The glorious and diverse landscape of Vietnam calls for any explorer to escape the crowded hostels into the vast outdoors. There is something magical about camping under the stars that allows you to immerse yourself in the country.
Whether you’re sleeping by the crashing waves of a beach, high up in the cold mountains, or under the jungle canopy, camping in Vietnam will be an adventure to never forget.
Vietnam’s sprawling area has distinct weather patterns split according to region, meaning temperatures and rain can vary greatly from the North to the South. In the northern part of the country, May until October is hot and humid with heavy daily downpours. The remainder of the year from November until April is cooler, dry but still humid, and still a comfortable 59-82°F on either side of winter.
For trekking and camping, March to May or September to November is a safe bet. In South Vietnam particularly near the ocean, the temperatures fluctuate less throughout the year. The climate is however split into two, with the wet season stretching from April until late September and dry season from October to March. The heaviest rainfall is during the hot and humid months of June and July.
Camping for tourism is a newer trend in Vietnam and has resulted in a growing number of designated campgrounds. Many of which are specifically aimed at travelers and backpackers. The campsites vary in facilities, but most will have the option of pitching our own tent or renting one from the campground. Some have luxury camping set ups, the ever increasingly popular glamping options, or simple tends for an overnight stay.
If you were thinking of camping in the wilderness, be mindful that a significant amount of preparation is required. Ensure to study maps, bring a compass, have all the proper gear, and enough water if you wish to stay in the forests and mountains. There are also plenty of local guides who are more than willing to take you on treks.
Let’s learn about some of the best camping in Vietnam, in no particular order:
1. Ta Nag to Phan Dung Trek
If you’re looking for an adventure trail to take you through the natural beauty of Vietnam, then this is it. This trek will give you access to camp in some of the most remote and gorgeous areas of the country. The Trek that stretches from Ta Nag to Phan Dung overs 3 provinces including Lam Dong, Ninh Thuan, and Binh Thuan.
It’s a 34-mile hike that takes you through villages, fields, and up and down hills. There are also several river crossings which can be treacherous during the rainy season. There are camping options all along the route, and guides suggest reserving 2-3 days for this expedition.
There are a number of tour operators to guide you on this trek, such as Dalat Trip JSC.
2. Dong Cao, Bac Giang
While not declared an official site, Dong Cao is a beloved camping spot in the Tach Son Commune. It’s found on top of a 2,000 feet high hill around 100 miles away from Hanoi. This elevated spot gives campers an exquisite view of the luscious forests and ancient rocks that rise from the countryside.
The sunsets and sunrises are particularly awe inspiring from this camping spot. The local habitants in the area are extremely friendly, so if you are unsure of where to go, then simply ask a local guide for instructions. Unfortunately, there are minimal instructions in English online.
3. Ta Dung Lake, Dak Nong Province
The Ta Dung valley near the Ta Dung mountain features a stunning lake with many fingers, islets, and islands rising from the clear water. Backpackers flock to Ta Dung Lake to get photos and views of this stunning place. The area is a photographer’s playground with beautiful forests and mountains rising steeply from the calm waters of the lake.
People who wish to camp and stay the night here are recommended to bring all their gear, since there are no hotels and few markets in the area. There are also plenty of opportunities to hike and explore the plantations around the lakes.
4. Son My Beach, Binh Thuan Province
This campsite is a 3-hour drive from Ho Chi Mihn City. The beach rewards tourists with sights of beautiful beaches, tall coconut palms, and unique rocks rising from the waves. There are cabins, and tents available for rent or you can pitch your own tent. The Son My Beach campsite is best suited for youthful travelers.
The activities in this area include beach yoga, baseball, boat racing, snorkeling, beach side fires, and dinners of grilled sea food.
5. Nam Du Island, Kien Giang Province
Located in the south of Vietnam, Nam Du is an archipelago with over 21 islands surrounded by crystal clear water in Kien Giang Province. The area has places to purchase travel essentials, food markets, and tourism infrastructure for visitors to take advantage of. You will have the opportunity to explore some of the many islands, and even stay overnight.
