CONQUER FANSIPAN MOUTAIN - THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN IN VIETNAM


16 Jan 2021

Mount Fansipan in Sapa, known as the highest mountain in Vietnam or the rooftop of Indochina is a peak with a height of 3143m. To conquer this summit, the fastest way is taking a cable car, or getting a mount fansipan 2 day trek tour..

Table Contents
  • I - How to get to Fansipan from Hanoi?
  • II - Sapa Fansipan cable car tour 
  • III -  Climbing mount Fansipan?  
  • 1- Prepare for conquering the highest point in Vietnam?
  • 2 - Conquering Fansipan top of Indochina
  • IV - Suggestec tour itinerary 
  • 1 - Wonderful attractions around Fansipan peak
  • 2 - Good Tour Companies for Mt Fansipan Trek
  • 3 - Suggested schedule
Fansipan
Source: Chansereypich Seng
At 3143 meters above sea level, Fansipan Mount becomes a perfect destination for many adventurous travelers to get a breathtaking experience when they come to Vietnam. Fansipan peak which belongs to the mountain range Hoang Lien Son is located in Lao Cai province, about 9 km southwest of Sapa town. In the old days, Fansipan mountain Vietnam was well-known as “the Roof of Indochina” where only people with good skills can conquer. Nonetheless, anyone now can reach the highest mountain in Vietnam and the Indochina peninsula by cable car. 

Fansipan peak
The great peak in Vietnam (Source: Constant Loubier)
Designed by European operators - Doppelmayr, the three-wire cable car system in Sapa was designed and tested strictly to ensure passengers’ safety and comfort. The Fansipan cable car system, which was officially put into operation on February 2nd 2016, had received two Guinness records: the  highest gap between its departure and arrival stations of 1,410 meters and the world’s longest three-wire cable car at 6,292 meters. In addition, a 15-minute journey by cable car promises to bring travelers a very interesting experience such as the feeling of floating high above the rice terraces and rocky cliffs below, ascending gradually to this towering tip above the clouds or capturing the beauty of all the landscape from the sight of a bird. 
Conquering Fansipan summit becomes the strong desire for not only those loving adventure but also the ones who are interested in botany due to its biodiversity. The mountain is covered with numerous precious floras almost four seasons year-around including 1,680 species of plants, some of which are rare and only able to be found here and hardly seen in the lowland. Especially, there’re up to 330 species among 643 orchid species existing in the whole country that have been found in. This unique feature has made this place become one of the most impressive attractions in Vietnam. 

Fansipan mountain
(Source: Tuannguyentravel)
Whether you can conquer the summit successfully or not depends a lot on the weather. If you explore this mountain on a rainy day, slippery, muddy roads may cause you a lot of troubles. Especially, cloudy weather can take away your chance to see the majestic, dreamy scenery of Sapa from above. Sapa’s climate is subtropical one, as the other places in northwest Vietnam, but this land has a cold temperate climate all around the year because of high altitude. It has two distinct seasons including summers (from May to October) with the cool and rainy climate and winters (from November to April) with the cold and dry weather. However,  the most significant feature of Sapas climate is that people can experience 4 seasons in only one day as a result of the fragmented topography and the special geographical position. The best time to visit Fansipan is from September to March annually. Nevertheless, if you want to see the fascinating scene of flowers blooming along the mountain, late February is probably the most incredible time for you.
Standing between heaven and earth, the rooftop of Indochina created by giant rocks is so imposing under the sky like a challenge to any climbing enthusiasts. Furthermore, the journey to reach the peak whether on foot or by cable car will certainly be one of the most unforgettable experiences for any tourists.

I - How to get to Fansipan from Hanoi?

