Vietnam is home to a diverse range of landscapes, including some of the most majestic and awe-inspiring mountains in Southeast Asia. From the rugged peaks of the Hoang Lien Son mountain range to the picturesque hills of the Central Highlands, Vietnam's mountains offer a wealth of opportunities for hiking, climbing, and exploring. In this guide, we will take a closer look at some of top mountains in Vietnam, including information on their history, geology, and popular hiking trails. Whether you are an experienced mountaineer or a casual hiker, there is a Vietnamese mountain that is perfect for you.
The best time to visit these famous Vietnam mountains is around November to April, when the weather is dry & cool, suitable for climbing and sightseeing.
I - Top 5 highest mountains in Vietnam for trekholics
1 - Fansipan Mountain - the highest mountain in Vietnam
Fansipan mountain cable car - Source: Fansipan Legend
Fansipan belongs to the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, located at an altitude of 3,143m above sea level. To conquer this mountain, which is widely known as the “roof of Indochina,” you can hike or take a cable car.
A cable car ticket to the top of Mount Fansipan costs 750,000 VND / adult ($32.34) & 550,000 VND / kid ($23.72), for 2 ways. You will be provided with panoramic views of Hoang Lien Son valley, getting the marvelous feeling of soaring through clouds and breathing in the fresh air.
Meanwhile, the hiking journey on this tallest mountain in Vietnam will consume a lot of stamina and can take around 2 - 4 days to complete the journey. So you must carefully prepare both physical health and the necessary equipment, if you can find a guide, it will be a little easier for you to conquer this mountain.
The stop is located at an altitude of 2,200m, where you can set up a tent and experience the feeling of sleeping in the middle of the forest in the sky. The temperature at this height is around 2 - 10°C, so you should prepare sleeping bags and warm clothes to avoid catching a cold. You will also be able to visit some interesting places, such as Sapa Sky Gate, Van Son Tra Tea Shop, Fansipan Pagoda Complex, and lots of famous tourist spots in Sapa Town.
2 - Pu Si Lung - top ideal mountains in Vietnam for adventure-holics
At an altitude of 3,083m above sea level, Pu Si Lung is located near the Vietnam-China border landmark No.42, in Pa Ve Su commune, Muong Te district, Lai Chau province. Although not as high as Mount Fansipan, this is the most challenging mountain to conquer because of the long climbing distance of more than 100km for both way up and return. Several obstacles are waiting during the climbing trip, which are the rocky rapids, followed by large flowing streams.
List of best mountains to climb in Vietnam - Source: Ashim D’Silva
To climb Pu Si Lung, you need a license issued by the Border Guard Command of Lai Chau province on Hoang Van Thai Road, Lai Chau city. There is no fee to apply for permission, but don’t forget to bring your ID card to complete the procedure.
Most of the time you are in the woods, so you should bring tents or fireplaces to set up and use. You can rest at Sin Chai A village, where the La Hu people live. There are many popular places awaiting you on the climbing trip, such as border mark 42, primitive forests, Ba Tieng slope, Nam Si Luong stream, Co Chay mountain, etc.
3 - Pu Ta Leng Mountain
Located 3,049m above sea level, Pu Ta Leng is one of the best mountains in Vietnam, part of Hoang Lien Son mountain range, situated at Ta Leng Village, Tam Duong Commune, Lai Chau Province.
For the journey to conquer this peak, you will have to climb for about 8 hours, then stop to set up a rest tent at the 2,400m milestone when the first day is over, then the next day climb the rest 3,049m distance. There are several small streams along the way, hidden in the magnificent azalea forest - one of the unique features of Putaleng mountain. You can hire a group of porters (guides) for a fun trip without worrying about getting lost, because they are very enthusiastic indigenous people.
Porter rental fee: 500,000 VND / day ($21.55)
4 - Bach Moc Luong Tu - top favorite mountains in Vietnam for trekkers
With the height of 3,049m above sea level, Bach Moc Luong Tu is part of Ky Quan San Mountain Range - one of the most majestic mountain ranges in Vietnam. It is the natural border between Sin Suoi Ho Commune, Phong Tho District, Lai Chau Province, and Sang Ma Sao Commune, Bat Xat District, Lao Cai Province.
