In Vietnam, you can hike through highland valleys, dense jungle, terraced rice paddies and limestone caves. Here are 10 of the best hiking trails near Saigon. 

Vietnam’s beautiful nature offers rewarding possibilities for hiking – even around Saigon, well-known for its vibrant city life, mouth-watering food, and rich history. Starting from southern Saigon and moving northwards up the country, we’ve compiled a list of 10 hikes to try.

1. Dinh Mountain and Waterfalls 

90 minutes away from Saigon, the Dinh Mountain hike is the perfect refreshing getaway for your week: not only can you swim in the Suoi Da and Suoi Tien freshwater springs along the way, but you can also end your hike with a dip at the nearby Vũng Tàu beach. Retreat into the mountain’s trees and streams, Buddhist temples and pagodas, and immerse yourself in the panoramic views offered at the summit. The trail doesn’t have much signage, but there are red, yellow and blue markers to guide you, so it is advised to hike with someone already familiar with the trail. 

Best For: A relaxing day-trip from the city

Approximate Distance: 12.8 km 

Estimated Completion Time: 4.5 hours 

Difficulty rating: 2 out of 5 stars

dinh mountain hiking trails near saigon vietnamVietnam Coracle

2. Chua Chan Mountain

Hike 800 m high Chua Chan Mountain in Dong Nai Province, a two hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City. The first half of the hike is a leg-burning stretch of paved stairs – take a break at the top in the shade of the mountain’s pagoda, and treat yourself to some fried banana chips or bánh xèo (sizzling pancakes). Once you pass the pagoda, follow the dirt path to go to the summit. The mountain has magnificent scenery, breathtaking caves, and its famous banyan tree. The hiking path is easy to follow and you can even camp on the summit overnight. There are also cable cars you can take from the pagoda to the bottom of the hill. 

Best For: Accessible mountain climbing near the city

Approximate Distance: 7.5 km 

Estimated Completion Time: 3 hours 

Difficulty rating: 2 out of 5 stars

chua chan mountain hiking trails near saigon vietnam

Life of Doing

3. Black Virgin Mountain

In Tây Ninh Province, a 2 hour motorbike drive from Saigon, this 996 m high mountain is the highest peak in southern Vietnam. Once you enter Black Virgin Mountain Park, you can choose to hike for an hour up to a pagoda or take a 4 minute cable car ride there. After reaching the pagoda, you start a 45 minute staircase climb before the real hike begins. There are also overnight camping options for those looking for a full weekend stay. 

Best For: A full weekend workout

Approximate Distance: 8 km 

Estimated Completion Time: 6 hours

Difficulty rating: 3 out of 5 stars 

black virgin mountain cable car hiking trails near saigon vietnam

Asean Records

4. Lang Biang Mountain 

Having visited Saigon’s three most popular mountains, hop on a bus and head to the cool highlands of Da Lat. Away from the heat of Saigon, explore the region’s pine trees and mossy forests as you make your way up Lang Biang Mountain. At the summit, you can camp overnight or complete the hike within a day. You can also set aside time to canyon and abseil. 

Best For: A refreshing hike with a beautiful change of scenery

Approximate Distance: 9.5 km

Estimated Completion Time: 4 hours

Difficulty rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

lang bang mountain hiking trails near saigon vietnam

5. Ta Cu Mountain, Mui Ne

Climbing Ta Cu Mountain is an excursion through lush rainforest, limestone caves, and rare wildlife. Ta Cu has two uniquely built pagodas, Lower Pagoda (Long Doan) and Upper Pagoda (Linh Son Truong Tho). A lofty 11 m tall and 45 m long White Buddha statue reclines at the top of the mountain. Turn the hike into a weekend adventure with a trip to nearby Mui Ne, a coastal desert in Vietnam most famed for its flaming red-and-white sand dunes. Mui Ne offers many local delights: walk around its fishing harbour, traditional villages, ancient structures, and be sure to try their deliciously fresh seafood. Dip your ankles in its unique fairy stream and camp on the beach to catch a sunset that paints the sand dunes with vivid colours.

