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ropeways.net | Home | 2016-11-03

Doppelmayr realized record cableways in Vietnam

Two records with one ropeway

One of Vietnam’s most well-known tourist attractions made ropeway history in summer 2016: In Ha Long Bay, the world’s biggest aerial tramway cabins travel over the world’s tallest ropeway tower.

With the new reversible aerial tramway, Doppelmayr/Garaventa has created an exceptional installation in a very special place. A ropeway now crosses the strait in the famous Ha Long Bay, enabling visitors to travel in comfort to an impressive observation wheel.

Attracting over six million visitors a year, Ha Long Bay ranks among the most well-known tourist attractions in Vietnam and is also a popular destination for the local population. In addition to its new theme park, the area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with 1,600 islands and islets that form a spectacular seascape of limestone pillars. With the new tramway, Doppelmayr/ Garaventa has simultaneously broken two world records. The two double-decker carriers, each built to carry 230 passengers, are the biggest aerial tramway cabins anywhere in the world to date. Traveling at a speed of ten meters per second, the Ha Long Queen Cable Car can carry around 2,000 passengers an hour. The steel ropes are supported by two towers, one of which is the world’s tallest ropeway tower rising up to a height of 188.88 meters. Passengers enjoy breathtaking views of the unique natural scenery.

Construction challenge mastered with flying colors

Installing the ropes was a particular challenge. As Ha Long Bay plays a major role in cargo shipping with large vessels, the entire rope installation operation had to be performed at a height of 50 meters above sea level. The equipment used included a rope pulling machine with a tractive force of 65 tons and a rope braking machine with a braking force of over 60 tons. The reversible aerial tramway experts from Garaventa were the key players in this project.

230-ATW Ha Long Queen Cable Car

Owner Sun Group
Location Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province (VNM)
Carriers 2 double-decker cabins, 230 passengers each
Capacity 2,000 PPH
Towers 2 concrete towers, 188.88 m and 123.45 m
Track rope Ø 78 mm
Haul rope Ø 57 mm
Speed 10.0 m/s
Length 2,165 m
Vertical rise 88.5 m
Opened June 25, 2016


15 minutes to the Roof of Indochina

The Fansipan Legend 3S lift in Vietnam is currently the world’s longest tricable ropeway with the greatest vertical rise.

At 3,143 m, Mount Fansipan ranks as Vietnam’s highest peak and is an important destination for travelers. However, the ascent is particularly arduous. Since February 2016, a spectacular 3S lift supplied by Doppelmayr/Garaventa has provided access to a high plateau near the summit. Now, even less accomplished hikers are able to visit the “Roof of Indochina” all year round. During their trip on the 6,326-meter-long ropeway, which barely takes 15 minutes, passengers cover 1,410 vertical meters. This makes the Fansipan Legend 3S lift currently the world’s longest tricable ropeway with the greatest vertical rise. Both of these records were confirmed by representatives from Guinness World Records.

Exceptional to the smallest detail

The exceptional nature of this installation began with the construction work. In view of the fact that only the base station could be reached by truck, the entire excavation work for the towers and stations had to be performed manually using picks and shovels. Tools and equipment had to be carried to the top station, which meant a two- to three-day trek on foot. Working together with local labor under challenging weather and terrain conditions, the Doppelmayr/Garaventa teams achieved a remarkable feat. Each of the different-colored CWA cabins carries 30 passengers seated in comfort. This ropeway is the second installation worldwide where the cabins are supplied with power by means of a carriage wheel generator. The enormous drive power for the 3S lift is provided by a double drive with two gear units and four motors. The Doppelmayr recovery concept ensures that the cabins can always be safely returned to the station in a rescue scenario.

Sophisticated braking concept

Doppelmayr developed a new braking concept to handle the huge masses set in motion on the installation – in this case, up to 500 tons, which is the equivalent of roughly 330 fully occupied automobiles. Software ensures precise calculation of all braking requirements and consequently maximum ride comfort. Doppelmayr also invested a lot of time and know-how into the building concept for the stations, which impressively master the mass-induced dynamics of the installation. Fansipan Legend is the first ropeway where the safety section is incorporated inside the station building, both at the top and at the bottom – and not, as is usually the case, after the station exit.

The Fansipan 3S lift went into service shortly before the Chinese New Year, an accomplishment which was only made possible thanks to the outstanding collaboration of all the parties involved and the Sun Group.

30-TGD Fansipan Legend

Owner Sun Group
Location Fansipan Mountain, Sapa (VNM)
Lift type 3S tricable gondola lift
Inclined length 6,326 m
Vertical rise 1,410 m
Capacity 2,000 PPH
Speed 8.0 m/s
Trip time 14.8 min
Carriers 33 CWA cabins, Model Zeta-35 for 30 passengers each (all seated)


Partnership with a promising future

WIR talked to Đặng Minh Trường, General Director of the Sun Group.

