Hiking and Trekking in Vietnam

Hiking and Trekking in Vietnam

Despite the huge variety of facilities and methods of transport available to the modern day traveller, in the end, there is nothing to beat the oldest travel method of all – walking! Whether that means strolling around the old Quarter in Hanoi or reaching some hill tribe village after trekking through dense rainforest and crossing mountain paths, there is a great satisfaction to having done it under your own steam. And there are some places that can only be reached on foot.

Vietnam offers innumerable opportunities for hiking and trekking, whether it be in the highlands of the north, the fertile plateau of the Central Highlands, or the flat wetlands of the Mekong Delta in the south.

The highlands of north-west Vietnam are real hiking territory. You can get out among the hill tribe villages and meet the various ethnic minorities. The Mai Chau valley is one good starting point. From here you can trek to H’mong minority villages such as Sa Linh, then on through tropical rain forest, using the local tracks to reach the Thai area where you can spend the night in a typical Thai stilt house. Next, you can walk on towards Mai Chau town which is surrounded by picturesque Thai villages.

The more energetic, may choose to tackle Phan Xi Pang or Mount Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest mountain, dubbed “the Roof of Indochina”. The trek begins in the town of Sapa from where you walk among the hill villages, home to the H’mong people. The mountain here is covered in forest and most treks climb to 1,650 metres before pitching tents and enjoying a meal around the camp fire.

The next day is the most strenuous as you continue to the summit. A lunch break at 2,220m allows you the chance to look back at the breathtaking views of the Sapa valley before climbing to 2,900m and another overnight stop. The third day takes you through bamboo forest to the Pahan Si Pan Summit at 3,143m. It is a strenuous climb, but worth the effort to find yourself standing on the roof of IndoChina.

In the Central Highlands, the Ba Na region around Kon Tum offers ideal hiking. You can pass through cassava and sugar plantations and have dinner in a communal village house, known as a Rong. You can the nearby Lak Lake and perhaps give your legs a rest by taking a short elephant ride then spend the night in a traditional longhouse.

The Mekong Delta, too is full of minority villages and waterways, but the land here is much more flat, allowing for more sedate hiking. You can visit the many floating markets, ethnic villages, farm lands etc.

Around Ho Chi Minh City are many reminders of the Vietnam War, most of which can be reached by foot for those interested in this period of history. One memorable site is the 75-mile long complex of tunnels at Củ Chi which has been preserved and turned into a war memorial park.
Here we have only given a few suggestions for hiking and trekking in Vietnam. The possibilities are limitless. You can visit Indochina Odyssey Tours to get more information about this.

Below is the tour package maybe useful for your trip to Vietnam:

Halong Bay kayaking and Trekking Tour

Indochina Odyssey Tours – Your trustworthy Indochina Vietnam tour operator since 1987. Personalized and worry-free service in tours, hotels and tickets in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.

Trekking and Hiking in Nepal

Trekking and Hiking in Nepal

Trekking in the Himalayas is, in every sense of the word, an uplifting experience and the latest style of traveling on the mountains. A special attraction of Nepal lies in its spectacular natural beauty, its unique cultures and friendly people. By walking through the mountains of Nepal, you will come to understand why this country has captivated the hearts of mountaineers and explorers for over a century.

Whether you are looking for a wilderness experience or a classic trek, Nepal has everything to offer. Regardless of where you go, you will encounter a great diversity of geography, climate and ethnicity. The people are friendly and welcoming, and the great highlight of trekking in this country is the interactions you will have with the local people in the villages and their wonderfully diverse cultures, practices and traditions.

We offer a number of different styles of trekking trip such as classic, challenging, luxury, and family, each of which may involve camping, staying in tea-houses or a combination of both. You will be led by our experienced guides and accompanied by friendly Sherpas to the world’s mightiest mountains through the spellbinding valleys, rhododendron forests and holy lakes of the Annapurna, Everest, Langtang and off-the-beaten-track regions.

When to go

The best time to trek is from October to May. The first two months of the dry season (October and November) is the ideal period for trekking in Nepal. The air is freshly washed by the monsoon rains, the mountain scenery is superb and the weather is still comfortably warm. December, January and February are still good months for trekking but the cold can be bitter at high altitudes. March and May also offer better weather when trekkers can see superb wild flowers, particularly in Nepal’s wonderful rhododendron forests. During the monsoon season (June-August) trekking is possible in the rain-shadow areas of north of the Himalaya like upper Mustang and upper Dolpo. These regions are out of reach of the rain clouds because of the high mountains and are unaffected by the monsoon.

