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Author: news 4/19/2020 8:28:54 PM

05 Best Mountain Areas in Vietnam

By Lawrence Haywood - Mai Chau Ecolodge

The Vietnamese have some very elaborate and whimsical stories about the origins of their mountains, almost always involving dragons and emeralds. If you find yourself gazing up at any of the limestone behemoths that crown this naturally blessed country, it’s hard not to indulge in the fairy-tale. Vietnam’s mountains are unique in their tree-covered splendour and are legendary amongst the ranges of Southeast Asia, creating the chance to discover the karsts in the centre and north of the country. These are the 5 best mountain areas in Vietnam.

In one of Vietnam’s top mountainous regions, Mai Chau Ecolodge stands in perfect stillness. A mere 3-hour drive from Hanoi will bring you to the glorious Mai Chau valley, where life operates at a magically tranquil pace. Our 4-star eco-friendly resort in northern Vietnam is waiting to welcome you to this perfect picture of Vietnamese country life. Click here to find out more about us!

1. Lao Cai and Lai Chau Provinces

Best Mountains in Lao Cai and Lai Chau Provinces

Mt. Fansipan


Phu Si Lung


Phu Ta Leng


Phu Tra


It would be sacrilege to start this list with anything other than the provinces of Lao Cai and Lai Chau, the former of which is home to the famous region of Sapa. Vietnam’s border with China is blessed with stunning limestone spires, each rising dramatically or rolling gently through one of the country’s most awe-inspiring landscapes.

Visitors to Sapa will be well familiar with the image of Mt. Fansipan, the tallest mountain in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. It’s part of the Hoang Lien Mountain Range and offers jaw-dropping vistas of Lao Cai Province to the East and Lai Chau province to the West, with a summit easily accessible via cable car.

Trekking is the main activity in these two of Vietnam’s primary mountainous areas, though much more so in Lao Cai than Lai Chau. If you’re after the kind of pure serenity that comes best with off-the-beaten track destinations, head to Lai Chau and arrange a trek around the mountains of Phu Tra or Phu Si Lung.

Read more: 05 Best Nature Escape from Hanoi

2. Yen Bai and Son La Provinces

Photo: Truong Dinh Minh 

Best Mountains in Yen Bai and Son La Provinces

Ta Chi Nhu


Ta Xua


Pha Luong


Mu Cang Chai

~ 1,000m

It’s astounding that many of the people searching for the best mountains in Vietnam have never heard of Yen Bai or Son La provinces. Yet, it’s not hard to imagine this joint region’s natural beauty, considering they share borders with mountainous stalwart regions like Lao Cai, Ha Giang and Mai Chau.

Unlike those regions, however, these two provinces rely on agricultural income rather than touristic; as far as Vietnam’s top mountain regions go, it’s hard to find quieter than Yen Bai and Son La. This means that staggeringly beautiful mountains like Ta Chi Nhu, Pha Luong and Phu Luong offer trekking far off the beaten track.

For amazing views of rice paddies and mountains, there is no place better in Vietnam than Mu Cang Chai, where the spiralling and cascading rice paddies leave visitors breathless. For hiking opportunities, Son La’s unspeakably beautiful Ta Xua has a route called the Dinosaur’s Backbone which affords exceptional views of peaks covered in wispy cloud.

3. Mai Chau and Pu Luong Districts

Best Mountains in Mai Chau and Pu Luong Districts

Phu Tam


Thung Khe Pass


Mai Chau is one of the household names when it comes to Vietnam’s bucolic and super laidback countryside. An endearing serenity bubbles lightly at the surface of Mai Chau’s green rainforests, yellow rice paddies and unforgettable mountains, all brought together by ethnic minority inhabitants and their beautiful, idyllic cultures. The same is the case for Pu Luong, located just to the south, though this region is much quieter in terms of tourism.

Unlike many other of Vietnam’s best mountains, those in Mai Chau and Pu Luong are accessible to all ages and fitness levels. Even those who do not want to climb can find gorgeous panoramas sweeping throughout the entirety of both valleys. Views of the Phu Tam Range are pretty much constant but are best found from the open garden of Mai Chau Ecolodge.

In the north of Mai Chau, the Thung Khe Pass offers unfettered vistas of Mai Chau’s unique ranges and standalone mountains rising from a green plateau. To the south, Pu Luong provides tranquil trekking opportunities through hillside villages and high-altitude waterfalls. You’re never far from mountain perfection in Mai Chau or Pu Luong!

Read more: 09 Reason to Love Mai Chau

4. Phong Nha and Nghe An

Best Mountains in Phong Nha and Nghe An

Phu La Lieng


Phu Hin Ngon


Co Preu


Co Rilata


Vietnam has its fair share of UNESCO World Heritage sites, but two of its most visually stunning can be found not far from each other in the centre-north of the country. Phong Nha - Ke Bang national park is the stuff of legends, home to the biggest cave in the world and a catalogue of dramatic mountains rising high above a subterranean wonderland. Nghe An lies off the tourist trail, but its UNESCO-listed western region does enough to attract intrepid Vietnamese locals looking for outstanding wildlife in its natural, mountainous habitat.

Both Phong Nha and Nghe An are heavily shaped by the Annamite Mountain Range, which has erupted in the form of still unexplored peaks. In Phong Nha this includes Co Rilata and Co Preu, which are part of a series of mountains standing above 1,000 metres. The sizes grow larger in Nghe An, where mountains like Phu La Lieng and Phu Hin Ngon leave visitors with lasting impressions of this stunning, off-trail province.

5. The Central Highlands

Best Mountains in the Central Highlands

Chu Yang Sin


Lang Biang


Ngok Niay


Most people stop looking for imposing mountain ranges south of Phong Nha, but the Central Highlands region has a final surprise before the mountainous north of Vietnam gives way to the flat south. This region is comprised of five beautifully undulating provinces – Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, Kon Tum and Lam Dong.

Ham Rong is probably one of the most instantly recognisable mountains in the Central Highlands, standing as a monolith just south of Pleiku city. Chu Yang Sin is a gorgeous peak and a sprawling national park in the south of Dak Lak, the highlands’ southernmost province, while Kon Tum up in the north offers astounding mountain vistas from the Ngoc Linh Nature Reserve.

Four of the five Central Highland provinces operate far off the tourist trail, with the one exception being Lam Dong, where the famous town of Da Lat and its highly popular mountain of Lang Biang can be found. Generally, though, the Central Highland region offers poetic views of mountain peaks for intrepid mountain-lovers looking to pull away from the crowd.

Those were the 5 best mountain regions of Vietnam. Mai Chau Ecolodge welcomes all its guests to explore the gorgeous mountain ranges of our valley home via free use of our bicycles. Watch the sun dip behind the tree-covered peaks from your own balcony, or explore them close-up on our trekking tours!

Source: Tripadvisor

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