Fansipan Peak: Conquering the Highest Point in Southeast Asia

Fansipan peak is 3,143 meters above sea level, known as the “Roof of Indochina” in the Northwest mountains of Vietnam.

On today’s journey, Vietnamdrive will explore with you:

  1. The exact location of the Fansipan summit
  2. The road to Fansipan Peak
  3. Cable car ticket price
  4. Suitable time to visit Fansipan
  5. Outstanding activities to do in Fansipan
  6. Frequently asked questions

Now let’s take the trip together!

fansipan mountain vietnam
Taking pictures at the Fansipan peak

1. The exact location of the Fansipan summit

Fansipan is the highest mountain peak in the Hoang Lien Son range, which has a length of 280km from Phong Tho district of Lai Chau province to Hoa Binh province, Vietnam.

Although the Hoang Lien Son range runs between Lao Cai and Lai Chau provinces, Fansipan Peak belongs to Lao Cai. This place has become an indispensable tourist destination in the Lao Cai tourist map, situated 9km southwest of Sapa city center and 120km northwest of Hanoi.

Address: Sapa City, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam

Please see it in the map below!

2. Guides to the roads to Fansipan Peak

Please follow the steps below to reach the top of Fansipan simply as you are going with a guide!

Although this section mainly guides the ways to go, interspersed with it, we mention outstanding places and beauties to visit along the way.

2.1. Travel from Sapa Center to the tourist train station

From Sapa city center, you travel 2.5 km to Sapa Station to buy train tickets to Muong Hoa station and cable car tickets to Fansipan.

Sapa Station is in the same Sun Plaza building, one of the major shopping centers in Sapa City (Address: 89B Nguyen Chi Thanh Street, Sa Pa City, Lao Cai Province, Vietnam. Hotline: 0948-308 -888 | 02143-818-888).

Choosing a taxi can save time and energy for walking and climbing for the next parts of the journey. Taxi prices are about 50,000 VND for this short distance, but may be higher if you go on holiday.

hoang lien station
Sapa Station written outside the building and Hoang Lien Station written inside are the same.

2.2. Travel from Sapa station to Muong Hoa station

After purchasing your tickets, you will proceed to the entrance to the train stop.

On holidays, you need to line up and wait because many people use the same service as you.

The train takes 20 minutes from Sapa station to Muong Hoa station through the charming Muong Hoa valley, the beautiful Cat Cat village in the distance, and endless mountain and forest scenery.

Choose a seat at the front of the train if possible because this position helps you admire the entire wonderful charm of the scene.

train from sapa to muong hoa station
Get on the train from Sapa to Muong Hoa Station.

2.3. Walk from Muong Hoa train station to the cable car station

After arriving at Muong Hoa station, you walk through the colorful flower garden to reach the cable car station (cable car station No. 1) to continue the journey to conquer amazing natural landscapes.

Opposite the cable car station is Bao An Thien Tu Pagoda (also known as Chinh Pagoda). You can stop to visit and take photos if you love ancient-style architecture.

Enter the station area to prepare to board the cable car cabin. Like at Sapa station, you may have to wait for your turn. Don’t be surprised! Because on weekends and Tet days, many guests move from Hanoi to Sapa to visit and rest.

Therefore, make your trip on weekdays, and avoid going to this location on official holidays in Vietnam if you don’t want to wait long.

cable car to fansipan
A cable car runs to the Fansipan mountain.

2.4. Take the cable car to the Fansipan station area

After a 15-minute cable car ride through the old forests, you reach the Fansipan station (cable car station No. 2).

Please remember! This section is a sightseeing area belonging to the Fansipan mountain range, not yet a peak. The journey will continue to reach the highest point from here.

At this site, you can see the rolling mountain scenery with endless green forest trees.

At this station where you have just stopped the cable car, there are many restaurants serving food and drinks. You can rest for a while and enjoy the natural scenery right in front.

I mention the restaurants here to help replenish your body’s energy because the trip is long and requires a lot of physical activity.

2.5. Go around Bich Van Thien Tu area

After you turn left to exit Fansipan station, you see a high gate called “Tam Quan Bich Lo” right behind you, slightly to the left, and near it is a large bell tower with a beautiful square cylindrical shape.

You turn left and continue your journey through this three-entrance gate to reach the area of Bich Van Thien Tu. This pagoda is at an altitude of 2,900m, built against the mountain, facing the majestic scenery.

After sightseeing and taking photos, the trip needs to reach a higher level.

bell tower in fansipan
You can see this bell tower from the main three-door gate.

