Fansipan Mountain in Sapa, Vietnam: Guide to Fansipan Peak

Fansipan Mountain or Phan Xi Păng in Vietnamese is the place that shouldn’t be missed when visiting Sapa, the famous town in northern Vietnam. Find a detailed guide on how to get to Fansipan from Sapa, Fansipan peak rail system, Fansipan cable car ticket prices and attractions that sit high on the top of the mountain.

In the past, the only option to get to the summit of the mountain was by trekking and it could take 2-3 days to make all the way to the top. But nowadays, thanks to the Sun World Fansipan Legend cable car system, tourists can easily take a cable car and enjoy a 15-20 minutes ride to the top of Fansipan mountain. 

Fansipan Mountain, Sapa

Fansipan Mountain in Sapa, Vietnam

Fansipan Mountain is the highest peak in Vietnam and Indochina peninsula, located in the Hoang Lien Son mountain range. The mountain is located about 9 kilometers southwest of Sapa.

Fansipan Mountain is often called "The roof of Indochina" as with the height of 3,143 meters above sea level, Fansipan Peak is the highest peak in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos combined.

Fansipan Mountain Attractions

While the biggest attraction of Fansipan Mountain is the spectacular views of the surrounding mountain range, on the top of the mountain you can find a number of spiritual attractions. The Fansipan spiritual compound is dotted with re-enactments of authentic Vietnamese Buddhist architecture and radiates a mythical and enlightening charm.

Great Buddha Statue

Great Buddha Statue, sitting at the height of over 3,000 meters, is the highest seated bronze Buddha statue in Vietnam. The statue rises 21.5 meters and is cast of over 50 tons of copper.

Fansipan Mountain, Sapa

Guanyin Statue

Guanyin Statue is cast of bronze, presiding over the giant rock, which rises 12 meters and weighs 18 tons. The eyes of the statue glare east, holding a willow branch on the right hand and a sacred vase on the left hand. These items symbolize benevolence and kindness.

Bich Van Zen Monastery

Bich Van Zen Monastery is the first destination of the spiritual attractions on the Fansipan Mountain. The site, situated at the height of 3,037 meters, is a spiritual compound inspired by the Buddhist architecture of Tran Dynasty.

Grand Belfry

Grand Belfry comprises five stories and stands 32.8 meters tall. Four stories of the structure are built of rock and the upper one is modelled after the traditional two-compartment and eight-roof pavilion. Each storey of the Grand Belfry hosts a bronze bell that is cast after the original one in Tran Dynasty dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries.

Fansipan Mountain, Sapa


Pagoda rises 11 stories and its surface is clad in stone. The lotus shaped finial is cast of copper. This pagoda is highly reminiscent of most iconic spiritual structures of the Northern Vietnam.

Fansipan Mountain, Sapa

How to get to Fansipan from Sapa?

As it was already mentioned, in the past, tourists visiting Sapa were only able to conquer Fansipan Peak on foot. Since February 2016, Sun World Fansipan Legend cable car was launched, helping many tourists to visit Fansipan Peak more easily, as instead of trekking for 2-3 days to the top, you can now get there in just 15-20 minutes by the cable car.

Therefore, the best way for getting to Fansipan from Sapa and conquering Fansipan Peak depends on your liking and physical abilities.

Fansipan Mountain Trekking

Trekking to the top of Fansipan Mountain is still a good way to conquer the Fansipan Peak for many travelers, especially those who love adventures and challenges. This mountain path tests strength and endurance very well. Trekking to the top may take from 1 day to 3 days, depending on the chosen route. During the trip, you will meet other travelers and locals, encounter various plants and wildlife such as birds, monkeys, chamois in the midst of lush forests, and will get a chance to stay in a simple cabin or tent on the mountain. This is an amazing experience of a lifetime that you cannot find anywhere else.

If you want to conquer Fansipan Peak by trekking, we would recommend having a local guide for safety reasons. You can join Fansipan Hiking Full-Day Trip and conquer the highest mountain in Indochina on a tour to the summit of Fansipan. Learn about local culture and traditions while trekking through the jungle on one of the most beautiful hiking routes.

Fansipan Cable Car

If you don't have time or are not fit enough for such a long trek, the modern Fansipan cable car is there ready to transfer you from Sapa to the top of the highest mountain in Vietnam. Traveling this way is very easy and comfortable. It takes only 15-20 minutes to reach the Fansipan Peak at an altitude of 3143 meters.

Fansipan Mountain, Sapa

To make it clear about how to go to Fansipan from Sapa by cable car, let's start the journey in Sapa town. The trip to Fansipan Peak from Sapa town by cable car consists of 3 parts that make the Fansipan Peak rail system.

1. Sapa Town to Sapa Cable Car Station

The first destination you need to reach is Sapa Cable Car Station, also known as Hoang Lien station. The station is located in a touristy place called Sunworld Fansipan Legend, which is about 3 km away from the center of Sapa town.

