DAY TRIPS - Mt Fansipan

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Southeast Asia’s highest peak (3134m) looms over Sapa town to the west, that is when fog or mist allows you to see it. Some local guides will go any time you want, but the rocky climb through thick bamboo thickets and slippery trails should only be considered when it’s dry (September to March, but best in November or December).

Trips are done on two-, three- and four-day treks, the longer routes going on easier trails. Way up is a cruddy little shelter – with a rodent or two, I hear – to sleep in; longer trips involved camping. Do not consider hiking without a good local guide. Cheapie trips sometimes go with poor guides, and I’ve heard mixed reports. I’d go with a high-end agent, like Handspan or Topas, for the best guides and equipment. Topas’ two-day climb costs US$220/144/114 per person if one/two/four go; a three-day climb is US$295/206/162, a four-day climb US$383/271/212.

→ Note: I met a British traveler who booked a two-day trek through SPT (see Basics/Travel Agents) for US$26 and was joined by another traveler who paid a Hanoi agency US$148 for the same trip!!