FANSIPAN MT 3,143M READY TO CONQUER?



It is not about money, money, but passion to conquer something “great” in your life before getting older. Oh, yes, it is very normal if you are living in the north of Vietnam and trek Yen Tu Mountain on the first days of the lunar year, conquering the height of 1,068 m for fun and praying at Bronze Pagoda. Yet, Fansipan is something different, it does not like going up or down stairs due to there are almost just trails in a tropically mountainous forest, high humidity and it is very chilly as well.   

I have been backpacking around the country since “Phượt” was not available in the Vietnamese dictionary, and just come back from my hardes ttrekking trip – Fansipan Mt. 3,143 m, it was very awesome and amazing with new great experience and hard fitness tests but fun.  Due to recently there are a lot of friends asking about this trip, I, therefore, herein after would like to share with you all, who truly love the S-shapeland and is interested in traveling, for your next safe trekking trip of conquering Fansipan peak.   

About Fansipan Mt.     Firstly, Fansipan Mt. is the hardest challenging trek in Vietnam which is called as the roof of Indo China,with the height of 3,143 m at peak belonging to Hoang Lien Mt. range with spectacular view, wild nature and pretty step trails.     The landscape is very beautiful and colorful from May to September with to rice and corn farming paddy. However, it is hot and wet in these months, especially with raining cats and dogs in July and August. Theweather is nice in October, November and the first half of December. January and February are cold and foggy. It gets better from March to April.     Preparation     Trekking is simply not leiasure traveling, the more careful preparation, the less risks you would take.

Fitness:   
Don’t overestimate your stamina. I play soccer mostly everyday and used stair instead of the lift at work for 4 months before trekking, but still got little trouble with muscle tension when climbing with15 kg carrying on the back. (It was just a result of lingering many times at beautiful landscapes for shooting pic and video then trying to catch my group ahead at high speed and did not release muscle before taking a full rest. It was very chilly at the height of 2,800m, I was dripping with sweat and could not release muscle in a very cold and windy weather.)     Good endurance is a must, especially when you are over 30. My suggestion fitness for preparation is very simple, that during a month before trekking, along with jogging, the most effective exercise is to do Hindu squat just stand up and sit down with heels are raised and body weight is placed on the toes as long as you can. Because you will up hill, down dale very often when conquering Fansipan. Deep breathing practice is my recommendation as well.   

Personal belongings   

- Backpack: must be trekking type with waterproof cover ormade of waterproof material and should be in as moderate size as it can carrythe most necessary belongings. And also must have stowed waist belts to balancethe weight distribution.     Clothes: must be warm and comfortable ones (as it gets muchcolder in the early morning and at night even in the mid of the summer). If you want to make a save and just want to come one time to know, you can use Vietnamese military clothes instead of spending on branded trekking suit.
- A good raincoat (is often pretty heavy stuff for carrying on) is essential mate. 
-Shoes, socks and gloves:  You will be surprised when seeing ethnic hill porters backpacking 25 – 35 kg with simple plastic slippers or scandals. Nonetheless, agood and proper pair of shoes is the most important stuff that is worth investing for the trek. It protects your feet, and even your life. So, get ananti-slip, waterproof one and do Hindo squat, jogging with it in order to make your feet comfortable before long trekking.  -        At least three pairs of socks made of 100% cotton.  -  Two pairs of gloves (it will be great if you can find awaterproof with rough palms one, which makes your hands free from rubbing into rough stone surface and tree covers.)
- Scarf , ear-cover-hat, surgical mask:  -        01 scarf and 01 ear-cover-hat will be used at night or cold and windy weather.  -        03 surgical masks to help you free from high humidity, forest smell and small visible flying creatures. 
-High nutrient junk foods: Chocolates, high nutrient cereals (instant type), fresh orange or Plussz duo mutilvitamin + mutilmineral effervescent tablets; two 500 ml bottles of mineral water.
- Others: a small durable and rechargeable LED torch, a pocketfolding utility knife, lighter, dry and wet-tissues, mini-first-aid kit and medicines that you think may need, camera and whatever the hell you need to puton for capturing funny and unforgettable pix 

- Trekking routes: 
1 Tram Ton Pass 1,957 m – Fansipan Peak – Tram Ton Pass - Sapa
2 Tram Ton Pass 1,957 m – Fansipan Peak – Sin Chai Village – Sapa
3 Cat Cat forest gate – Fansipan Peak - Tram Ton Pass/ Sin Chai - Sapa  Route
(01): Easiest one and mostrecommended; Route (02) most beautiful but dangerous; Route (03) normal     Conquering journey   
Herein after I am going to take you to have a glance over the Fansipan conquering journey from Tram Ton pass. 

 Hanoi– Lao Cai. (Overnight train)

We can reach Lao Cai by bus or train, but my recommendation is to take the train as it would be a nice experience with old transport fashion if you have time. You also need to book ticket(s) in advance in case of getting there during Vietnam’snational holidays.  Booking in advance round-trip tickets via your local railwaystation, travel agents or online. Sapa – Tram Ton 1,957m – 2,200m – 2,800m Campsite.

After reaching Lao Cai, you will be transferred by a private shuttle bus to Sapa, the diver will take you to meet your trip operator and porters. Please note that only porters will escort you on your whole trekking trip. You will have breakfast or lunch before being taken by bus again for Tram Ton Pass, which is about 16 km far from Sapa center. 

Start trekking from Tram Ton (1957m) to a resting campsite at 2,200m. It is depended on your starting time to have a lunch break here, or just take a rest.  The next afternoon trek to camp-site at 2800m is tougher, pretty steep and windy, the tent will has been arranged by the time you arrive this site. If not, please cooperate with porters to set it up quickly due to you must have an early dinner for more resting time.

2800m Campsite – Fansipan Peak – Tram Ton – Sapa:  A simple breakfast with ramen noodles will be prepared andgiven by porters, then we will take a leave for the last up trail to Fansipan Peak which takes approximately 2,5hours. This part of the trail is the greatest challenge, which is narrower, has many naturally sharp and dirty steps.

Finally congratulations! At 3,143m high, there is agreat view of a vast region westwards to Lai Chau, eastwards to Lao Cai. Even China and Dien Bien Phu are all in view. The way back is easier and it takes only 1,5 hour back to the camp-site for lunch. Take a short rest and then leave the campsite at 2.00 pm along the same trail, arriving back at Tram Ton at about 5.00 pm, where you will be picked up and transferred back to Sapa, Lao Cai station, have dinner before boarding the night train for Hanoi.

IMPORTANT TREKKING NOTES
- This is a challenging trip for those who are fit and have had some trekking practice and experience due to trekking trail is tough, steep and slippery.
- Personal luggage is limited at max 6kg. Good trekking shoes, rain gear, warm clothes and insect repellent should be brought.
- If possible, get ready at anytime then check the weather and just go if itsupports. In this way, you can avoid bad weather for best picturing conditionand taking fewer risks.
- Please consider to give porters good tips as you cannothave a safe and successful conquest without them.
- Make sure you do not have any related heart diseaseproblems and be careful to overcome tough, steep and slippery parts of thetrail as there are not any emergency centers or good clinics around this areaor even Sapa.
- Be nice to the environment.   


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