Ham Rong

  • Ham Rong
  • 1900 m
  • Primary factor 390 m
  • Location: North 22.33028, East 103.86343 (GPS at the summit)
  • Sapa, Vietnam
  • Difficulty: Class 1 (YDS)
  • Climbed July 17, 2018


How to get there:
This mountain is located in the mountain town of Sapa in the north of Vietnam. One may travel by train and bus from Hanoi. There is also an excellent road connection.
Route description:
Start in the central area in front of the church in Sapa, this location is N22.33543, E103.84208, elevation about 1490 meter. Walk towards the church on the left side. As you pass the church, there is a hotel entrance straight ahead. Turn left before this entrance, an uphill tourist street runs here. There is a signed place to pay a park entrance fee on your left. Pay VND 70.000 (2018) and proceed up the street. Higher up, there is a check point that stamps your ticket.
The first part of this trail runs in a city park. Nice, wide steps and well prepared surface for any kind of tourist. Higher up, near some interesting rock formations, one should keep left, the trail branches, but only a left branch will get you onwards. From an open area, where you can see higher terrain ahead, follow a smaller, more normal trail in the direction of the higher hill. Soon, your trail ascends gently, the trail is still pretty wide and follows a fence. Pass a property (with two barking dogs) on your left, then arrive immediately in front of a hut (where somebody lives). From here, the trail becomes very small, as you pass through dense vegetation. First, a bit uphill, next more horizontal. It appears that very few walk here. Keep following this very tiny trail as it crosses a small stone fence, then ascends in more open terrain before crossing more vegetation to reach a bigger trail that runs uphill (from your left to right). Follow this bigger trail the rest of the way to the summit.
This was our last day in Sapa and with rain there were not many reasonable options for hiking. Ham Rong is the city mountain and as such seemed like a place to visit.
I started at 0930 and after a leisurely walk with some false sidetrips in the park, I arrived at the summit at 1030. The weather briefly cleared and the view was ok. I noted the highest point on the extended ridge and decided to visit it as well, likely lower. I left the summit at 1040 and walked by the highest point on the ridge. My GPS confirmed that this was 5 meter lower and a visual check back to the top was also pretty clear in this respect.
I descended and did notice that some leeches had gotten onto my legs near my shoes. They seemed less annoying than the ones in Malaysia, but still something you rather be without. I was back at the car around 1130.