Sapa to Hanoi

Sapa to Hanoi

Sun, Jul 28
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Sapa to Hanoi Schedule

Sapa to Hanoi Schedule
Transport NameRoute TimePrice
G8 Sapa Open Tour Double Cabin 00:30 - 05:15VND 634k
Techbus VN JSC VIP 22 05:45 - 11:45VND 468k
Grouptour Upper Single Cabin 07:40 - 13:45VND 413k
G8 Sapa Open Tour Lower Single Cabin 09:30 - 14:15VND 439k
Full Moon Party Tour VIP Cabin 11:00 - 17:20VND 484k
Grouptour Semi Sleeper 13:30 - 18:35VND 345k
Arirang Travel Cabin 14:00 - 20:00VND 429k
Grouptour VIP 22 16:45 - 22:45VND 467k
Sao Viet VIP Cabin 18:31 - 00:31VND 440k
Grouptour VIP 32 21:00 - 02:50VND 360k
HK Sapa Open Tour Lower Single Cabin 22:00 - 03:45VND 481k

How to get to Hanoi from Sapa

Why go to Hanoi

Hanoi is the bustling capital city of Vietnam full of lakes, temples and pagodas. The ancient city is also the cultural capital of Vietnam and is managing to retain much of its charm despite rapidly modernizing. Visitors can wander through the streets of the Old Quarter and around Hoan Kiem Lake or take in the grand Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Presidential Palace which dates back to colonial times. Hanoi often seems to be the polar opposite of Saigon in the south but both cities share the same energetic pace.

From Sapa to Hanoi

The only way to get to Hanoi from Sapa is overland as there is no airport nowhere in the vicinity. Travelling this route by train is a classic Vietnamese experience, but buses do a good job, too, and the choice of the means of transport depends entirely on your own preferences. The distance between Sapa and Hanoi is about 300 km but be ready that your journey will take from eight hours to 10 hours.

There is currently no airport near Sapa so travelers make the journey from Sapa to Hanoi by train or bus. The overnight train from Sapa to Hanoi has long been one of the most popular overnight trains in the country with a number of more luxurious private train cars offering travelers varying degrees of comfort and relaxation on the night train.

From Sapa to Hanoi by train

The train stations which serves Sapa is located in the town of Lao Cai, some 35 km from Sapa proper. It takes about one hour to get from Sapa to Lao Cai by taxi or 1¼ hour if going by local bus, as the road is extremely curvy, though beautiful. Take your medicine in advance if you are prone to motion sickness. Note also, that trains are often late – do not be surprised over a couple of hours delay. Expect to pay between USD20 and USD30 for a lift. Tip: share with your fellow travellers.

Note the hottest time to get back from Sapa to Hanoi is Sunday night. Expect your train be full house. Do not be surprised to find ‘extra’ people on board: if no seats/berths available, some conductors accept tips for letting them in. It is unfortunately useless to complain.

Currently there are two express trains daily from Sapa (Lao Cai) to Hanoi. Both are operated by the Vietnam Railways and both are night trains. SP2 leaves Lao Cai at 8.35pm and arrives to Hanoi at 4.45am; SP4 departs half an hour later at 9.10pm and arrives at 5.25am. Both trains feature private cars which provide a much more comfortable experience than ordinary Vietnam Railways cars – though naturally at a higher price. VIP sleepers for four passengers with Livitrans Express, King Express, Fanxipan, Chapa Express or **Sapalay Express provide more or less the same level of service and cost between USD36 and USD40 (VND800,000-VND880,000). While a berth in a first class sleeping car with Victoria Express sets you back USD170 (VND3.8mio).

There is a third train from Sapa to Hanoi (LC2) that departs at 10.05am and arrives at 7.35pm. This train offers only a few dozen soft seats and the rest are hard wooden bench style seats which are quite uncomfortable for journeys of any length.

Tip Normally there is a dining car in each train where quite decent and reasonably priced fare is served. Give it a try, anyway.

In Hanoi, trains from Sapa arrive at the Tran Quy Cap street side of the Hanoi railway station. It is located west of the main entrance Le Duan street and is known as the Tran Quy Cap train station or simply ‘entrance B’. Do not be mislead: it is one and the same train station.

From Sapa to Hanoi by bus

There are sleeper buses and express buses serving the route from Sapa to Hanoi. In Sapa they normally pick up passengers at the bus station in the centre of town close to the Cathedral or directly from your guesthouse and will drop you off in Hanoi in Old Quarter or around Hoan Kiem Lake but exact locations vary depending on the company. Travellers report that Sapa Express is arguably the best way to travel from Sapa to Hanoi with new and clean buses but no toilets on board. The trip takes from six to 8 hours. There are both morning and late night departures. Expect to pay from USD15/VND300,000 per person.