There are several ways to travel from Sapa town to Sapa Cable Car Station:

Taxi to Sapa Cable Car Station

Taking a taxi is a convenient way for getting to Sapa Cable Car Station because you can start your journey from any hotel you are staying at without walking. The trip by a taxi from Sapa town to Sapa Cable Car Station can take 10-15 minutes and the taxi fare for such a ride should be around 40,000-100,000 VND.

Train to Sapa Cable Car Station

Another convenient way for getting there is taking the Muong Hoa Monorail. This mountain train runs on an approximately 2 kilometers long rail connecting the center of Sapa town with Sapa Cable Car Station.

The train departs from Sun Plaza shopping mall in the heart of Sapa and it takes only 5 minutes to get to the cable car station. This mountain railway is one of the most beautiful and impressive routes in Vietnam because the train runs through several tunnels and bridges, giving a different point of view. On the way you can also see the beauty of the Muong Hoa Valley and hill tribe villages.

Train to Sapa Cable Car ticket currently costs 150,000 VND per person but you can get a discount when booking a combo ticket including this train and the cable car. Combo tickets can be bought here: Fansipan Cable Car Combo Tickets.

Fansipan Mountain, Sapa

Walk to Sapa Cable Car Station

If you are traveling on a budget or just want to explore Sapa on foot, you can easily walk to Sapa Cable Car Station. There are many signs along the way so you shouldn't get lost.

You can start walking from the town center, around the Stone Church, get to Thac Bac Crossroad, then turn left onto Nguyen Chi Thanh Street and walk directly to Fansipan Legend for around 1.7 km.

Fansipan Mountain, Sapa

2. Sapa Cable Car Station to Fansipan Cable Car Station

From Sapa Cable Car Station you need to reach the next destination which is Fansipan Cable Car Station. The distance between 2 stations is 1,400 meters and their are connected with Fansipan cable car line. Each cable car can accommodate about 30-35 passengers. The capacity of the whole cable car system is about 2,000 passengers per hour. Fansipan Cable Car Station is situated very close to the top of Fansipan at a height of 3000 meters above sea level. Traveling between these two stations takes only 15 minutes.

During the cable car trip, the more you go up, the more beautiful view you will see (if it will not be foggy, though). You will definitely enjoy the beautiful natural scenery of the Hoang Lien Son mountain range and the Muong Hoa Valley.

While the other two Fansipan peak rail systems are optional, getting a Fansipan cable car ticket is a must on this route to the peak. Current Fansipan cable car ticket price is 800,000 VND per person but discounted cable car tickets can be booked here: Fansipan Cable Car Tickets.

Fansipan Mountain, Sapa

3. Fansipan Cable Car Station to Fansipan Peak

After reaching Fansipan Cable Car Station, there are two ways for getting from the cable car station to Fanipan Peak. You can simply climb up 600 steps, which normally takes about 20-30 minutes. However, this is an option for people who have good health and travel when the weather conditions are good.

Otherwise, you can take the Fansipan Funicular from Do Quyen Station near Ha Pagoda to reach Fansipan Peak, which is in a distance of 230 meters at an altitude of 100 meters from the cable car station. This mountain train can carry a maximum of 60 passengers and takes only 2 minutes to get to the Fansipan peak. This is a good option for elderly or during the bad weather.

Fansipan Funicular ticket currently costs 150,000 VND per person but you can get a discount when booking a combo ticket including this train and the cable car. Combo tickets can be bought here: Fansipan Cable Car Combo Tickets.

Fansipan Mountain, Sapa

Fansipan Cable Car Ticket Price 2023

Sun World Fansipan Legend Cable Car ticket price in 2023 is as follows.

Cable car:

  • Adults – 800,000 VND per person
  • Children (1 - 1.4 m high) - 550,000 VND per person
  • Children (under 1 m high) - free

Muong Hoa Monorail:

  • Monorail ticket  - 150,000 VND per person

Fansipan Funicular:

  • Funicular ticket - 150,000 VND per person

We would recommend buying combo tickets of cable car and monorail and/or funicular as normally discounts are offered for such tickets. Going all the way up by trains is the most convenient way to get to Fansipan Peak as many people might have difficulties climbing up stairs at high altitude.

Where to buy Fansipan cable car tickets?

You can buy tickets in many places. If traveling during the low season, tickets can be purchased directly at Sun Plaza (opposite Stone Church) in Sapa town or at the cable car station. However, during high season or when traveling in a large group, you should book tickets in advance.

The best way is to book Fansipan cable car tickets online as you not only save time that would be spent at ticket counters of the station but can also get a discount by booking your tickets here: Sunworld Fansipan Legend Admission Tickets

Combo tickets are also available.

