, when several unique festivals and rituals will take place. The hike up the Tay Con Linh mountain is doable for anyone with a good fitness level, so trust us when we say the limestone rocks, blooming flowers, and incredible mountain views will make it all worth your while.
- Height: 2,419 meters
- Time to Summit: Approximately 3-4 hours
- Difficulty: Moderate
How to get there: Take an overnight bus from My Dinh bus station in Hanoi. They depart at 8:00 PM and arrive at Ha Giang at roughly 5:00 AM. You can also get day buses from Gia Lam bus station which departs at 8: 00 AM.
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Bach Moc Luong Tu Mountain
Another climb that is not for the faint-hearted is Bach Moc Luong Tu. Another trail that starts off deceivingly easy, the first part of the hike involves a pleasant stroll along the mountain side, through bamboo and fruit forests, ending in a rocky path to a stream. Then the hike becomes testing, where paths become steeper until you reach the 2,100m camping point. Completely surrounded by nature, the next day will involve a challenging push to the summit! Here you will see why this mountain is the most well-known with young adventurers in Vietnam: the sea of clouds. With the stunning landscapes and panoramic views, the effort is suddenly all worth it! One of the best mountains in Vietnam, this one makes our list for being a ball-buster!
- Height: 3,046 meters
- Time to Summit: Approximately 3-4 days
- Difficulty: Hard
How to get there: Take the overnight train/bus from Hanoi to Lao Cai (departs at 9:00 AM and arrives at 05:00 AM). It is a 2 hour drive to Bat Xat, so you will have to take a taxi or bus if you’re not part of a tour.
Lang Biang Mountain
Standing tall in the Lam Dong Province in Vietnam, you will find Lang Biang Mountain with a fascinating back story. Named after a Romeo and Juliet-esque love story that ends in bittersweet death, it was the unity of tribes that caused the graves of the lovers to grow into the mountain range that we know today. As well as the years of history, the mountain also boasts a variety of activity. With three mountain peaks, Lang Biang can be ‘tackled’ via jeeps up a paved road, hiking via dirt tracks to the summit or via an even more beaten trail to an unnamed peak (2,124m). However, this trek is slowly becoming more and more touristy, complete with sign posts and “Hollywood like” signs of the place. Nevertheless, the hike is beautiful and is a fun way to spend a couple of hours outdoors.
The hike itself is very easy to follow but considered a moderate difficulty due to the elevation. The diverse landscapes are stunning as you walk through coffee plantations that blend into pine forests and eventually jungle before the summit.The reward? Vast valleys as well as the Golden and Silver Streams along with the lush mountainous city of Dalat itself.
- Height: 2,167 meters
- Time to Summit: Approximately 2-3 hours
- Difficulty: Moderate
How to get there: You can fly into Dalat from Hanoi or HCMC. Once in Dalat, Lang Biang is easily reached via taxi (30 minutes) or bus (1 hour).
Related: Where to Stay in Dalat
Marble Mountains (Ngu Hanh Son)
A group of five mountains located South of the city of Danang, Ngu Hanh Son has impressive historical and religious significance. Named after the 5 elements; Kim (metal), Thuy (water), Moc (wood), Hoa (fire) and Tho (earth), the mountains symbolize life. This, together with the marble staircase ascending the mountain, have a great metaphorical significance. The most popular mountain of them all is Thuy Son Mountain which boasts of Buddhist temples, stone sculptures, caves, and panoramic views. With a fascinating back story and amazing hiking routes on offer, the mountains also boast of tunnels below them that form an intricate cave system. How cool is that?
Insider’s Tip: This mountain is a famous tourist landmark so the best times to go are early in the day or late afternoon. These are also the times where the weather is cooler and you can take your time tackling the 150+ steps! Just to remember to wear trainers rather than flip flops as the marble staircase is slippery!
- Height: 106 meters
- Time to Summit: Approximately 30 minutes (but you’ll spend a lot of time at the summit!)
- Difficulty: Moderate (lots of steps!)
How to get there: Ngu Hanh Son is only 8 km to the southeast of Danang city center, so hiring a bike, a car or taking a motor-taxi or bus will be super easy.