Getting around in Hanoi

Many attractions will be within walking distance for those staying in the Old Quarter but some may opt for the iconic cyclo bicycle taxi, be wary of the cost and ask your hotel about reasonable prices. The same can be said of the motorcycle taxis. To avoid confusion and conflict agree on a price beforehand and write the number (including all zeroes) on a piece of paper.

Unlike Saigon, Hanoi is not known for having a reliable or trustworthy taxi service but there are a small number of green Mai Linh taxi’s which can be counted on to give you an honest metered fare and proper route. All taxis should have a working meter but be generally aware how to get to your destination to avoid being taken on an unrequested tour of Hanoi at your expense.

The ride sharing apps Uber and Grab Taxi are both operating in Hanoi and if you are accustomed to using them or one of their partners at home, you can continue using in Vietnam without having to change anything. However, you may want to grab a cheap local SIM card(~USD5) as many drivers like to call before picking you up. Don’t worry if neither of you speak each other’s language well, the call is common courtesy in Vietnam and the driver will still pick you up.

Where to stay in Hanoi

Hanoi’s Old Quarter and the area surrounding the nearby Hoan Kiem lake are popular for travelers and tourists of all types. The area gives one an easy access to many popular attractions and has one of the more lively nightlife scenes in a city that tends to get quiet rather early. The adjacent French Quarter offers more upscale accommodations without the frenzied activity of the old quarter and is better suited for those looking to get a good night’s sleep.

Things to do in Hanoi

As the country’s cultural capital, Hanoi has too many notable temples to list them all but a popular one is the Temple of the Jade Mountain which sits in the Middle of Hoan Kiem lake and is connected to the shore by the bright red The Huc bridge. Taking a stroll around the lake is also popular with both tourists and locals alike and can take on a festive atmosphere due to the various vendors and entertainers scattered about.

Travelers can checkout the Temple of Literature, where the great scholars of the past studied and whose names are still engraved on monuments in the courtyard. During certain times of the year visitors can also witness the beauty of calligraphers practicing their craft and take home a unique souvenir. A short walk away is the Fine Arts Museum of Vietnam, which boasts an impressive collection spanning the country’s entire history from the ancient civilizations to contemporary artists.

Those interested in recent history may want to tour the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, better known as the Hanoi Hilton where POW’s were held during the American War (as the conflict is referred to locally). For a more upbeat experience, one can check out the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the colonial architecture of the Presidential Palace. Nearby is Ho Tay (West Lake) which hosts several watersport activities depending on the season and has many intriguing temples of its own.

Onward travel from Hanoi

Hanoi often serves as the beginning or the end of one’s travels in Vietnam. Those who have already explored the central and southern regions and come from Sapa to Hanoi will enjoy heading to the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Halong Bay for a cruise among the limestone islands that rise dramatically out of the bay. Cruises for Halong Bay depart from the port city of Haiphong which is a few hours by bus or train to the east of Hanoi.

Travelers just beginning their time in Vietnam will want to head south from Hanoi to Hue, the ancient capital and then onwards to the costal cities of Danang and Nha Trang. Flights are available from Noi Bai Airport, situated one hour outside of the city. Always arrange for a set price taxi to the airport or better yet, book a private charter van to ensure comfort and timely arrival. Of course many bus companies can take you from Hanoi to Hue as well as the Vietnam National Railways and the private train companies Livitrans and Violette Express who operate routes daily. Livitrans and Violette offer 4 berth VIP Sleeper cabins costing around USD75-USD85 for the 14 hour overnight journey. Passengers can expect the same experiences as provided on the Sapa to Hanoi journey with snacks, drinks and a much softer bed to sleep in. They will also have wine, beer and meals available for purchase which are of a higher quality than the standard Vietnam Railways fare. The much longer journey of Hanoi to Hue makes having a comfortable berth all the more important for your wellbeing.

