Hiking in Tam Dao
If you start back down on the road to Hanoi for about 10 minutes, you will come to a track meandering off to the right. This track winds a long way around the hill station, and with perseverance may completely circle the peak, though the track does get very poor. It seems to be mainly used for extracting trees, though not many. Once you get down the track a bit, the silence is overwhelming. You can cross a number of river beds that were dry during our visit, but during the wet season would be raging torrents. There is also an extremely steep and slippery trail you can climb, up towards the radio aerial on top of the hill. This trail starts by the guesthouse at the top of the flight of stairs near the Tam Dao Tourism Restaurant. There are a number of other trails that any local resident should be able to point out to you.
A pagoda lies on the road up the mountain from the Green World Hotel and is popular with the locals. Following this road further around some distance you will come across many of the deserted villas that once brought fame to Tam Dao. Little exists now bar foundations, garages or the odd doorway, however they do give you a glimpse into the history. Most nowadays host more choko vines than dinner parties.