2.6. Move from Do Quyen cable car station to Truc May station

You can travel from Do Quyen station to Truc May station by train, which takes about 2.5 minutes. From Truc May station to the highest point, you need to go up 50 more steps.

The funicular here has only one cabin, accommodating 60 guests. So after buying a ticket, you have to wait your turn again. The ticket price for the train is 150,000 VND for the outgoing trip and 120,000 VND for the return trip.

However, another way to move through this section is by climbing. Although the walkway is good in construction, many parts are steep, so you need to consider your health when climbing.

With a slow climb, you have more time to admire the scenery and visit temples and stupas. Besides, you don’t have to wait in line for your turn to board the train.

To walk to the summit, follow the left path, go to the back of Do Quyen station, and follow the stairs to continue your journey.

train from do quyen to truc may
The train runs from Do Quyen to Truc May Station.

2.7. Step from Truc May Station to Fansipan Peak

After leaving Truc May station, you have to walk a little more to reach the highest point.

From the highest point of the mountain range, you can see the Vietnamese flag with a red background and a yellow star, which is the pride of the Vietnamese people, and four metal blocks engraved with the name “Fansipan” and a number indicating the elevation of this mountain peak, 3,143 m.

Three metal blocks in the lower position are for tourists to take pictures. They are derivative to meet the taking-picture needs of a large number of travelers coming here.

The tallest metal block protected by a fence is truly the highest and most sacred point for most people in the country.

Almost everyone tries to capture moments in this place to commemorate.

Well, that’s the journey to conquer the Fansipan Summit that you can do. This method is easy enough for most people with normal health to explore this well-liked destination.

Another method to visit this tourist place is more arduous and challenging, which is hiking and trekking. But we do not mention it in this article because fewer and fewer people choose climbing to reach the top of Fansipan.

3. Cable car and train ticket prices to visit Fansipan

Using trains and cable cars for the entire journey, you have to purchase two-legged tickets. 

  1. Leg one includes train tickets from Sapa station to Muong Hoa train station, and from cable car station No. 1 to cable car station No. 2 (Fansipan cable car station);
  2.  The second leg is to buy a climbing-mountain train ticket from Do Quyen station to Truc May station.
using the train from sapa to muong hoa
The guests use the train to Muong Hoa Station from Sapa.

Train ticket price from Sapa station to Muong Hoa train station:

  • 150,000 VND/adult or child 1 meter or more
  • Free for children under 1 meter

Cable car ticket price to Fansipan for adults:

  • From Sunday to Friday: 800,000 VND/adult
  • On Saturday: 850,000 VND/adult

Fansipan cable car ticket price for children:

  • 500,000 VND for a child from 1 – 1.4 meters tall
  • Free for children under 1 meter tall

Train ticket price from Do Quyen station to Truc May station:

  • 150,000 VND/trip
  • 120,000 VND return trip

From the ticket price list above, you do not see scenic ticket rates to visit Fansipan, only cable car and train service tickets to explore here.

In short, the total price for an adult who wants to visit all Fansipan tourist areas is 1,220,000 VND for travelling days from Sunday to Friday; and 1,270,000 VND on Saturday.

Please note that the price is just correct on the published date.

4. The best time to visit Fansipan peak

Because of its high location, the air on the top of Fansipan is cold, with an average annual temperature of only 8 degrees Celsius. In winter, from December to February every year, the Fansipan summit is one of the rare places in Vietnam with snow.

In my opinion, the best time to explore Fansipan Mountain is in the summer, from May to September every year. This time is little rain, and the temperature in Fansipan is warmer than in other seasons.

However, in summer, the center of Sapa City as well as many delta areas have high temperatures, and the weather is hot. You may feel burned, but the view of Fansipan is brighter and more beautiful.

The best time of day for the journey to conquer Fansipan is in the morning because you have more time to visit and rest.

beautiful fansipan mountain
It is a beautiful view of the Fansipan Mountain.

5. Outstanding activities and places in Fansipan

The following suggestions can help you find highlights on your journey to discover Fansipan. Adding your own discoveries besides the highlights we introduce, your trip will be more emotional and meaningful.

5.1. Admire the majestic mountain scenery

Coming to Fansipan, you cannot miss admiring the beautiful scenery. Capture into your eyes the endless images of the Northwest mountains and forests.

The rolling clouds flying around create a dimly romantic scene that is not easily found anywhere else. Watching the charming clouds, I felt like I was lost in a fairyland on earth.

In particular, when the wind blows and clouds drift across the mountain peaks, what a wonderful land! The Buddha statues on the top of the mountain sometimes appear dimly through the clouds, creating a more sacred feeling.

buddha in fansipan
The Buddha appears in the cloud.

