Located only 43 miles (70 kilometers) from Hanoi, Tam Dao National Park provides time-pressed visitors with a more convenient—yet no less restorative—alternative to the mountain highlands of Sapa. The tropical mountains are rich in biodiversity and harbor more than 750 species of flora and fauna.
Tam Dao National Park is more suited to relaxation than intense adventure, offering visitors a myriad of gentle to intermediate walks and spectacular vistas. Hikes vary from 30-minute strolls to all-day treks that require guides and involve more-challenging terrain and increased chances of spotting wildlife. Travelers looking to take a short break from the bustle of Hanoi can visit the national park on a day trip, which typically include round-trip transfers.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Home to 239 species of bird, Tam Dao National Park is a must-visit for nature lovers.
- The hike to Silver Waterfall, which flows 165 feet (50 meters) over rocks and jungle foliage, is the most popular route.
- The elevated position of the park means that it can get quite chilly in winter, so take warm clothing.
- Must-try local dishes in Tam Dao include lon man (roasted pork).
How to Get There
Tam Dao National Park is a 1.5-hour drive from Hanoi, depending on traffic. To get there, you can rent a car, take the daily public bus from Hanoi bus terminal at 5:30am, or visit the park as part of a guided tour, which eliminates the stress of planning and navigation.
When to Get There
Northern Vietnam has its own microclimate, so weather can differ greatly from that of Central and South Vietnam at certain times of the year. The best time to visit the country’s northern regions is during the spring months of March and April, when temperatures are pleasantly cool and rainfall is at a minimum.
The Charms of Tam Dao Town
Tam Dao town, which lies within the confines of the national park, was established in the early 1900s by French colonists as a hill station to escape summer heat. Another worthwhile site in the area is the Truc Lam Tay Thien Monastery, which encompasses a monastery, temple, and several pagodas. Visitors can opt to dine on vegetarian fare with the resident monks or even stay overnight.