If it’s your first time traveling to Sapa, you might wonder how to get from Hanoi to Sapa and how long it takes. Refer to the article below from DanangPrivateCar.com to find the answers. They will provide suggestions for various transportation options from Hanoi to Sapa and different tour options for you to consider and choose from.
A Brief Overview of Sapa – The Misty Town.
Sapa is a district within Lao Cai Province, situated in the Northwestern mountainous region of Vietnam. Positioned at an elevation ranging from 1,500m to 1,650m above sea level, the town is shrouded in mist throughout the year. Sapa is a tourist hotspot that draws in a multitude of visitors who come to explore its challenging terrain and enchanting beauty. Stepping foot in Sapa during the early morning can make tourists feel as if they are floating amidst the clouds. The scenery is both romantic and mystical, resembling a realm of paradise on Earth. Additionally, Sapa boasts a temperate climate all year round, allowing visitors to come at any time of the year.
How far is Sapa from Hanoi?
Sapa is a highland town located in Lao Cai Province, Vietnam, and it’s approximately 38km away from the center of Lao Cai City and about 370km away from Hanoi.
Distances from Hanoi to Sapa via different routes:
- Route 1: Noi Bai – Lao Cai Expressway (via Nhat Tan Bridge): approximately 320km.
- Route 2: National Highway 70 (the main route to the Northwestern provinces): approximately 390km.
- Route 3: National Highway 32 (via Mù Cang Chải): approximately 455km.
Usually, drivers tend to choose the Noi Bai – Lao Cai Expressway route due to its shorter distance and more favorable traffic conditions.
Means of Traveling from Hanoi to Sapa.
Traveling from Hanoi to Sapa by Motorcycle.
If you’re fond of conquering breathtaking routes, you can embark on a motorcycle journey from Hanoi to Sapa following the guidelines below:
Taking the Lao Cai Route:
- Option 1: Hanoi – Vinh Phuc – Viet Tri – Phong Chau – Doan Hung – Yen Bai – Lao Cai – Sapa (Total distance approximately 360km).
- Option 2: Hanoi – Hoa Lac – Son Tay – Trung Ha Bridge – Phong Chau Bridge – Phong Chau – Doan Hung – along National Highway 70 – Lao Cai – Sapa (Total distance approximately 370km).
Taking the Lai Chau Route:
- Route: Hanoi – Hoa Lac – Son Tay – Thanh Son – along National Highway 32 – Sapa (Total distance over 420km).
- You should have good physical health to tackle the long journey of hundreds of kilometers. Carry along some snacks (biscuits, chocolates, etc.) and drinks.
- Opt for motorcycle travel from Hanoi to Sapa on sunny days for convenient movement and safety assurance.
- It’s advisable to travel in a group for mutual assistance when needed.
- Remember to fill up the fuel tank, thoroughly check the motorcycle, and always adhere to traffic safety regulations.
Private Car Hanoi To Sapa
Another option for you to consider is a private car. Opting for a private car is highly suitable for international travelers, groups of friends, families, elderly individuals, or young children, as it provides comfort and flexibility during the travel time.
The private car service in Hanoi by DanangPrivateCar.com’s, with a team of professional drivers who have served international tourists for many years, will offer you the safest and most comfortable journey. Additionally, with our private car service, you will have flexibility in your travel schedule. Along the way, you can make stops for sightseeing and enjoy coffee breaks that are not possible with bus or train travel. Reserve your trip from Hanoi to Sapa with a private car from DanangPrivateCar.com’s today.
Traveling from Hanoi to Sapa by Coach / Limousine.
After the completion of the Hanoi – Lao Cai expressway, more and more companies are operating on this route. You can take a sleeper coach / limousine / long-distance taxi from Hanoi to Sapa, with a travel time of about 4 – 6 hours. Booking options include: online reservations through various websites, direct ticket purchase at counters, or contacting the transport companies. Ticket prices for the Hanoi – Sapa route range from 230,000 to 400,000 VND per one-way ticket, depending on the transport company.
Some reputable and quality bus companies operating on the Hanoi – Sapa route:
Sao Viet Bus Company:
- Ticket Price: 350,000 VND/one-way
- Departure Times: 07:00, 08:30, 09:30, 10:30, 11:30
Fansipan Express Bus Company:
- Ticket Price: 250,000 VND/one-way
- Departure Times: 07:50, 22:00
King Express Bus Company:
- Ticket Price: 250,000 VND/one-way
- Departure Times: 07:50, 22:00
Luxury Van Limousine Company:
- Ticket Price: 370,000 VND/one-way
- Departure Times: 07:10, 07:40, 08:10
Traveling from Hanoi to Lao Cai by Train.
