Sapa is the most famous tourist destination in the northern mountains, a goal of many interesting things about nature, culture, and people. Please read this article to have an exciting and complete journey from Hanoi to Sapa!
- Sapa – Mountains And Clouds Paradise
- How To Get To Sapa From Hanoi?
- Additional notes
- Recommendation For Traveling From Hanoi To Sapa (Lao Cai)
- What Not To Do In Sapa
Sapa – Mountains And Clouds Paradise
Situated in the northwest of the nation, Sapa is a highland district of Lao Cai province, a modest and quiet land but it contains numerous marvels of nature.
The natural landscape of Sapa is combined with the creativity of the people along with the terrain of the mountains and hills, the green of the forest, as the picture has arranged in a harmonious layout to create a land with many poetic and attractive scenery.
Similar to the temperate climate zones, Sapa has a cold climate all year round, and the average temperature is only 15 to 18 degrees Celsius. In winter, Sapa temperature may drop below 0 degrees Celsius, and there are frost and snow.
Because it is located at a height of more than 1,500 meters, people often call Sapa a mountain town in the clouds. Sapa is surrounded by clouds all year round, creating a very romantic beauty and attracting both domestic and foreign tourists.
Four seasons in Sapa all have the beauty that captivates visitors, so the best time to visit Sapa depends on each person’s preferences. Spring in Sapa, peach and plum flowers bloom throughout the mountains, which creates beautiful scenery like a fairyland.
In the summer, water comes across terraced fields for people to cultivate rice and forests also show off thousands of beautiful flowers.
Around September and October, terraced fields are dyed with the golden color of ripe rice, creating a majestic and poetic beauty. Sapa in the winter is very cold but still beautiful because at that time there has sometimes snow, and people come to Sapa to admire the snowfall in Vietnam.
How To Get To Sapa From Hanoi?
Bus From Ha Noi To Sapa
Sapa is about 376 Km from Hanoi capital, which attracts many tourists by its beautiful natural scenery and friendly people.
To meet the needs of tourists, every day, there are more than 60 high-quality Limousine buses and bed buses from Hanoi to Sapa – Lao Cai of the following facilities like Green Lion, New Enjoy, Fansipan Express, Queen Cafe, Inter Bus Lines, etc.
The earliest Sapa bus departs at 06:00 am and the latest leaves at 11:55 pm. The journey time from Hanoi to Sapa by bus takes about 5 hours 30 minutes. The fare for Hanoi – Sapa bus averages about VND 250.000/ticket. The cheapest charge for Hanoi to Sapa bus is VND 180.000/ticket, and the highest is VND 400.000/ticket.
You can easily check the time and prices here.
Buses to Sapa will return guests at the car’s own offices or Sapa bus terminal. Guest places located in Sapa town should also be quite close together, you can easily walk from the car office to the hotel and vice versa.
If you travel to Sapa with a group or family and want the most private and luxurious space, Green Lion Limousine is the best bus from Hanoi to Sapa. Limousine Green Lion to Sapa is full of the most modern facilities such as Wifi, USB charging port, a 220V power outlet, a 21-inch LED screen, and high-end sony speakers.
Besides, there are cold towels, mineral water, and free snacks in the car. The car company also has staff and drivers who are professionally trained and methodical with an enthusiastic service attitude and good English communication ability.
In particular, Limousine Green Lion car is available to pick up and drop off passengers at the free of charge in 09 urban districts of Hanoi and in Sapa town, which is very convenient for tourists.
If eligible and capable, you can drive a private car from Hanoi to Sapa, which saves you a lot of time. It only takes 3 to 4 hours on the highway to reach Sapa. Therefore, currently, self-driving car rental is a service that many tourists prefer.
This type has many outstanding advantages such as tenants can take the initiative in time and space, can serve the travel needs of the whole family, bringing maximum comfort during the trip.
In response to the increasing demand of customers, many service providers have boldly invested in new cars. It is equipped with many modern technologies and utilities as well as a variety of seats from 4 to 45 seats. Not only that, but rental forms are also very rich, meeting all customers’ needs.
If you need more information to get a private car from Hanoi to Sapa, here are my recommended trustworthy companies.
- Hanoi Transfer Service:
Address: 21 Ma May, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Phone: (+84) 98 235 8282
Website: Hanoi Transfer Service
- Golden Holiday Travel:
Address: 104C17, Tan Mai, Hoang Mai, Hanoi
Phone: (+84) 98 845 1530
Website: Golden Holiday Travel
You can rent a car by the day, rent a long-term vehicle, rent it by route, rent it according to the destination, and even pay the cost based on the number of kilometers traveled. This brings maximum convenience to you.
