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How to get to Sapa from Hanoi - everything you need to know

Updated: Jan 22

Getting to Sapa from Hanoi can't be any easier these days. With the newly constructed Hanoi -Lao Cai motorway, you can get to Sapa in 5-6 hours. Buses run frequently with reasonable prices. Alternatively you can take the train to Lao Cai and then a bus or taxi from Lao Cai to Sapa. In this post I have included everything you need to know to get to Sapa from Hanoi.

1. By bus

This is the easiest, quickest and cheapest way to get to Sapa. All buses now run on the Hanoi- Lao cai motorway and get to Sapa in 5-6 hours. There are a few operators and the buses are quite frequent so you can simply choose one that works for you. There are also sleeper buses therefore you can save time and cost by travelling during the night. Below is a summary of some main bus operators. While I've included the bus schedules below, I suggest that you check the operator's websites or call them as all schedules are subject to change. I've included a link to their website for your reference.


Sapa Express


Bus schedules and prices can be found here.

Seater bus: 350,000 VND/ ticket

  • Departure from Hanoi: 7:00 and

  • Departure from Sapa: 16:00

Sleeper bus: 280,000 VND / ticket

  • Departure from Hanoi: 7:30 and 22:00

  • Departure from Sapa: 15:30 and 22:00

Hanoi Office: 12 Lý Thái Tổ – Hoàn Kiếm. 024.668.21555

Sapa Office: 2 Cầu Mây, Sapa


Inter Bus Lines


Bus schedules and prices can be found here


Sleeper bus: 250,000 - 300,000 VND /ticket.

  • Departure from Hanoi: 6:45, 7:00, 13:30, 21:15, 21:30, 22:00 and 22:30.

  • Departure from Sapa: 7:30, 13:00, 13:15, 13:30, 14:00, 16:00 and 22:00

Hanoi Office: 110 Trần Nhật Duật, Hoàn Kiếm. 0886 385 577 & 0886 395 577 & 0868 519 777

Sapa Office: 468 Điện Biên Phủ, Thị Trấn Sapa, Tỉnh Lào Cai. 0886 805 577 & 0868


Xe Hưng Thành Sapa


Bus schedules and prices can be found here

Sleeper bus: 220,000 VND/ticket.

  • Departure from Hanoi: 19:00

  • Departure from Sapa: 16:30, 19:00, and 22:00

Hanoi Office: 287 Trần Khát Trân, Hai Bà Trưng. 04.36337575 - 36337614

Hotline 1900.636512


Xe Queen Cafe


Bus schedules and prices can be found here

Sleeper bus: 220,000 VND/ticket.

  • Departure from Hanoi: 7:00 and 22:00.

  • Departure from Sapa: 8:00, 13:30, 16:00 và 22:00.

Hanoi office: 208 Trần Quang Khải, Hoàn Kiếm. 0243.9283.666

Sapa office: Sapa station


TIPS:

There are usually more than 1 pick-up locations hence you should always check with the bus operator to see which one is closest to yours. Sometimes they offer free pick-up from your accommodation if it's near the route


2. By Train

Prior to the new motorway being built, train was the main means of transport. Nowadays, people tend to travel by road as it's fairly safe and much quicker. The train stops at Lao Cai city and from there you need to take a bus or a taxi to Sapa.

As the train takes about 8-9 hours and it departs at night, it's recommended that you take the sleeper coach so that you can get a good night sleep. Ticket is about 400,000 VND for one bed in a 4 berth compartment.


How to buy train ticket for Hanoi - Lao Cai?


You can either buy online at www.dsvn.vn (this is the official website of Vietnam national rail) or you can buy directly from Hanoi train station on Tran Quy Cap.

  • 1 soft seat: 155,000 VND

  • 1 berth in a 4 berth compartment: 400.000VND

Train schedules

  • Hanoi - Lao Cai: SP1 (21:35), SP3 (22:00)

  • Lao Cai - Hanoi: SP2 (20:55), SP4 (21:40)

How to get to Sapa from Lao Cai?

The distance between Lao Cai and Sapa is only 40 km. A lot of hotels offer pick-up from Lao Cai. They usually offer the service free or charge you a small price. If you don't have pick-up service, you can choose one of the transportation options below:

  • Bus: Only 30,000 VND, bus is a popular choice of transportation. Buses run every one hour from 5:30am until late. The bus stop is right outside Lao Cai station. Drop off point is Sapa Cathedral, which is right in the centre of Sapa.

  • Taxi: Around 400,000 VND/ 4 seater taxi, 450,000VND/ 7 seater taxi

  • Scooter taxi (xe om): 150,000 VND/scooter

  • Private hire: you can hire a car/mini van to pick you up. A 7 seater car usually costs around 500,000 VND and mini van 550,000 VND. -

3. By car

If you travel by car, the quickest route is the Hanoi - Lao Cai motorway, which would take you to Lao Cai in 4 hours. Driving from Lao Cai to Sapa takes about one hour. Hence in total it's about 5-6 hours.

You can also hire a car (with a driver). Prices depend on the car and the company. It usually costs around 2,000,000 VND/7 seater /day, 2,500,000 VND/ 16 seater/day,

If you fancy something more luxurious, you can opt to travel in a Limousine. The seat is comfy, there is tifi, a refrigerator, speaker etc. to make your journey more comfortable. There are a few service providers. The ticket is about 400,000 VND/person. The whole Limousine costs about 3,000,000 VND.


Are you looking for things to do and see in Sapa? Check out my blog post on Sapa here

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