The appropriate time to conquer Bach Moc Luong Tu Peak is from late autumn to early spring (September - January). Climbing in the winter is also a fantastic experience because sometimes travelers can see the peak covered by white snow. You can climb this Vietnam mountain from Lai Chau province or Lao Cai province. The only difference is that, if starting from Lao Cai, you do not need to apply for anything, but from Lai Chau, you need to get a permit from the Provincial Border Guard Command at Hoang Van Thai Street, Lai Chau City.
During the trip, travelers should hire porters to guide the route at 250,000 - 300,000 VND / day / porter ($10.78 - 12.93). Compared to other peaks, when climbing to the top of this majestic mountain of Vietnam with a local porter, they can prepare food for meals with notice given about 1 - 2 days in advance. The porters will pack the main meal, but you should also prepare extra all sorts of snacks.
About the stopping spot, if you follow the Lao Cai path, at landmark 2,100m, there are some tents with the capacity of 50 people, provided with blankets and pillows for you to take a rest. If you choose to go from Lai Chau, there are various flat places to rest along the way, however, you need to bring all the equipment to set up tents, shacks, and sleeping bags.
5 - Tay Con Linh - top mountains in Vietnam for climbers
Tay Con Linh mountain is situated above sea level of 2,427m, spreading over 2 districts of Hoang Su Phi and Vi Xuyen, Ha Giang province. Because of its dangerous, rough, dense and deep road, this mountain is much more challenging to conquer compared to Mount Fansipan. The journey to the top of Tay Con Linh brings you a lot of great experiences because of the beautiful space, fresh air and majestic landscape.
A famous mountain in Vietnam - Source: Internet
The path to an altitude of 1,600m has mainly rocky soil, ramps, etc. You can set up camps, tents, resting tarpaulin, then set fire, eat and drink with the prepared food at this milestone. The rest of the trip to the top of the mountain is tricky because you have to go through primitive forests, steep rocky paths, trails,... Going through these reed-filled mountains, you will have a chance to admire primeval orchid forests, azaleas, and picturesque terraced fields in Vietnam. Tay Con Linh is also the most spectacular cloud hunting spot in the Northwest in particular, and in Vietnam in general.
II - The famous mountains in Vietnam for an easy trek
1 - Mua Mountain (Dancing Mountain)
Also known as Ngo Long mountain, Dancing mountain is located in Khe Dau Ha village, Ninh Xuan commune, Hoa Lu district, Ninh Binh province. This mountain was recognized as Vietnam/s “great wall miniature” by UNESCO. You will need to take a stroll of nearly 500 long stone steps to visit this mountain, with the fare of 100,000 VND ($4.31) per person. Along the journey up the stairs, you will encounter the Hoang Ho cave, the Stupa, the worship place of the Bodhisattva statue, the dragon statue, etc. On the top of the Dancing mountain, you can enjoy the great view of Tam Coc - Bich Dong (Bich Dong Pagoda), Trang An complex, Bai Dinh Pagoda, etc.
2 - Ba Den Mountain - top mountains in Vietnam
Ba Den mountain (Black Virgin mountain), located in Thanh Tan commune, Tay Ninh city, Tay Ninh province, is known as “the roof of the Southeast region” with a height of 986m. You can take a cable car around 1,200m or follow the modern slide method to visit this mountain, but the traditional way many people prefer is to climb. The charming natural scenery on the path up is ideal for recreational climbing activities during the day.
The trip to the top of this mountain in Vietnam takes from half a day to two days, depending on your skills and route. You should climb in the early morning if you want to finish in a day, but if you want to set up a tent overnight, you can start climbing at night. You should avoid stormy times or festival seasons (January, February), when the track is crowded with people, which makes it very hard to visit this mountainous area. Some amazing places to explore in Black Virgin mountain are Ha pagoda, Ba Co cave (Three Ladies cave), Ong Ho cave (Mr Tiger cave), Hang pagoda,...
3 - Bach Ma Mountain - a spectacular mountain range in Vietnam
On the list of top beautiful mountains in Vietnam, Bach Ma is a must check in place. Within Bach Ma National Park’s complex, the Mountain range of the same name is the natural boundary between Thua Thien Hue province and Danang city. To enter the National Park, you will have to pay the fare of 40,000 VND / person ($1.72), then you can hire a car to the top of the mountain for 900,000 VND / round trip ($38.79) or climb a distance of approximately 19km.
