King Express

Company Information

King Express is one of the higher-rated private operators who maintain carriages on the Vietnam Railways route from Hanoi to Sapa. As Sapa does not have a train station, you'll have to depart the train at Lao Cai before catching a bus the remaining distance to Sapa itself.

When booking a ticket with King Express you will have the option of a space in a four-berth carriage or a two-berth compartment.

Routes served by King Express

Hanoi–Sapa (Lao Cai)

There is one train each evening in both directions. If you are in Hanoi and would like to explore the beautiful countryside around Sapa, then catch the train at 22.00 for about 8 ½ hours and you'll be in Lao Cai for 06.20. After you catch a bus you'll arrive in Sapa itself by 08.00. Beds in a four-berth carriage cost VND835,000 and VND1,785,000 for a space in a two-berth compartment.

Note Do be aware that you can't just purchase one bed in a two-berth carriage, you will have to pay for both even if you are a solo traveller. Spaces in the larger carriages can all be booked individually.

If you're leaving Sapa to return to Hanoi, you'll need to catch a train at Lao Cai at 21.10, which will arrive in the capital early the next morning at around 05.30.


The biggest advantage with travelling to Sapa via train is that the journey includes your accommodation for the night. Theses overnight trains allow you to sleep through the majority of the trip so you're as fresh as possible to begin exploring as soon as you arrive the next morning. This is a good option if you’re travelling on a tight schedule and you don't want to spend a day of your holiday sitting on a bus.

King Express cabins are usually pretty comfortable so it should be possible to get some sleep during the trip, although it may be a bit of a squeeze if you're tall. Also, make sure you don't miss the sunrise, as you'll be treated to some stunning views of the countryside for the last hour or so of the ride.


These carriages can get a little bit cramped when you have four travellers and four sets of luggage squeezed into the room. If you've got quite a lot of luggage with you, maybe you might want to consider paying extra for a two-berth compartment. Similarly, if there are three people in your group then you could all pay a little extra for the entire four-berth carriage and have plenty of extra space to store your belongings.

Train travel in Vietnam is often slower and more expensive than catching a bus and the Hanoi – Sapa route is no exception. The journey will take you a few hours longer than a bus ride, which will also take you directly to Sapa rather than stopping in Lao Cai, so you may want to consider this option as an alternative.

Keep in mind

Good news for families looking to head to Sapa, children under five years old can travel for free on King Express carriages. However, do be aware that they may not count towards the occupancy of the carriage, for example, if you and your child book a space in a four-berth compartment, there may still be three other people squeezed into the room.

Travellers reviews

The bathrooms onboard trains across Vietnam are of a much lower standard than you may be used to. Unfortunately, this is the case with King Express too.

Some travellers are also surprised that the quality of King Express carriages is not much higher than that of the standard Vietnam Railways carriages elsewhere on the train, especially as you will be paying a premium to travel with a private operator. Some travellers may feel that this money could be better spent on a trek in Sapa rather than sitting on the train!

Buy King Express Tickets

Hanoi - Sapa
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Train VIP Sleeper
Train VIP Sleeper 4x
Sapa - Hanoi
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Train VIP Sleeper
21:10, 21:40
Train VIP Sleeper 4x
20:35, 21:10, 21:40

King Express Company Reviews

60 customer reviews
99.4% of 1,606 travelers were presumably happy with King Express as they left good or no review
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, King Express, Nov 11, 2019
Good experience. If you come with your friend (4 people), It is really good.
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, King Express, Oct 23, 2019
Beds are fine, some carriages looked more luxurious than ours. Quite difficult getting tickets as no one had any idea where to go and the train itself is v loud/stops a lot, don’t expect too much sleep...
train #SP3 1st Class Sleeper, King Express, Oct 5, 2019
Happy that the train ran on time and we had a bed. The air conditioning when we first got on and first got up was so cold. In general the air conditioning was very loud. The chain that was used to hold the upper bunk that had been removed kept hitting the wall to make more noise that was except able. The drinks list was not clear. The snack of cookies where not good. However the worst part was the toilet it was grubby and by morning the seat was hanging off and no toilet roll left.
train #SP4 1st Class Sleeper, King Express, Sep 18, 2019
It was nice but our return journey had no beer, snacks or soft drinks.
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, King Express, Jul 23, 2019
The ventilation was non excistend. Because of that everthing hot very humid. Everthing was very clean, even the toilet..
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, King Express, Jul 15, 2019
The woman who works in the king express ticket office is the rudest person I've ever met. Tried making us pay more for the ticket we had already paid for and said we couldn't have the beds we requested. Once we finally got the ticket we had the beds we requested anyway so she was just trying to make us pay more to change. The train its self was really good and very comfortable the only bad thing was the toilet was blocked on our carriage so had to walk through the next carriage and use theirs. The ticket pick up destination that 12go Asia give you is wrong because the office has moved to across the street so that needs to be changed
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, King Express, Apr 28, 2019
I booked 2 lower berths however when we got on the train our bed numbers were 1 lower berth and 1 top berth.
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, King Express, Apr 14, 2019
There was no seat number on the ticket issued by 12goasia which caused confusion at boarding. My name was also incorrect on the passenger list - boarding was not guaranteed because of this and took 45 minutes as a result.
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, King Express, Mar 16, 2019
We were very happy with the trip. We had 2 beds in a 4 bed cabin. It was clean. Sure it’s small but we didn’t bring a lot of luggage. We fell asleep quickly and got lots of sleep. It was a bit noisy and rocky but didn’t bother us. People trying to sell stuff were a bit annoying. We didn’t use the toilets so can’t report on those.
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, King Express, Jan 1, 2019
a great way to sapa . Comfortable beds and Complimentary snacks and waters. One thing to miss is Hot water dispenser was not working.
train #SP3 1st Class Sleeper, King Express, Dec 26, 2018
Ok the “train” is actually a railway cart, using the words luxury or delux is not going to change the facts its a sleeper cart from the 70is and has no sound dented what so ever. Be advice take the sleeper bus or rent a cab it’s cheaper and more luxury.

King Express Stations

Hanoi Sapa Lao Cai