Recently updated on January 2nd, 2023 at 07:34 am

The Ultimate Sapa Travel Tips: All You Need To Know To Travel From Hanoi To Sapa in 2023

December 2, 2022

In a Few Minute Of Your Time Reading This, You Can Find Out The Cheapest Way and The Fastest Way to Get From Hanoi to Sapa Without Any Difficulty.

Have you ever wanted to see the spectacular endless rice terraces clinging to mountainsides stretching as far as the eyes can see? Or wander the foothills on an afternoon stroll and find waterfalls to bathe in? How about venturing into a multi-day trek to immerse yourself in the incredible scenery?

Whatever you’re planning, Sapa has got it all!

If you are ready to explore this magnificent scenery but feel it is too overwhelming to get started, especially finding out the most suitable way to get to Sapa from Hanoi, you are on the right track. Read this transport guide to learn everything you need to know.

Train

Safe, reliable, clean accommodations, suitable for the elderly and children.

Bus

Inexpensive, fast, daylight hours, many amenities, partially refundable, breathtaking views.

Limousine/Minivan

Fast, comfortable, flexible pick up, consistent prices, soft seats

Car

Quick, the most comfortable, flexible pickup

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The easy only booking and payment online with amazing price.

Where is Sapa?

The town of Sapa is located in the northwest region of Vietnam, close to the border with China.

The area is well known for its incredible natural scenery, with mountains, valleys, and rice terraces appearing. The climate is more excellent than in most other parts of Vietnam, which makes it a popular destination for tourists looking to escape the heat.

Sapa rice fields

The main town of Sapa is home to many hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops, as well as a busy market where you can buy local handicrafts.

If you’re looking to explore the area further, there are plenty of day trips and hikes on offer, or you could venture further afield into the hills on a multi-day trek.

TRAVELING FROM HANOI TO SAPA: AT A GLANCE

The distance from Hanoi to Sapa

It is not too far to transfer from Hanoi and Sapa in Lao Cai province, northwest Vietnam. It usually takes 5-6 hours to drive 320 km on the new highway through Noi Bai International Airport.

Therefore, you don’t have to worry about spending a whole day long on a specific means of transportation to get the very first step into this rural sanctuary.

The distance get Hanoi to Sapa
The distance get Hanoi to Sapa

4 WAYS TO GET TO SAPA FROM HANOI

Here is an overview of some ways to travel from Hanoi to Sapa. You can look at this timetable to choose the best option among these easily.

Options

Approximate Fare

Approximate Travel Time

Book Tickets

Train

$25 – $39/per way/per person

8-9 hours

Bus

$15 – $17/per way/per person

6 hours

Minivan

$20 – $25/per way/per person

5 – 6 hours

Car

$150 – $185/per way

4 -5 hours

Option 1: Take a train from Hanoi to Sapa

Pros:

Safe, reliable, clean accommodations, suitable for the elderly and children.

Cons:

Long time, noisy, shared bathroom, slow, around 2-3x more expensive than buses.

If you would like to enjoy the natural daylight through large windows or admire the various sights along the way, it is the best choice to go by train to Sapa, and you will be surprised by the magnificent and poetic nature of Vietnam.

Several train companies offer tickets from Hanoi to Sapa every night. They vary in comfort level, amenities offered, and also price.

Take a train from Hanoi to Sapa

All trains are operated by state-run Vietnam Railways, but each train has cars owned by companies like Chapa Express, Sapaly Express, ET-Pumpkin Express, Orient Express, and Livitrans Express.

Rail travel in Vietnam is a great way to see the country from a different perspective. The network of railways in Vietnam is operated by the state-owned Vietnam Railways, which offers train services from north to south and from east to west are several classes of trains available, from the cheapest and slowest options to more luxurious and faster trains.

Vietnam Railways is the place that is a popular option for tourists and locals alike, with most people using it as a means of transportation between cities.

Vietnam Railways offer a wide range of services that cater to all types of travelers, making it easy for you to find the perfect trip that suits your needs.

On the train from Hanoi to Lao Cai train station
On the train from Hanoi to Lao Cai train station

The easiest way to reach Hanoi Railway Station is to order a Grab (taxi), which shouldn’t cost more than a few dollars.

