Set in Dong Nai, Chua Chan Mountain is the second-highest peak in southeastern Vietnam, with a height of 837 meters/2,746 feet. It’s located roughly 100 km/62 miles from Ho Chi Minh City, making it the ideal mountain retreat for residents and visitors to the area.
This former volcano is not only a favorite spot by southern Vietnamese, but it’s also a world heritage site as of 2012.
Hiking Núi Chứa Chan
The most popular activity on the mountain is to walk the trail to the top, and it’s been rated by other goers as an easy to medium level hike. The trip is about 7.5 km/4.6 miles out and back and takes around 2.5 hours to complete. If you’re attempting to do this trek in the summer, it’s wise to start earlier in the day to beat the heat, especially if stopping at the pagoda or grabbing a snack is on the itinerary.
At the base of the mountain and beginning of the trail is a large stone stairway. It takes around half an hour or so to climb it to the midway point by the cable car station, and thankfully the path has lots of coverage from trees to avoid being in the direct sunlight. On the way up, food vendors and souvenir stands will be on the side with things to buy, eat and drink. This location on the trail is also the last place to use a restroom facility if you’re continuing to the top.
After passing the cable car station is when the more rigorous hiking begins. The trail remains primarily flat but becomes steeper and is mainly a dirt path with a few occasional stepping stones along the way. It’ll take the average person around 30 to 45 more minutes to reach the top, but the rewards are immense. Many hikers like to spend a few minutes at the peak to take in the 360-degree views and have another snack before heading back down.
Cable Car Ride
About halfway up the mountain is a cable car station, providing rides from the bottom of the mountain and vice versa. Those who prefer to spare their legs some hiking can pay a small fee to ride the cable car up to the mid-point and continue hiking from there, or look around the area before heading back down. Two people fit in each vehicle and offer fantastic views of the mountainous scenery.
Buu Quang Pagoda
The cable car ride ends right at the Buu Quang Pagoda, which is by itself an attraction. Visitors who only wish to see the pagoda can do that without any other type of hiking and accomplish seeing it all with the cable car ride up. This temple dates back to the 18th century and showcases impressive architecture and a peaceful place to pray.
What to Bring
No matter what time of year you visit Chua Chan Mountain, if you plan on hiking or exploring the area, it’s essential to bring a few key things in preparation. Sunscreen, water, and comfortable clothing are always a must during all seasons. It’s also wise to wear hiking boots if you plan on taking the trail to the top due to loose gravel and dirt.
Address: Xuân Lộc District, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam
Hours: 24 hours