Vietnam has plenty of mountains and highlands that are just waiting to be explored. In fact, nearly three-quarters of the landscape are covered with jungle and mountainous terrain. Additionally, there are nearly 50 ethnic groups in the highlands with plenty of colourful festivals and traditions.
For travellers on the health retreat Vietnam looking for a break from the cities and beaches, the highlands has a lot to appreciate. In most parts of the highlands the summer is seen as the off-peak season, which gives a perfect opportunity to get the very appealing prices in the high-end retreats that are blessed with extraordinary experiences and drop-dead gorgeous views.
Let's take a look at a few of the top mountain retreats in Vietnam:
Topas Ecolodge – Sapa
The Topas Ecolodge is only a 40 minute car journey from Sapa and this hilltop resort is a favourite tourist spot that offers picture-perfect views of the surrounding valleys and mountains.
There are plenty of activities to get involved with, such as cycling and hiking. A tour of the local area is certain to give easy access to the local people to see how they go about their daily lives and the methods used to cultivate the stunning terraced rice fields.
Most of the staff members at the Topas Ecolodge are tribal people who put a very keen emphasis on social responsibility and environmental sustainability.
A stay at the Topas Ecolodge is more intimate with just 25 rustic bungalows in place that are stylishly furnished with rates starting at about $200 per night.
A great time to visit the Topas Ecolodge is likely to be between March to May or September to December when the local landscape is looking its best.
Also, there are occasions when snow may appear during the winter months, from December to February.
Pu Luong Retreat - Thanh Hoa
Located in the picturesque Pu Luong natural reserve and looked over beautiful valley of rice terraces, ethnic villages, rivers, mountains, Pu Luong Retreat is a great place to refresh your mind and relax.
Pu Luong is named "Sapa of the northeast", blessed with cool weather, and rice terraces can be see twice a year. This destination is also highly recommended for hiking to explore the nature and life of the ethnic minorities living in the area.
A tour to Pu Luong retreat can be organised well by Vivutravel and combined with other destinations such as Mai Chau and Ninh Binh.
Mai Chau Ecolodge - Hoa Binh
Located in the north western regions of Vietnam's highlands, this ecolodge is found in the heartland of the local ethnic Thai people.
A stay in the Mai Chau Ecolodge gives access to a resort that is styled much like a hilltop village that perfectly works with the local landscape. It is located about 140 km from Hanoi and relatively close to the nature preserves of Pu Luong and Pu Hu.
This resort is a wonderful base for the active people that love to get involved with cycling and trekking. The on-site restaurant sources local and fresh food from fishermen and farmers. Plenty of ethnic Thai dishes are served, such as grilled goat meat and five-colour rice.
Mai Chau Ecolodge is a beautiful retreat that is still at the affordable end of the market with rooms starting at just $100 for a generous size double room.
Mai Chau is great to visit throughout the months of March to April when there is plenty of plum and white peach flowers blooming and the local people are celebrating the arrival of springtime. Additionally, the months of October, November and December are another great time to visit and appreciate the stunning landscape.
Belvedere Tam Dao - Tam Dao
A stay at this resort gives the option to fully appreciate the natural beauty of the local landscape. The resort is a past hill station created at the time of the French colonial era and located near the Tam Dao National Park with its striking mountainous terrain and waterfalls.
It is relatively easy to reach and only a 2 hour journey from Hanoi. There are plenty of features and activities at the resort such as tennis courts and a gym, as well as an infinity pool that gives wonderful views over the local forests and mountains.
The costs of the rooms at the Belvedere Tam Dao vary with the standard to luxury suites and priced in the region of $85 to $350 or more per night.
Dalat Edensee Resort - Dalat
Dalat has for a long time been a popular year-round destination for the visitor tourists and local people. This city has a very noticeable French culinary influence with plenty of stunning colonial villas that are surrounded by the lush-green forests.
Dalat Edensee is well located next to the Tuyen Lam Lake with its glittering and calm waters. Additionally, it is just a 35-45 minute journey from the nearby international airport.
A stay at this resort on the Vietnam fitness retreat gives guests a place to relax that has thick early morning mists, stunning vistas, and towering pine trees.
Dalat Edensee is a rather expansive resort with 120 well-furnished rooms, a spa centre, a cafe and several restaurants. Many of the rooms are priced to be very affordable with the cheapest in the region of $110 – although there is the option to get discounted rates for summer travellers.
Swiss Belresort-Tuyen Lam – Dalat
Swiss-Belresort is a 5-star resort that is situated close to the Tuyen Lam Lake tourist area and has plenty of stylish accommodation. This resort offers guests a lot in the way of gorgeous vistas and fresh air.
There are plenty of recreational options with the 18-hole Sacom golf club within 250 yards from the resort, as well as a fitness centre, wellness centre, spa, children's playground and tennis courts.
It is styled with a faux-Tudor facade and boasts a total of 151 well sized rooms that start out in the affordable category. Most of the rooms are priced at less than $85 for the night.
Ana Mandara Villas – Dalat
The Ana Mandara is a further popular resort in the city of Dalat that is made up of 17 well-preserved and authentic French colonial villas that are located across the hillside.
For the foreign travellers on the Vietnam highlands holiday that love to get immersed in a country's colonial and cultural history, this is certain to be a very popular destination.
There is plenty to keep guests entertained with a mini golf course, a pool and spa, as well as a high-quality on-site restaurant.
The cost to stay at the Ana Mandara is relatively affordable for what is offered with rooms priced in the region of $110 per night.