However, the train doesn’t go all the way to Sapa but terminates at the closest railway station in Lao Cai. Lao Cai station is about 38 kilometers from Sapa, which takes about one hour to go by bus or car. The bus cost from Lao Cai train stations – Sapa is about $5, and the ticket is available at the train station gate. 

Besides, don’t forget to check how your destination is called in Vietnamese ahead of time to avoid confusion at the station.

In summary, catching a train and enjoying a slower travel speed to your destination is fantastic if you don’t need to rush your trip.

There are two steps to get to Sapa by train

The Hanoi Railway Station (Vietnam Railways) is located in the Hai Ba Trung district of Hanoi. It’s easy to find – just look for the large building with the clock tower!

The Hanoi Railway Station (Vietnam Railways)
The Hanoi Railway Station (Vietnam Railways)

Step 1: Take a train from Hanoi to Lao Cai

Hanoi to Sapa train timetable:

Two trains you can take from Hanoi to Lao Cai depart every evening.

Trains Hanoi–Lao Cai:

  • Hanoi–Lao Cai daily 9.35 pm (8 hours) 
  • Hanoi–Lao Cai daily 10pm (8 hours)

Here are some companies where you can buy train ticket: Livitrans Express, or Violette Express. Orient Express, King Express and Pumpkin Express while Chapa and Victoria Express are usually considerably more expensive but are presumably more comfortable. Whichever option you choose you will have access to bathrooms, steward service

But the question is:

Which train to book from Hanoi to Sapa?

The two trains from Hanoi to Lao Cai depart at different times, but both will get you to your destination in around 8 hours.

If you want to enjoy the scenery and don’t mind a longer journey, the 9.35pm at Lao Cai train station is a good option.

However, if you would like to save a bit of time, the 10pm train ticket is a good choice. Whichever train ticket you decide to take, be sure to book your ticket in advance as they tend to fill up quickly.

When looking to book train tikets from Hanoi to Lao Cai, it is important to consider the different companies that offer this service.

The two most popular companies are Livitrans Express and Violette Express. However, Orient Express, King Express and Pumpkin Express are also reputable companies. Whichever company you choose, be sure to book your ticket in advance as they tend to fill up quickly.

Which train to book from Hanoi to Sapa?

For your next journey from Hanoi to Lao Cai, there are a variety of train companies to choose from.

Whether you’re looking for budget-friendly options or the highest level of luxury, we’ve got all the details on amenities and prices right here! With Vietnam Railways offering fares starting at ($25) per 1st class sleeper (4-berth cabin), or ($39) with Chapa Express Deluxe – giving more value for money plus comfy beds & free food/drinks – it’s easy to pick which one best suits your needs and travel style.

Luxury trains provide an overall luxurious ambiance too but if that doesn’t take precedence then perhaps opt out in favor of what better fits both comfort abilities as well as cost savings!

For the discerning traveler searching for a journey of unparalleled comfort and luxury, there is no better option than Chapa Express or Orient Express. (All those are overnight sleeper train)

Our Best Pick is Chapa Express:

  • SP3 train departs at Hanoi station at 22:00′. These train tickets will take you to arrive in Lao Cai province, then you have to take a taxi (25$ – go whatever you want) OR a local bus ($5 – leave at 5:30) to Sapa.
  • SP4 train departs at Lao Cai station at 9:30 pm. From Sapa, you have to take a taxi (25$ – go whatever you want) OR a local bus ($5 – leave at 5:30) to Lao Cai.

There are 3 options, you can consider as follow:

  • Suite Cabin (for 2 people): $180/cabin/way nett. 
  • VIP Cabin (for 2 people): $165/cabin/way nett. 
  • Deluxe ticket (4 people shared per cabin): $36/ticket/way nett.
  • Click this blue for photos of the train
Chapa Express Train

Cheapest Train tickets – Those seeking to save money will find King Express an equally satisfactory yet much more economical choice.

At King Express, we offer two distinct levels of luxury for our customers; the Deluxe Cabin for families or large groups and VIP Cabins ideal for couples or individuals seeking a more intimate atmosphere.

What’s more? Selected classes come with complimentary treats including cake, beer cans, flowers and your favorite sodas to ensure maximum comfort during your journey!If you would like to have train tickets with the best price and good customer support, check out train tickets here

Step 2: Take a train from Hanoi to Lao Cai

From Lao Cai railway station, there are plenty of vans and buses waiting to take you to Sapa. The price for a ride in a public bus is about $5, while the price for a ride in a private van will be around $25.

