All photography by Christian Berg
Start your adventure by heading to Hoang Lien Station next to the MGallery Hotel de la Coupole to purchase your tickets for the Muong Hoa Mountain Train. Sit back for the five-minute ride over the valley, taking in spectacular vistas of farms and hamlets below. This funicular railway is the longest of its kind in Vietnam and crosses two tunnels and four viaducts. When the train stops, you’ll be greeted by a field of sunflowers at the Sun World Fansipan Legend Yard.
The Sun World Fansipan cable cars holds a Guinness World Record and the ride to the summit is a highlight of many travellers’ time in Sapa. The cable cars run from 7:30am to 5:30pm every day, and each one can hold up to 35 passengers. Once you leave the station, you’ll immediately start to float high above the rice terraces and rocky cliffs below. Huge windows let you take in the sights all around, as you ascend gradually to this towering tip above the clouds.
TIP: The Sun World Fansipan Legend cable car system was designed by European operators Doppelmayr, and is rigorously tested for passengers’ safety and peace of mind.
Before reaching the summit of Mt. Fansipan, you’ll arrive at a peaceful garden complex, with stone paths, ancient Azalea trees and 18 skillfully sculpted bronze statues. These sculptures lead the way to a 20-metre celestial Buddha statue perched on the mountainside -- the largest in the country. The gardens and pagodas all around provide a tranquil setting to pause and breathe in the fresh air.
TIP: Sun World Fansipan Legend hosts several festivals each year to celebrate the culture of northwestern Vietnam. These festivals usually take place in spring and summer, and feature traditional performances and fun folk games.
A series of stairs or a funicular rail will take you the final leg to the top of Mt. Fansipan. From here, you’ll have the rewarding, unbelievable sight of cloud-covered peaks stretching all the way to the horizon. The highest point is a favourite spot for selfies, but you can walk the entire platform for 360-degree vistas. The cloud formations at the top of Mt. Fansipan change every few seconds, revealing new shapes and scenes as the earth meets the sky.
TIP: After soaking up the views from the top of Mt. Fansipan, conquer your hunger at one of Sun World’s first-rate restaurants, shop for cool souvenirs in the station, or simply sit back and relax in a mountaintop cafe.