How to get to Fansipan
A corner of Sapa (Source: Vivuplus)
Step 1: From Hanoi to Sapa town: Located more than 300 km  from Hanoi, Sapa can be reached by these following vehicles:
- By train: From Hanoi, travelers should catch an overnight train Hanoi – Sapa ($ 6- $ 12, 8 hours ) which arrives in Lao Cai Station early the next morning. Afterward, travelers can go to Sapa from Lao Cai (38km) by car or public bus.
- By bus: ($12, 8 hours) travelers can go straight to Sapa town without any stop (the route can be disturbed sometimes in the rainy season).
Step 2: From Sapa town to Fansipan: There are many means of transportation travelers can use to get to the cable car station, such as taking a taxi, a train, or going on foot.
- Go by Taxi:  It takes about 10 minutes and VND 40,000. 
- Go by train: Muong Hoa mountain train, the longest mountain railway in Vietnam until now, was established in March 2018. With a total length of approximately 2 km, the train goes through several mysterious tunnels, crosses the viaduct, promising to bring travelers an amazing experience and a chance to watch the majestic natural beauty of Muong Hoa valley and peaceful villages below. The price of a two-way ticket is VND 200,000/ adult and VND 150,000/ child (1m-1m3). However, the ticket price of VND 50,000/ a ticket will be reduced to VND 50,000/ a ticket including a coupon at Van Sam restaurant if travelers buy a train and cable car combo. 
Go on Foot: If you want to walk to the  station (about 1.7 km), you can go from Stone Church to Thac Bac Crossroad then turn left to Nguyen Chi Thanh Street. Afterward, all you need to do is go straight to Fansipan Legend and you will get to the station easily with many signs along the road.

II - Sapa Fansipan cable car tour 

Sapa Fansipan cable car tour
Cable car is the fastest way to reach the peak (Source: Phuotvivu)
Officially used since February 2016, the cable car is the most convenient vehicle to reach the roof of Fansipan. Travelers can stand on the roof of Indochina after only 15 minutes instead of 3-day climbing as before. 
- Opening hours: 7.30 am to 5.30 pm every day
- Fare & price: $25 for one ticket of 2 ways
- Experience: The 15-minute journey is not too long but enough for travelers to admire the beautiful natural scenes such as primitive forest Hoang Lien Son, poetic Muong Hoa, or the magnificent Hoang Lien Son mountain range at an altitude of thousands of meters. 
The higher you go, the cooler you may feel, the more clouds you may see, and the cable even can swing a little due to the wind. Do not be scared. Consider it as a small challenge for your courage!
The station is about 20 – 30 minutes (600 ladders) climbing away from the Fansipan peak and the landmark in the roof of Indochina. Since the Legend cable car was born, this is no longer a dream far away for many travelers anymore.

III -  Climbing mount Fansipan?  

Due to the launch of the cable car, Fansipan hiking is not as common as it was before. However, this activity has never seemed to ease for those who are passionate about climbing and exploring. There are some notes for those who want to make this adventure.

Fasipan hiking
(Source: Bestpricetravel)

1- Prepare for conquering the highest point in Vietnam?

A local guide: It is highly recommended to explore Fansipan with an excellent guide who can show you which route to go and give advice about what should not be missed.
Health: Hiking Fansipan on your own is a challenge that is completely different from your daily exercise at home requiring perfect physical and mental health. Therefore, it is not suitable for those who have health problems especially one having heart disease or high blood pressure. As a result, if your health is a bit "weak" then you should practice before making the journey
Food and drink: You should prepare your own food because the way to the summit is very scarce. Easy-to-bring but rich-energy food such as cheese, bread, chocolate, or boiled eggs should be preferred. Also, remember to bring enough water for the journey because it is difficult to find freshwater here. 
Clothes: You should bring warm clothes such as sweaters or jackets due to the always cool temperature in Sapa and it’s even cooler when you get higher. It is also better to select shoes that are particularly designed for trekking to make your trip comfortable or waterproof one as there may be a little rain or streams on the road. 
Travel gear: Eventually, backpacks are indispensable for the adventurers. However, remember that a light backpack that weighs less than 5kg will help you move more easily and conveniently. Moreover, the backpack has strong straps that tightly tie with the chest and belly is the best choice that would make your trip more comfortable.
Besides, you cannot conquer the roof of Indochina in just one day, therefore; sleeping bags and tents is one of the most essential tools that you need to bring along!
Registration: You must register a Fansipan mountain climbing contract with Hoang Lien National Park. Don’t worry because you can easily do that via any tour company in the area. These companies are responsible for preparing the registration, buying tickets, and paying other fees due to the law and regulation of the Hoang Lien National Park.