However, it is important to note that the vans and buses can get quite crowded, so if you are looking for some privacy public bus, this might not be the best option for you (public bus)

1. Lao Cai railway station to Sapa by public bus

Buses depart every 20-30 minutes, and it takes you about 1 hour (these public buses make a lot of stops) to Sapa Yello Bus Station. Its cost is just $4, but it is pretty comfortable.

Buses are available from 5:40 am, and you can take Bus #1, which heads to Sapa.

2. Lao Cai to Sapa by van

Van is a better choice for you because it doesn’t make any unnecessaries stops. You can have a seat for around $5 and spend approximately 45 minutes to get to the destination at the main square in Sapa.

The van is always available outside the train station, so you don’t have to worry if you can not book them in advance.

There are many different ways to book a ticket, and the process can be confusing for first-time travelers. But don’t worry, we’re here to help!

Book now to enjoy a comfortable and scenic train journey from Hanoi to Sapa! Our train tickets offer a variety of amenities, from spacious seating to large windows allowing for natural light and beautiful views of the countryside.

Please feel free to contact us for the best price. Our customer support team is available 24/7 to assist you with your booking.

If you need more infomation about the bus, you can check our this article: Top 10 Best Train From Hanoi To Sapa (Our BEST Pick)

Option 2: Take a bus from Hanoi to Sapa

Pros:

Inexpensive, fast, daylight hours, many amenities, partially refundable, breathtaking views.

Cons:

Less safe, bumpy ride, quite noisy.

One of the best things about traveling by bus is that it stops during the journey for a short rest, so you can recharge your batteries by taking some drinks or snacks along the way, or taking some fresh air, and doing some stretches before continuing on the trip.

Take a bus from Hanoi to Sapa
Take a bus from Hanoi to Sapa

Bus travel is ideal for adventurers at heart since so many towns, beautiful landscapes, and stunning mountains are just waiting for you to be discovered.

Moreover, one of the enormous benefits of taking a bus to Sapa is that it will take you directly to the destination without booking a second transfer from Lao Cai city.

Some bus companies that offer direct routes from Hanoi to Sapa, such as Inter Bus Line, Ha Son Hai Van, Sao Viet, Sapa Express VIP-Class, and King Express, took.

Outstandingly, it is flexible and convenient when traveling by bus because the departure times vary in 3 periods: early morning, mid-afternoon, and late night.

On the bus from Hanoi to Sapa Express
On the bus from Hanoi to Sapa Express (Source: Internet)

Should I choose a day bus or an overnight bus?

There is no easy answer as to whether you should take a day bus or an overnight bus from Hanoi to Sapa.

On one hand, a day bus will be less tiring and you’ll get to see more of the countryside, but on the other hand overnight you’ll save time.

Ultimately it’s up to you which option you choose – just make sure you do your research beforehand so you know what to expect.

Hanoi to Sapa bus timetable

It is so flexible that the bus schedule varies from the early morning to the evening.

Bus Hanoi to Sapa

  • Interbus Line: HN-SP: 6:30, 13:30 21:30 and SP-HN: 7:30, 13:30, 16:00, 22:00
  • Ha Son Hai Van: Every 30 minutes has a bus, starting from 6:30 am to 23:00
  • Sao Viet: Every 30 minutes has a bus, starting from 6:30 am to 23:00
  • Sapa Express 7 am, 10 pm 5.30–6 hours . Problem: If you’re looking for a comfortable and scenic train journey from Hanoi to Sapa, look no further than SaPa Express.
  • Green Bus 7 am, 1.30 pm, 9.30 pm 6 hours 
  • Green Lion Bus 7 am 5.30 hours
  • Good Morning Sapa 7 am 6 hours 
  • Fansipan Express 7.30 am, 10 pm 5.30 hours USD11-12Hanoi–Lao Cai daily 9.35 pm (8 hours)
  • Hanoi–Lao Cai daily 10pm (8 hours) 

Tickets for the bus to Sapa start from $16 – $17/per person and can be purchased online. Click here to check the most suitable bus ticket for you.

Cabin sleeper bus Hanoi to sapa

How to book a bus ticket from Hanoi to Sapa?

