Trekking Fansipan – a stroll to the top of Vietnam

Have you ever thought about some trekking in Vietnam, say hiking up Mt Fansipan?

Does the thought of a challenging adventure trip appeal to your masochistic tendencies?

Andy Engelson  a writer and editor who lives in Hanoi, Vietnam recently summited Mt Fansipan. He wrote it up on his blog Only Ok and it is a great yarn. It had Frank in stitches laughing at this Vietnamese adventure. We contacted Andy and got permission to share some of his words and images here.

So, if you want to read a great trekking story, check it out here:  Going to the top of Vietnam

A few snippets to encourage you:  (Andy wrote for Washington Trails magazine for six years before escaping with his family to Vietnam. i.e. he can write, and write very well he does)

Fansipan is a prosaic mountain–a great green pyramid. A lower peak to its right actually appears craggier and more imposing. At 10,312 feet Fansipan is the highest point in Vietnam, and also the highest in Indochina, which includes Laos and Cambodia.

Fansipan - track - Vietnam

Mt Fansipan - Vietnam - the track up

The switchback is unheard of in Vietnam, apparently. The trail generally went straight up and down the mountainside, winding through boulders and tree roots.


Goat for dinner? - Mt Fansipan - Vietnam

Goat for dinner? - Mt Fansipan - Vietnam

The festivities continued outside around a big campfire. One of the Hmong men returned from the hills with a young goat and it was soon sliced, diced, and skewered. Alongside the Singapore and Vietnamese trekkers, we roasted our goat kebabs over the fire (I guess the Hmong don’t have easy access to marshmallows).

Low Base Camp - Mt Fansipan - Vietnam

Low Base Camp - Mt Fansipan - Vietnam

We left the tent in Sapa, since we were going to be staying in some sort of shelter.
The camp was muddy and dusty, and a ramshackle bamboo shelter where the workers slept was also our home for the night

Carpet of clouds - Mt Fansipan - Vietnam

Carpet of clouds - Mt Fansipan - Vietnam

It was a formidable sight from the top–a 360-degree view to great green mountains all around, Sapa far below, and much of Northwestern Vietnam covered in a sea of clouds.

Fansipan - the summit

Fansipan - Andy at the summit - but where is Andrew?

We hope you enjoyed Andy’s story and thank him very much for allowing us to share his images and story here. We visited Vietnam and Sapa a couple of years ago and loved the area. We never attempted Mt Fansipan but enjoyed a gentle trek and home stay. It is just a beautiful place.

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