1. Ham Lon mountain
Ham Lon (Pig Jaw) is a mount in the range of Doc Ton in Soc Son suburban district. This is a familiar destination for trekkers with full types of terrain like lake, forest and grassland. Ham Lon peak is 462m above the sea level; this is the highest top among the Soc Son range of mountains, and labeled as the roof of Ha Noi.
The mountain is located 40 km from city center towards North Thang Long - Noi Bai expressway; it takes just around one hour to get here by truck from city center. You can conquer this mountain during the day or stay longer if you want to watch the sunset and sunrise here.
There are two main paths up to the Ham Lon mountain. The first path is fairly flat, easy to go and does not have many bushes. It will take you only two to two and a half hour to reach the peak. The second path is along the streams; you will have to cross small streams or through the bushes, and make your own road to get to the peak. This trip takes around four hours, and it is suitable for those who like adventure and discovery.
Near the top of the mountain is a fairly flat area. After conquering the mountain, visitors can return to this flat area for camping and relaxing, or waitting for the sunset. With a big ground greeted by trees, this is a beautiful campsite in the suburb of Ha Noi.
2. Tram mountain
Tram (Tu Tram) Mountain is located in Phung Chau commune, Chuong My suburban district of Ha Noi. About 20km southwest from Ha Noi, along Highway 6, the mountain is famous for not only its picturesque landscape but also because of its relics and pagodas with great spiritual significance and historical, cultural values.
It takes only 10 minutes to get halfway up the mountain where there is flat ground for tourists to have a panoramic view of five white peaks. Here, there are different paths leading to these peaks. Nature has endowed Tram mountain with beautiful caves and caverns, and Long Tien is the most beautiful one. Hundreds of stalactites in every exotic and eerie form flow from the rooves and the walls of the cave. In the 17th year of Chinh Hoa (1696), King Le Hy Tong had dozens of statutes of Buddha, giant guardians and sacred deities carved in the cave, which have immense historic and artistic values.
Tram Mountain is also known as a spiritual destination with ancient pagodas: Tram, Hang and Vo Vi.
Tram Pagoda, the main structure in the complex, has a large yard with old trees. During the festival season, it attracts a large number of tourists. A group of Buddha statues in the pagoda bears the style of 18-19th century art with very delicate and sophisticated curving lines.
Vo Vi, built in the 16th century, is the most well known. It covers an area of nearly 10 square meters, and is designed mostly for worshipping Buddha. A pavilion, called Nghenh Phong, is a place for visitors to enjoy fresh winds and behold the romantic landscape with the river peacefully winding through rice paddies and countryside.
Last but not least is Hang (Cave) Pagoda, a small yet beautiful place. Entrance to the pagoda is located at the foot of Tram Mountain. Many stone Buddha statues are worshiped in this pagoda; various stalactites in different shapes and sizes, creating a beautiful picture. The pagoda still preserves stone drums and statues from the Le Dynasty, and ancient poems and literature works on the stone walls.
3. Ba Vi mountain
About 60 kilometers west from Ha Noi center, Ba Vi mountain range is covers an area of about 50 square meters in Ba Vi, Luong Sơn and Ky Son districts. It is called "the lord of mountains” in Vietnamese mythology, though it is not the highest mountain range in Viet Nam.
There are three prominent mountains named Dinh Vua, Tan Vien, and Ngoc Hoa. The highest mountain in this range is Vua Peak (Emperor Peak), which is 1296 m above sea level. However, the most famous one is Tan Vien peak, which is 1,281 meters high; it is believed the home of Son Tinh, the Mountain God in Vietnamese mythology. Tourists can climb up the Tan Vien peak and visit a 11th sacred century shrine stands in memory of the Mountain God on top of it. It takes about 40 minutes of hard climbing to reach to the temple but you are additionally well rewarded with panoramic views of the Red River valley and beyond.
Ba Vi national park, a famous destination, is centered on the triple-peaked Ba Vi Mountain, and covers an area of 10.814,6 ha. A trip to Ba Vi National Park is a great escape from the city with cool fresh mountain air in a mystical atmospheric backdrop of clouds, jungle and tropical rainforest. It offers various choices to visit like ancient religious temples and pagodas, ruins of the French colonial regime, summer camps, or walk through the forests, try clean and fresh springs, beautiful gardens and truly escape from all bustle and crowded life in the city. This is home of more than 1209 species of vascular plants belonging to 99 families, 472 genera, 503 of which have medicinal applications. It also contains 65 species of mammal, 30 species of reptile, 27 species of amphibian and 169 bird species.
A fascinating complex of numerous lakes, (both natural and artificial) plays an important role in forming various famous relaxing tourism spots in Ba Vi like Khoang Xanh, Suoi Mo and Thac Da. Visitors can trek through the forests, discover streams and waterfalls deep in the mountains or visit a wildlife reserve in the park.
The best time to visit the Ba Vi National Park is between April and October as the weather is cool and perfect for outdoor activities.