Travel / Vietnam

Fansipan – Roof of Indochina

Vietnam - Sa Pa - Fansipan


Fansipan, a mountain in the middle of the Hoang-Lien-Son Mountains, reaches an altitude of 3,143 meters, making it not only the highest point in Vietnam, but also throughout Indochina.

For a long time this place was reserved only for those who take the strain of a multi-day hike and manage the entire climb up to the top by foot.

But times are changing fast and with the construction of the cable car everyone can finally enjoy the probably most beautiful and highest view of Vietnam.


Opening Hours: Mo – Su 07:00 to 18:00. Fr und Sa until 19:00.
Ticket price for the Cable Car: 700.000 VND (26,90€).
Recommended Stay: 4h.
Best Time: In the morning it is quiet and not so crowded.
Recommended Time: At sunset it is fuller, but with a cool view.


The Fansipan is located in Lao Cai province on the border with China. Close to it there is also the popular by tourists town called Sapa. Two good reasons to take the long journey to the north of Vietnam.

Once there, you have two options to climb the Fansipan mountain. The one option is a multi-day hike to the summit and probably more suitable for purists and adventurers. The other option is the cable car opened in 2016, which will take you to the top in just 15 minutes. You will nowhere get more convenient and faster in the highest mountain in Southeast Asia.

Vietnam - Sa Pa - Fansipan
View of the monastery with an incredible panoramic view.

The best way to reach the cable car station is by train, which starts from Sun Plaza (Maps). Or you just grab a taxi. Every driver in Sapa knows the way to the station.

The ticket to the summit costs 700,000 VND per pax and can be bought directly at the station. But there is also a way to buy the tickets online while saving some money.

Fansipan Cable Car Tickets in Sapa*

The 15-minute ride to the very top is like a adventure. No wonder, because the cable car holds two Guinness Book World Records. The ride goes non-stop and covers a distance of 6,292 and overcomes a height of 1,410 meters. This is world class, same as is the view while driving across the vast valley and the numerous paddy fields of Sapa.

Vietnam - Sa Pa - Fansipan
View of the valley and rice fields Sapas.

Arrived on the top at the terminal and as you went out, you will be rewarded with an impressive view, probably even with the most beautiful in Vietnam. But that was just the beginning, Fansipan has more to offer.

On the top of Indochina a whole monastery was built. Lot of buildings in the traditional Asian style are waiting to be visited. Shortly the feeling comes up, as if one is in a small village and one strolls itself as on expedition through the alleys.

Not to be overseen is the huge Buddha statue, which attracts everyone’s attention. You can spot them from anywhere, while it dominates the summit.

Vietnam - Sa Pa - Fansipan
The Buddha statue dominates the Fansiban Peak.

Climbing the stairs takes no end, despite the 15 minute cable car ride. All the way to the top you have to get over many steps. Be prepared for that and plan plenty of time if you also want to see the monument at the Fansipan summit.

Vietnam - Sa Pa - Fansipan
Viktor on the Fansipan Peak.

TIP: Bring warm clothing with you. On top of the mountain it is windy and cold.


Fansipan is called the Roof of Indochina. And it deserves it. It is my personal highlight in Vietnam and in my opinion it belongs to every recommendation list. Nowhere else in this country have I had such a impressive view. Including the monastery with the Buddha on the mountain and the cable car ride will remain in good memory for a long time.



  • Chris
    2. September 2019 at 18:54

    Ouih wow, so awesome! How did you get there? It’s thousands of miles away from Saigon… Ho Chi Minh City 🙂

    • Viktor
      3. September 2019 at 1:29

      That was also an adventurous part. I chose the Train and the so called Sleeping Bus. 😉 With them both you can travel everywhere in Vietnam. But you have also bring lot of time with you. Because it can happen that you find yourself in a bus for 20h. 😅


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