Overview | Bus | Train | Taxi |Secret Escapes


Trip overview from Ninh Binh to SaPa

To make trip planning super easy and fast, we created a step-by-step guide to find the best options by bus, train and taxi from Ninh Binh to SaPa.

To start with, use the slider to compare the different options:



How to get from Ninh Binh to SaPa

The quickest way to travel directly from Ninh Binh to Sapa is by bus. The Long Travel bus runs a direct bus that only takes about 8 hours. Another advantage is that the bus also leaves from Tam Coc.

Traveling by train from Ninh Binh to Sapa involves an extra stop. First, you have to take the train from Ninh Binh to Hanoi. Once you arrive at Hanoi railway station you have to switch trains to Lao Cai and take a van or public bus the next morning from Lao Cai to Sapa. We only recommend taking the train when travelling back from Sapa to Hanoi.

A private taxi is a great option if you are traveling with a group. It provides more privacy and gets you straight to your hotel in Sapa. No need to worry about switching transport and quicker than the bus or train.

Your options at a glance

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus8 hours450.000 VND (€17,50)Check bus tickets
Train11,5 hours568.000 VND (€22)Read article to book train rides
Private Car7,5 hours1.986.200 VND (€76)Reserve a private car

Are you a fast decision-maker? Simply use the links above to book your tickets!

If you haven’t found your best transport option yet, no problem. This was just the intro. Below we share our step-by-step guide of how to get from Ninh Binh to Sapa.


Ninh Binh to SaPa travelroute

Bus icon

Bus from Hanoi to Sapa

Don’t need to see Hanoi before you go to Sapa? Consider taking a direct bus from Ninh Binh to SaPa.

The bus of Long travel only takes 8 hours and drops you off at the center of SaPa. Couldn’t be much easier right!?

See the options below:

The Long Travel08:00
8 hours450.000 VND (€17,50)

Check Available Bus Tickets

At the moment only Long Travel operates direct buses on this route. But before there were also a few other companies. There is a chance you can book them at a local travel agent, but always be aware of the drop-off location. Sometimes there are far from the city center of Sapa. See here some more info:

Quang Anh Bus

Quang Anh Bus Company picks you up at your hotel in Ninh Binh City or Tam Coc. Their drop-off location in SaPa is at ‘Sapa Ethnic Travel’ office which requires a 10-minute taxi ride to the city center. Since you arrive around 3:00 in the morning, you also have to let your hotel know that you arrive at this time. Especially in the winter months (January/February), you don’t want to wait outside till the reception opens.

Sao Viet

The bus from Sao Viet leaves at 18:30 from Ninh Binh City and the drop-off point is in front of ‘Hong Long Sapa Restaurant’. The restaurant is just a 10-minute walk from Sapa center.


Train icon

Train from Ninh Binh to Sapa

If you want to travel by train, we recommend to take an afternoon train to Hanoi and then continue by sleeper train to Lao Cai. When you take this sleeper train from Hanoi to Lao Cai, you will arrive in the early morning in Lao Cai. From this station, you can take a van or public bus to SaPa.

Step 1: Train from Ninh Binh to Hanoi

Duration: 2,5 hours
Costs: 113.000 VND (€4,50)

The first route you have to take is the train from Ninh Binh to Hanoi which takes about 2,5 hrs. We recommend taking the SE6 afternoon train which arrives around 20:00 or earlier in Hanoi.

You can check our page about Ninh Binh to Hanoi or directly book your train ticket by clicking the button below.

Check Available Train Tickets

Step 2: Train from Hanoi to Lao Cai

Duration: 8 hours
Costs: 415.000 VND (€16)

When you arrive at around 20:00 at Hanoi railway station, you still have some time to grab some food before the train from Hanoi to SaPa leaves around 22:00. This train will arrive at 6:05 in Lao Cai from where you can hop on a van or public bus to SaPa.

You can check the page from Hanoi to SaPa for more details and check the availability of train tickets by clicking the button provided below.

Check available train tickets online

We recommend to use the two provided buttons or to search for the routes separately. Searching for a combined ticket from Ninh Binh to Lao Cai will not show you the best results.

Step 3: Van from Lao Cai to Sapa

Duration: 45min
Costs: 40.000 VND (€1,50)

When you arrive in the early morning in Lao Cai, you can take a van or public bus to SaPa. See the page about Hanoi to Sapa for more details.

Here is an example itinerary:

Method of transportTimeDuration
Train from Ninh Binh to Hanoi17:27 - 19:58 2h 30m
Train from Hanoi to Lao Cai22:00 - 06:058h
Van from Lao Cai to SaPa06:15 - 07:00 45m


Taxi icon

Taxi from Ninh Binh to Sapa

If you are traveling with a group of people, you can also book a private car to Sapa. You won’t have the hassle of switching transport and will be dropped right on the doorstep of your hotel.

“Ab Vietnam Travel” provides reliable taxi services for €75 per taxi.

Check Available Private Cars 


My favourite places to stay in Sapa

Eco Palms House – Mountain Retreat

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.

Read More

Olympia Sapa Hotel

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.

Read More

Little Viet Homestay

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!

Read More


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