7 Nature Trips from Saigon with DIY Guides

 

If you have done most of Saigon to do’s and are looking for some nature adventures outside this charming city, then you found the perfect blog post.  I’ve lived here for almost a year now, and my adventurous soul got me to some amazing nature trips from Saigon that are easily doable and budget-friendly. I’m writing this for  my fellow expats and travelers who are looking for more than what this city offers. Warning, though! This list is for adventurous people who loves nature. If you don’t fancy mountains, beaches or waterfalls, this might not be for you. 🙂

However, if you have not had a cultural experience of Saigon yet, I suggest you put it first. Check out this list of best things to do in Ho Chi Minh City to get started.

1. Black Virgin Mountain

Protruding rock best for picture taking
Protruding rock best for picture taking at Black Virgin Mountain

Nui Ba Den in Vietnamese, this mountain is the highest peak in southern Vietnam standing at 996 meters. This is a great weekend workout within nature.  Whether via trekking or cable car, you can reach the first third of the mountain where you will find pagodas, and observe locals’ religious practice. You definitely should aim for the summit  where you will catch a beautiful glimpse of Tay Ninh Province.

Video summary of Black Virgin mountain:

The WanderWalkers at Black Virgin Mountain, VietnamAround 3 hours ride from Saigon to Tay Ninh, a cable car ride to the first third of the mountain, 3 hours of boulder-crossing up the summit, a relaxing peak. Another 3 hours going down to the foot and another 3 hours drive back to Saigon. What a fairly challenging outdoor adventure for locals, expats and backpackers in Ho Chi Minh City. 🙂

Posted by The WanderWalkers on Saturday, September 3, 2016

What to do? Hiking to the summit,  riding the cablecar, sightseeing pagodas.
How many days? Daytrip only, from 5am to 8pm. You have the option to camp overnight, though.
Transportation: Motorbike ride for 2.5 hours
Click here to see photos from my trip there.
Complete guide here: HIKING IN VIETNAM: BLACK VIRGIN MOUNTAIN (DIY GUIDE)
Location: Tây Ninh Province

2. Chua Chan Mountain

Chua Chan Mountain Summit
Chua Chan Mountain Summit

A charming mountain in Dong Nai, Nui Chua Chan is embellished by the simple way of life of the residents you will encounter as you hike up the paved stairway that leads to some pagoda at its lower part. The summit at 800 meters is definitely worth the 2-3 hour trek with a 360-view of Dong Nai Province. No other foreigners here, at least during my time of visit.

Video summary of Chua Chan mountain:

The WanderWalkers have SAIGONE to Chua Chan MountainChua Chan Mountain is the 2nd highest peak in southern Vietnam, following Ba Den Mountain (Black Virgin Mountain). You can do it as a DAYTRIP only with 3 hoursone way ride to Dong Nai, 2.5 hrs hike up and 1.5 hours descend. The summit is like no other I’ve seen because of the dead grassland that adds drama to the surrounding. Here’s a clip of our daytrip. Enjoy!

Posted by The WanderWalkers on Monday, September 12, 2016

What to do? Hiking to the summit,  riding the cablecar,  food-tripping, sightseeing pagodas.
How many days? Daytrip only.  Leave early at 5am and you’ll probably arrive back at 8pm. Camping at the summit is possible as well.
Transportation: Motorbike ride for 3 hours
Click here to see photos from my trip there.
Complete guide here:
HIKING IN VIETNAM: CHUA CHAN MOUNTAIN (DIY GUIDE)
Location: 
Nui Chua Chan, Xuân Lộc District, Dong Nai,

3. Dinh Mountain and Waterfalls, Ba Ria

Suoi Da in Nui Dinh
Suoi Da in Nui Dinh

Nui Dinh has got to be one of my favorite getaways from HCMC because it provides a refreshing dip after a short nature hike, with Suoi Da (a series of waterfalls) just at its foot.  If you’re not into hiking, you could also drive your bike up to at a certain elevation, where another stream or waterfalls is present (Suoi Tien). I’ve been here twice and in both cases, we were the only foreigners around. It’s also only 30km from Vung Tau; it’s too tempting not to drive a little further to enjoy the beach.

What to do? Hiking,  swimming and jumping by the waterfalls,  food-tripping. Beach bumming in Vung Tau is a side trip option, too.
How many days? Daytrip only but you can also stay overnight in Vung Tau.
Transportation: Motorbike ride for 2.5 hours
Click here for photos of my trips there.
Complete guide here: 
HIKING IN VIETNAM: DINH MOUNTAIN (DIY GUIDE)
Location: 
Núi Dinh Tân Thành, Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu

4. Mui Ne, Phan Tiet

Sunrise at Mui Ne
Sunrise at Mui Ne

Mui Ne is an adventure-packed destination entirely different from everything else you will see in Vietnam. You can easily spend a weekend here to explore what it has to offer. It’s mostly popular for its beaches, sand dunes, fresh seafood.