WIR. The Ha Long reversible aerial tramway links the new theme park, Sun World Ha Long Park, with one of the world’s biggest observation wheels. How did the idea of using an aerial tramway for this link come about?

Mr. Đặng Minh Trường: The Bay Chai area – the location of the theme park, water park – and the area of Ba Deo hill – the location of Ba Deo Hill Park and the highest Sunwheel in the world – are two attractions of Ha Long. A few years ago, it was difficult to travel between these two areas. A ferry was the only means of transportation. After that, the Bai Chay bridge was built to manage this problem, but in order to connect the two tourist spots in a loop, this bridge was not the best option. Setting up a cable car system to connect the two sides of the bay is a proper choice. The cable car brings visitors a completely new special experience: with the view of the Ha Long Bay from high above.

WIR. Over the past few years, Doppelmayr/Garaventa has built some spectacular ropeway installations at popular leisure destinations in Vietnam – and there are more, which are about to be completed. In your view, what benefits do ropeways bring for tourists and for the local population?

Mr. Đặng Minh Trường: Thanks to the existing cable car systems in Ba Na, Fansipan Sapa, Ha Long and Hon Thom (Phu Quoc) in the near future, more and more people have the chance to explore the most beautiful destinations in Vietnam.

Taking Fansipan Legend as an example: In the past, it took hikers at least two days to conquer the Roof of Indochina. Those who are not in good shape would never have dreamed of reaching the top of Fansipan Mountain, not to mention elderly people and children. Now, thanks to the cable car system, tourists of all ages can enjoy the breathtaking view over the Hoang Lien Son from the height of 3,143 meters.

It is important to clearly show the benefits to the locals: Cable cars are a new tourism promoter and they play an important role in increasing the attractiveness of destinations like Da Nang, Sa Pa, Ha Long Bay for tourists. More people come to these areas, which generate more jobs and more stable income for locals. Economic experts say that in the tourism sector, one directly originated job will indirectly create three more jobs. The benefit cable car projects bring for the regions’ tourism development is undeniable.

Sun Group’s business philosophy is very consistent: The development of business shall always contribute to the development of the local community.

WIR. The Sun Group enjoys a long and very successful partnership with Doppelmayr/Garaventa. What aspects of that relationship are particularly important to you?

Mr. Đặng Minh Trường: In the construction of the first cable car in Ba Na Hills resort, the Sun Group chose Doppelmayr – the world leading group in this field. We have been side by side in many projects nationwide, from the Ba Na Hills Cable Car to the Fansipan Legend, the Ha Long Queen Cable Car and now the Hon Thom cable car in Phu Quoc.

This long-term relationship has been built on the basis of trust and understanding each other. We wish to build world-class projects, helping the Vietnamese to access unique destinations and tourism facilities. Our desire is to mark Vietnam as a “must-come-destination” on the global tourism map. We have the financial resources and enthusiastic engineers who are willing to learn. Meanwhile, Doppelmayr is a professional group with leading cable car technologies.

Besides, Doppelmayr and the Sun Group share the same goal: to build the best constructions for the community.

WIR. Many thanks for taking the time to talk to us.


Profile of the Sun Group

Behind the numerous record-breaking ropeways in Vietnam lies a dynamic enterprise: the Sun Group.

The Sun Group was founded in 2007 and ranks among the leading players in Vietnam’s private sector. Its goal is to implement exceptional projects aimed at promoting the socioeconomic development of selected locations, particularly in Vietnam.

As part of this goal, the Sun Group wants to contribute toward raising international awareness of Vietnam as an attractive destination. All the Group’s projects meet international standards and the premium services offered are primarily focused on maximum customer enjoyment and guest satisfaction.

The Vietnamese group of companies implements projects in four different areas and incorporates ropeways not only as a means of transport but also as a magnet for visitors or as an attraction in their own right:
  • Convalescence tourism
  • Luxury real estate
  • Amusement and entertainment
  • Construction investment
Ba Na Hills in Da Nang marked the first major success of the Sun Group and also involved the collaboration of the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group. The Fantasy Park, which is one of Asia’s five biggest indoor parks, the French Village and a ropeway holding two world records attract large numbers of visitors and have made Da Nang a popular leisure destination.

The Sun Group’s top-class real estate and leisure amenities have won international recognition and provide a major boost for tourism in Vietnam. Convalescence and leisure tourism in particular is gaining in popularity. The ropeways that have formed part of the construction projects, such as the installations on Mount Fansipan, in Ba Na Hills or across Ha Long Bay, have attracted huge media attention. As well as achieving an important multiplier effect, many of these ropeway installations have set world records, which have hit the headlines around the globe – turn to the Facts & Figures page for further details.

Sun Group

Founded 2007
President Le Viet Lam
Headcount 5,000
Headquarter in Danang
Other locations Hanoi, Sapa, Ha Long
Business areas Convalescence tourism Luxury real estate Amusement and entertainment Construction investment

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