2 - Conquering Fansipan top of Indochina

Fansipan top of Indochina
(Source: Sapaholiday)
Travelers would begin climbing from the peak of Tram Ton pass and stop beside a stream after reaching the height of 1,900m. Here, travelers can camp, cook dinner, and stay overnight after a long climb. Although cold and wet weather in high mountains can bring some trouble with cooking, it might be very interesting. 
On the second day, the group keeps climbing till reaching the altitude of 3,143m where the peak of Sapa stands majestically in the wind and floating clouds. Though the journey is tough and dangerous also, the moments full of satisfaction you get after conquering the "holy land" is totally worth it. Then the group can have lunch, take photos, and rest right on the peak before going back to the camping site and having a good night’s sleep. On the last day, the group can either climb down the mountain on another path to fully enjoy the mountain or go down by cable car and go back to Sapa.

Tips for conquering mount Fansipan

- Remember to clean up your garbage each time you leave. Keeping the natural scenery beautiful is the responsibility of every human. Protecting our planet is saving our future!
- Never be alone or lose the sign of your group/ partner. When being tired, you should tell your teammate to take a pause before continuing.
- Be careful and do not reach under rocks or move grassy areas which are probably home to snakes and scorpions. 
- Stay positive. You may feel exhausted and sometimes want to give up during trekking, but instead of quitting, you should think about the victory moment when you reach the roof of Indochina gloriously.

IV - Suggestec tour itinerary 

1 - Wonderful attractions around Fansipan peak

Fansipan trekking tour
(Source: Theculturetrip)
Cat Cat Village
In a beautiful valley just about three kilometers away from Sapa Town, located an old village named Cat Cat. This village gathered some ethnic groups living in mountainous areas of northern Vietnam, especially Black H’Mong. It came into being in the 19th century and is widely known for distinctive customs and old practices of ethnics groups of people living here.
Once travelers put a step into the village, they will be amazed by its peaceful picturesque scenery. Wandering around, watching women doing their job with a loom with colorful pieces of brocade and children playing around with pets can make you feel happy and peaceful, quickly and magically.
Not only can travelers take a glimpse into the daily life of local ethnic people, but they also take part in some traditional activities here. Purchasing some traditional souvenirs and handicrafts directly from craftsmen or trying some local food sold along the road upcoming to the hill are also some great experiences.
Muong Hoa valley – the convergence of beauty of Sapa
Muong Hoa, a natural valley made by the Creator’s hand, is a must-see for travelers to get lost in the beauty. About 10 km southeast from Sapa town, Muong Hoa Valley, with poetic beauty, is an amazing destination to explore in Lao Cai beside Fansipan Mountain. Not only that, mysterious ancient rocks located among the greenery and rice terraces of the ethnic minorities is also an attractive feature of Muong Hoa Valley.
At least 159 rocks with many carvings on the surface containing numerous mysterious patterns and unique meanings were evaluated as great heritages of mankind by most of the scientists due to its aesthetic value and spiritual significance.
Moreover, tourists going to Muong Hoa can easily set foot on Silver Waterfall or take a stroll to explore the life and culture of indigenous people in Lao Chai commune and Ta Van commune.
Silver Waterfall, Sapa
Located in San Sai Ho commune, Sapa district; Silver Waterfall (Thac Bac) is a wonderful tourist attraction in Sapa. Falling down from the height of more than 100m, the waterfall makes travelers feel so small before the wonders of nature. On a sunny day, the white water's flow rushing down from afar looks like silver silk. That's how the waterfall’s romantic name – Silver Falls was formed.
Visiting Silver Falls, travelers will have a chance to immerse themselves in a majestic but extremely lyrical picture filled up with the sounds of murmuring streams harmonizing with bird signings. Getting lost into the realm of Penglai, travelers might comfortably merge themselves in the cool stream, washing all worries, and forgetting all business of the urban life

