Hòn Thơm – Phú Quốc Cable Car

25
Mar

2018

Photo of the Week: Soaring To Hon Thom Island

Hòn Thơm – Phú Quốc Cable Car. Image from Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park.

Hòn Thơm – Phú Quốc Cable Car. Image from Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park.

Hòn Thơm – Phú Quốc Cable Car. Image from Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park.



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21
Feb

2018

Onboard the World’s Longest 3S Cable Car

If you’re anything like us, the recent opening the Hon Thom 3S cable car has made you dream of an escape to a sunny tropical island.

Unfortunately, booking a roundtrip ticket to the Vietnamese getaway is not always possible. Luckily though, with the magic of the internet, it is now possible for us to at least vicariously experience the world’s longest 3S gondola on YouTube.

The footage is a little grainy at times, but you can still get a great feel of the incredible technological achievements made by this stunning 7.9km journey across the Gulf of Thailand.


A big thanks to reader Peter H. for sending us this link!



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05
Feb

2018

Hon Thom 3S Cable Car Opens


The wait is finally over.

After more than 2.5 years, the world’s longest 3S passenger ropeway was inaugurated on February 4. Invitees attended kick off festivities with a slew of giveaways, recognitions, and announcements.

Passengers hopped onboard the 7.9km Hon Thom Cable Car and soared from Phu Quoc over the Gulf of Thailand’s crystal blue waters on a 15 minute ride before arriving on Hon Thom Island (i.e. Pineapple Island).

The ropeway system, designed with seventy 30-passenger cabins and a capacity of 3,500 pphpd, can operate at maximum speeds of 8.5m/s (30.6km/h). This incredible speed helps the cable car tie a record, initially set by the 30-TGD Psekhako ropeway in Sochi, Russia, for the fastest 3S gondola ever built.

Hundreds of marine vessels appeared to have gathered below the cable car to witness its inauguration. Image from Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park.

With this new piece of infrastructure, travelling to Hon Thom Island has never been as easy nor as exciting. The cable car will aid in the development of the region’s growing tourism market where three million visitors arrived in 2017.

The island chain, already home to what has been called the most luxurious JW Marriott resort ever built, is expected to experience significant growth in the short-mid term as new mixed-use developments are scheduled to open.

Hon Thom Nature Park, located at the cable car’s southern terminal, will officially accept visitors on Lunar New Year on February 14. Visitors to Pineapple Island will be able to enjoy a number of amenities such as paragliding, kayaking, and diving.

Looking towards Phu Quoc. Image by Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park.

For North American travellers, Phu Quoc is still a bit of trek, since there are no direct flights available. However, for those living in the region, it appears that six airlines already serve the island’s international airport. Flights from large cities such as Bangkok, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Siem Reap have regularly scheduled arrivals.

Seasonal and/or chartered flights also seem to available from more distant European cities such as London, Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen, and Moscow. From the looks of it, the future of Phu Quoc and the cable car is incredibly promising.

Visitors arriving in Vietnam’s Maldives can purchase ropeway tickets at US$22 (adults) and US$15 (children). Luckily, for those who can’t visit in the meantime, we can all ride vicariously as social media accounts have already captured the entire experience online.



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23
Jan

2018

World’s Longest 3S Ropeway, the Hon Thom Cable Car, Set to Open in February

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Image from Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park.

In a few weeks, the 7.9km Hon Thom Cable Car (Vietnamese: Cáp treo Hòn Thơm) is expected to open for passenger service on the largest island in Vietnam. Once operations begin, not only will it hold the world’s longest continuous (single section) 3S passenger ropeway title, it will also dramatically improve transport time and experience along a string of tropical islands known as the An Thoi Archipelago.

After construction began in September 2015, the system is now being tested before it is commissioned in February 2018. This incredible feat of engineering was made possible thanks to the expertise from ropeway manufacturer, Doppelmayr, who collaborated with industry leaders such as Fatzer and CWA.