The final option on the list of “how to travel from Hanoi to Sapa” is by train. Trains run only from the center of Hanoi to Lao Cai City. For the remaining 35km journey from Lao Cai City to Sapa town, you can rent a motorcycle, take a taxi, or use a car for transportation.
- Departure point: Tran Quy Cap Station – Hanoi.
- Train types: SP Train (fast) and LC Train (slow).
- Total travel time: approximately 8 hours.
- Departure time: 21:00 – 22:00 from Hanoi to Lao Cai.
- Seat types: hard seats, soft seats, air-conditioned sleeping berths, etc.
- Train ticket prices for Hanoi – Lao Cai: 150,000 – 1,200,000 VND per passenger.
- Cost of transportation from Lao Cai Station to Sapa: about 50,000 VND per passenger.
Useful tip: It’s advisable to book your tickets 1 – 2 weeks in advance to avoid the possibility of tickets being sold out. If you’re inclined to follow the “Instagrammable” trend on the vintage train, consider preparing costumes and a camera to capture the experience!
Purchasing Tickets through Vietnam Railways.
Another option is to buy sleeper or hard/soft seat tickets directly from Vietnam Railways. You can use the official website of Vietnam Railways (there are also fake websites, so be cautious) or buy tickets directly at the Hanoi station.
Buying tickets through: https://dsvn.vn/
Tickets are slightly cheaper when purchased directly. Hard and soft seats are also available (at 135,000 VND and 180,000 VND respectively).
Where to Board the Train
Hanoi has several different train stations. Both SP1 and SP3 depart from Hanoi Train Station at Van Mieu (near Van Mieu). Check the exact location here on Google Maps.
If you have a ticket issued by Vietnam Railways, you should go to the main A gate at Le Duan Street. No procedures are necessary—just present your e-ticket to the attendant when boarding the train.
What are the Trains Like?
Many people choose the train thinking there will be scenic views along the way. The journey from Hanoi to Sapa indeed passes through some of the most beautiful parts of Vietnam, but the train journey is at night, so in reality, you don’t see much.
The trains themselves are basic but comfortable enough. They are quite noisy and bumpy as the train runs overnight. Don’t expect to get a full night’s sleep! Bedding is provided, but there are no dining trolleys, so you should bring your own food (snacks and drinks can be purchased on the train) along with essentials you’d need for a standard train journey.
There is plenty of luggage space on the trains. Technically, each passenger is limited to one 20kg bag, but this rule is not strictly enforced.
When is the Best Time to Visit Sapa?
Sapa is a picturesque town in Lao Cai Province, located in the Northwestern mountainous region of Vietnam. With an average elevation of 1,500m – 1,800m, the climate carries many characteristics of the temperate zone.
The most suitable times to visit Sapa are from September to November or from March to May. During these periods, the temperature is relatively stable, not too hot nor too cold, making it ideal for sightseeing and exploration.
Moreover, if you enjoy experiencing snowfall, then visit Sapa in winter (from December to February of the Gregorian calendar). At this time, temperatures are very low and can drop below 0°C, with the possibility of beautiful snowfall in various places.
Captivating Destinations in Sapa.
Sapa is often referred to as a place where “heaven meets earth.” It is beloved for its majestic natural landscapes and the convergence of diverse cultures of ethnic minorities living in the area.
Visiting Sapa, you’ll have the opportunity to conquer the peak of Fansipan Mountain, known as the “Roof of Indochina,” and admire vibrant flowers on Ham Rong Mountain and the valley of roses.
Tourists will have the chance to explore renowned destinations such as Silver Waterfall, Heaven’s Gate, Stone Church, Cat Cat Village, Ta Van, Ta Phin, Love Waterfall, and more.
Additionally, visitors will get to savor delicious local specialties such as salmon, stone moss, armpit-pig meat, bitter bamboo shoot soup, kitchen-range buffalo meat, corn wine, grilled dishes, and more.
Above are the transportation options you can use to travel from Hanoi to Sapa. Please consider your schedule, ticket prices, and personal preferences. This will help you choose the most suitable mode of transportation for yourself.