Getting from Hanoi to Sapa (and back)

Getting from Hanoi to Sapa (and back)

Sapa is famously known for its trekking and the vibrant ethnic minority communities that live in the valleys and mountains around the town. So if you’re interested in multi-day hikes and learning more about Vietnam’s ethnic minority culture, Sapa would be a great choice! The journey from Hanoi to Sapa or back is not so long, but it is challenging as it goes through the mountainous area. The two areas are approximately 315 km (200 miles) apart, with Sapa sitting north of Hanoi. There are five options between these two areas: bus, limousine, train, taxi, and most exciting way: scooter.

Photo: Getting from Hanoi to Sapa

TAKING THE BUS

You can easily book a bus from the Old Quarter to Sapa almost every hour during the day, and the journey takes around 5 to 5 and a half hours. Buses are available every day, but usually busier on the weekends. The cost is about 250.000 VND ($13) per person for a one-way fare. The reverse route and bus are precisely the same.

Contact us to arrange the simplest way to travel to Sapa From Hanoi.

GETTING THE TRAIN FROM Hanoi TO Sapa

Trains run from Hanoi to Sapa throughout the day – it usually takes eight and a half hours to get there, depending on how often the train stops along the way. But it would be best if you took a taxi from the train station in Lao Cai city to the hotel you are staying in (about 35 km to Sapa).

A single fare costs about 320.000 VND ($15) per person, and again, the train runs every day.

Taking the train from Hanoi to Sapa and back

Limousine FROM Hanoi TO Sapa

Running seven days a week, a limousine is the most flexible travel method. The limousine is a ten-seater minibus that runs to no fixed schedule and is particularly prevalent when there is a limited bus or train service (in the evenings) or none, at night, or mainly on the Vietnamese new year when there is no bus running.

 The main difference is that, within Hanoi and Sapa, they will pick up and drop off at any point along the way, and out of the city, at any junction or bus stop (even those not served by the bus route).

DRIVING

Renting a scooter and driving to Sapa is the most exciting way. Hanoi- Lao Cai highway (Highway CT05). It is the fastest way to get between the two areas, and without traffic, driving takes around five and a half hours. However, during busier hours, it could easily take twice this time. Google Maps will help you find the road quickly.

Photo: Getting to Sapa from Hanoi by scooters

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