Trekking, Ba Vi National Park
Ba Vi, 60km (37 miles) away from the center of Hanoi, is a perfect weekend destination for people who can’t travel very far. The fresh air is invigorating, and a variety of sightseeing and recreational spots – mountains, resorts, camping sites and waterfalls welcome you. To go further than the common ecotourism spots, trekking through the national park is highly recommended. A trip usually lasts 2-4 hours, just enough for trekkers to relax and explore part of the forest. Some agencies currently offer tours at VND1.7 million ($74) for a group of 2-3 people.
Watching outdoor spectacle “Tinh Hoa Bac Bo” (The Quintessence of Tonkin) in Quoc Oai
This is Vietnam’s first outdoor spectacle, held on a 4,300-square-meter water stage in Da Phuc, Sai Son commune, Quoc Oai District, just a 40-minute drive from Hanoi. The performance starts at 7.30 p.m. every night. Before the show, visitors can stop by a nearby pagoda, Chua Thay, and enjoy its peaceful ambience. The ticket price for the show is VND800,000.
Swimming in artificial beach, Quoc Oai
The artificial beach of over 5,000 square meters is part of the Sai Son recreational complex. Just like a real beach, it is a place for both adults and children to have fun, get some exercise and relax. Water slides and a dolphin show add to the attraction. The artificial beach complex closes every Tuesday for cleaning. The combo ticket price for both swimming and the dolphin show is VND200,000 per person on weekdays, and VND250,000 VND during the weekend.
Also in Ba Vi and just 50 kilometers away from the capital center, the Dong Que farmland is a familiar attraction for many Hanoians. Families with young children can enjoy quality time together over one or two days with several farming experiences including fishing, harvesting tea leaves and making Vietnamese steamed rice paper rolls banh cuon. Visits to dairy farms are also on the itinerary. Service fee starts at VND35,000 per person.
Camping, Ham Lon
The route to Ham Lon mountain is not very challenging. Just follow Highway 35 and turn at the side of Ham Lon lake. Motorbikes can be parked near the lake, and visitors can rent camping tents, buy food and enjoy other services at reasonable price. Visitors can also climb the mountain, visit Ham Lon Lake, or throw themselves an outdoor party. In the foothills of the Ham Lon mountain is the giant Nui Bau lake, with crystal clear water, a perfect overnight camping site. This beautiful site is located about 40 kilometers from the heart of Hanoi.