Video summary of Mui Ne:

Mui Ne, Vietnam in 2 Days http://thewanderwalkers.com/mui-ne/Mountain tops pagodas, red and white sand dunes, incredible red/orange land formations and colorful sunrise in Mui Ne. Complete budget guide here http://thewanderwalkers.com/mui-ne/

Posted by The WanderWalkers on Thursday, April 20, 2017

What to do? Hiking Tacu Mountain,  beach camping, sunrise watching, swimming, sea food trip, red and white sand dunes,  food-tripping, exploring fairy stream.
How many days? 2 days
Transportation: Sleeper Bus
Click here for photos of my trip there.
Complete guide here: 
MUI NE ON A BUDGET 2D/1N (COMPLETE DIY GUIDE)
Location: 
Phan Thiet, Binh Thuan Province

5. Ta Nang Trek, Lam Dong

Camping after 18 km of trekking
Camping after 18 km of trekking

I went to do this trek a week prior to writing this blog post and the memories are incredible. I am yet to write a full guide about it but it’s definitely something worth your weekend. We didn’t finish the entire 35km trek because we got lost following google maps, but it was still an amazing experience to trek among the pine trees of the highlands and camp under the stars while getting warm through the campfire.

What to do? Trekking, camping, star-gazing.
How many days? 2 days
Transportation: Sleeper Bus
Click here for my trip’s photos.
Complete guide: TA NANG TREK DIY GUIDE
Location: Ta Nang, Lam Dong

6. Lang Biang Mountain, Da Lat

Lang Biang Peak
Lang Biang Peak

The highlands of Da Lat has a lot to offer; travelers usually come here to experience the cool temperatures you will not get from Saigon. If you only have a weekend to spare, you can ride a sleeper bus on a Friday night, arrive in Da Lat on Saturday morning, climb Lang Biang mountain and camp at the summit before coming down to go back to Saigon. It’s also an option to just do a dayhike on a Saturday so you can do canyoning and abseiling the next day.

What to do? Trekking, camping or canyoning/abseiling.
How many days? 2 days
Transportation: Sleeper Bus
Click here to see photos of my trip there.
Complete guide here: HIKING IN VIETNAM: LANG BIANG MOUNTAIN, DALAT (DIY GUIDE)
Location: Lạc Dương District, Lâm Đồng, Vietnam

7.  Cat Tien National Park

Riverview from Bamboo Lodge
Riverview from Bamboo Lodge

Imagine a day of reading a book while in a hammock facing a river with the jungle on the other side. An ideal weekend getaway, right? Go to Cat Tien National Park and you will have exactly that, and more! It’s the closest National Park in Saigon, and the largest one in entire Vietnam.

What to do? Trekking, bicycling, wild-life watching, chill by the river.
How many days? 2 days at least but you can spend more time to explore this big wildlife park.
Transportation: Sitting Bus
Click here to see photos of my trip there.
Complete guide: I haven’t written my own guide for this yet but I’m hoping to visit it again to refresh the information. 🙂 If you have questions about how to get there and other details, please use the comment box. 🙂
Location: Nam Cát Tiên, Tân Phú, Dong Nai Province

Summary

I have been to all these spots and each one is an amazing experience. Most of it are action-packed and would require physical strength, especially the hiking ones that requires you to drive. But you can also tweak it to become just a relax by spending some more, maybe by hiring a car and traveling with your friends to split the cost. Either way, your craving to be refreshed by nature will definitely be satisfied with any of the destinations in this list. 🙂

(All videos and photos are mine)

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7 Replies to “7 Nature Trips from Saigon with DIY Guides”

  1. Hi im so happy , exactly what i’ve been looking for since few weeks , trip by motorbikes. With friends we’d to organise some trip but we did’nt have huge experience. Now we are going to Giang Dien water falll by scooter . Not so far from HCMC it depends which roads do you take 😂Thanks a lot continue like this .

  2. Hi 👋
    I am new to HCMC and I am dying to get out of the city for two or three days and get into nature. I don’t know much (how to get a bus ride, accommodation etc) so your guidance would be great and which place you would recommend which is affordable .

    Thank you

    1. Hi candice, two or three days is a good time to spend in Cat Tien National Park, Cam Ranh or Mui Ne. Book a bus through futavus.vn for the last 2 i mentioned.

      However, this long weekend (April 29-May2) everything is fully booked.

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