Welcome to a new series on Journey Count: camping in Vietnam!
We bought all our beloved camping equipment back to Hanoi after our trip home in July and we couldn’t be more excited for a new way to explore Vietnam. Korea turned out to be an unexpected camping dream and we can’t wait to see what Vietnam has to offer.
While we’ve had plenty of friends camp around the country, we haven’t found much information about great spots and hidden gems online. So, just like our Day Trips and Weekend Trips series, we’ll be sharing everything we find and learn with you guys!
One place that those living in Hanoi will have heard of is Son Tinh Camp, just outside of Ba Vi.
This is where we began our camping adventures.
As I had the Friday off work for the national holiday, we decided to cram in as much as possible and leave after work on Thursday. I even decided it was high time I took my own bike on the road! We recently acquired a $200 Honda Dream and it is surprisingly great for a road trip.
Son TInh is only 55k from Hanoi, but with rush hour traffic it took us 2 hours and we had to drive in the dark. Even then, it was a very easy ride which makes it great for an overnight trip.
The campground itself is an organised affair, situated on a lake and within a large natural area that has been turned into a cultural complex of sorts. Wide, neatly paved roads criss-cross between stilt houses, museums and cycling trails. Understandably, the place becomes packed with families at the weekends. We didn’t get to explore the area much this time around but I know we’ll be back.
Once we’d parked up, set up our tent and eagerly gulped down a beer over ice, we felt a world away from the city.
With the luxury of nearby showers and cold beverages, and only 200,000VND per tent, Son Tinh was the perfect first spot.
Sadly, our joy at successfully camping in Vietnam ended there, as a huge storm descended on Son Tinh. It’s a wonder we didn’t lose our tent or get crushed by a falling branch, the wind was so fierce. We ended up cooking in the on-site restaurant kitchen with a bunch of teenage boys, all completely drenched, and then setting up our tent anew under the covered outdoor eating area. Far from ideal.
With the rest of the 3 day weekend ahead of us though, our spirits were high and we discovered that Vietnamese drip coffee is the perfect camping accessory…
The draw of Son Tinh is definitely the fact that it is so close to Hanoi.
There are more beautiful, more wild places that don’t cost a penny. But, sitting by that lake with a beer in hand listening to the sounds of the trees is the perfect escape from frenetic Hanoi.
More camping in Vietnam adventures to come…
Son Tinh also hosts South East Asia’s biggest musical festival, Quest, who Oli and Jay have been working with for the past few months. Check out the website they made and buy a ticket to join us in November!