Sapaly Express

Company Information

Sapaly Express is one of many private operators with carriages on the ever-popular Hanoi to Sapa train route. Sapaly Express is managed by the Best Western Sapaly Hotel since it started carrying passengers in 2010.

As with all trains from Hanoi to Sapa, visitors will first have to make the 350km journey to Lao Cai before catching a bus to Sapa, as the popular tourist town does not have its own train station.

Routes served by Sapaly Express Train

When you book a journey with Sapaly Express you will have the option to book a bed in a Deluxe four-berth carriage or a VIP two-berth carriage.

Note Do be aware that you cannot just purchase one bed in the two-berth compartment so this option will work out to be very expensive for solo travellers. Beds in four-berth carriages can each be reserved individually.

For anyone in Hanoi looking to reach Sapa, there is a 22.00 train that will arrive in Lao Cai for around 06.20. From Lao Cai to Sapa it is usually a journey of a little over an hour so you should be in Sapa by 08.00, just in time to begin exploring the countryside! The 8 ½ hour train ride to Lao Cai costs VND880,000 for a bed in a four-berth carriage and VND1,910,000 for a spot in the two-bed compartments.

If you're heading from Sapa back to Vietnam's capital city, Hanoi, then you can catch a train from Lao Cai at 21.10, arriving at 05.25. The journey time and the price remains the same whether you are leaving from or arriving in Hanoi.

Pros

The four-berth carriages are a good option for small groups, you're sure to have a good time on this trip socialising and chatting. Also, if you're a solo traveller, this is a good opportunity to meet new people.

Couples or those travelling in pairs may want the privacy and security of a private compartment, so it is useful to have this choice.

The beds and the carriages are clean and comfortable, regardless of whether you pick a two or four-berth compartment, so there isn't much to choose between the two options in terms of quality.

Cons

It can be annoying arriving in Lao Cai at around 06:30 and then having to catch a bus to Sapa, but unfortunately this is the only option if you wish to travel by train. You can travel directly to Sapa from Hanoi by bus, so if this change is an issue you may want to consider the bus as an alternative.

As is the case with trains across Vietnam, light sleepers may find the journey a challenge. As you head out from Hanoi into the countryside, the journey can be bumpy and other passengers as well as vendors selling food and drinks can sometimes disturb you. If this is the case then you may want to consider purchasing an entire two-berth carriage to yourself, although this is expensive. Another option could be to travel via bus during the day.

Keep in mind

It's possible to purchase a shuttle from Lao Cai to Sapa directly through Sapaly Express. Although this ticket is slightly more expensive than purchasing it yourself when you arrive, it will save you some hassle and time, especially as it will be early in the morning!

Travellers reviews

Travellers are usually pleased with the comfort on board these carriages, with reviews commentating on the cleanliness inside the cabins.

However, there are often reports that the bathrooms on these trains could be of a better standard and take a bit of getting used to, but unfortunately, this is highly likely to be the case on all trains and carriages operated by private companies or Vietnam Railways. It's always best to keep hand sanitizer and toilet roll with you on these trips, just in case!

Although the reviews for Sapaly Express are generally positive, some travellers consider the fares a little bit expensive. There is often little difference in the standard of carriages operated by Vietnam Railways, which manages the train network, and other private companies, so you should take the price into account when planning your trip.

Some travellers found Sapaly Express pricier than some of its competitors on the route, so you should always do your research before booking.

Buy Sapaly Express Tickets

Hanoi - Sapa
Find tickets
Train VIP Sleeper
22:00
Train VIP Sleeper 4x
22:00
Sapa - Hanoi
Find tickets
Train VIP Sleeper
21:40
Train VIP Sleeper 4x
21:40