Hon Dau Island is the most frequented spot to camp, though there are plenty around the island. Rental tents are available and camping is a small fee. The Nam Du Island can be reached by ferry and features beautiful sandy beaches, palm trees, and hills covered in thick jungle. You can rent a scooter to explore the islands, or simply relax on the beach.
6. Sao Bien, Cam Ranh City
Most of the natural wonders that Vietnam is known for, can be found in this stunning natural spot. There are white sand beaches, tall mountain ranges overlooking the twinkling sea, palm trees swaying in the breeze, and dense forests surrounding waterfalls.
You’ll have a choice of accommodations at Sao Bien ranging from wooden huts to hammocks slung up between trees. This beach community focuses on environmental protection and ecology. It’s a great place to spend your day snorkeling, kayaking, boating, fishing squid, or mountain climbing.
7. Bidoup Mountain, Lam Dong Province
This is the highest mountain in the Bidoup Nui Ba National Park and is known as the “roof” of the Lam Dong Providence. The mountain rises to an impressive 7,500 feet and attracts hikers, nature lovers, and photographers from all over the country. The region is known for its rich biodiversity and local guides who are eager to share their knowledge on the trek.
This camping is better suited to experienced hikers and trekkers, since the campsite is located 1.8 miles from the Bidoup Peak. To get there, you’ll find yourself hiking along a 10-mile route, which leads you through some stunning nature. Keep an eye out for the massive Fujian Cypress, which have been growing in this wilderness for the past 1,300 years!
8. Da Han Waterfall, Dong Nai
A short 30-mile drive from Ho Chi Minh City will bring you to the Da Han Waterfall. It’s no surprise this picturesque destination is a tourist attraction. Daytime activities in the area include visiting the gardens, mountain biking through the nature, or swimming in the waterfall pools.
There are also large camping spaces for those wishing to stay overnight. This will give you a better opportunity to soak in the beauty of the spectacular cascading waters from the jungle into the clear pools.
9. Tam Ngu
This campground is located a few miles north from Long Hai town. It’s right on the coastal route known as the Ocean Road, which many motorcycle travelers take when exploring the coast of Vietnam. The campground offers basic facilities including a bathroom. You may rent or pitch your own tent.
What makes this a great spot to stop, is the proximity to the Phuoc Hai fishing village. There you will see an authentic Vietnamese fishing community, market, and the methods of how they transport fish from their boats to the land. Relax one afternoon among the friendly locals, and plenty of delicious street food.
10. Trung Luong, Binh Dinh Province
This coastal campsite features views of the ocean from a large, flat grassy knoll. It’s a popular destination for tourists in the Phu Cat District in Southeast Vietnam. This organized campground allows campers to pitch their tent or rent one. All tents are propped up on wooden slats for additional comfort.
Enjoy your evening sitting beneath the stars or meeting fellow travelers around a nightly campfire. Trung Luong campground is a fantastic combination of outdoor adventure and organized comfort. Fall asleep with the sound of the crashing waves and wake up to the singing birds!
11. Coco Beachcamp, Binh Thuan
Another organized camp spot near the coast, the Coco Beachcamp is in Lagi city. It has several high-quality tents set up right on the white sands for tourist to crash in overnight. It’s a 3 hour drive from Ho Chi Mihn City, allowing you to travel here for a quick getaway. The area also features decorations, swinging chairs, and four poster beds placed on the beach.
Spend your days choosing from the following activities including kayaking, diving, snorkeling, beach volleyball, cycling, or kite surfing. Stop by for a night or several days, either way, you’ll find plenty to amuse yourself on this beautiful beach.
Whether you decide to go to a foreigner focused accommodation, explore the wilderness by yourself, or immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture, camping is the way to experience this country. Prepare yourself to be amazed by the natural sites, the kindness of people, and unique landscapes. If you have travelled through Vietnam, did you give camping a try?