Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Additional Information Elevation: 10311 ft / 3143 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Fansipan is Vietnam's highest peak located in the far north just outside of Sapa. Fansipan a very steep mountain that gets a lot of moisture. Those looking to climb it should be in good shape and prepared to to have muddy wet feet The scenery is incredible remember to bring a camera. For most of Vietnam having a rain coat is a little excessive because it is so warm. On the mountain having a rain coat is not a bad idea especially at night. The trails around Sapa are a lot of fun. You will get the chance to go through some minority vilages if you have the time to explore. The people in Sapa are extremely nice. Be aware of the children on the street, before you know it you will have hats and bracelets and rugs all over you. Explore the restraunts that are not on the main strip, you will get great food at a fraction of the cost. Hanoi beer is available in local restraunts for around 30 cents a liter. Down from the Royal Hotel there is a little old man that serves plum wine and plays board games, I suggest paying him a visit. The food there is great!

Getting There

To get to the mountain you need to take a train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. From there you will take a mini bus up in to the town of Sapa. Transportation from Hanoi to Sappa can be arrange for a reasonable price. I think you might also be able to take a bus but I know it takes much longer. When you get into town, to make reservations for transprotation go to the Royal Hotel ( 2-way transportation can be hired, but I recomend you hire a guide. By hiriing a guide (english speaking?) you will get meals, a porter, 2-way transprotation, accomedations in a hut, and waived permit and entrance fees. All of this will cost around $35 US. Believe me it is worth it! For trail finding purposes alone.

The Trail:
Day1: You start going through several different valleys with a lot of lush jungle. The first day entails 2-4 hours of hiking. There is typically a lot of mud so come prepared. You might have the option of moving up to a high camp but the camp right by the river is beautiful. Enjoy the river to clean off( it is a btit nippy)
Day2: From the camp you pretty much go straight up the mountain side. It is a mixture of light 3rd class rock, root and tree climbing. The trail can be very slick and there are a lot of spots where the trail drops off. If you have trouble with heights you might not want to consider this hike.From the camp it takes 2-5 hours to reach the summit. Going up is not to bad but if it rained recently the trial can be very slick. Coming down is whre you want to be careful.
Day3: From the camp it takes about 3 hours to get down, bec areful about grabbing on to the grass if the trail is slick it will tear up you hands. When you reach the bottom you will end up in a beautiful hill tribe village.

Red Tape

There are permit and entrance fees. Not sure what the cost is. Part of the package deal if you hire a guide. Dont be suprised to find trash on the trail, Guides have not heard of the Leave No Trace Program I guess.

When To Climb

The prime time to climb the mountain is between October and April. During the summer it is very rainy but is still climbable if the weather holds. ( I went during the summer)


If you have your own tent and sleeping bags you can arrange to camp on the mountain. Tents and Sleeping bags can be hired for the Royal Hotel. If you are going to rent the gear you might as well hire the guide because the price difference is minimal. I am a very adventurous person and I am good with route finding but if I did this again I think I would still hire a guide because there are trails that go off everywhere. The hut on the mountain is for guests of the hired guides. If you can I recomend you bring a sleeping bag that is rated to at least 40 degrees. It can get a bit cold at night.

Mountain Conditions

The Royal Hotel in Sapa is the best place to go to find information. The website is unless you speak Vietnamese ther is not a lot of since calling. You might want to give it a shot though the # is (020)871313 or 871123
Fax# (020) 871783

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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atavist - Feb 11, 2008 5:01 pm - Hasn't voted


Approx prices (as of Feb 2008): overnight sleeper from Hanoi to Lao Cai (216000 VND ~ 13.5 USD) minibus from Lao Cai to Sapa (3000 VND) list price for one-person guided 'tourist' climb (279 USD - which ridiculously includes 3 porters) I met a girl from HCMC who said that locals will pay 60 USD for a guided climb but that only includes one porter. I guess that means you can't haul out any big rocks that you might fancy. There are 2 main trails. One starts at Tram Ton Pass which is about 14 kilometers from Sapa and saves you about 400m of elevation gain. The other trail starts from Sapa or Cat Cat Village and goes through minority areas. This route seems a little longer and a little steeper and definitely less well marked.

