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Tips for Trekking Fansipan

Fansipan is not only the highest mountain top in Vietnam but also the rooftop of Indochina. This has long been a challenge of the youth. Conquering Fansipan is a memorable experience of a lifetime and also a pride in everyone’s heart. Minh Châu – a staff member of Hainam Travel has just returned from her 2-day challenge to the top of Fansipan and shared her tips.

trekking fansipan mountain

on the top of Fansipan by dandelion131989

1.      When to go?

It is advisable to avoid the rain season in the Northern region. The most suitable time to conquer Fansipan ranges from October to April in the next year which is also the dried season. You are highly recommended to trek Fansipan around February to March as during this time it is considerably less cold and rain, the forests of azalea flowers also bloom in this season.

If possible, you should also avoid holidays as it can be really crowded during this time. As a result, your resting places at the stops can be overloaded and inconvenient.

2.      The routes to Fansipan

There are a total of 3 routes leading to Fansipan, details are as follows:

+ Trạm Tôn – Trạm Tôn (1-3 days): This route is the shortest and easiest among the 3 ones. Your journey starts at Trom Ton at about 1,900 meters high. Though the view is not as spectacular as the two remaining routes, it is highly recommended for newbies in trekking and those with average health. This route also has less leeches than the others.

+ Sín Chải – Trạm Tôn (2-3 days): This route starts at Sin Chai village at the height of 1,260 meters. There are a wide range of terrains on the way which will definitely blow your mind away. However, the slopes are really high and challenging and are real hindrance for inexperienced trekkers.

+ Cat Cat (3-4 days): This route, starting at the height of 1,245 meters, is the longest, most difficult and has many leeches. The terrains are also diversified. You can catch sight of beautiful beds of wild flowers if you go trekking in the right season.

3.      What to prepare?

Your health should be well-prepared for the trip. It is advisable to train your body 1 month in advance of the trip. You can choose to running, biking or swimming, depending on which form is suitable for you. Then you should train yourself to climb the stairs with heavy bags so that your body will physically get used to climbing.

4.      What to bring?

+ Food and drinks: If you book a tour, water is usually brought by porters. You will need about 1 liter of water per day. You need to bring along sweet food such as cake, chocolate or electrolyte water for rehydration and energy supplement.

+ Flashlight: You can be required to get up very early in the morning and continue going when it is still dark. So be prepared to have at least 1 flashlight per 2 persons.

+ Knives: A knife is indispensible when trekking in the forest.

+ Thermal patches: Whether you go in dried or rainy season, nights on highlands are really cold. You can buy these thermal patches at supermarket as a preparation for the cold.

+ Clothes: Your clothes should be as light and comfortable as possible. If you go in rainy season, your clothes need to be waterproof; otherwise, it will get wet and extremely heavy in the rain. If you go in dried season, it can get really cold; thus, you need to bring many light sweaters (about 6-8 ones) and a thick jacket. Generally speaking, whatever you bring, they should be light and easy for you to move.

+ Personal hygiene stuffs

+ Shoes: Your shoes should be the right type for trekking as their friction is much better and will prevent you from falling. It will be even better if they are waterproof as there may be rain, fog and many streams on the route. Or else, you can instead prepare a pair of plastic socks which also meet your need of waterproof.

+ Tampons: In addition to their normal usage, tampons serve as a soft padding for your shoes. They will be a great protection for your feet and toes. If you go trekking for long days, they will also reduce moisture inside your shoes.

+ Socks and gloves: Socks remain the heat and protect your feet while gloves increase friction when you cling to rocks for climbing.

+ Backpacks: A backpack is of course indispensible. It should be small and have strong straps. You should bring about 3-5 kilograms of stuffs in your pack. Make sure the weight is moderate and easy to move.

+ Salonpas pads: These pads serve to remain your heat and also prevent the muscular pains while trekking.

+ Optional things: Woolen hat (to protect your head from the cold on the mountain top), camera (you may need only 1 camera for a group), cellphone (bring with you a small and light one which is not easy to be broken), backup battery charger (in case you bring camera or cellphone), medicine (you need to bring with you the most popular medicine, if you book tours, your porter or leader will be in charge of this), thick sleeping bags (you should hire porters to bring these items to the stops), hiking stick (this can be helpful but may be a hindrance sometimes if you are not used to using it), rain coat.

So, all things prepared, the only thing you need is counting on your luck and then start your journey!

5.      A number of rules

+ Always stick with your group and never go separately, your porter is always the last person in the group. Apart from Tram Ton route where the path is rather clear and easy to follow, the remaining routes mainly cross pristine forests and there can be no sight of path. If you feel tired, don’t hesitate to ask your fellows to wait for a moment.

+ Watch out the signs on the path. If you may take notice, your porters always use knives to leave signs on the trees. This is how they mark the route, in case you get lost, you can track to these signs to follow your group.

+ Don’t go trekking in a big group. The most ideal group usually goes for 10-15 persons. If your group is too crowded, you will lose lots of time to get prepared and organized.

+ Be simple. Never pack more than you need. At first, things may be brilliant, however, you will gradually get tired and cannot afford a heavy bags of unnecessary things.

+ Think positively. In fact, you always have a choice to stop and go back at every stop. However, if the journey is easy, Fansipan will not become such challenge and pride. Just keep your thoughts away from the difficult and try to think about the brilliant moment when you get to the top.

+ Shut up and climb. Although chatting while trekking is the best way to drive your thoughts to the positive side, you may get even more tired when talking too much. If necessary, you had better concentrate on the route and just climb.

+ Never get drunk. When it gets cold at night in the mountainous area, wine is the best choice to keep warm. However, you should drink as usual and never drink too much. You still have a long way to go.

Conclusion: Fansipan is not the height to prove your strength, but to test your endurance and perseverance. If you keep going, you will ultimately find your destination.

4.7/5 - (6 votes)


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