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.

Pros

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.

Cons

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
Find tickets
Train VIP Sleeper
22:00
Train VIP Sleeper 4x
22:00
Sapa - Hanoi
Find tickets
Train VIP Sleeper
21:10, 21:40
Train VIP Sleeper 4x
20:35, 21:10, 21:40

King Express Company Reviews

3.8
40 / 1,076
5 12
4 16
3 5
2 5
1 2
99.3% of 1,076 travelers were presumably happy with King Express as they left good or no review

At 12Go our operators offer three types of service:

Cheap, Fast, Good - but you can usually pick only two of them!
Cheap & Fast won’t be Good. (e.g. buses from/to Khao San Road, local buses or 3rd class trains)
Cheap & Good won’t be Fast. (e.g. VIP trains in Thailand)
Fast & Good won’t be Cheap. (e.g. private limousine services, or VIP24 buses vs Express buses)

Make your choice! Please remember that while we are closely monitoring the services, we are still an agency marketplace. That means we focus on ticketing services and route availability & coverage rather than on the factual seat reclining angle you will get on the bus today.

Jan 1, 2019
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, King Express
★★★★★
a great way to sapa . Comfortable beds and Complimentary snacks and waters. One thing to miss is Hot water dispenser was not working.
Dec 26, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper, King Express
★★☆☆☆
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.
Oct 15, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper, King Express
★★★★☆
We had heard lots of negative stories about the sleeper train, but King Express surpassed our expectations. It was clean and comfortable. We paid for a two berth cabin which we thought was worth the expense to have our own private space. Toilet wasn't great but better than expected. For value for money I think the Sapa Express limousine bus is a better option - quicker, cheaper and by travelling during the day you get to spend the night in a bed that's not moving anywhere.
Aug 12, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, King Express
★★★★☆
Good, but without wifi and the bath so dirty
Aug 12, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper, King Express
★★★☆☆
Cabin was well cleaned and in decent conditions, bedsheets were good. The whole coach was terribly cold. Cabin had no room for luggage. Toilets had no water and were flooded.
Aug 9, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper, King Express
★★☆☆☆
This was our return trip by train from Sapa to Hanoi and, of course, we compared the experience to the first trip. First, we did not understand why they put the AC to maximum. The temperature outside was fine, no need of AC. More annoying was the fact that we asked 3 staff to turn it off - before we left Sapa. They all said yes (or something which we thought was an approval) but no one did nothing about it. I asked again later and the lady looked through me as if I was talking to a ghost. The linen was averagely washed, some stains on it. Plus, the blanked was coming out of the cover. The toiled was quite dirty.
Aug 2, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper, King Express
★★★★★
Trip was great! Cabin was clean and roomy. Service was great. Would recommend the King Express Train.
Aug 1, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper, King Express
★★★★☆
Viaggio confortevole
Jul 10, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, King Express
★★★★★
Time, cleaning. Perfect
Jul 8, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, King Express
★★★☆☆
The trip was wobbly, the beds are quite hard and only 180 cm in length. Not very comfortable if you're 192 cm long. The good thing is that the nighttrain saves time so you can see more of Vietnam during the day.
Jul 6, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, King Express
★★★★★
Very good. Cleen.
Apr 20, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, King Express
★★★★☆
Good trip, also because the train wasn’t full en we didn’t have to share our 4 cabin with 2 other people. Traintickets were not at the station, but a woman did arrange it. It would be easier if we got e-traintickets by mail in stead of vouchers.
Apr 17, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, King Express
★★☆☆☆
We entered the train and a slightly agressive lady said private cabin? Pay! And we had to say a few times no. Do that wasn’t a good beginning of the trip. Same with drinks. They only wanted to sell it to us not to the vietnamees travellers that later came in our cabin.
Mar 13, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper, King Express
★★★★★
Nice 2 bed cabin . No probs at all

King Express Stations

Hanoi Sapa Lao Cai