From the day of the cable car, it becomes extremely easy to set foot on Fansipan with about 20 minutes from the departure station so many people go this way. And I, the first time I went to the roof of Indochina, I chose the traditional way of trekking. I have long hoped once, with my feet, to go to the highest mountain in Vietnam. After traveling to the 4 lands of the 4 poles of the Fatherland: Cape, Double Cape, A Pa Chai and Tung Cú, that desire even more haunted me to complete the goal of conquering 4 poles – 1 peak of Vietnam.
The road to the highest mountain in Vietnam through Hoang Lien National Park, consumes time and energy, but therefore gives me a special feeling of experience.
Located about 9 km from Sa Pa town, Fansipan is located in the center of the Hoang Lien Son Mountains. With an elevation of 3,143m, this is the highest peak in Vietnam and also the roof of Indochina.
It was a Saturday morning, after the night train from Hanoi. I met my companions, a total of 8 people and 4 Porters of Buttocks. We moved to the starting point.
There are 3 roads to the top, starting from Ton Station, Sín Chai or Cat Cat village. The direction from Ton Station (located at an altitude of 1900m) is the easiest route, suitable for people with average condition and the scenery is not diverse. On the way, there are 2 stops, lunch breaks at an altitude of 2,200 m and overnight shacks at an altitude of 2,800m – the destination of the first day.
The terrain up Fansipan is mainly dense primeval forest with all kinds of trees: from coniferous trees, bamboo forests, azaleas to perennial trees ... When entering the trail up the mountain, the stairs, cliffs, vertical slopes constantly appear, causing the legs to disintegrate, the faster the breathing. When the road is slippery, sometimes rough, sometimes just a stone rolls down to make people heartbroken. There were stages where we had to crawl, we had to sit down, we had to cling to the ledge or branches with our hands to go up.
At the end of the first 6 hours, the group reached the lunch break at an altitude of 2,200m. After lunch, we continued to go and reached the 2,800m shack at 3pm. Reaching the first day's stop was also cold and the space was so foggy that we could no longer see each other's faces clearly.
One night without electricity in the middle of the mountains and forests, looking out the doorway only saw a black space overwhelmed, the wind hissing each wind. All night, I couldn't sleep for a minute because every bit of cold air cut the flesh into my sleeping bag.
At 3:00 a.m., waking up to eat a bowl of hot egg noodles, the group departed for the last leg to catch the sunrise on fansipan. The last part of the road meets all the challenges: it is dark as ink, the fog is drenched with the shirt and the cold 5 degrees Celsius, the higher up, the more steep the rock slope. Can't stop, can't turn around in the night, has no choice but to move on. The wind blows strongly, just standing a little tired is the person who is stiff because of the cold. I told myself, try! Just go through that dark road, you will see the bright golden sunshine in the sea of clouds up there. So I kept walking in the flickering flashlight with the help of porters and companions.
At 6:00 a.m., everyone was cowering, wet, taking the last steps without feeling anything. Finally, the 3,143m peak appeared, there was a bit of regret that we did not catch the moment when the sun rose because the fog was too thick, but after all the happiness of having completed the journey. The smiles sparkled behind the white mist.
The way down when it was clear, we had the opportunity to take a closer look at the majestic landscape of the northwest mountains and forests, the clouds swooped down to embrace the mountain, the forests were changing leaves, the red-yellow color rose to the green.
The climbs gave me the opportunity to return to nature. I like the feeling of taking it one step at a time, step by step to get to where I want to go, I like the feeling that when the foot wants to stop, the inner voice says to continue. I like to go through the murky structures and suddenly a sky with the same mountains, the sea of clouds full of light comes. I liked the feeling of walking among the forests to listen to the rustling melody of the wind, of the leaves of the forest hugging around me.
Although finishing the trip with tired legs, the experience was a very rewarding reward.
A few notes when trekking Fansipan
● For beginner climbers, with average fitness, you should choose to climb the road from Ton Station to ensure health.
● You should hire a support porter. They the locals will help you carry things. In addition, porter is very well versed in terrain to help you avoid getting lost and unfortunate incidents.
● Before going should prepare the necessary costumes and items: T-shirt, wind jacket, thick warm coat (because on the shack is extremely cold), trekking shoes, high-neck socks, waterproof backpack, flashlight, hat, raincoat, insect repellent, painkillers.
● Luggage carried is as compact as possible because the climbing path is very difficult.
● You need to bring water, energy drinks, chocolate candy to energize along the way.
Writer: Xuan Phuong