Singapore University of Technology and Design
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Day 3 – Hanoi – Lao Cai – Sapa – Base Camp (2800m): Benjamin Yong

Redefine Your Limits

Day 3 – Hanoi – Lao Cai – Sapa – Base Camp (2800m): Benjamin Yong

We reached Lao Cai station at approximately 6.15am. The train ride was comfortable and cosy. At first glance of the surroundings, I felt the silence of the foggy atmosphere. It was deceiving as we stepped out of the station to be surrounded by a bustling town centre, where we met our contact driver.

Can you spot our alumnus, Samuel?

Can you spot our alumnus, Samuel?

The drive to Sapa took roughly 45 minutes, during which we saw ourselves climbing up a considerable altitude. The scenery gradually became green and hilly, although the sky remained grey and misty.

After reaching Sapa, we were invited into a guesthouse where we had Phở for breakfast, and prepared our essentials for the climb.

Sizzling hot beef Pho mmm yummy!

Sizzling hot beef Pho mmm yummy!

We took another 30-minutes bus ride to reach the starting point of the climb, where the environment was already extremely clouded and windy. The temperature was a comfortable 18°C.

Such beautiful scenery, isn’t it?

Such beautiful scenery, isn’t it?

Throughout the day’s climb, to my surprise and slight disappointment, the views were constantly blocked by the clouds rolling through us. I was hoping we would reach a point where we could pass through the cloud layer but it never happened.

Enjoying the scenery as we take a break

Enjoying the scenery as we take a break

Jun Xian, Benjamin, Vivian and Mervin climbing the mountain in an orderly manner

Jun Xian, Benjamin, Vivian and Mervin climbing the mountain in an orderly manner

On the bright side, the trekking itself was exciting, with river crossings and countless occasions where it was necessary to use our hands to propel ourselves upward over rocks and muddy terrain.

Think twice before stepping onto the next stone...

Think twice before stepping onto the next stone…

Doctor Mao analysing the plants in detail

Doctor Mao analysing the plants in detail

Bent high and low but it was worth it!

Bent high and low but it was worth it!

It was also the first time I ever trekked through rain and unforgiving muddy routes. My socks were wet for most of the climb. I didn’t appreciate it at that moment, but looking back, it was an experience I’ll definitely talk about and be proud of. Personally I found the trek fun and addictive because of all the hand action required. It was practically natural rock climbing integrated with mountaineering, which is a dream for me. The “silent hill” atmosphere gave me the silence and concentration on the dangerous terrains. It was great to have reached the base camp on time, even when we were climbing pretty leisurely. Obviously, Yong Siang was there to greet us warmly by sticking his trekking poles in a “V”-shape for Victory. We had dinner in the hut in the dark together before sleeping, in preparation for Day 4’s speedy climb. 10/10 would climb Mt. Fansipan again (in better seasons).

Kunal, Shi Hao, Victor and Benjamin posing for a picture

Kunal, Shi Hao, Victor and Benjamin posing for a picture

Check out our sexy back shots

Check out our sexy back shots

Our cameraman, Isaac Ng, in action

Our cameraman, Isaac Ng, in action

Thinking about our bright future, thinking about our purpose in life

Thinking about our bright future, thinking about our purpose in life

Happy three friends (Mervin, Vivian and Mao)

Happy three friends (Mervin, Vivian and Mao)

Our organiser, Benjamin Yong. Thank you for making this trip possible!

Our organiser, Benjamin Yong. Thank you for making this trip possible!

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