Bill Kish

Bill Kish - Mar 26, 2008 9:23 pm - Voted 8/10

comments and prices (March 2008)

minibus from Lao Cai to Sapa is 30,000 VND (approximately $2 USD) List price for two-day one-person guided climb (1 guide, no porters) is currently $120 at various locations in Sapa. The trail from Tram Ton pass is actually pretty easy to follow and could easily be done in a long day (sans guide). Permits are required for overnight trips but I could not figure out the dayhike permit requirements (if any). The locals seem to be rapidly 'improving' this area to increase tourist draw so expect less of a wilderness experience as time goes on. Trash on the trail and summit is indeed a major eyesore.


LS - Feb 4, 2009 11:02 pm - Hasn't voted

prices etc

I just arrived Sapa, and have some useful information: Sleepers in public train from Hanoi to Lao Cai is really hard to get if you order less than one week before departure, because travel agents in Hanoi buy up all the sleepers well in advance and sell them for double the price. So in most cases you will end up in one of the private trains (like Friendly Express) to 25+ dollars one way. No problem to get a sleeper in one of the many private trains/expresses, less than two days before departure. The private trains are not separate trains, but coaches hooked up to the public trains. The guys/drivers at the station in Lao Cai tried to really rip me off. They started at 500.000 for a shared minibus to Sapa. But after a while looking around and inquiring some of the 20-30 minibuses at the station, I found one ready to leave for 40.000. I saw some tourists accepting 200.000 per pax, and who smiled of their negotiation skills because they just knocked the price down from 500.000 to 200.000. Stupid westerns tourists. When my bus was leaving they were still waiting for the bus to be filled up with local passengers....... The price for a full package 2 day/1 night hike seems to be 80-120 dollar if you are alone, and 60-70 dollar if you join a group. I asked around several places. That package includes guide, porter, four meals, transportation, permits, tent, sleeping bag, mattress. A local guy said to me that permit will be 20 dollar if you go independently. Then add costs for transport (10 km by jeep to the trailhead), food, hire of tent etc. There are a myriad of trails up there, so expect big problems in routefinding. No detailed map to be found of this area.

surchatm - May 18, 2013 11:06 pm - Hasn't voted

About permit (may 2013)

The permit is exactly 145'000 VND. When you go down Sapa on the phan xi pang street, you will find the office for eco tourism on your left. Independent climbers can ask for the permit there (note that nobody will help you in Sapa as this mountain is a bussiness institution now). The only way to get a permit is to hire a guide! They will tell you very precisely : "no guide, no fansipan". If you re okay with a guide they have telephone numbers to provide you. If you don't want a guide... well as Mike Horn would say "there is always way around or over obstacles" ;-) (note that bribe doesnt work!)

marcusmarcus - Dec 1, 2013 10:59 pm - Voted 8/10

Low Cost One Day Ascent

We (my girlfriend and myself) have done Fansipan in one day. It is probably not a good idea for first time hikers. Timetable 5.30am departure with the motorcycle in SAPA 6am departure Tram Ton Pass (Gate) 7am Camp 1 9am Camp 2 11am Summit 4pm Tram Ton Pass 4.30pm SAPA Cost 505'000 dong for the permit (2 people) Since the disappearance of a 20 year old student from Hanoi during this July you must be accompanied by an official guide in order to obtain the permit (although it is not really necessary). The student hasn't been found yet. So in case you return early from the summit, you may check some bushes left and right of your way and maybe a pale face will stare at you! 500'000 dong for the guide, no porters 0,5l vodka for the guide Guide In the fog at 7 degrees Celsius Hang A Dinh arrived with sandals (as most of the Hmongs do). After the ride on the motorcycle he felt a bit cold (he told us later). On the climb he only consumed half a liter vodka and some puffs from the typical waterpipe. His brother holds the record with 1h38 from the gate to the summit. He can be reached under 0163 603 49 54 (he only speaks Vietnamese).

Boleslav - Apr 12, 2015 9:46 pm - Hasn't voted

Guide for Fansipan

We climbed Fansipan in November 2014 as a day trip, had incredible weather which made the climb special. As we were not interested in sleeping on the mountain, we looked for a guide who would be willing to take us as a day trip and found one. This is is contact info: Cuong Vna Nong , phone 0168 7863 711 He speaks English very well, the arrangements were done ahead of time via e-mail, which he replies promptly. Overall we would highly recommend him as he is young, enthusiastic, friendly and the price was reasonable ie $55 per person, based on two people.


Scott - Feb 20, 2019 1:10 pm - Voted 10/10

Cable Car

Unfortunately (for hikers and climbers) a cable car has been constructed to the summit!

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