Route overview from CatBa to SaPa
Bus + Train + Van from CatBa to SaPa (recommended)
13 hours, 675.000 VND (€25)
When you prefer a bit more comfort and want to have a few hours of rest to stretch your legs, you can also split this journey. First, take a bus including ferry from CatBa to Hanoi and continue the journey with the night train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. From Lao Cai railway station you can hop on a van to Sapa.
It will be quite a long journey, but when you have already seen Hanoi it’s worth to consider doing this trip in one leg.
Continue reading to book your bus and train tickets online.
Bus from CatBa to SaPa
12 hours 45 min, 560.000 VND (€21)
Taking a direct bus from CatBa to SaPa is the fastest and easiest option. The combined bus tickets include the ferry and all transfers.
Option 1: Bus + Train + Van
Route: Cat Ba Hanoi Lao Cai Sapa
Duration: 13 hours
Costs: 675.000 VND (€25)
For the second part of the journey, you have to book another train ticket from Hanoi to Lao Cai. From Lao Cai, you can take a van or mini-bus to SaPa.
Bus: Cat Ba Hanoi
Duration: 4-5 hours
Costs: 220.000 VND (€8)
On CatBa Island you can book a combined bus and ferry ticket from CatBa to Hanoi for about 220.000 VND (€8) at a local agent. Another option is to book online with CatBa express. Cat Ba Express is a bit more expensive but is also a faster and more luxurious option.
You can buy your bus ticket with CatBa express for 360.000 VND (€14) on Baolau. Just click the button below.
Buses booked through local agents take a different route from CatBa to Hanoi and therefore take a longer time. Expect these bus rides to take 4-5 hours, while CatBa express is much quicker and only takes 3,5 hours. Also, bear in mind that traveling during peak hours can take much longer.
We advise you to arrive before 19:00 in Hanoi so you will be on time to catch the train to Lao Cai. From the bus stop to Hanoi railway station takes about 30min to walk and 20min by taxi.
You can find more options and details on the page from CatBa to Hanoi.
Train: Hanoi Lao Cai
Duration: 8 hours
Costs: 415.000 VND (€16)
To travel by train from Hanoi to Sapa you have to take one of the evening trains to Lao Cai. We suggest the train which is leaving 22:00 and arrives at 06:05 in Lao Cai. Alternatively, you can also take the train leaving at 21:35, which will arrive at 05:30 in Lao Cai.
Check our Hanoi to SaPa page for more details or book your train ticket on Baolau through the button provided.
Van: Lao Cai Sapa
Costs: 40.000 VND (€1,50)
From Lao Cai railway station you can hop on a van or take the public bus to SaPa. See the page from Hanoi to SaPa where to find the vans at Lao Cai railway station.
Our suggested schedule looks as follows:
|Method of transport||Time||Duration|
|Ferry and bus to Hanoi||13:30-18:00||4h 30m|
|From bus stop to Hanoi railway station||18:00-19:00||1h|
|Train from Hanoi to Lao Cai||22:00-06:20||8h|
|Van from Lao Cai to SaPa||00:30-07:15||45m|
Option 2: Bus
Route: Cat Ba Sapa
Duration: 12 hrs 45min
Costs: 560.000 VND (€21)
There is only one bus company offering a direct bus from CatBa to Sapa. Unfortunately, you will arrive in the middle in the night in Sapa, what makes it less convenient than the train.
You will depart at 15:30 from Cat Ba and arrive at 04:15 in Sapa. This means you still need accommodation for the night of arrival and your night rhythm will be messed up. That’s why we recommend to take a bus from Hanoi instead and then take the night train to Sapa.
Cat Ba Discovery is another bus company that used to operate on this route with more convenient schedules. Unfortunately, they stopped their services for this route but we will update the info when they start operating on this route again.
Note: This route is not confirmed by us, so any feedback is welcome!
My favourite places to stay in Sapa
When visiting Sapa, there is no better way than waking up with a stunning view over the rice-fields while enjoying an outstanding breakfast. An experience not to miss and probably one of the best during your trip in Vietnam! Private bungalows start from €85, but you can already stay in a dormitory for just €15 or book a double bed in an open area for €30.
Looking for a great value deal? Olympia Sapa Hotel offers clean and spacious rooms for a budget below €15,a night. After a long day of trekking, you will appreciate the big quen-sized beds and airco to warm up your room (it can get pretty cold in the winterdays). The hotel is located next to Sapa lake which is a short 10 minute walk to the center.
Want to stay around the center but prefer a homestay instead of a hotel? The rooms of Little Viet Homestay are all made from pine wood and instead of a heating system, you will get a heated blanked that keeps you warm at night. The friendly owners and creative sapa style decorations will make this an extraordinary stay!
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