5.2. Touch the highest landmark in Indochina

Fansipan is the highest mountain peak in Indochina. Coming to this spot is the wish of many people in Vietnam and me too: At least one time stand and touch the highest landmark in Indochina.

When standing on the top of a towering mountain, looking at the Vietnamese flag flying will evoke great national pride, which is unique for all Vietnamese people.

If you are a foreigner, you will also be able to wave your country’s flag here. Because the organizers have prepared flags of many other countries at the highest point of Fansipan. Don’t forget to save a picture of yourself waving the national flag here.

5.3. Challenge yourself

Climbing up lots of vertical steps during the journey to discover Fansipan will create motivation to conquer yourself after overcoming difficulties. This activity is also a test of your body’s health and flexibility.

Not only Fansipan Peak but also along the route, passing through each level is a time for yourself to enjoy the fresh air, watch the vast sky, and live in the beauty of nature.

Not only the destination but the path itself gives us plenty of exciting experiences.

fansipan mountain
Challenge yourself by climbing up the Fansipan Mountain.

5.4. Visit the temples and explore their architecture

Along the way to the top of Fansipan, there are many pagodas built for spiritual tourism needs. You can go to these temples to worship Buddha and listen to the bell sound to feel more peaceful and gentle during the journey.

However, for me, the trip to conquer Fansipan did not make me interested in the pagodas here. It is because there are so many famous temples in Vietnam to visit. Besides, the religious buildings here were newly built, and there were too many tourists, so I did not feel a spiritual attraction more than the pagodas I had visited.

On the contrary, the majestic mountain, charmful forest scenery, flying clouds, and clear blue sky are the advantages of Fansipan.

pagoda in fansipan mountain
The Fansipan Mountain has many pagodas to visit.

5.5. Drink tea on the clouds

Take the time to enjoy a cup of tea at Van Son Tra Quan in the chilly atmosphere, watch the clouds drift by, and listen to the bells ringing in the mountains and forests. This recreation becomes a plus point for an enjoyable experience here.

It is not easy to have an excellent opportunity to sip a cup of tea at an altitude of over 2,000 meters. Don’t miss it!

To get to Van Son Tra Quan, you will look for a short path near the Do Quyen cable station which is near the top of Fansipan.

6. Frequently asked questions about the Fansipan exploration

6.1. Do I need to go with a guide to explore Fansipan?

With the instructions above, you can discover Fansipan by yourself when using the trains and cable cars.

The signposts are quite clear along the roads, so you just need to follow them and move forward.

However, to save more time and need more assistance, a local guide will be helpful to accompany you.

visit fanipan mountain
Tourists can go by themselves or with a guide visit Fansipan.

6.2. Can I hike from the foot of the mountain to the top of Fansipan?

The distance from the foot to the Fansipan summit is more than 11km, and the trails are dangerous. You can climb here, but it is impossible for a normal person to go and return within a day in a trekking method.

Hiking becomes an adventure tour to conquer Fansipan lasting 2 days and one night. You can go hiking and trekking for one way up, and you use cable cars and trains to go down the mountain.

You should book the service through a professional travel organization to have a guide and organize trekking activities.

6.3. How is the journey to climb Fansipan mountain?

Usually, climbing groups start from Tram Ton, the shortest route. You will hike and trek about 5,000 meters to reach the resting place for the first day. The first 2,000 meters can be easy because almost everyone is excited, but for the next 3,000 meters, your legs feel heavy, requiring you to try harder.

The next day, you conquer the remaining 6,000 meters to reach the highest point of Fansipan Mountain. This part of the trail is more difficult for your journey. This stage has many cliffs that require a lot of strength, so you should pay close attention to your physical power.

A Fansipan climbing tour can last longer and be more strenuous if you go up and down the trails or choose other starting points.

Therefore, as mentioned in the question above, we encourage you to trek up and back by cable car to save time and energy, and you can feel the difference of Fansipan’s beauty in each type of movement.

train or climb to visit fansipan
Each traveling method offers different exciting experiences to explore Fansipan.

6.4. Do I need to book a tour to explore Fansipan in advance?

By exploring Fansipan during the day by train and cable car, you can find many companies that often organize daily tours, the last-minute bookings can be made.

But, to make sure, there is an available seat for you when you want to join the tour with others, you should book in advance.

With trekking tours, you definitely need to book long enough in advance, preferably more than 2 weeks, so that the company has enough time to prepare and assign guides and service staff for your trip.

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    About the author

    The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.