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My Top Running Spots in Vietnam

Cát Bá Island

I was pleasantly surprised to see how on Cát Bá, they had a sidewalk parallel to the sea, which makes for a scenic, but safe route for runners. I didn’t have much time to run here and unfortunately didn’t have my camera, but take my word for it and go for a jog here if you can!

Enjoy the lovely views of the bay while you feel the cool breeze from the sea. 

Distance: Le Pont Cat Ba Club to Cat Ba Central Hotel 2 is about 1.1 miles (1.7 km).

Nihn Binh- Tam Coc 

A view of the bay

A view of the bay

The route that I found was reminiscent of a high school track that I used to run on when doing mile repeats for cross country, but it had a much more interesting view. The terrain varies from paved sidewalk to rocky, but overall it was a smooth run.

The route is really nice and one loop around the segment of the Lan Ha Bay is about 0.64 miles according to my Run Keeper App. Do as many laps as you want, and enjoy! 

Distance: My app measured 0.64 miles (1.03 km) per lap around the bay starting near Duc Tuan Hotel. 

Some of the rocky terrain

Some of the rocky terrain

Dong hoi (Along the sea)

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The street you need to cross to run alongside the sea

Much like Cát Bá, I found this route not only scenic, but also safe.

The sidewalk runs alongside the East Sea, and you can enjoy a relaxing view and get away from the hustle and bustle of motorbikes and mopeds.

Distance: For about 0.70 miles (1.13 km) it’s a smooth run on the sidewalk, but can get a little tricky the father North/South you go and you may have to maneuver around to get back to the smoothly paved road that went alongside the sea. I didn’t run that long, but don’t let that discourage you from seeing what else you can find on that run. 

Da Lat Lake

The beautiful Xuan Huong Lake!

I absolutely loved Da Lat and how unique it was. The city itself doesn’t make you feel like you are in Vietnam after seeing cities such as Hanoi and Hoi an, and it even has a strong resemblance to a small European city. One of the biggest contributing factors to this is wonderful lake in the center of the city, called Xuan Huong Lake. The lake is stunning because of its color, which is a cyan blue with hints of green.

There is a sidewalk that follows the perimeter of the entire lake so you can have a safe and comfortable run with a scenic view.

They have some horse drawn carriages near the lake along with boat rentals and cafes, so you have many activities that you can do to follow up your run.

Distance: One lap around the lake is 3.10 miles (5 km). 

Did I mention you will most likely see horses on your run?

Did I mention you will most likely see horses on your run?

Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)

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If this isn’t the most flattering photo of me, then I don’t know what is.

Running in Ho Chi Minh City was a bit more of a challenge, as is running in any major metropolitan area in Southeast Asia. Getting to the Saigon river was where I felt like I was playing frogger and even once I was there, I still felt a bit uneasy having traffic on my side as I ran on the sidewalk. I decided to run South of the Saigon River until I came to the Ben Nghe Channel and started going Southwest.

It wasn’t until I was running alongside the Ben Nghe Channel, when I felt comfortable. So I recommend to any runner that it is best to stay on a route following the Ben Nghe.

Distance: You can go for 5 miles (8 km) up to 10 miles (16km)! It’s up to you and how much you feel like running along the channel or river.

Safe and sound

Safe and sound

Honorable Mentions 

I wish I had the chance to run at a couple places but I didn’t have either the time, energy or shoes to do so at the time.

Hanoi

The lake is a perfect route for you to follow when on a run and I wish I took the time to go for a run when I was there. Just make sure you’re careful getting to and running on the lake since Hanoi is such a busy city with scooters and motorbikes coming at you in every direction.

Just make sure you’re careful getting to and running on the lake since Hanoi is such a busy city with scooters and motorbikes coming at you in every direction.

The Huc Bridge

The Huc Bridge

Sapa

Both times I was in Sapa it was either super hot and muddy or super cold and muddy. It just wasn’t in the cards for me! I really wish the weather was more permitting because here I think trail running along the terraced rice fields would have been so cool!

I really wish the weather was more permitting because here I think trail running along the terraced rice fields would have been so cool!

I recommend that anyone running here just be cautious of the rocks and uneven terrain.

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Overlooking the faded terraced rice fields

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