Trying to escape the madness of Hanoi? Looking for something more remote like the mountains of Sapa? Unsure of how to get there? This post will give you all the information you need.
Transport From Hanoi To Sapa
There are two main options available to get from Hanoi to Sapa – the bus and the train. We opted for the train as we have not had good experiences on overnight buses, but each to their own.
There are a few different bus options available for this route. You can take a soft seat bus, sleeper bus or a mini-van limousine bus. Prices range from approximately €9-€22.50 ($10-$25) and the journey takes around 6 hours. The buses leave at various times throughout the day depending on the operator.
If you decide to take the train you should be aware that there is no station in Sapa itself and the train from Hanoi will stop in Lao Cai. Lao Cai is about a one hour drive from Sapa so you will need to get a bus/taxi to take you to Sapa town. We took a mini-van that the train staff organised for us and it cost 50,000 Dong each (€1.90/$2.10). The train staff will come around before you reach the station and ask who requires transport to Sapa.
Once you arrive in the station they will point out your driver to you. Follow him, give him the name of your accommodation and sit back and enjoy the views.
The road to Sapa is very twisty and windy and is often covered in fog and mist (as the town is located 1500 meters above sea level), but it will clear allowing you to see some of the breathtaking rice terraces and mountainous views.
How Much Does The Train Cost?
The ticket price will vary depending on what cabin class you book – first, second or third. The number of beds varies in each class. First class, also known as VIP, is the most expensive as it sleeps only two people. Second class sleeps four people, and third class sleeps six – hence it is the cheapest.
|Cabin Type||Approx. Cost |
|Approx. Cost $||Approx. Cost €|
|1st Class |
|2nd Class |
|3rd Class |
You can book these tickets through most hostels, at the station and also through Vietnam Railways website. We booked through our hostel and they printed our tickets and itinerary for us.
How Long Does The Train Journey Take?
The train from Hanoi to Sapa takes between 8-10 hours, depending on what train you take. Most trains leave at night (usually between 8pm and 10pm) and arrive into Sapa in the early hours of the morning.
So that’s the craic with getting to Sapa – enjoy the journey 😉
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