The 3S cable car begins its journey at Phu Quoc (pronounced “foo-kwock”), an island roughly the size of Singapore that lies 15km south of the Cambodian coastline in the Gulf of Thailand. Specifically, the cable car’s northern terminus is located in An Thoi, a port town in the southern region of Phu Quoc known for its white sand beaches, fish sauce, and coral reefs. Officials expect Phu Quoc to transform itself into the next Maldives and Phuket over the next decades as it lures investment with a slew of major infrastructure projects totalling US$16.7 billion.

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01
Feb

2016

New Heavyweight Ropeway Champ: Vietnam

Queen Cable Car (Cáp Treo Nữ Hoàng Hạ Long City). Image from Cap Treo Ha Long.

Ha Long Bay’s new cable car will break two records: Tallest tower and largest cabins. Image from Cap Treo Ha Long.

The world of ropeways is being completely flipped upside down as we know it. In the past, ask someone about cable cars and they’d likely think of the snowy alpine peaks of Switzerland/Austria/France — or perhaps more recently, the rugged urban terrain of South America. However, in the near future, Vietnam may become the mecca of ropeways.

In fact, next to Bolivia, Vietnam may be one of the most cable car crazed nation in the world and the country is in the midst of a massive ropeway construction boom.

It’s difficult to say exactly how many systems are in the planning/construction phase, but it appears there are three record-breaking cable cars currently underway. And this doesn’t include the headline-making ropeway that was proposed for the world’s largest cave, Sơn Đoòng.

Amongst the flurry of activity, here’s a recap of some of the most impressive cable car projects.

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188.8m tower recently completed. Image by Cap Treo Ha Long.

1. Tallest Ropeway Tower and Biggest Ropeway Cabin: Queen Cable Car (Cáp Treo Nữ Hoàng Hạ Long)

Scheduled to open this year, the Cáp Treo Nữ Hoàng (directly translated to Cable Car Queen) will single-handedly break two records. Its 230-passenger cabins will be the largest while its 188.8m tower will be the tallest.

Previously, these records belonged to the double decker cabins found in the Vanoise Express (200 persons) and the 113.6m tall tower on Gletscherbahn Kaprun 3 in Austria.

This aerial tram system is part of a larger development project (includes an aquarium, giant ferris wheel, and waterpark) aimed to boost tourism in Ha Long Bay. 




2. Longest 3S Gondola: Hòn Thơm – Phú Quốc Ropeway

3S Alignment. Image from Doppelmayr.

3S Alignment. Image from Doppelmayr.

At 7.9km (4.9mi) in length, the Hòn Thơm – Phú Quốc Ropeway will be the world’s longest 3S cable car. Seventy 30-passenger cabins operating at a maximum speed of 8.5m/s will result in a line capacity of 3,500 pphpd. This Doppelmayr-built system, broke ground last September and is scheduled to open in early 2017. It will also feature towers that are 160m in height! This itself is quite impressive but somewhat pales in comparison to the 188.8m record-setting towers in Ha Long Bay.

3. Biggest Difference in Elevation Between Terminals (3S): Fansipan Cable Car

fansipan

Fansipan cable car terminal site. Image by Kham Pa.

Once the 6.3km (3.9mi) Fanispan Cable Car opens, it will set a new world record for the biggest height difference for a 3S gondola. It will travel to the roof of Indochina from its base station (1604m) to its top station (3014m) for a total elevation gain of 1410m!

This breaks the previous record (1251m) set by the 3S Pardatschgrat in Ischgl, Austria. At a cost of approximately US$200 million, it is may also be one of the most expensive cable cars ever built.

Summary

With these three projects, cable car manufacturers have once again demonstrated their ability to adapt, advance and meet the changing needs of their clients. If the projects in Vietnam are a sign of things to come, readers should expect to see even bigger and badder ropeways in the future.



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Fansipan Cable Car / Hòn Thơm - Phú Quốc Cable Car / Queen Cable Car (Cáp Treo Nữ Hoàng)
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