How to Get from Hanoi to Sapa

Located in the northernmost region in Vietnam, Sapa boasts a rich variety of beautiful tourist attractions and natural sites. A trip to this charming destination also offers you the opportunity to extend your knowledge about one-of-a-kind culture of Vietnamese people in remote areas.

In order to reach Sapa, you will have to travel through a long distance of around 380km from the capital city Hanoi. So, how can we get there? Followings are 3 best kinds of vehicle that you can choose to travel from Hanoi to Sapa.

1. BUS

There are many buses for you to choose that runs from Hanoi city center to Sapa. However, depending on your convenience and interests, here are some ways to travel by bus to this dreamy foggy town:

VIP Bus: You can book this high-quality vehicle at most of tourism companies and travel agencies in Hanoi Old Quarter. The price is around US$18 including comfortable sleeping seats, air-conditioner, blanket, pillow, drinking water and even an English-speaking guide. The bus will pick you up at your hotel or wait for you at its parking place near the Old Quarter as well as other spots around Hanoi and transfer you straight to Sapa in around 5 hours on the new highway Hanoi – Lao Cai.

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VIP Limosine Mini-bus: the Limosine will pick you up at your hotel to travel straight to the center of Sapa town. At an affordable price of around $20, you can enjoy comfortable moments and luxury services.

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Local Bus: If you are budget travel and want to reduce a bit of service fees from travel companies, you can totally start your trip at My Dinh Bus Station (6km from The Old Quarter) where you can find a variety of local buses including the ones to Sapa or Lao Cai province. It will take you 6 or 7 hours to transfer to Sapa center, thus, it is recommended to go on a night bus.

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Train might be the safest way to travel to Sapa from Hanoi. There are several different kinds of seats you can choose at different ranges of price: hard seat, soft seats, hard beds, soft beds, etc.

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It takes around 8 hours to reach Lao Cai, which offers you the chance to learn more about customs and culture of Vietnamese people.

The downside of travelling by train is that it drops you off at Lao Cai Train Station only. Thus, you have to catch another local bus or taxi to transfer 35km to central Sapa town.

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Vietnam Railways provides three services daily:

• Two express trains consist of SP1/SP2 and SP2/SP3. The trains depart during the night and just stop in the main stations

• One local train such as LC1/ LC2, which departs at a slower speed in the daytime and stops at all stations during the trip of Hanoi - Lao Cai railway line.

• Particularly if you travel in the high season or national holidays, you can find these services such as SP7/SP8 and LC3/LC4. These services are added besides daily services by the railway company.

Time and Prices:

• 8.00 pm – 10.00 pm for night train, you can have a good night sleep before admiring beautiful sceneries at sunrise. 

• The cost for night train ranges from $35 – 180 per person on a way, in which Victoria express offers the most expensive price. 

• The cost for day train ranges from $10 – 20 per person per way.

• The day train is available, but it will stop at more stations than one at night time. What is more, it is not really comfortable for you to sit on the train for hours without sleeping.

It is highly recommended that you should pre-book your tickets to avoid sold-out situations and expensive ones at high seasons and Vietnamese festivals. 

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If you are an adventure enthusiast, then travelling to Sapa by motorbike is a great idea. There is a variety of routes that you can choose to reach Sapa through breathtaking scenery of mountainous areas and idyllic countryside in Northern Vietnam

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You will have chance to pass by some famous passes including O Quy Ho, dreamy lush terraced paddies in Mu Cang Chai, immense fields in Than Uyen, etc.

The advantage of riding by motorbike is that you can stop at wherever you want to sightsee, take photos, relax or visit some ethnic villages en route. Furthermore, you will have chance to enjoy fresh air and cool breezes and quiet spectacle of Vietnam's remote ares to escape from the hustle and bustle of the big cities.

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Brian Vu

Working for a travel company is a big chance for me to feel love with travel. Specially, leisure is not my style, riding motorbike to discover everywhere is really great for my trips. On each miles I reach, I get opportunity to learn more about the local culture, to see ... [View Details...]