The best way to visit Sapa
1. By train:
Traveling Sapa by train takes about 8 – 9 hours but the train stops at Lao Cai station only, far about 40km from Sapa town. So you have to take a taxi or motorcycle taxi to get the town. If you booked hotel in Sapa already, you can asked your hotels about their transportation.
The trains to Sapa have many types: hard seats, soft seats, sleepers with AC; fast trains, slow trains and additional trains for holidays. It starts normally at 9 or 10 pm and accesses Sapa at 5 or 6 am the next day.
- Fast trains: SP1, SP2, SP3, SP4, SP5, SP6, SP7, SP8.
- Slow trains: C1, LC2, LC3, LC4.
- Additional trains for holidays: LC5, LC6, LC7, LC8, LC9, LC10
(Note: The odd number trains depart from Hanoi to Lao Cai while The even number trains depart from Lao Cai to Hanoi)
Reference train tickets:
- Hard seat: 150,000 VND/way/person
- Soft seat: 280,000 VND/way/person
Sleepers with AC:
- Cabin for 6 people: 480,000 VND/way/person
- Cabin for 4 people: 560,000 VND/way/person
- Luxury cabin (2 people): 3,200,000 VND/way/cabin
Price for children:
- 0-5 years old: free
- 5-9 years old: 50% Adult ticket (for seat ticket only); 100% ticket price if using a private sleeper.
- >9 years old: 100% ticket price
Hanoi Railway Station: 120 Le Duan Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. Tel: (84).43.9423697.
Lao Cai Railway Station: Yen Khanh Street, Pho Moi Ward, Lao Cai town, Tel: (84)20 3830093
Warning: Tourists sometimes meet some trouble when buying train tickets so we would like to give you some travel tips below:
Sapa is a hot tourist attraction that is much crowed in high season as well as in the weekend. It’s hard to buy a comfortable seat on train because tour companies and travel agencies often keep the better seats to sell to their own customers. If you visit Sapa in the high season, especially at the weekend or on Vietnam’s holiday, you should book the train tickets as soon as possible (before 6 months). If not, you should book tickets with travel agents to get the better seats although the price is often more expensive than you book directly by yourselves about 5-10%.
Best trains to Sapa: All trains offer soft sleepers with air-conditioner: Fansipan www.fanxipantrain.com/ , Sapaly www.sapalytrain.com/ , Livitran www.livitrans.com/ , King express www.kingexpresstrain.vn/en/ , Tulico, Chapa Express www.chapaexpresstrain.com.vn/ , Victoria express www.victoriahotels.asia/vi/victoria-express-train
2. By sleeper bus or express bus:
If you want to avoid the noise and don’t want to be transferred too much, bus is a perfect way to get Sapa. Most buses transfer from Hanoi – Sapa via the new Hanoi – Lao Cai highway opened in the late of 2014 – a large and beautiful highway. This way saves a lot of time for transferring and reduces the jerkiness compared to the past.
To be continued…