How to Prepare for a Mountain Climb in Vietnam

At 3,143 meters (10,311.7 ft) above sea level, the mighty Mount Fansipan is the highest mountain in all of Vietnam. Tourists from around the globe flock to Vietnam simply to experience the thrill of conquering this massive peak. As exciting as it sounds, the hike up mount Fansipan - or any other mountain in Vietnam - is extremely challenging. Before you indulge in this adventure, make sure you are thoroughly prepared and perfectly geared. Planning every detail of your hike up the mountain well in advance is the key to a successful excursion.


  1. Image titled Prepare for a Mountain Climb in Vietnam Step 1
    Get fit. Climbing a mountain, especially one like Fansipan, is not something you can spontaneously do after months of a relatively sedentary lifestyle. If you have decided on conquering a mountain in Vietnam, your training should begin months in advance, as you will need good fitness and endurance that cannot be achieved overnight. Running, hiking, and wall climbing are great ways to boost your fitness, and doing these activities with weights in your backpack will help you get into even better shape. Do these regularly in order to help strengthen your muscles, build your endurance, and familiarize yourself with the likely challenges of mountain climbing.
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    Understand the mountain you wish to climb. Thoroughly study the peak you wish to climb. Read reviews of past climbers about the challenges they faced on their excursions and the tips and advice they have for future climbers. Research the specific challenges and features of the mountain you want to climb so that you understand every aspect of it. For example, Fansipan has a jagged, steep nature, making it slippery and unpredictable at times.
    • Pay special attention to weather conditions. This can a play a huge part in your overall experience up the mountain, for better or for worse. Choose dates for your climb based on seasonal weather and weather forecasts for that time.
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    Decide on a route. Study the different routes different climbers have used to climb the mountain. If there are more than 1 route available, study them all and read reviews about each of them. Take note of the difficulty, length, and popularity of each route, and use this and other information to decide on the route that you will choose.
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    Decide on the number of days you want to spend climbing a single mountain and choose your accommodation. Hikes on Mount Fansipan and in the surrounding area range from one to three days. If you prefer taking it easy and slow, you can stay overnight on the mountain and leisurely complete your climb. Many popular mountains have accommodations provided at specific points on the mountain; for example, Fansipan has a small village at 1,500 meters (4,921.3 ft) up the mountain and an overnight camp at 2,800 meters (9,186.4 ft). You can also carry your own tent and sleeping bag, but this means extra weight up the mountain. If you want, you can also complete the hike in one day.
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    Acquire appropriate attire. Proper clothing will make your climb much more pleasant, and can keep you safe and warm in extreme weather or an emergency. Clothes should be light and of a good synthetic material to wick away sweat and keep you comfortable. Always bring wet weather gear in case of rain or other bad weather. Gloves and warm hats will make a huge difference in cold weather. You will also need shoes with a good grip and plenty of support for your feet and ankles - a quality pair of hiking boots is indispensable, but make sure to break them in well before your hike to avoid blisters.
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    Pack for the climb. You will need basic necessities such as ample water, hearty meals for each day of your hike, plenty of snacks, extra clothing, a map, and a well-stocked first aid kit. You might also want a camera, sunscreen, extra food, a water purifier if there will be a water source you can draw from, and anything else you think you might need.
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    Arrange a guide. When climbing a mountain in Vietnam, it is pivotal to have a guide to show you the way and help you navigate language and cultural differences. Guides are also useful in providing some interesting insight about the mountain, its history, and the surrounding locality, making your entire climb interesting and even educative. There is a sense of security when using a guide as they know the mountains of Vietnam like the back of their hand. Inquire about the guides available and book them well in advance to make sure you have the perfect guide for the excursion.
    • Many booked trips will include an itinerary for the climb and accommodations. Keep your plans and desires for the length and difficulty of your trip in mind when choosing a guide.
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    Rest thoroughly and prepare yourself mentally. For a night or two prior to your climb, make sure you get all the rest you need. There are plenty of resorts around most popular mountains in Vietnam that cater to climbers like yourself and will pamper you before and after your climb. However, don't just laze about - mild exercise can help keep your body fit and ready to go. Prepare and motivate yourself for the climb mentally as well as physically.

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