Hanoi’s five-star hotels are magnificent, but there’s nothing quite like leaving pricey comforts behind and setting up camp in Vietnam’s jungles, enjoying the infinitely starry night sky.
These five stunning campsites located around Hanoi are guaranteed to make you fall in love with Vietnam’s beautiful nature. Grab your camping gear, pack up some bánh mì and head out on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Located 22 miles (35 kilometers) from the center of Hanoi, Đồng Mô tourism area is popular among Vietnamese locals for a weekend away from bustling city life, especially Son Tin Camp. Surrounding the area are verdant hills, endless forest and a clear lake, making it an ideal place to lace up your hiking boots. Since it is a popular retreat you will have access to additional activities set up by enterprising outdoors folk, including zip lining and paddleboating.
The grandoise Hàm Lợn mountain is only 29 miles (40 kilometers) away from Hanoi’s hustle and bustle, making it a fantastically convenient place to set up camp. Culture Trip especially recommends finding a spot beside Bau waterfall or Hàm Lợn lake. You’ll even find public toilets available in the area. If you have enough energy for a hike, make the effort to trek up the Doc Ton peak (1,515 feet), where a stunning view awaits. Be warned: the hike is not easy.
Ba Vì National Park makes for an exciting getaway. Even the French colonists thought so, as Ba Vì was used as a sort of holiday destination back then. The journey from Hanoi takes around an hour and a half as the park is 30 miles (48 kilometers) away, but what awaits is more than worth the ride. This beautiful forest experiences year-round cool weather and plenty of attractions – including the Cathedral pour Bavi, an abandoned colonial prison, misty forests, a water park and Thiên Sơn waterfall. Set up camp beside the cathedral for an extra chill at night. As this is a protected park, it is best to call the authorities in advance and give them a heads up.
Cúc Phương National Park is the biggest national park in the north of Vietnam, spreading over three provinces with the majority set in Ninh Binh (famous for its spectacular karst topography). If Ninh Binh is on your Vietnam itinerary, then spending a couple of days here is ideal. Nature and adventure lovers will be rewarded with spectacular scenery including lush mountains, photogenic rivers, underground caves and a diverse ecosystem. Head over during northern Vietnam’s dry season (which spans from December to May), when the forest is less humid and temperatures more pleasant. April and May are when the butterflies are in full bloom. Cúc Phương National Park is protected by the local authorities, so do call in advance.
Đồng Cao is a little more off the beaten path, but this stunning natural paradise is worth every hassle to get there. With rugged mountains on all sides and wild, untamed grass surrounding every path, this is one of the best campsites in Vietnam to truly feel as if you’re lost in nature. The sunrise and sunset are both beautiful spectacles here – if you’re lucky, you’ll even get to watch a sea of clouds at eye-level in the morning. Be warned: Not many people live in the area, so therefore you will not find any stores to buy essentials. Prepare them all in advance.