You can also visit some unique places on your way up, such as Hai Vong Watch Tower, Do Quyen Waterfall,... Note that tourism services in this Vietnam mountain have not been invested in development much, so it will be hard to find food. As a result, you can bring ready-to-eat food, or a mini gas stove, charcoal grill,... so you can cook the food yourself.
4 - LangBiang Mountain in Vietnam central highland
Located in the LangBiang tourist area, the mountain of the same name belongs to Lac Duong district, Dalat city, Lam Dong province. The admission fee to enter this mountain is 30,000 VND per person ($1.29). LangBiang, also known as Mother mountain, with an altitude of 2,167m, is one of the most massive mountains in Vietnam.
The management of the tourist area has organized plenty of games such as paragliding, climbing, trekking, hiking,... There is a relatively large valley at the foot of this range, called the Hundred - Year Valley, planned as an area for entertainment and tourism.
Visiting LangBiang, you may have a chance to enjoy the special Gong culture program, experience campfire activities, or try drinking wine with the Lac ethnic group here. On the top of LangBiang, there are a large number of exciting activities such as horse riding photography, city observation binoculars,... You should visit LangBiang Vietnam mountain in the morning when the weather is sunny and avoid going in the afternoon when it’s already cloudy.
5 - Ngu Hanh Son (Marble Mountains)
Marble mountains in Vietnam, also known as Non Nuoc mountain, is a famous mountain of Vietnam, belonging to Hoa Hai ward, Ngu Hanh Son district, Da Nang city. This cluster includes 5 mountains with names representing 5 elements: Kim Son (Metal), Thuy Son (Water), Moc Son (Wood), Hoa Son (Fire), and Tho Son (Earth).
Water mountain (Thuy Son) is the first and largest of the five, with its peak can be reached over a hundred steps. You can also take the glass elevator with a fee of 30,000 VND ($1.29) per person / round-trip. In the vicinity of this mountain, there is Linh Ung Pagoda, Huyen Khong Cave, Am Phu Cave, etc. Meanwhile from the top of Water Mountain, you can see the lovely, dynamic and bustling views of Danang City.
Top mountains of Vietnam - Source: Danang Fantasticity
Next, Metal Mountain looks like a lying bell upside down, while Wood Mountain has a white marble stone similar to peoples’ shapes, and the local people often call it “Co Mu” or Guan Yin. Fire Mountain has double mountains, with one having such a long stretch of caves, while the other has a high peak and steep slope, Earth Mountain is a lowland and stretching mountain.
III - Vietnam mountains hiking tips
Before participating in mountain climbing in Vietnam, you need to determine the right time because the weather changes very erratically, sometimes it can be dangerous. Usually, the dry season, starting from November every year to April next year, is a suitable time for backpackers to organize mountain climbing and conquering top mountains in Vietnam because it is dry and less rainy. However, there are occasional rains, so please check the weather forecast before climbing the mountain. If you think of going in the rainy season, you should consider the safety factor, as well as your own climbing experience first.
Along with the time factor, the topography of the climbing site also needs to be arranged and researched in advance, to plan the time and help improve safety. Before each trip, another thing you need to do is exercise to improve your fitness and help your body not be exhausted during intense outings. In addition, you should also increase your resistance by supplementing with vitamin-rich foods such as lemonade, fresh fruit,... at least 2 weeks before you go. Avoiding getting closer to the date and then pressing, it will not be effective, and may even be counterproductive.
According to senior climbers when conquering top mountains in Vietnam, you should hire an experienced guide, and the best porter to choose is the natives, especially in the rugged North West climbing arcs. They will know how to assign tasks to each member (if going in a group of many people), anticipate difficulties and know how to handle situations when problems arise. With rough climbing sections and no shelters, you should hire a lot of porters to avoid having to carry your own tent, cooking utensils and food, leading to reduced stamina. Some items you should bring are:
- Water and high-energy foods (e.g. chocolate, snickers or dry food)
- Large backpack for storage.
- Hats, gloves and towels.
- Support sticks, lighters, flashlights and strong cords.
- Warm clothing.
- Necessary medicines and backup chargers.
Climbing is not easy but very laborious, so to ensure the most comfortable trip, you should minimize your luggage and bring only the most necessary items.
Vietnam has many beautiful natural landscapes, majestic mountains, gorgeous vistas, and lots of great activities to explore. Do not miss visiting one of the list of mountains in Vietnam above to uncover the extraordinary beauty of this beautiful country and gain the most exhilarating experience for your upcoming trip to Vietnam.