There are many ways you can book your bus ticket from Hanoi to Sapa. You can go to the bus station in person and buy a ticket, or you can book online.

If you want to buy a ticket in person, go to the bus station and find the counter for the bus company you want to travel with.

The bus companies that offer direct routes from Hanoi to Sapa are Inter Bus Line, Ha Son Hai Van, Fanxipan Express bus, Sao Viet, Sapa Express VIP-Class, and King Express.

Sleeper bus Hanoi sapa

When you buy a ticket from the bus company, you will need to show your passport so they can write down your name and passport number on the ticket.

Make sure you have enough cash as most of the bus companies do not accept debit or credit cards.

Our Best Pick for the most comfortable trip bus from Hanoi to Sapa is Inter Bus Lines

Bus from Hanoi to Sapa and back to Hanoi details:

  • A Cabin Sleeper Bus/42 USD/way: This is a cabin with 2 small beds that you can sleep 2 people. If you are a couple or want to make it private, this is the best choice (Click this blue for details).
  • A single cabin sleeper bus/22 USD/way: This is a single cabin with 1 bed that you can sleep with 1 person (Meaning: 1 person/ 1 single cabin). If you are one person and want to make your bus trip private, nothing is better than this option (Click this blue for details).
  • Sleeper buses/17 USD/way: This is a single bed (not private) that you can sleep with 1 person (Click this blue for details).

The times below apply to all bus types.

Pick Up Ha Noi <=6hours=> Arrive Sapa bus station: 06:30, 13:30, 21:30 (at 5 P. Trần Nguyên Hãn) ⇔ (Arrive at 436 Đường Điện Biên Phủ

Pick Up Sapa bus station<=6 hours=> Arrive Hanoi: 7:30, 13:30, 16:00, 22:00 (at 436 Đường Điện Biên Phủ) ⇔ (Arrive at 5 P. Trần Nguyên Hãn)  

If you want to book by yourself: How to book a bus ticket from Hanoi to Sapa Online?

Fill in the contact form below, and one of our travel experts will be in touch with you to help you find the best bus ticket from Hanoi to Sapa at the best price.

If you want to book a bus ticket online by yourself, there are a few websites that you can use.

The two most popular websites are 12go.asia and Baolau.com. Both websites have English and Vietnamese versions, and they are both easy to use.

To use 12go.asia.

  • Simply type in “Hanoi” and “Sapa” into the search bar, and it will show all of the available buses on that route.
  • You can then select the date and time that you want to travel, as well as how many people are traveling with you, and it will give you a list of all of the available buses with prices.
  • You can then book your ticket and pay online using PayPal, Visa, or Mastercard.

To use Baolau.com.

  • You can type in “Hanoi” and “Sapa” into the search bar, and it will show all of the buses that are available on that route.
  • You can then select the date and time that you want to travel, as well as how many people are traveling with you, and it will give you a list of all of the available buses with prices.
  • You can then book your ticket and pay online using Paypal or Visa/Mastercard.
If you need more infomation about the bus, you can check our this article: Top 10 Bus From Hanoi To Sapa (Our BEST Pick)

Option 3: Take a minivan from Hanoi to Sapa (Limousine)

Pros:

Fast, comfortable, flexible pick up, consistent prices, soft seats

Cons:

Perceived to be less safe

A minivan is an excellent option if you want to get to Sapa faster but do not like traveling by bus. 

Minivans from Hanoi to Sapa provide you two options: shared and private.

Limousine from Hanoi to Sapa
Limousine from Hanoi to Sapa

The private one offers a more spacious and luxurious ride, and you need to spend a little more. In contrast, you can take a standard van to save money, but it also has the same quality.

minivan from Hanoi to Sapa
Minivan from Hanoi to Sapa

If you’re looking for a luxurious way to travel from Hanoi to Sapa, then I recommend booking a ticket on a luxury minivan. These vans offer a spacious and comfortable ride, and you can enjoy the scenic views of Vietnam along the way.

Our friendly travel experts are available to help you book a minivan from Hanoi to Sapa. Please contact us for more details.

Option 4: Take a private car from Hanoi to Sapa

Pros:

Quick, the most comfortable, flexible pickup

Cons:

Expensive, possible delays, bumpy road

A significant advantage of traveling by car is that it gives you immense freedom and opens up the possibility of many adventures along the way.