Best For: A weekend adventure with a magical landscape

Approximate Distance: 2.3 km

Estimated Completion Time: 2 hours

Difficulty Rating: 2.5 out of 5

mui ne hiking destination near saigon vietnam

6. Cat Tien National Park

Located in Dong Nai Province, Cat Tien National Park is the closest National Park to Saigon, and Vietnam’s largest. Hike through the park’s forest to see giant Tung Trees and Uncle Dong redwood trees, as well as wildlife like gibbons, sambar deer, wild boar, black-shanked douc, elephants, and even the occasional tiger. A tour guide isn’t necessary as long as you follow the park’s walking paths, which are flat and untechnical. You can unwind on the hammocks inside the park, surrounded by jungle and river. You can also sign up for the three-day gibbon trek which offers a chance to see these endangered primates in the wild. Call in advance to make a reservation as Cat Tien limits visitor numbers.

Best For: A relaxing retreat or a wildlife adventure

Approximate Distance: 8.5 km 

Estimated Completion Time: 2 hours 

Difficulty rating: 1 out of 5 stars

cat tien national park best hikes near saigon vietnam

7. Hang En Cave, Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park

Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage-recognized site, home to an exceptional cave system containing the world’s largest cave: Son Doong (Sơn Đoòng). On the way, you can visit Hang Én Cave, the world’s third-largest cave. It is safest to sign up with a tour agency to explore these caves. For example, Oxalis Adventures’ Hang En Adventure Cave Camp trek is a 25 km hike through jungle and river (in the forest area of the National Park), with an additional 4 km of bouldering through multiple caves. You camp overnight in Hang En, a breathtaking once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Best For: A once-in-a-lifetime experience

Approximate Distance: 29 km

Estimated Completion Time: 2 days

Difficulty rating: 5 out of 5 stars

hang en cave adventurous hikes in vietnam

8. Sapa

A premier destination area for hikers, the Sapa area northwest of the country is the centre of Vietnamese tribal culture. Four main ethnic groups- the Hmong, Red Dao, Tay and Giay hill tribes- reside here in mountain villages. Sapa has a dense network of trails that are intertwined in a myriad of ways, taking you through rugged wilderness and beautiful paddies. A trekking guide is necessary to help navigate through the area. From Sapa town, you can hire a guide to lead you to the villages. The trail from Muong Hoa Valley’s Lao Chai to Ta Van Valley is suitable for beginners, as many sections are paved, although there are still some muddy and slippery parts. Other popular trails are Cat Cat Village to Y Linh Ho, Sa Sen to Hau Thao, and Ma Tra to Ta Phin Village. You can opt for a homestay with a local family, where you can explore local culinary and cultural traditions.

Best For: Immersing yourself in and appreciating Vietnam’s tribal culture 

Approximate Distance: 3 km 

Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour

Difficulty rating: 1 out of 5 stars 

Sapa hiking region in vietnamBlue Planet Studio /shutterstock

9. Mount Fansipan, Sapa 

Standing at 3,143 m in Hoang Lien National Park, Mount Fansipan is the tallest peak in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, earning itself the moniker “Roof of Indochina”. Round up your Sapa trip by conquering one of the country’s toughest hikes, with trees, streams, and blooming wildflowers accompanying you. The trail requires scaling up some huge boulders and stairways so be sure to train your strength for this physical challenge.

Best For: A tough challenge

Approximate Distance: 11.2 km

Estimated Completion Time: 6.5 hours 

Difficulty rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

mount fansipan hikes in vietnamTrekking Sapa

10. Cao Bang

To the east of Sapa is Cao Bang. The region is attracting attention from adventurous trekkers for its unspoiled quality and untouched natural beauty, but this perceived pristineness is the result of deep historical significance: situated directly on the border with China, Cao Bang was an area of contention between the two countries during periods of war. Later, it also acted as a base for North Vietnamese revolutionaries, thus becoming known as the “Cradle of the Revolutionary Movement.” For a time, Ho Chi Minh hid in a cave in Pac Bo. Hiking through this region also allows you to see the iconic Ban Gioc Waterfall, one of the most majestic waterfalls in all of Southeast Asia. Ba Be National Park and its caves, lakes, and ponds can also be glimpsed. The distance and completion time of the trek depend on your tour.

Best For: A visit to an incredible waterfall

Approximate Distance: 20 km

Estimated Completion Time: 4 days

Difficulty rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

cao bang ban gioc waterfall best hikes in vietnamMr Linh Adventure

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