My partner and I climbed Fansipan in 1 day early Jan. We were very lucky and had incredible weather; no rain, the clouds/mist cleared while we were at the top, we actually got too hot because the sun was out for a good section of the climb.
We wanted to post as many people seem to think Fansipan is impossible to summit in a single day hike so we ummed and ahhhed about it for a long time before deciding to do it but it is really not so bad.
We booked a tour guide through Du Minh Travel for $50USD per person. This was the cheapest out of about 5 places that we spoke to.
We started out at 6.30am from Sapa in car and started climbing at 7am.
Ming (our young guide) was very lovely, his English is not fantastic but enough to communicate. He is also extremely fit! We are both young (25 & 26) so he set a steady pace and it resulted in us completing the return climb in just under 7.5hrs including brief breaks.
This I think is faster than many would expect but proof that it doesn't need to be done over 2 or 3 days.
We are both very active, relatively fit people and we by no means found the trek easy. We carried a fast pace that we struggled with. The path is slippery in places (despite the sunny day) and you have to watch your step constantly as the path is not smooth. Coming down is a slow pace as it is very steep and slippery (we spent a good amount of time on our backsides). However we are no triathletes so I think for the average fit Joe who is determined and likes a good challenge then one day 10hrs average (times we deduced from the reviews) is what you need.
The camps on the way up that people stay in overnight are very basic and would be fun as a bit of an intrepid encounter but they didn't appeal to me at all. I also feel like splitting the climb over 2 days would make it very casual and you would have to go at an extremely slow pace in order to fill the days with climbing.
This climb was a real highlight of our trip. We loved the challenge, we loved conquering something and the view we were lucky enough to see at the top was fantastic! So if your fit and used to pushing hard with physical activity just go for the one dayer and feel great about what you have achieved.
If you own or manage Fansipan Mountain, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.