You don’t have to worry about your luggage or delays caused by public transport, so you can experience Vietnam most comfortably.

However, traveling by private car is considered to be the most expensive way, but the fastest one. 

Significantly, some private cars taken from Hanoi to Sapa have extra amenities, like blankets and music on the radio. You can certainly enjoy the journey much more than alternative modes of transport.

The private car from Hanoi to Sapa

If you’re looking for a quick and comfortable way to travel from Hanoi to Sapa, then I recommend booking a private car. These cars offer a quick and comfortable ride, and you can enjoy scenic views of Vietnam along the way.

Our friendly travel experts are available to help you book a private car from Hanoi to Sapa. 

You can pre-book your private transfer here at an affordable price and high prestige.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST TRANSPORTATION TRAIN OR BUS station or Car, Minivan TO GET TO SAPA FROM HANOI

As you can see, all modes of transport have pros and cons, adaptable to different occasions and your budget.

Sapa Trekking and homestay tour

From my experience, I would honestly suggest you choose the train, the bus, or the minivan because it is undeniable that rail travel is safe, scenic, affordable, and environmentally friendly.

In addition, the bus or minivan is cheap and much more comfortable, and you can save your time and energy to embark on a beautiful adventure in Sapa. 

However, if you decide to travel by car on this trip, prepare well and take precautions to enjoy a fun and memorable road trip.

In any case, I hope this transport guide helps you decide to pick the best one for you. 

Last but not least, Sapa is a premier destination for hiking, trekking, and cycling, so if you’re interested in this adventure tour, you can take part in this trekking tour sapa, and I ensure you will have the best traveling experience ever in your life.

Trekking sapa
Trekking tour in Sapa

FAQ about from Hanoi to Sapa

1. How long does it take to get from Hanoi to Sapa?

It takes around 6-7 hours to get from Hanoi to Sapa by bus, and around 4 hours by car.

2. What is the best way to get from Hanoi to Sapa?

The best way to get from Hanoi to Sapa is by bus or car. However, if you’re looking for a more luxurious option, then I recommend taking a train, minivan or private car.

3. What are the pros and cons of taking the bus from Hanoi to Sapa?

The pros of taking the bus from Hanoi to Sapa are that it is safe, scenic, and affordable. The cons are that it can be crowded and there may be delays.

4. What are the pros and cons of taking the train from Hanoi to Sapa?

The pros of taking the train from Hanoi to Sapa are that it is safe, scenic, and environmentally friendly. The cons are that it can be crowded and there may be delays.

5. What are the pros and cons of taking a minivan from Hanoi and Sapa?

The pros of taking a minivan from Hanoi to Sapa are that it is fast, comfortable, flexible to pick up, and has consistent prices. The cons are that it is perceived to be less safe.

6. What are the pros and cons of taking a private car from Hanoi and Sapa?

The pros of taking a private car from Hanoi to Sapa are that it is quick, the most comfortable, flexible pickup, and possible delays. The cons are that it is an expensive and bumpy road.

8. How much does it cost to take a private car from Hanoi and Sapa?

It costs around $100-120 to take a private car from Hanoi to Sapa.

9. What are the amenities offered in a private car from Hanoi and Sapa?

Some private cars taken from Hanoi to Sapa offer extra amenities, like blankets and music on the radio.

10. What is the best way to get from Hanoi to Sapa if I don’t want to take the bus or train?

The best way to get from Hanoi to Sapa if you don’t want to take the bus or train is by hiring a private car.

11. What is the best time of day to take the bus from Hanoi to Sapa?

The best time of day to take the bus from Hanoi to Sapa is in the morning or afternoon.

12. How long does it take to get from Hanoi to Sapa by bus?

It takes around 6-7 hours to get from Hanoi to Sapa by bus.

13. How much does it cost to take the train from Hanoi Sapa?

It costs around $28 – $120 to take the train from Hanoi to Sapa, it depends on what type of ticket or train company you choose.

14. What are the amenities offered on the train from Hanoi Sapa?

The amenities offered on the train from Hanoi to Sapa include a reclining seat, air conditioning, and a snack.

15. How long does it take to get from Hanoi to Sapa by train?

It takes around 8 – 9 hours to get from Hanoi to Sapa by train.

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