Hike Vietnam's Highest Mountain in 1 Day: Mt. Fansipan

Rate this Adventure Vietnam QL 4D, Lào Cai, Vietnam

Added by Kyle Frost

Hike Vietnam's tallest mountain in one leg burning day.

  • 28km round trip
  • 2000m elevation gain

If you like mountains and challenging hikes, then this is a must-do while in Sapa. Most tourists will opt for the 2 day tour, with one night spent on the mountain (there is a 3 day tour, but that seems completely unnecessary). However, for someone in relatively good shape, a 1 day hike is totally doable (if arduous).

You'll have to arrange a guide while in Sapa town, prices will vary based on your group size or whether you'd rather do it with just you and a guide. Stop in at any of the guide services in town, or ask at your hostel for a guide recommendation. Depending on the season, you may need to book several days in advance.

Your guide will pick you up in the morning and drive to Tram Ton pass, where the hike begins. The first 3rd is relatively easy rolling uphill and flat through a forested area. But soon after that you'll start climbing...and climbing...and climbing. The trail ascends up to the ridge via steep and rocky steps and occasionally ladders. The views from the ridgeline are fantastic. Don't be fooled by the false summit at 3000m, because you'll curse the descent that follows, and the final ascent up to the top of Fansipan at 3143m.

Depending on the weather, you'll be able to see an incredible 360 view of northern Vietnam and even into China.

I was able to complete the round trip in about 7.5 hours (3.5 up, 3 down, with some time on the top), but most people will clock in around 9-10.

Do this trip before they finish the cable car

A cable car is currently under construction (to be completed in 2 years) that will travel from Sapa Town all the way to the top of Fansipan. Do this hike before the peak is overrun with tourists and development.

Pack List

Weather can vary wildly in Sapa. I had good, clear weather, but the trail can be dangerous and significantly more difficult if wet or raining.

  • Sunscreen
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Good shoes
  • Your guide will bring a basic lunch of bread, ham/pork, cheese, fruit
  • Bring snacks if you'll need them
  • Lightweight rain jacket
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Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



17.4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

6561.7 Feet



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Added by Kyle Frost

Designer and Adventure Photographer based in Boulder, Colorado. Fan of mountains, coffee, beer, and witty banter. Available for commissions and collaborations. I'm @kylefrost pretty much everywhere.

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Kyle Frost
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