A Guide to Climbing Mount Fansipan

As the highest mountain in the Indochina region, Mount Fansipan is dubbed the “Roof of Indochina”. The famous mountain is located in the town of Sapa, in the Lao Cai province of Northern Vietnam.

Conquering Mount Fansipan is the dream of most adventure seekers in Vietnam. Before, the trek is only ideal for those who are fit enough to do the strenuous hike towards the summit. Now that there’s a cable car that can bring people to the summit, anyone with a reasonably good physical condition can climb to the top. But if you want to conquer the mountain in the most adventurous way possible, hiking towards the summit is highly recommended. Here’s your guide to climbing Mount Fansipan.

Preparing for your Climb

It’s possible to climb Mount Fansipan in one day via the Tram Ton Pass trail. However, it does require you to be physically fit since breathing can be difficult due to the high altitude. The lack of oxygen can make the climb to the top even more challenging. It’s therefore recommended that you take regular exercises in preparation for your climb.

Although it’s possible to climb the mountain on your own, hiring a guide is highly recommended especially if you’re doing it for the first time. There are various trekking packages that you can avail. These packages include porter services, hiking gears, and a guide. You can book your trek in advance or you can do it once you arrive in Sapa.

How to Get to Mount Fansipan

The best way to get to Sapa is to travel from Hanoi. From Hanoi, you can either take the train, bus or rent a private car with driver. Adventure enthusiasts would prefer to rent their own motorbike and drive all the way to Sapa.

When you get to Sapa, there are lots of guesthouses, hotels, and homestays where you can book your stay. If you have lots of things with you, it is best to make arrangements to leave these things so you will not have to worry about carrying heavy luggage on your climb.

Decide Which Trail To Take

When climbing Mount Fansipan, there are different trails that you can take and you can choose depending on your level of fitness, adventure, and the amount of time:

  • Tram Ton – this is a gradual train that most tourists would use so you can expect to meet plenty of people along the way. The distance between the summit and the beginning point is 11 km. It is possible to accomplish this trail in one day although it can also be made in 2 days. Remember that even though this is the most popular trail, it can also be physically demanding.

  • Sin Chai – this is a shorter trail but it’s only recommended for experienced trekkers. It’s a treacherous climb and is somewhat confusing so there’s a risk of getting lost especially if you’re doing it on your own. The distance is only 9 km but it’s not possible to accomplish it in only a day.


  • Cat Cat – with a distance of 20 km, this is the longest trail of all but also offers the best scenery, so it’s really worth it if you’re not in a hurry. This trail can be accomplished in 3 – 4 days.

Taking the Cable Car

If you wanted to conquer Mount Fansipan in the easiest and most scenic way, take advantage of the cable car ride. The ride itself is adventurous as well as it spans 6,292.5 meters long. In fact, it’s the longest non-stop cable car out there for three-rope cable cars.

You still have to do a bit of climb towards Mount Fansipan when you take the cable car so you must also be physically fit when you choose this option. Upon getting off the cable car, you’ll have to walk through 600 steps in order to reach the peak. Other climbers who hiked to the top can also choose to take the cable car going back. This is faster and much easier.

When to Climb

It’s important to research the weather in Vietnam when planning for your climb to Mount Fansipan. This is for you to also enjoy the gorgeous view when you get to the summit. If it’s rainy or cloudy, you won’t be able to admire the gorgeous views of Sapa valley from the top. Also, it’s not ideal to climb when the weather is freezing.

The most ideal condition for trekking in Mount Fansipan is between the months of October and April. In the summer, there’s a possibility that it will rain and this can make the trail even more difficult even if you have a good pair of hiking shoes. Avoid the months of December and January because the weather is quite cold during this time.

Climbing Mount Fansipan is such a wonderful experience, especially for adventure seekers. Hopefully, this guide can help you in planning for your trek.