Getting To Sapa By Train, Bus or Motorcycle is Best?

Nga Do
Sapa is among the top 3 most visited places in northern Vietnam after Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. It is only 315 km away from Hanoi, so no nearby airport the only option for getting there is to travel by road or rail. However, it is difficult to give a good view of what is the best way to get to Sapa from Hanoi. Here are some of the benefits and modes of operation of each way of moving to Sapa from Hanoi.

Catch a train from Hanoi to Lao Cai, then get a bus to Sapa Town

Most visitors choose to get from Hanoi to Sapa by overnight train; it’s more comfortable and safer than a bus or motorbike, and a lot cheaper than hiring a car but don’t forget – it is noisy. All the trains go to Lao Cai City (340 km from Hanoi), an end station in the Northwest, close to Chinese border. They take around 8 hours and 20 minutes to reach Lao Cai. The final 40 kilometers to Sapa is travelled by minibus or private transfer. For trains, there are many options available to you, each trains with a different service and different service modes (Orient Express, King Express, Fansipan, Sapaly, Livitrans, Victoria Express…).

Be aware, if your group travels with young children then the best option is to travel by train

Bus from Hanoi to Sapa 

Sapa can also be reached by bus which is faster but it is less comfortable and less safe — although there have been no reported serious accidents on that particular route, if you can’t get booked on the train or want an option with cheaper price. There are two options for you: by sleeper bus or express Hanoi to Sapa bus. By sleeper bus, it takes you 8-9 hours to go directly to Sapa town. There are daily buses departing Hanoi at 6.30a.m or 10p.m with the price is around 250,000 – 350,000 VND. Hanoi – Sapa – Hanoi by Sapa express bus departs daily at 7a.m via the newly built Hanoi – Lao Cai highway. It takes about 6 hours to drive from Hanoi to Sapa, depending on traffic and weather. You will enjoy the scene of the Vietnamese countryside along the road and it is by far the quickest and easiest way to travel between Hanoi and Sapa.

By motorbike from Hanoi to Sapa

This may be a perfect method for travellers who want to discover and experience the nature sublime mountain landscapes during the journey, passing the provinces of Hanoi, Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho, Yen Bai and Lao Cai. You are comfortable to take photograph beautiful scenes and video the awesome moments while driving private. However, there is a suggestion for you is that going with a partner, then exchanging to drive, having someone to talk together. Besides, you should put your motorbike on the train for the return journey if you do not want to hurt your butt. Traffic in Vietnam is like no other in the world, there will be no rule at all along the way, so be careful when you ride motorbike yourselves.

Our recommendations: With a train ticket you will have a night to rest on the train and if you choose to travel by bus you only take about 6 hours to get to Sapa on the most comfortable and modern bus with English speaking assistant staff, complimentary water, wifi and transport insurance. Moreover, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery on the countryside or the mountainous city where you can not do anything with the night train. Moreover, you will save be time and money to spend on more trips.

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