How to get from HANOI to SAPA?

Nga Do
Sapa, Hanoi, Ha Long are the most visited places in northern Vietnam. Sapa is among the top 3 most visited places in northern Vietnam after Hanoi and Ha Long Bay. It is good to know it. Sapa is a good place for trekking in Vietnam, you will find there the highest mountain in Vietnam – Fansipan (3 143 m) and you can visit this place very easily, by a new cable car from the town.

Located on high mountain with no airport, Sapa is accessible by road only. From Hanoi, you can to get to Sapa by trains, buses, limousine, motobike. Vietnam Typical Tours point out the operation of each type for you to have an overview of how to travel to Sapa from Hanoi.

Train from Hanoi to Sapa

How to get from HANOI to SAPA?
Photo by Vietnam Typical Tours
Lots of visitors travel by the overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. It takes about 8 hours by overnight train and you will arrive to Lao Cai in 5.30 am or 6.05 am. Lao Cai is about 30 km from Sapa and you can travel on this route by a local public bus (much cheaper) or private bus companies.

It is suggested that you book your ticket in advance, especially during peak time of the week such as Hanoi to Lao Cai on Thursday and Friday; Lao Cai to Hanoi on Sunday and Monday. This is normally due to the weekend retreat of local tourists, and also on Sunday there is a special market fair in Bac Ha which attracts many visitors.

* Train often departs at between 8:00pm and 10:00pm, and you can catch a good sleep before getting woked up by the beautiful mountain sceneray at dawn.

* There are also day trains which are not as comfortable as night train. It also takes longer time to travel as it makes more stops.

* Ticket for night train is $35-180/person/way (the most expensive one is Victoria express which is exclusively for in-house guests)

* Ticket for day train is $10-20/person/way 

book your train from Hanoi to Sapa/Lao Cai online:

Bus from Hanoi to Sapa

How to get from HANOI to SAPA? 1
Photo by Sapa Express Bus
The best way is to use day or overnight direct bus from Hanoi to Sapa town. Buses depart daily, usually starting from 6:30am or 10:00pm. One way trip takes betwen 6 hours.

Traveling by bus is both fast and it goes direct to Sapa without stopping in Lao Cai as by train. If you take a private car ride, you can even reach Sapa in 5 hours. You can book and buy e-tickets of companies: Sapa Express Bus, Ecosapa Limousine, Inter Bus Line,...

→ More information about Sapa tour schedules use the Sapa express bus from Hanoi service can be found here:

Motobike from Hanoi to Sapa

How to get from HANOI to SAPA? 2
Photo by Vietnam Typical Tours

For who likes backpacking tourism, you can also travel by motorbike from Hanoi to Sapa. You may have a chance to contemplate the mighty O Quy Ho Pass. This will be a very interesting experience.

However, when you follow the pass, it is better not to go too soon in the morning or too late in the evening because it will not be safe. Moreover, you should prepare necessary personal items for the best experience. 

I recommend to travel over Nghia Lo and Mu Cang Chai, you will be driving on the road - QL32 and QL4D (check google maps), tatally it í about 440 km from Hanoi to Sapa (over Mu Cang Chai), you will through the various nice nature sceneries.

→ For information on renting motorbikes in Hanoi, contact us:

Recommendation for travelling from Hanoi to Sapa.

  • Sapa in Lao Cai province is a big tourist place. 
  • Lots of foreign tourists visit this place. 
  • Buy your bus or train tickets online, if you want to avoid scammers in Hanoi. 
  • A lot of tourist agencies in Hanoi have a train and bus tickets, but lots of them are overprized. 
  • The most cheapest ticket is a train ticket from Hanoi to Lao Cai (soft deat - about $7/pp). 
  • Almost all the trains take a baggage to 20 kg. 
  • Watch your luggage on the train. 
  • The most fastest transport from Hanoi to Sapa is a sapa express bus from Hanoi.
  • If you will be travel by train to Lao Cai - use sleeper train, comfortable and not so expesive. 
  • Recommend - come to the train/bus station about 1 hour before departure. 
We hope with this guide, you can plan to come to Sapa Vietnam easily. If you need to answer other questions about Sapa travel, we are always here to support you 24/7.

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