Our next attraction was, Mount Fansipan. This is the tallest peak in Southeast Asia. With its 3,146 meters peak, it is also called Indochina’s roof.
In the past, it would take two days hike, to reach the peak, but thanks to the engineering marvel, it takes less than an hour to reach there. Sun group is the developer and when it was completed, it qualified for two Guinness records. Firstly the 6,282-meter cable car as the world’s longest and secondly it is the biggest ascent by a cable car, rising 1,410 meters throughout its journey.
But before we reach the cable car base, there is a train journey of few minutes. The Sa Pa station is beautifully designed. The mini train journey was fantastic. Due to heavy fog, it seems that we were travelling in space.
When we began the cable car ride, the visibility was still very poor. After 5 minutes, we were above the clouds and the beautiful valley was visible. At the base of the valley there are rice fields and then on the slopes, there is thick forest.
The cable car itself is very spacious and comfortable. After few minutes, it started swinging, but there is nothing to worry. The three cable system is absolutely safe.
At the cable station, there is a huge restaurant. Also a souvenir shop. But we still had not reached the peak. There is an open terrace and there are few pagodas there. It was a great experience just to be there, with minus 2 degrees centigrade temperature and strong winds which would not allow you to stand, without holding on to something.
From the terrace, you need to climb 600 steps to reach the peak. But nothing to worry, there is another transport system, funicular to take you there. This slanting train gives a thrilling ride to the top.
The view from above is literally from above the clouds. (You cannot climb the actual peak as this is a sacred spot, and you are not supposed to set your foot on that.)
In spite of wearing warm clothing, it is not possible to stand there for long time. I took the funicular ride down and reached the upper cable car station.
This place is very well designed and when we were there, there were lovely tulips all around. There is a huge restaurant there and I had fantastic vegetarian food there.
Then we tool the cable car down. The visibility was better, but still we had to go through the clouds to reach SA Pa. SA Pa town itself is small and romantic. It had some lovely hotels too.
It was time to return to Hanoi. So we started 4 hour journey back.
To be continued..