Sapa is a lovely little town in the mountainous region, Northwestern Vietnam, which is a part of Lao Cai province. Sapa influences cool and cold atmosphere, the average temperature is from 15 – 180 Celcius degrees all year round.

When talking about Sapa, people reminded the land with special features of tribal villages, wet-rice agriculture, and numerous lively rice-terraces. The journey from Hanoi to Sapa is about 380 km through mountainous paths. There are a few options to get to Sapa from Hanoi for you to choose from:  


Traveling by bus is the common selection for most local and foreign tourists owing to the cheap price and short duration. It takes about 5.5 to 6 hours to reach Sapa. The bus can be furnished with either adjustable chairs or bunk-beds for the overnight ride. 

The buses to Sapa are all 45 seaters buses. 

To book a ticket, you can always ask the receptionist at your hotel to handle it for you or buy the ticket directly at the bus agencies in the Old Quarter. Booking online is also available, just search for some bus companies’ websites or call them to follow the given phone number.

Usually, the companies would send a minibus for a transfer between your accommodations and the bus company’s meeting point. The transfer minibus is a shared bus that stops at a few hotels for picking-up before heading to the final meeting point.

The bus is furnished with bunk-beds with a pillow and a blanket on each bed. 

Depending on the bus condition and amenities that the ticket price can be a little different

Price range

  • A one-way ticket for a seat (normal class): from 200.000 to 250.000 VND; approximately 7 to 10 USD.
  • A one-way ticket for a bed (normal class): from 220.000 to 300.000 VND; approximately 10 to 14 USD.

♦ Included services are air-conditioner, a bottle of water, and a blanket. The bus will stop once or twice for tourists to buy snacks as well as a restroom break. The bus to Sapa runs every 30 to 40 minutes the whole day. 

Common Bus Lines

  • Hanh Café
  • Queen Café
  • Sapa Hello
  • Hason Haivan


  • Due to mountainous terrain, transferring by bus might be dangerous, especially when it gets dark.
  • Traveling by bus is the cheapest option. An overnight ride can save a night at the hotel.
  • Traveling by bus is the cheapest option. An overnight ride can save a night at the hotel.


  • In the high tourism season, the number of guests will increase, leading to a  higher possibility of passengers get scammed. Tickets can be sold out in a blink of an eye, so travelers should remember to book the ticket about two to four weeks in advance.
  • The bus’s speed is rather high, you might not have chances to take photos of the gorgeous view


 The limousine offers comfortable space and convenience but more expensive. Owing to the limited number of vehicles, the number of rides of the limousine is also little. The tickets are usually sold out at weekends; therefore, we recommend booking in advance. The number of available seats on the limousine range from 9 to 29. 

All of the 19 seaters cars are renovated to turn into 8 seaters. 

You can easily buy the ticket at the Old Quarter and surely the best option is to ask your hotel receptionist to book it for you. Online booking is also available. Making a payment right after booking is highly recommended because that is a way for you to avoid the scam.

Seats are comfortable and spacious with modern amenities. 

Price range

  • A one-way ticket: from 370.000 – 450.000 VND; approximately 16 to 22 USD.

Limousine company

  • EcoSapa Limousine
  • Sapa Express


  • Comfortable seat and spacious room for long legs.
  • A faster and safer ride to Sapa


  • Usually out of tickets, especially at weekends and high season. Booking in advance four to seven days.
  • Limousine’s speed is rather high, you might not have chances to take photos of the gorgeous view.


Going to Sapa by train is undoubtedly the most common way for the local people because of the reasonable price as well as guaranteed safety. There are two kinds of trains: SP (fast train) and LC (slow train). Various kinds of tickets: the soft seat, hard seat, bed, upper bed cabin, private room (require booking four tickets) are provided for travelers to choose from.

There are two kinds of trains: SP (fast train) and LC (slow train).

The train departs 3 times in a day, 2 times at night and 1 time in daylight. The train ride’s duration often lasts for about 8 to 9 hours. 

Passengers can book tickets at the station or on the official website of the Vietnam National Railway system. Book in advance is recommended.

♦ However, there is one thing that tourists should note down is that the train will not run straight to Sapa. The train will drop you off at Lao Cai province, which is 38 km away from Sapa. From here, you have to take a taxi or minibus to Sapa. This would take 45 more minutes to arrive.

Ha Noi terminal address: Gate 1: 120 Le Duan Street

                                         Gate 2: 1 Tran Quy Cap Street.

The bed cabins are in good shape and well-preserved condition. 

Price range

  • A one-way ticket for seats: from 150.000 to 280.000 VND for a seat; approximately 7 to 13 USD
  • A one-way ticket for beds: From 450.000 to 600.000 VND for a bed; approximately 22 to 30 USD


  • Sockets are available on the train. Thus, you are free from worries because your phone will be ready for the adventure ahead.
  • Amenities are in good condition, good looking design, nice and clean toilet, food and drinks are sold on the train.
  • An overnight train can save a night staying at the hotel.


  • Extra fee for a transition to reach Sapa
  • A long duration might cause uneasiness.
  • Booking 5 days or more in advance is a must. 
  • High chance of sold out tickets 


For daredevils and adventure lovers, a trip on a motorbike to Sapa will be thrilling and out of this world. One can stop anywhere to watch the scenic mountainous view and catch some epic photos. It will be a 400-km route and takes about 7 to 8 hours to arrive. 

Motorbike hiring agencies are available at many places in Ha Noi. You can ask your hotel staff for suggestions of trusted motorbike hiring agencies.

Normally, the renting amount you have to pay for a bike is from 150.000 VND per day (about 7 USD). All of the motorbikes are gear ones and are sent to maintenance service regularly. A helmet is provided along with the hiring service but fuel is on your account.

The mountainous landscape in northern Vietnam from the dirt trail up high is mesmerizing.

Google maps is an efficient supporter when you are visiting an unfamiliar country. You should always remember to check the route on google maps before going.

Mountainous routes in the north region are extremely difficult, hence, traveling by motorbike is for experienced drivers only. 

Scamping motorbike agencies. Rent a bike at trusted agents. Always check the vehicle carefully, or better yet, take a picture or your rented motorbike before your departure.

Furthermore, bikers need some preparations relating to fuel. Top up fuel regularly is basic. In case of urgent circumstances, you should bring a backup bottle of fuel. Petrol should be bought at petrol stations instead of hawkers. The hawkers and vendors might mix other substances and water to the original fuels, which could lead to some dangerous problems with your vehicles.


  • Dauntless, off-road experience with motorbiking 
  • Breathtaking view of the northern landscape
  • Travel by the motorbike is ideal to stop en route and take some photos of the scenic mountainous view


  • Dangerous for inexperienced drivers, especially with a geared motorbike
  • Dehydration from the long drive
  • Scams from rental agencies or gas stations

No matter what kind of transportation you choose, it is essential to make your safety your priority.

» We - Asia Links Travel - are here to consult you the most suitable options as well as give you our utmost sincerely Vietnam Travel Guide

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