Many have protested the project over environmental concerns, but the first passengers seem too happy to care
The new cable car service to Fansipan, Vietnam’s rooftop, started serving Tuesday. The cables run from Muong Hoa Valley, around 10 kilometers to the southeast of the resort town Sa Pa.
The US$197-million project is the world's longest 3-rope cable car, stretching 6.3 kilometers.
Visitors at the final station, 3,000 meters above sea level. Some climbing is required to reach the mountaintop from here.
Work on the cable project started in November 2013.
The first passengers of the cable car are local officials and people. Each car can serve 35 people and a ride to the top takes around 15 minutes. The whole system can carry 2,000 people every hour.
Ha Van Khuyen, 70, and his 3-year-old grandson from Sa Pa are among the first people to reach Fansipan on a cable car. Khuyen conquered to the top twice in 1972 and 1987, the second time as a guide for a group of Russian visitors.
Many travelers said they have been hoping for a chance to stand on the top of Fansipan but their physical conditions have made that dream impossible.
Travelers can enjoy the view of the valley below from the car.
Tickets cost VND600,000 ($27) for adults, VND400,000 ($18) for children up to 1.3 meters tall and children below one meter tall can travel for free.
From the last station, people will have to take 600 stairs to the mountain top.
A floor with fences has been built on the top to serve the possible rise in tourists.
You can find the original Vietnamese story here on Zing