Sapaly Express Company Reviews

3.6
104 / 2,683
5 28
4 42
3 14
2 9
1 11
99.3% of 2,683 travelers were presumably happy with Sapaly 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 21, 2019
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★★
very nice!
Jan 17, 2019
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
Comfy and clean beds. Friendly staff. Good way to travel. Bring earplugs.
Dec 16, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★★
The voucher is not your ticket. You need to exchange your voucher for a ticket, from the ticket office about a km from the station or ring the hotline and someone will meet you at the station with the tickets.
Dec 13, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★★
Sapaly Express is a much better than than Orient express
Nov 13, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
Very smooth travelling. Pillow and blanket were clean and comfy. U got water, crackers, tooth brush and paste, and slippers. Toilet was ok, but smelly. Washing place was open but good. All in all definetely better than go by the vip mini bus to Sapa (from Hanoi)
Nov 6, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
The train bed is small but just sufficient space to sleep. The toilets are not the cleanest so if you want to use, use it before sleeping. Someone will knock on your door to wake you up in the morning - to sell you coffee/ tea/ hot chocolate. There is a toothbrush set, some crackers and wet wipes provided on the train as well. Also refrain from bringing a large luggage as the room had not much space to walk. 12go.asia is reliable! Managed to get my tickets at the location they mentioned as well.
Nov 2, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
I was travelling with 2 kids (5yrs) so I enjoyed clean beds and good service. Air conditioning is too strong and sometimes it gets really cold. Nice hot coffee in the morning. Overall we enjoyed our trip.
Oct 31, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
Service as expected. Beds were clean. We traveled with two small kids and they were very happy. We could leave our bags before the departure which was a big plus.
Oct 28, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
Enjoyed the journey.The cabin was comfortable and staff courteous.
Oct 18, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
Vers good and confortable Clean also
Oct 8, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
Efficient, clean, comfortable, on-time and a convenient way to travel hassle free from Hanoi to Sapa. Would take it again and recommend it. Luxurious? No. But absolutely great way to go.
Sep 26, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★★
This train was really good
Sep 19, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
A bumpy ride. Everthing is clean.
Sep 17, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★★
Very good! Beds are fine and service was good
Sep 12, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper, Sapaly Express
★★☆☆☆
The cabin vip is nice and clean and the train was in time . but the air conditioning was too cold. There was too much noise in the train so we cannot sleep. There is a coffee in the morning but with milk. I can’t drink milk. It will be better to offer also black coffee. The toilet was dirty. It’s too expensive for this level of service.
Sep 10, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★★
everything in sapa das amazing. I recomend this place and this kind of trip (Night train)
Aug 16, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
Imposible encontrar el lugar donde cambiar mi voucher
Aug 16, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
Sapaly nighttrain is a perfect wat for visiting Sapa
Aug 10, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★☆☆☆
Service was excellent. A literal red carpet laid out for Sapaly Express passengers, with a staff checking in on us before moving off. Cleanliness of the common facilities was also as expected. Great service was let down by the poor environment. Excessive swaying at night (not Sapaly Express' fault as that is how the train tracks are), coupled with the hit-and-miss air-conditioning which seemed to work for only 5 minutes every hour made it difficult to get a good night's rest. All in all: An experience. But as with all experiences, once is enough.
Aug 9, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★☆☆
Was better the train that we took to arrive to sapa. Still decent.
Aug 6, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★★
Clean bed, comfy space to sleep.
Aug 4, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
Probably the best way of commuting from Hanoi to Sapa at night. We managed to fall asleep only after having to argue with one of the staff members to stop talking so loud on the phone in the middle of the night. Overall, the cabin was clean and equipped with some necessary items to freshen up and feel comfy. The train left and arrived on time. We were offered the option of having coffee in the morning. We did not take it because the only option was with sugar. The experience can be very much improved in the train station in Hanoï. In the train, an option to turn off the air conditioning would be very good. Also, one or two USB plugs to charge the phones would be great with minimal investment.
Aug 3, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
Train was fine. Noisy but met expectations. Have a close look on the adress to go to on your voucher. You probably have to pick up your tickets and board the train on the back side of the Hanoi station. That will take you a 10 to 15 min if you are on the frontside!!!
Aug 3, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
Toilet can be cleaner
Aug 2, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
It was what I expected. The rooms and beds were clean and relatively comfortable. The journey is a bit shaky and jolting due to the tracks but was to be expected and overall I would do it again. I managed to sleep most of the night.
Jul 26, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper, Sapaly Express
★★☆☆☆
weak airconditioning , sheets and toilet a bit dirty. Free drinks and little snack.
Jul 16, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★★
Very Nice coupe, clean and good beds!
Jul 10, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★★
Slept the whole trip till being woken up by coffee :)
Jul 1, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★☆☆
the train was clean and good but the rail is so shaky and bumpy
Jul 1, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
Overall good. Basic accommodations. Beds comfy for a train.
Jun 30, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
Esta bien para dormir, no hay ruido y los trabajadores son amables. La unica pega: que habian cucarachas, vimos como 4-5 y seguro que habian mas; aunque bueno, es lo normal en toda la ciudad de vietnam. Por lo demas todo bien!
Jun 17, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
Train cabin clean. Water, toothbrush and slippers provided. Bunk was comfortable and the covers were perfect
Jun 15, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
A little disorganized with very small sign to get tickets in exchange for voucher. For families with small children the train leaves at 10 pm and you have to find the train, a tout helped me and expected at tip which I gave willingly. The train itself was fine noisy yes but this is Vietnam and I didn’t expect any less. Beds comfortable A/C worked fine.
May 25, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
Clean and confortable cabin. Enough space for our family of four and the luggages. Good service in the train. Toilets clean enough. Of course it shakes a lot but it's a train...the kids had a really good night of sleep. A nice experience!
May 20, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★★
Sapaly was excellent. They have thick firm mattresses which have just enough give to be comfortable. Slept almost the entire journey. Please change the ticket instructions, as the office where tickets get collected is at a restaurant near the station, not in a hall at the station.
May 8, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
Train cabin, Sapaly express, very clean and comfortable. Departed and arrived on time. 121goasia need to be clearer about ticket pick up in Lao Cai. Voucher said something about a ticket hall at the station. Wasn't so. Restaurants act as agents for, for example, Orient and Sapaly.. Thankfully King Express office staff explained where I could get my tickets, Hai Nhi restaurant for Sapaly, Peter Chef for Orient etc.
May 2, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★☆☆
The beds were average, the cleaness was ok but the couch was too hot
May 1, 2018
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★★
Great stay, stuff was super friendly and the bed very confortable.
Apr 20, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★☆☆
We had the VIP 4 beds cabine. The train is like trekking in Sapa, funny, noisy, old, no good functioning airco, adventures. Exactly what you should expect for the money you pay.
Apr 9, 2018
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express
★★★★☆
The train ride was as expected after reading all about it. Luckily we had good people sharing the cabin with us.

Sapaly Express Stations

Hanoi Sapa Lao Cai