Sapaly Express

Company Information

Sapaly Express is one of many private operators with carriages on the ever-popular Hanoi to Sapa train route.

As with all trains from Hanoi to Sapa, visitors will first have to make the 350km journey to Lao Cai before transfering to Sapa, as the popular tourist town does not have its own train station. You can book the transfer with us or most likely your hotel will offer to pick you up.

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 VIP 4x which is a four-berth carriage or a VIP two-berth cabins.

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 cabins 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.

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

3.7
202 customer reviews
5
28%
4
41%
3
14%
2
11%
1
6%
99.3% of 4,777 travelers were presumably happy with Sapaly Express as they left good or no review
SV
3
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express, Nov 10, 2019
Because of our Trekking during the day i was able to sleep just fine on the way back. Sapaly is also one of the better company’s to book with, you get water, slippers, etc. I would recomend if you need to go to the toilet go in the beginning of the trainride. Because it starts to smell.
JS
4
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express, Nov 1, 2019
Bit noisy, but clean, friendly staff & on time
AC
4
train #SP4 1st Class Sleeper, Sapaly Express, Oct 17, 2019
I travelled before on this train in a 4 berth cabin, very uncomfortable mattress and only a sheet and blanket so in comparison the 1st class sleeper is very comfortable. Good mattress and very comfy duvet. Friendly and helpful rep. Train is obviously very noisy when moving at speed so it is difficult to sleep. Toilet ok in 1st class due to fewer people using it.
LM
4
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express, Oct 6, 2019
Room was clean and it has free amenities and a bottle of water. The toilet was very dirty.
WH
4
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express, Oct 6, 2019
It is clean and comes with toothbrush, comb, slippers, water and snacks. Most of the operators on train can barely speak or understand English, it’s difficult to communicate if u have any problems. Should clean the toilet more often though. It smells after a few hours! Everything is considered pleasant & safe, but the road is kind of too bumpy for me, so I didn’t enjoy it that much. However, it is still a good experience if u never try on a sleeper train b4. I prefer to travel with bus rather than sleeper train for in/out Sapa.
LM
4
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express, Oct 4, 2019
Room was clean and it has free amenities, a bottle of water and te/coffe morning. The toilet was very dirty. Pay atention, to pick up the voucher ticket is a out 10 minuts by walk from the main entrance.
MC
4
train #SP3 1st Class Sleeper, Sapaly Express, Sep 25, 2019
Have a nice trip. Good service. Departure and arrival on time
IS
5
train #SP4 1st Class Sleeper, Sapaly Express, Sep 21, 2019
After a night with Vietnam Railways, the Sapaly express seems like a 4-star hotel. No cockroaches, clean, very nice and clean blankets and even some snacks, water, beer and coke included (VIP package). Enough toilet paper in the toilet but still a train toilet so wear shoes when you go to the toilet.
SM
5
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express, Sep 18, 2019
Enjoyed the trip...i love their morning coffee. Do not expect very clean/odour free washroom but its as good as it can be. The washroom comes with water host. Overall experience was great
NY
5
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express, Sep 17, 2019
This train way better than fanxipan express, cleaner toilet, the staff will explain whats free and whatnot
SC
4
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express, Sep 17, 2019
Very helpful personnel, clean compartment. Didn’t get a free beer that was promised on the VIP ticket.
CG
3
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express, Aug 18, 2019
The room was quite hot, and even though i indicated lower berth, i was given the upper berth.
SJ
4
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express, Aug 12, 2019
Clean comfortable and on time. Only downside was train was very bumpy so hard to sleep
AK
3
train #SP3 1st Class Sleeper, Sapaly Express, Aug 12, 2019
I was looking for a ticket booth but couldn't find any. Finally I found the train but the guy at the train made me wait about 30 mins before let me in to the train. I was up set and disappoint for the service I received as a VIP customer.
PO
5
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express, Aug 7, 2019
Amazing, simply a must do if you are in Vietnam ????????
SV
3
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express, Aug 4, 2019
A bit old style, room clean. Toilettes shall be refurbished and clean more often
IH
4
train #SP3 1st Class Sleeper, Sapaly Express, Aug 4, 2019
We've had a 2p cabin which was great, also because of a double matress. Clean cabin and beds. When we entered the cabin, the floor was still a little wet from cleaning. We didn't used the toilets.
LP
4
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express, Aug 3, 2019
Comfortable beds, good temperature inside the room, clean linen!
SV
2
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express, Aug 2, 2019
Dirty toilet, old train noisy, AC was not adjustable and in general was warm. Funny experience but i raccomend other means of transport to reach Sapa.
EH
5
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Sapaly Express, Jul 31, 2019
The trip was awesome! Super comfortable. Getting the tickets was a bit confusing.

Sapaly Express Stations

Hanoi Sapa Lao Cai