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How to Get to Sapa from Hanoi How to Get to Sapa from Hanoi

How to Get to Sapa from Hanoi

How to Get to Sapa from Hanoi

Overview Sapa in Vietnam

Sapa overview 

Sapa is a lovely little town in the mountainous region, of 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 remember 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:  

BY BUS

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. 

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.

Bus from Hanoi to Sapa

Bus from Hanoi To Sapa

Depending on the bus condition and amenities 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 an 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

Pros

  • Due to the 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.

Cons

  • 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 the 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, so you might not have a chance to take photos of the gorgeous view

BY LIMOUSINE

The limousine offers comfortable space and convenience but is 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. 

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.

Limousine from Hanoi to Sapa

Limousine from Hanoi to Sapa

Price range

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

Limousine company

  • EcoSapa Limousine
  • Sapa Express

Pros

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

Cons

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

BY TRAIN

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, and private room (require booking four tickets) are provided for travelers to choose from.

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: 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.

Train from Hanoi to Sapa

Train from Hanoi to Sapa

Ha Noi terminal address: 

  • Gate 1: 120 Le Duan Street
  • Gate 2: 1 Tran Quy Cap Street

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

Pros

  • 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.

Cons

  • 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 

BY MOTORBIKE

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 rental amount you have to pay for a bike is 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.

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 of 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 with the original fuels, which could lead to some dangerous problems with your vehicles.

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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 on the most suitable options as well as give you our utmost sincere Vietnam Travel Guide.

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