Hòn Thơm – Phú Quốc Cable Car



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.


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 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.


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.

Want more? Purchase Cable Car Confidential: The Essential Guide to Cable Cars, Urban Gondolas & Cable Propelled Transit and start learning about the world's fastest growing transportation technologies.

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