Quick company Intro
Grouptour is one of the countless private operators on the hugely popular tourist route connecting Hanoi with Sapa. With Grouptour you know that you’ll be arriving in the centre of Sapa and won’t have the hassle of changing in Lao Cai as is the case if you were to choose to make the trip by train.
Routes served by Grouptour
Grouptour offers one route only, making the scenic journey through the mountains to Sapa before heading back again to Hanoi. There are three buses each day leaving Hanoi for Sapa, departing at 06.30, 13.00, 22.00 which are scheduled to arrive at 12.00, 19.30 and 04.30 (the next morning) respectively. The trip will take 6 ½ hours and is priced at VND230,000 in either direction.
Visitors leaving Sapa for Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, have even greater choice. There are five buses every single day making the trip, leaving at 08.00, 13.00, 14.30, 15.30 and 22.00, which are scheduled to arrive in Hanoi throughout the day between 04.30 and 22.00. With such a variety of departure and arrival times, there is sure to be one which fits your schedule.
Grouptour tickets tend to be cheaper than those offered by its competitors so is a popular option for visitors on a budget. Prices are also far lower than train tickets between Hanoi and Sapa, with the added bonus of not having to change at Lao Cai and making the remainder of the trip by bus.
There are a very good range of services offered by Grouptour so there is bound to be at least one departure that will suit you, whether you need to arrive in Sapa in time for a trek or to make sure you don’t miss a flight from the airport in Hanoi.
Due to the low cost, Grouptour services are not always the highest quality. The buses themselves can be older than you’d find elsewhere and may not necessarily be as comfortable as you’d like.
Another major issue with travelling by bus is that delays are fairly common, it’s not unusual to arrive an hour or so late so bear this in mind if you are on a tight schedule. Even with delays the journey will still be quicker than catching the train though!
Keep in mind
Grouptour is one of the cheapest options for reaching Sapa from Hanoi and the service you receive can reflect this. If you’re cornered about the quality or comfort of the buses then you might want to consider paying a little more with another operator.
What travellers say
Grouptour is one of the most popular transport operators with budget travellers as it is a very cheap and fairly reliable service to take you to Sapa. Although it might not be as comfortable as a sleeper train, it costs less than half the amount and will get you there in less time as well. This makes it a popular choice with those visiting on a tight schedule.
Usually the biggest cause for complaints are delays and the comfort aboard the buses. Unfortunately, delays are commonplace across Vietnam, whether you are travelling by bus or train, and there is little that can be done to avoid this. It might make you feel better to know that even taking the almost inevitable delays into account, you’ll still almost certainly arrive at your destination more quickly than if you’d made the trip by train.
The comfort of Grouptour services is a common issue but is to be expected from a budget option. You can pay far more with other operators for a slightly better standard but whether you consider this worthwhile is entirely up to you.
October ★ 2.5
September ★ 3.3
August ★ 2.8