Journey to Conquer the Roof of Indochina (Fansipan)

Fansipan is Vietnam's highest mountain and also the highest one of the three Indochinese countries, known as the "Roof of Indochina". Conquering majestic Fansipan is yearning of many people.

Journey to Conquer the Roof of Indochina (Fansipan)
Photo by Vietnam Typical Tours team
Going to Sapa now is a prefered trip in Vietnam. Surrounding Sapa are the Hoang Lien Mountains, dubbed the Tonkinese Alps by the French. These mountains include the often cloud-obscured Fansipan (3143m), Vietnam’s highest peak. Fansipan is accessible year-round to sensibly equipped trekkers in good shape, but don’t underestimate the challenge. It is very wet, and can be perilously slippery and generally cold.

The summit of Fansipan is 19km by foot from Sapa. The terrain is rough and adverse weather is frequent. The round trip usually takes three days; some experienced hikers do it in two days, but you’ll need to be fit. After walking through hill-tribe villages on the first morning, it’s just forest, mountain vistas and occasional wildlife, including monkeys, mountain goats and birds. Weather-wise the best time is from mid-October to mid-December, and in March, when wildflowers are in bloom. Don’t attempt an ascent if Sapa’s weather is poor, as limited visibility on Fansipan can be treacherous.

No ropes or technical climbing skills are needed, just endurance. There are a few rudimentary shelters at a couple of base camps en route, but it’s better to be self-sufficient with sleeping bag, waterproof tent, food, stove, raincoat, compass and other miscellaneous survival gear. It’s important to carry out all your garbage, as some of the camps are now impacted by trash. Hiring a reputable guide is vital, and porters are also recommended.

Fansipan's wild, lonesome beauty has been somewhat shattered with the opening of a 6282m-long cable car, taking people across the Muong Hoa Valley and up to the summit in 15 minutes.

   Trekking in Fansipan will be interesting experience. But because of the risky terrain, you are highly recommended to refer a tour to Fansipan with a knowledgeable local guide to keep safe.

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