Train To Lao Cai And Transit To Sapa
Firstly, you have to remember that going to Sapa by train is much safer than taking a bus, but there are two drawbacks. The first one is that the train (8 – 9 hours) will go slower than the bus (5 – 6 hours).
The other is that the train will stop close to Lao Cai city. From here to Sapa, it takes 30 to 40 km, and you must go by motorbike or bus or taxi. However, moving from Hanoi to Sapa by train, you will have great moments watching the natural scenery along the way.
According to the Sapa travel experience of many tourists, visitors should buy tickets early when they want to take a train to Sapa. On peak occasions such as Tet holidays or time for snow hunting, visitors should purchase tickets at least 1 month in advance.
If you go on regular days, visitors should buy one week in advance. By buying earlier, visitors will be able to buy a bed ticket. In contrast, there have only hard or soft seat tickets if they purchase too late.
Tourists traveling with the group should buy a ticket for the whole cabin. The type of travel compartment is expensive, but the accommodation is much more comfortable, so visitors who have enough funds should choose this type of cabin.
The price of train tickets from Hanoi to Lao Cai has many different levels depending on the type of seat. Tickets for hard seats are about VND 140,000 / ticket / day and VND 150,000 / ticket / holiday. The most advanced is the air-conditioned bed ticket with the price of 525,000 VND / ticket.
Onboard SP3 and SP4 from Hanoi to Lao Cai, there is a train named Sapaly Express. This wagon has 6 cabins, each has 4 beds which are spacious and luxuriously designed and equipped with the equivalent of 4-star hotel rooms. The fare of this car is 700,000 VND / person.
- Orient Express
Price: 35 USD for a berth in a deluxe four-berth cabin to 70 USD for a berth in VIP two-berth cabin
Hotline: +84 43 929 0999 / +84 43 929 0597
Booking site: Orient Express
Features: Most beautiful interior for the cheapest price, but no extra transportation included.
- ET-Pumpkin Express
Price: 42 USD for a berth in a deluxe four-berth cabin
Hotline: (+84) 43 829 5571
Booking site: Et Pumpkin Express
Features: Well-decorated cars, free transfer from their office at 7:45 PM to the station with a one-way ticket, with a roundtrip ticket you get an extra transit to Sapa from Lao Cai
- Victoria Express
Price: 79 USD for a berth in a deluxe four-berth cabin to 135 USD for a berth in a superior two-berth cabin
Hotline: (+84) 214 387 1522
Website: Victoria Express
Features: Most luxurious experience available: elegant, colonial Indochina style cars, snack cabin for food and refreshments, big windows, individual amenity kits, slippers, bathrobes, and a lounge to relax prior to departure.
Trains to Lao Cai often go at night, departing from 9-10 pm and reaching to Lao Cai on 5-6 am the next morning. Trains only come to the station in Lao Cai city, so if you want to go to Sapa, you need to take other means, such as buses, cars, and motorbikes.
Buses travel from Lao Cai to Sapa with many trips, an average of 15-20 minutes per trip, the fare is about VND 30,000 – VND 50,000. Visitors can stand right in front of Lao Cai station to catch a bus to Sapa.
Hanoi To Sapa On Motorbike
Every year, thousands of tourists come to Sapa, and each person chooses different ways to travel. Some people go by train or by bus, but according to Sapa travel experience, the most interesting way of moving is by motorbike. Especially for those who love nature, like to explore, going by bike will be even more memorable.
Choose a digital car that runs from Hanoi – Sapa both for travel and return costs, and gas for motorbikes will lose about 300,000 – 400,000 VND. If two people go together, the price will be reduced to half (not including the case of roadside vehicle damage).
Calculating up to each person only takes about 200,000 VND to go to Sapa. Motorbikes can be considered the most economical means of transportation.
How to get a motorbike for your trip
It is not difficult at all to rent a bike in Hanoi. Typing your search on the Internet and thousands of suggestions will come. You only need to take time to read their reviews carefully and pick up the most suitable option from them.
Most importantly, you should select a high-quality bike for your own safety in consideration with your budget. Also, ensure to check it thoroughly before tackling your long and exhausting adventure with a total distance of more than 400 kilometers.
It is essential to top up the fuel of the bike as garages and petrol stations are usually far apart. Besides, bring along one bottle filled up with about 1.5-little fuel for the worst cases. Remember that official petrol stations are much trustworthy than all local vendors.
