22 Jan 2021

If travellers are considering how to get to Sapa, the answer for you is referred to in the article below. Sleeping buses and overnight trains are two of the most popular ways. Both ways will take you about 5 to 7 hours from Hanoi to Sapa town. 

Table Contents
  • I - Where is Sapa?
  • II - Ways of getting to Sapa Vietnam 
  • 1 - Take an overnight train 
  • 2 - Take a sleeping bus to Sapa
  • 3 - How to go to Sapa by plane?
How to get to Sapa title
Source: Krisztian Tabori

Sapa is a destination for relaxation, discovery and enjoyment of the fresh natural air that is not too unfamiliar to tourists. First-time visitors to Sapa may find it difficult to choose the most convenient means of transportation. Understanding this, we have summarized the best ways of getting to Sapa to help visitors have an overview and easily choose.

I - Where is Sapa?

Sapa is a town in Lao Cai province, located in the Northwest of Vietnam. Due to its location at an altitude of 1,600m above sea level and characteristic hilly terrain, it has a fresh climate, the annual average temperature does not exceed 25C. Moreover, Sapa is also home to 6 ethnic groups with different and unique traditional cultures.
The geographical distances from major cities to Sapa are as follows:
Hanoi - Sapa: Taking the CT05 highway, the distance is about 319km, equivalent to more than 5 hours traveling by car.
Ha Long - Sapa: Still travelling along the CT05 highway, the distance is 475km, equivalent to 6 hours 40 minutes by car.
Hue - Sapa: It will take you about 16 hours and 50 minutes by car taking the road QL1A for a distance of 981 km. Or you can use the flight route Hue - Hanoi (about a 2 hour flight), and then continue to travel by car to Sapa.
Ho Chi Minh City - Sapa: The 1,900 km distance is equivalent to 35 hours traveling by car on the route AH17 - QL1A. Or tourists can fly from Ho Chi Minh - Hanoi (about 2 hours), then continue to move by car to Sapa town.
For international tourists, if you are wondering how to get to Sapa from Singapore, Malaysia, Korea,.. or anywhere in the world, the direction for you is to get a flight to Hanoi and follow the guide of travel from Hanoi to Sapa. Because there is no airport in Lao Cai or Sapa, the popular and best way to access this beautiful mountainous area is traveling by bus, train or motorbike. 

II - Ways of getting to Sapa Vietnam 

Some popular forms of transportation to Sapa from Hanoi city transfer point that visitors can refer to and choose from are:

1 - Take an overnight train 

Train to Sapa Vietnam

(Source: Internet)

Travelling by train is a safe means of transport, with accurate travel time and offering many interesting experiences. Due to there being no train station in Sapa town, those traveling by train will have to continue traveling by bus from Lao Cai city to Sapa town, ticket price 50,000 VND/person (~ $ 2.1 ). Or use the mid-transfer car service to Sapa and get off at Sapa Stone Church for a fee of 40,000 VND / person / way (~ $ 1.72). 
Specific information related to this form of travel:
Pick-up point: Hanoi Train Station at 120 Le Duan Street, Hanoi City.
Drop-off point: Lao Cao Train Station, Group 26A, Lao Cai city.
Overnight train to Sapa price: 280,000 VND (~ 12 $) - 550,000 VND /person / way (~ 24 $), corresponding to soft seats with air-conditioner, bed with air conditioner (6-bed compartment or 4-bed compartment).
In the afternoon of Hanoi - Lao Cai, there is a SP3 train, departing from Hanoi at 22:00 p.m. and arriving in Lao Cai at 06:05 a.m. 
Distance from Lao Cai train station to Sapa town:
The distance from Lao Cai city – Sapa town is about 33km (1 hour by car).
Bus and transit service of Vietnam railway will pay within a radius of 2km from the Stone Church. From here visitors can easily move to the hotel or tourist attractions located in the town center.

2 - Take a sleeping bus to Sapa

Hung Thanh sleeping bus to Sapa

Hung Thanh Bus (Source: Hungthanhtravel)

If you want to be more active in the departure time and arrange your work most appropriately, you can choose to travel by bus (bed, seat or Limousine).
Drop off point - Sapa bus station: Address No. 36, Luong Dinh Cua Street, Sapa Town, Lao Cai.
Some bus routes and pick-up points from Hanoi - Sapa
Hung Thanh high quality passenger bus: pick up at No. 287 Tran Khat Chan - Hai Ba Trung - Hanoi - 04.3.633.7575 or 39 Cau Giay - Cau Giay - Hanoi - 04.3.7666.199 or No. 162B Tran Quang Khai - Hoan Kiem - Hanoi - 04.3.927.4285. Price 220,000 VND / bed / person / way (~ $ 9.5).
Vip Limousine bus: pick up and drop off at 16, Hang Ching, Hanoi. Phone number for booking ticket 024.9999.0303. Depending on the seat position, the fare ranges from 280,000 - 370,000 VND / seat / way (~ 12-16 $).
Love cabin to Sapa: a type dedicated to couples with a romantic and cozy space. The price is 680,000 VND / cabin / 2 people / way (~ $ 29.3). Pick up point 18 Hang Voi - Linh Dam Peninsula – Giai Phong Street - Tran Nhat Duat - Foreign Language University - Hoa Binh Park. Phone number for reservations - 0985.555.94.94
Note: Catching a night bus to Sapa from Hanoi is a good way to save time because all night buses pick up at 10pm and will arrive in Sapa town at 5am. By this way, you can sleep on the way to Sapa and have more time for traveling and exploring. 
Plus, if you have a flight from overseas to Hanoi and want to go directly to Sapa from Hanoi airport, contact some sleeping bus or limousine bus agencies above to book a seat. 
- Some tourist attractions near Sapa bus station that visitors can explore such as:
Sapa Market: About 300m from Sapa bus station
Mau Son Temple: 550m from Sapa bus station
Ham Rong Mountain: 1.8km from Sapa bus station
Read more: A guide to travel from Hanoi to Sapa

3 - How to go to Sapa by plane?

At present, there is no airport in Sapa, so for those who are far away and have to travel by air can choose Noi Bai international airport as a transit point, then continue to travel by car or train to Sapa according to instructions in part 1 and part 2. 
Currently, the People's Committee of Lao Cai province is in the first stage of proposing to build an airport in Sapa. Hopefully, in time, there will be alternative routes from cities and provinces to Sapa to help tourists save time, costs and have memorable experiences when coming to Sapa.
Wishing you an interesting vacation when you come to Sapa "A place where nature and harmony meets". At the same time, you can quickly explore and choose a travel schedule and the best way to go to Sapa that suits your needs.

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Hi, I am Linh ! A young & passionate Vietnamese who love the wandering days in exploring new things and experiencing the different cultures. Welcome to my Vietnamese travel guides & sharings.

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