It is a grueling and nail-biting journey to the top but the feeling when you reach the peak was indescribable.
Fansipan Mountain is not for the faint-hearted either; you need to have good health, durability, sufficient preparation and especially the invaluable support of porters who derive mostly from local minorities.
There are three ways to climb to the top of Fansipan.
Usually, tourists will hire guides and porters through tourist agencies in Sapa town.
Normally, a group of five to seven people will need one guide and four porters.
Tourists, though, can also hire more porters who will help carry essential items such as sleeping bags, raw materials for cooking on rest stops located at 2,200 meters and 2,800 meters above sea level and medication.
Each bamboo dosser which is carried on the back of a porter weighs from 10 to 20 kilograms.
This requires high durability during the entire journey.
Porters are also available to offer help to tourists if they feel exhausted due to a shortage of oxygen on the dizzy heights.
Each porter earns about VND150,000 to VND200,000 per day, excluding tips.
Porters also cook meals for tourists on rest stops and they will feel like close family by the end of the journey.
Normal people can spend from 12 hours to 48 hours to climb to the top but if you are in the safe hands of the porters you only need a few hours.
Legend has it that the winner of a race to the peak of Fansipan took only two hours.
By PHẠM THÁI
Source: The Saigon Times