Pu Si Lung Mountain
If you want a rewarding hike (for both the hike and the challenge of getting there), why not head to the highest mountain on the China and Vietnam border. Pu Si Lung Mountain is a dream destination for adventure travelers and hiking enthusiasts all around, as the destination is so pristine and untouched. The whole hike up the summit is weird and wonderful, with difficult trails surrounded by stunning wild flowers, forest fauna, and lively wildlife. At some points, you’ll have to cross over vigorous streams via strung together bridges made from broken trees. Sounds like our kind of adventure! Here at the summit, you will see one of the highest border posts in the territory of Vietnam.
- Height: 3,076 meters
- Time to Summit: Approximately 1-2 days
- Difficulty: Difficult
How to get there: The best way to get here is to hire a care. You will have to contact the authorities and schedule when you will be doing the trek, as you will need to bring paperwork to the headquarters of Lai Chau border guards and then referral paperwork to the border post Pa Vệ Sủ.
Mount Nui Ba Den (Black Virgin)
Next up on our best mountains in Vietnam list is Mount Nui Ba Den. Translating to ‘mountain lady black’ but known as ‘black virgin,’ this mountain although only 966 meters tall is the highest peak in Southern Vietnam. Sounds crazy right? But when you see the extinct volcano looming over the vast flat farm fields that surround it, there’s no missing this peak. Sitting like an upside-down mixing bowl, it is a pleasant climb to the top of Mount Nui Ba Den where you will landmarks such as the large reclining Buddha statue and Pagoda. For a bit of excitement, you can even mix up the hike by taking the gondola up and the 1700 meter, winding slideway down. With a lot of history and legends surrounding the origin of its name, this mountain is a great choice for a day hike.
- Height: 966 meters
- Time to Summit: Approximately 1-2 hours
- Difficulty: Easy
How to get there: You can get here easily if you rent a car or a bike from Ho Chi Minh. If you can’t however, you will need to:
- Take a bus from Ho Chi Minh to An Suong bus terminal (1 hour on #4 bus from Ben Thanh bus terminal)
- Take a minibus to Tay Ninh bus station also called Bến xe Long Hoa (buses leave every 15 minutes and cost $3)
- Take a motor-taxi to Nui Ba Den
Ta Cu Mountain
Although not a beast of a climb, this ‘smaller’ mountain makes our list due to the atmosphere that it has. The trail itself takes only about an hour, but if you opt to take the cable car, you will be up there within 10 minutes. As soon as you reach the summit, you will see an area full of stunning statues, pagodas, and a terrace platform where you can admire the panoramic views of Vietnam. The big reclining Buddha at the top is the primary reason why many people opt to do this trek. As one of our top picks for the best mountains in Vietnam, this one is a must-visit for travelers in Mui Ne looking for a fun and easy day hike.
- Height: 649 meters
- Time to Summit: Approximately 1 hour (10 mins via cable car)
- Difficulty: Moderate-Hard
How to get there: Take a taxi from Mui Ne (1 hour)
Related: Where to Stay in Mui Ne
Son Tra Mountain (Monkey Mountain)
Known to American soldiers during the Vietnam War as Monkey Mountain, the breathtaking national park in Danang is home to rare species such as rhesus macaques, long-tailed macaques, and pygmy slow loris. The mountain is a favorite of animal lovers and adventure seekers while traveling in Vietnam due to the nature, surrounding landscapes, and the challenge of getting up to the peak! You have two choices: hike the dense jungle trails or climb the steep winding and inclining roads via motorbike. Let’s just say, you’ll need to pick the most powerful vehicle that you can find and lean forward. Surrounded by pristine beaches and luscious green nature, this sounds like our kind of adventure.
- Height: 693 meters
- Time to Summit: Approximately 4 hours
- Difficulty: Moderate
How to get there: While in Danang, renting a bike or car is the best way, otherwise you can grab a motor-taxi to the beach or tours will pick you up from your hotel.
And that concludes our epic list of the best mountains in Vietnam! Think you can take them all on? I don’t doubt you at all, but if the lack of time is an issue, pick one to challenge yourself and climb until your heart is content.
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out a few of our other articles on Vietnam
- Reasons Why Not to Visit Vietnam
- Festivals and Celebrations You Need to Experience in Vietnam
- What to do in Vietnam: Top Things You Shouldn’t Miss!