Fansipan Cable Car Operating Hours 2023

Fansipan cable car operating hours starting from 2 October 2023 are the following:

Monday - Friday

Muong Hoa Monorail:

  • Towards Fansipan Peak - from 8:15 to 15:00
  • Towards Sapa - the last train at 18:00

Cable Car:

  • Towards Fansipan Peak - from 8:30 to 15:30
  • Towards Sapa - the last train at 17:30

Fansipan Funicular:

  • Towards Fansipan Peak - from 8:45 to 16:15
  • Towards Sapa - the last train at 17:00

Saturday, Sunday, Public Holidays

Muong Hoa Monorail:

  • Towards Fansipan Peak - from 7:45 to 15:45
  • Towards Sapa - the last train at 18:30

Cable Car:

  • Towards Fansipan Peak - from 8:00 to 16:00
  • Towards Sapa - the last train at 18:00

Fansipan Funicular:

  • Towards Fansipan Peak - from 8:15 to 16:45
  • Towards Sapa - the last train at 17:30

Many people want to experience the sunrise or sunset here but the business hours are not favorable. The ideal time to visit Fansipan Mountain by cable car is at midday or early afternoon as at that time of the day the temperatures are higher as well as the chances of the clear sky to see the scenic view.

How to get to Fansipan from Hanoi?

Fansipan Mountain is located in Sapa so if you are planning to travel there from Hanoi independently, you can choose from different ways of traveling from Hanoi to Sapa that are briefly described here: How to travel from Hanoi to Sapa.

After reaching Sapa, your way to the Fansipan Peak will be as described previously.

A more convenient option for getting to Fansipan from Hanoi is by joining one of Sapa tours from Hanoi that also include the journey to the top of the mountain. You can join this 2-day tour from Hanoi to Sapa by limousine bus to see rice fields in Muong Hoa Valley, visit villages and meet the Dzay people, then ascend to the majestic Fansipan Peak via cable car.

Sapa tours with Fansipan

If you are looking for a tour in Sapa that includes visiting Fansipan Mountain and other activities, we would recommend joining this 2D1N Sapa Cat Cat Village Tour and Trekking with Fansipan Legend Cable Car Ride

During this tour you will get a chance to visit the main attractions of Sapa, including Cat Cat Village, where the Black H’mong tribe thrives, and Fansipan Mountain Peak with spectacular panoramic views of Hoang Lien Son mountains. The tour is worthwhile. 

Fansipan Mountain, Sapa

Fansipan Mountain Accommodation

Currently, there are no hotels on the top of Fansipan Mountain for travellers to stay overnight. The closest area to stay near Fansipan Mountain is Sapa town.

If you are looking for an accommodation that would let you to travel to Fansipan Mountain easily, you can find a hotel near the Sun Plaza Building where the monorail station is located. The best hotels near Sun Plaza are as follows:

Hotel de la Coupole - MGallery - 5-star hotel with a heated indoor swimming pool, spa, fitness centre and comfortable rooms inspired from the minority tribes in Sapa and French Haute Couture

BB Hotel Sapa - 4-star hotel featuring French colonial architecture

Sapa Horizon Hotel - 4-star hotel offering picturesque mountain views

Sun Plaza

Best Time to Visit Fansipan

Fansipan Mountain is always beautiful and it is different in each season, for this reason attracting many tourists. The best time to visit Fansipan depends on your personal preferences.

November - February

During this time, Sapa is cold, cloudy and foggy. The temperature sometimes drops below 0 degrees. At this time of the year you shouldn’t have a high hope for clear skies and sunny weather so the trip by the cable car to the top of Fansipan Mountain can be less thrilling. However, during this time only few tourists are visiting the area so it’s more peaceful.

March - May

During this time of the year, the temperature in Sapa is getting higher. At the beginning of spring it is still cold but the sky gets brighter. During these months you will get a chance to see the overlapping rice fields all the way to the horizon and thousands of blooming flowers. Expect spectacular views from above if you will be visiting on a sunny day.

June - August

Summertime is the high season in Sapa so a lot of tourists can be expected there. During this time you will get a chance to experience the wonderful scenery of Sapa as the whole valley seems to be colored. The weather is usually quite hot and humid. Fansipan Mountain also attracts large crowds of visitors so cable car tickets should be booked well in advance.

September - October

This is another good time to come to Sapa as it brings stable weather. The weather is not as hot and humid as in the summer, with sunny days but cold nights. It is the ripe rice season so you get a chance to enjoy beautiful views of the rice terraces turning from green to golden across the hills. Many photographers love to go to Sapa during this season for the best photo journey. 

Fansipan Mountain Tips

People who have problems with the respiratory system, heart disease or are afraid of heights should not get on the cable car. Fansipan Mountain is higher than 3,000 meters so the top of it has high humidity with less air. There is a chance of low blood pressure and shortness of breath. Lack of oxygen may be harmful to health.

You need to have a good rest to allow the body to adjust to the temperature and climate.

The stairs to the top of Fansipan Mountain are high and steep so you should walk up slowly and make breaks along the way.

If you are planning to trek to Fanshipan Mountain, you should have a proper insurance.

Trekking to Fansipan Mountain independently is possible, but it's recommended to hire a local guide for safety and preventing of getting lost.

You need to wear warm clothing no matter what time of the year you travel because the temperature on the mountain peak is much lower than in the town.

The weather in Sapa is unpredictable so carrying a rain coat might be a good idea.

If you want to save money, better bring a bottle of water and snacks because the food in the restaurant at the cable car station is quite expensive.

Avoid bringing too large items because the staff will not allow you to take them to the cable car.

Book your Fansipan cable car tickets online to save time, money and to ensure your admission to the peak on your desired.