Transportation from Sapa to Hanoi

Facts about the transport from Sapa to Hanoi

Cheapest Transport$7
Fastest Transport3h 55m
Earliest Departure12:00 午前
Latest Departure11:30 午後
Departures per day12
Distance196 kilometers
Transport CompaniesArirang Travel, Cat Ba Panorama, Chapa Express, Cuong Phat Limousine, Daiichi Travel, Damitrans, Dichung, Duc Duong Bus, Eco Sapa Limousine, Fanxipan, Full Moon Party Tour, G8 Sapa Open Tour, Green Sapa Bus, GreenLion Bus, Grouptour, Grouptour Group Booking, Ha Son Hai Van, HK Sapa Open Tour, Inter Bus Lines, KadBus, Ket Doan Travel, King Express Bus, King Sapa Train, Laman Express, Luxury Van Limousine, NewLivitrans Express, OUROS Travel, Saigon DMC, Sao Vang, Sao Viet, Sao Viet, Sapa Discovery Travel, Sapa Dragon Express, Sapa Ethnic Travel, Sapa Express, Sapa Group Bus, Sapaly Express, Techbus VN JSC, Thang Long Ha Noi Limousine, Tien Dat Trans, To Vietnam Travel, VicSapa Train, Viet Nam Travel Bus, Vietnam Luxury Travel, Vietnam Railways, VietNam Travel Bus, Violette Express Train

Sapa to Hanoi Destination Reviews

it was ok. Only the last miles they gave us a ride with strange cars into the center of Hanoi. Weird guys with old cars (no taxi) no vans according websites.
Bus VIP 20, Sapa Ethnic Travel (Công Ty TNHH Một Thành Viên Du Lịch Thiểu Số), Jul 20, 2024
Suitable for backpackers and root people. If you want absolute confort pass your way.
Bus Sleeper, Sapa Dragon Express (Sapa Dragon Express), Jun 28, 2024
Cabin was actually two seats with a divider in the middle which was less comfortable and there was no storage space within the cabin or hooks for hanging belongings.
Bus VIP 22, Inter Bus Lines (Công Ty Cổ Phần Inter Bus Lines), Jun 28, 2024
The bus was rather warm compared to the other sleeper bus we took to Sapa. The leg room was also less than the other bus but this bus was cheaper.
Bus Sleeper, King Express Bus, Jun 24, 2024
They rang me twice in the morning to make sure I arrived to the bus 30 mins early (bus was at 10am) only for us to not get on the bus till after 10.30 and not leave until 11.15. The bus itself was nice inside. But when approaching Hanoi we pulled up on the side of the motorway and was told to get out and get into a minibus with not enough seats for everyone. I understand that the bus was going onto Ninh Binh but nothing was explained prior at any point and was hardly explained when we pulled up and got kicked out on the side of the motorway
Bus Upper Single Cabin, HK Sapa Open Tour (HK Sapa Open Tour), Jun 17, 2024
The bus was 100 minutes late to pick up and 40 minutes late into Hanoi.
Bus Sleeper, Sapa Dragon Express (Sapa Dragon Express), May 9, 2024
everything was at high level, as expected.
Bus VIP 20, Sapa Ethnic Travel (Công Ty TNHH Một Thành Viên Du Lịch Thiểu Số), May 8, 2024
Experience was great! We booked same day in the afternoon, to start to go back to Hanoi at night, and got a confirmation within an hour. We got to the train and had free refreshments and a personalized letter to thank and welcome us (+points for this gesture!). The cabin was clean, restroom too. The ride sometimes was not so quiet but it's normal since we're on a train 😅. For our first sleeper train experience, overall, it was great as we managed to get some sleep, left and got to our destination on time.
Train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Laman Express, Apr 25, 2024
When you are booking this transfer, the location is different. After you book, they change it and are rude to you and do not respond. Also we have booked upper seats, but they gave us lower and we where not able to change it.
Bus Upper Single Cabin, HK Sapa Open Tour (HK Sapa Open Tour), Apr 23, 2024
Bought tickets for a 4pm bus ride but was contacted and pressured to be at the bus station before 2.30pm. Thankfully we didnt have any urgent plans set and was able to 'accomodate' their request but i told them to pick us up instead of us going there. They picked us up and dropped us at a location (not the designated spot at Sapa SSB) and told us to enter the limousine. We were angered as we booked a sleeper bus. The limousine was empty so surely they just wanted to fill up the space. So we did not follow and then another van took us to Sapa Market where we were given the Saoviet sleeper bus to Hanoi. When all of this was happening we simultaneously contacted the helpline but the response was rather very slow, riduculous and not helpful at all. Thankfully bus ride was pleasant but the driver is very rude, looking inside my bag to check if i brought food and rushing us to put on our shoes when we arrived at the destination. We had a child with us so surely it was a hassle and took some time to get us set to board off the bus unlike other passengers who were all adults and had not much luggage with them. Surely book from other platforms.
Bus VIP 22, Grouptour (Công ty du lịch quốc tế Grouptour), Apr 21, 2024
1757 customer reviews