Hanoi to Sapa by train , Sapa Travel Guide

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Hanoi to Sapa by Train 

There is no train station in Sapa itself, but most travelers arrive from Hanoi on the train through Lao Cai station. Lao Cai is 40km (25 miles) northeast of Sapa.

The train journey from Hanoi to Lao Cai is about 8-9 hours.  It is better to take the train that leaves at 11pm, thus you’ll get a good night sleep and you’ll be ready and set to go when you arrive.

Trains to Lao Cai are departing from the different tracks, adjacent to the main Hanoi’s Railway Station, located at 120 Le Duan St.

It takes about 1 hour to get to Sapa from Lao Cai station on a minibus, or 1.5 hour drive on a local bus. Minibus ride from Lao Cai to Sapa costs 25.000 dong (1.3 USD). More expensive option is to book a private car transfer for about 30-40 USD per car one way from Lao Cai to Sapa. The ride is about an hour of beautiful views (if the weather is good, it may be an hour of fog at other times) more than 1000 meters up into the mountains.

Pay attention to the time of your return train. Trains leaving Lao Cai around 7PM will arrive in Hanoi at 4AM. If you don't make prior arrangements to return at an early hour, you may find yourself sitting outside of your hostel, waiting for the desk to open.


If you’re not from the climbers, make sure that you get lower berths and leave the upper berths for the younger bones.

Don’t get to the station at the last minute, because you will have to walk quite a bit to first get to the train, and then to your designated car. If you have more luggage than you can carry, there are plenty of people willing to haul them for you for US$1

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