Duration of the Trek

A trekking trip can be of any length you choose. Popular short treks are available around the Kathmandu and Pokhara valleys, which only take one, two or three days to complete while longer treks lasting from a week to a month. It is even possible to combine a series of popular treks together and peak climbing for months on end.

Choosing a Trek

Please remember that occasionally bad weather, altitude and unfamiliar cultures can make extra demands. A sense of humor and determination are important attributes on any adventure holiday and on a trekking holiday it is important to enjoy walking. In order to help you in selecting a trek we have given each trek a grade, although this is only a simple guide. If you need help in deciding which trek is suitable, please call or send an email to us and we will be pleased to advise you further.

Physical Fitness:

All trekking demands a level of fitness that will enable one to put in a good day’s walking, up hill and down. Most treks should not be taken to gain more than 500 meters in one day above 3000 meters. There should be plenty of time during the day to cover this distance, so the physical exertion though quite strenuous at times, is not sustained. The best preparation for trekking is cycling, swimming, jogging, squash, tennis and long walks involving up and down hills. Good physical conditioning will certainly help maximize your enjoyment of your treks.

Planning a Trek

Nepal offers plenty of opportunity for treks lasting a day or less, though most are considerably longer. Around Pokhara or the Kathmandu Valley you can complete the trek within two, three or four days but for the very popular Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit treks you have to allow three weeks.

Trek Grading System

Nepal, with its ups and downs and zig-zag paths ,it is more appropriate to think in terms of hours spent in walking, rather than miles covered. This is what we use as a grading system. A typical day’s walk lasts from five to seven hours & involves a typical of ascents & descents.

Easy treks involve up to 6 hours of walking a day, on good trails with plenty of time for sightseeing. Altitudes generally do not exceed 3500 meters. Anyone who enjoys regular exercise and is in god physical condition should easily cope with these treks.

Moderate treks involve walking for 6 to 8 hours a day in more remote country, reaching altitudes of approximately 4500 meters. A reasonable level of fitness is required as there will be much ascent and descent with the occasional difficult day. A hill walking background is advisable.

Strenuous treks are harder, suitable for regular hill walkers as they are generally more demanding any may involve 7 or 8-hour days, with altitudes up to 5500 meters. You should be physically fit and appropriate preparation is essential. Some days may involve crossing a pass with up to 10 hours walking.
Style of Trekking

Teahouse Trek

It is a popular style of trek in the certain regions of Nepal where modest accommodations at country lodges and reasonable standard of food are easily available along the trails. Our porters carry clients’ luggage and equipment and the guide looks after the accommodation at lodges and food along the trails. Hot drinks tea /coffee with breakfast in the morning and dinner in the evening are served in the lodges. Lunch is provided en route between 11am and 12pm.

Full board camping trek

In this category of trek we offer all the necessary food and camping equipment for a private or larger group of travelers. Our guides, cook, porters or yaks take care of all the technical and logistical aspects of the trip. Everyday our staff will set the camp along the trails and our well-trained cooks prepare the western and Asian food with variety of choices. This option is the only choice for some of the more remote areas of Nepal such as Kanchenjunga, Manaslu, upper/lower Dolpo, Nar Phu valley, Round Dhaulagiri, Rolwaling, Makalu, Ganesh Himal and many other remote areas.

Altitude & Acclimatization:

Proper acclimatization is very important and our routes are planned specifically to allow a gradual gain in altitude with many of our treks having extra days to allow for acclimatization. By slowly gaining height we reap the benefits of a gradual gain in fitness and acclimatization. We offer advice about acclimatization and with the sensible approach we take on all of our treks, anyone who is fit and healthy should have few problems. On our climbing trips in Nepal and trekking trips in Tibet we carry a portable altitude chamber as an extra safety precaution.

Group Size

Group sizes are kept small, to reduce the impact on the environment and to enable us to provide a more personal service. The maximum Group size on most of our treks/tours is 16 and the minimum group size is 2.

High Himalaya Society provides some great information on a variety of adventure in Nepal.

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