Sapa opens train link to cable car

SAPA, Vietnam, 4 April 2018: Muong Hoa, Vietnam’s highest mountain rail route built by Sun Group, opened for its first passengers last weekend,

The rail line links Sapa with the existing cable station to Fansipan Peak, Vietnam News Agency reported.

The 2 km rail route starts from MGallery Hotel in Sapa town and ends at the base cable station, where the cable trip to Fansipan Peak peak begins.

The two-carriage train can serve up to 2,000 passengers per hour and travels at a maximum speed of 60 kph.

According to VNA, Sun Group officials claimed the rail line shortens travel time from 20 minutes by car over a risky mountain road to just four minutes by train on a line that crosses gorges on viaducts and travels through tunnels that cut through mountain ridges.

The Swiss company, Garaventa, built the two carriage train, 20m in length and 3m wide with a capacity for 200 passengers.

At the Muong Hoa Cable Station, tourists transfer to cable cars for the transfer over Hoang Lien Son range to reach Fansipan Peak, the highest mountain in Indochina, at 3,143m.

Opened 2 February 2016, the Fansipan Sapa cable car system, covers a land distance of  6,29 km.

Sapa is located 350 km northwest of Hanoi in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai at an altitude of 1,600m above sea level.

The town is dominated by the Hoang Lien Son mountain range, which features Indochina’s highest mountain of Fansipan.

Sapa has many natural scenic sites such as Ham Rong Mountain, Thac Bac (Silver Waterfall), Cau May (Rattan Bridge), Bamboo Forest and Ta Phin Cave. The hill town is home to six main ethnic minority groups, including Kinh, Hmong, Dao, Tay, Day and Xa Pho with various traditional festivals and unique cultural practices, especially the Bac Ha market and Sa Pa love market.

The resort town was recognised as a national tourism site in December 2017.