Going to Sapa in the direction of Lao Cai
- Starting from Hanoi, head Northwest to Vinh Phuc. You should choose to go through Thang Long Bridge, Tien Phong intersection or reach Phu Cuong intersection then turn left.
- Next, go through Viet Tri City of Vinh Phuc Province.
- After passing Phong Chau, the first remarkable point should be a famous garden park of Phu Tho – Tam Nong.
- If you follow the national road – QL32, go straight to Doan Hung. During the way, you can always see the river on the right.
- The next destination is Yen Bai. After crossing the Yen Bai bridge, take the last exit of the roundabout, go to DT163. Now, the river is on the left.
- Go straight until you reach a railway station of Yen Bai – Trai Hut and turn left. Now, you will be in Lang Khay, a local place of Yen Bai. This point is only to make sure that you are on the right track.
- When going to Bao Yen commune of Lao Cai province, you will no longer follow the Red River by turning right. Keep staying on the main road.
- If you see an intersection with three different directions, turn left. Do not forget to double-check by asking the locals about the current position of the river compared with yours. The right choice should lay in your west.
- Bao Thang district of Sapa will be your next landmark. Let’s find QL4E to go directly to Lao Cai city.
- Then, head to Kim Tan Market of Lao Cai and ask 4D highway (or road to Sapa)
For your reference, this is the link to the route on Google Maps.
- From Hanoi, you can choose to reach to Hoa Lac and Son Tay.
- After passing Trung Ha Bridge, you have to go to Phong Chau Bridge toward Doan Hung.
- From Doan Hung town, you may ask for the way to Highway 70 and run along with it then reach to Lao Cai city. The remaining route is the same as method 1.
For your reference, this is the link to the route on Google Maps.
Going to Sapa in the direction of Lai Chau
- Like method one about, you should leave Hanoi by QL32. The first remarkable point here is Hoa Lac. Then, you will go through Son Tay and Thanh Son
- Along Highway 32 you will meet Khau Pha Pass longer than 30km, then reach Mu Cang Chai and Hoang Lien Son national forest.
- Coming here, you will conquer O Quy Ho Pass, 50km long. Also on this street, you can visit Love Valley and Silver Waterfall which are located right on the road from O Quy Ho to Sapa.
If you want to find the fastest route from Hanoi to Sapa, method 1 in the direction of Lao Cai should be your pick. However, it comprises a lot of landmarks and turns; it is considered complicated for a novice bike traveler.
The second choice is a bit longer, but it may offer you excellent opportunities to visit hidden waterfalls and ethnic villages. As your time staying on the road is more extended, pay more attention to keeping the bike in a good condition with a sufficient level of fuel.
Recommendation For Traveling From Hanoi To Sapa (Lao Cai)
– You should bring clothes, comfortable sports shoes, a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and some other necessary personal items.
– If it is not the winter, it is not needed to wear very warm clothes during the day (because at that time the temperature is not too low and you walk a lot, so it is very hot). Only pay attention to wear warm clothes in the evening.
– You should hire a guide to accompany you. They have a lot of experience so that they will lead visitors according to the fascinating roads.
– From Lao Cai to Sapa is the way with a very huge difference, you should use earplugs to help prevent buzzing.
– If you decide to travel from Hanoi to Sapa by bus or train, keep your luggage carefully.
– You should bring a sleeping bag to feel more comfortable when taking a train at night.
– If you intend to drive yourself, remember to buy Sapa tourist map for convenience, sold at tourist offices or the ticket counter to Ham Rong Mountain.
– Riding a motorbike to Sapa will be suitable for those with reliable steering and good health (usually male). If women want to travel to Sapa by motorcycle, they can go with their boyfriends.
– If you are going to take photos of local people – ask them permission first to show that you are a polite person (especially with portraits).
What Not To Do In Sapa
- Do not buy items of people as souvenirs because it will lose the private heritage because many people do not understand its real value.
- Do not purchase ginseng, mushrooms, Ganoderma in Sapa because most of these products are from China.
Above are safe, economical travel experiences from Hanoi to Sapa that I would like to share with you. Wish you have a rewarding and exciting trip.
Read our other articles if you still curious about Sapa which I highly recommend here:
If you have any questions or anything you would like to refer me, don’t hesitate to leave your comment below. I will try to respond ASAP. I hope you have a great trip to Sapa. Follow my blog mihotravel.com to know more about what to do, see and eat in Viet Nam.