2 - Good Tour Companies for Mt Fansipan Trek

Fansipan trek tour
(Source: Bernie Almanzar)
Mastravel 
- Notable tour: Sapa Fansipan Cable car 2Day 1Night
- Tour Departure: Every Day
- Tour Pick-up and drop-off at your hotels in Hanoi.
- Duration: 2days 1night
- Service: Good Morning Sapa Bus Ticket Hanoi – Sapa – Hanoi, English Speaking Guide (on bus, Cat Cat and to Cable Car Station), 2 bottles of water, Return ticket of Cable Car, Double room/Twin room in hotel, Meals as 2 lunches, 1 dinner, 1 breakfast, All entrance tickets as in itinerary
- Destination: Sapa town, Cat Cat village
- Price: $120/ person
Fansipan tour booker
- Notable tour: Fansipan 2D3N standard tour
- Tour Departure: Every Day
- Tour Pick-up and drop-off at your hotels in Hanoi.
- Duration: 2days 3nights
- Service: Jeep or Van pick up from the hotel and drop-off back, local English Speaking guide, entrance tickets, 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners,   Cable car tickets round trip, Summiting Fansipan certificate
- Destination: Fansipan
- Price: $67/ person
Sapa O'Chau Social Enterprise
- Notable tour: Mount Fansipan Trekking - 2 Day
- Tour Departure: Every Day
- Tour Pick-up and drop-off at your hotels in Sapa Town.
- Duration: 2days 1night
- Service: Jeep or Van pick up from the hotel and drop-off back, Breakfast (day 2), lunch (every day), dinner (day 1), tour guide, transport, village entrance fees, snack, porter, Summiting Fansipan certificate, Crucial equipments
- Destination: Park Ranger's Station, Mountain Camp, 
- Price per person in group: $112 for 6-10 people, $127 for 4-5 people, $147 for 2-3 people, $187 for 1 people

3 - Suggested schedule

Sapa Fansipan Cable car 2Day 1Night of Mastravel 
Day 1: Hanoi - Sapa - Cat Cat village
6.30 – 7.00: picked up from hotel, get on Good Morning Sapa bus to Sapa.
9.30: Having the first break in Phu Tho Province
11.00: Having the second break at Lao Cai city 
12.30: Arriving at Sapa Town, observe colorful traditions of ethnic People.
         Having Vietnamese dishes for lunch, completing check-in procedures
14.00: Walking to Cat Cat village, visiting the Silver waterfall, the Hydrofoil constructed by the French during the 19th Century.
17.00: Going back to Sapa town for refreshing, have dinner, entertain with night activities and settle down in hotel
Day 2: Sapa - Fansipan Peak - Hanoi by bus 
8.00: After breakfast in the hotel, move to Cable Car Station and spend 20 minutes with cable cars enjoying the breathtaking scenery.
9.00: Climbing 600 steps more to reach the peak. (1,5-2 hours hiking and taking photos).
11.00: Gathering at Cable Car Station, returning to Sapa town,
12.30: Having lunch
13.30 - 15.45: relaxing and discover Sapa town freely by yourself
16.00: Going back to Hanoi 
Trip ends. 
Climbing Fansipan peak is one of the most fabulous experiences in Sapa trip besides trekking through the hills and local villages. By cable car, it is much easier to reach the summit and get the best view in one day. 
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Hi, my name is Quan, and you can call me “Kun”. Having a big passion for travel, I spent 6 months traveling to most of the regions & provinces in Vietnam. I find Vietnam's landscapes are so beautiful, Vietnamese people are so friendly.

Quan Nguyen — Quan Nguyen

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