Ninh Binh to SaPa

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How to get from Ninh Binh to SaPa?

The easiest way to travel the 410km distance from Ninh Binh to Sapa is by bus. This bus journey takes 8 hours and costs $19.50. Other options include taking the train (11.5 hours) or a taxi (8 hours).

The quickest way to travel directly from Ninh Binh to Sapa is by bus. There are 2 bus companies available for this route. One departs from Ninh Binh city center and the other one departs from Tam Coc. You can choose which one is near your accommodation.

3 ways to get from Ninh Binh to SaPa

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus8 hours450,000 VND ($19)Check bus tickets
Train11.5 hours570,000 VND ($24.50)Read article for more info
Private Car8 hours5,580,000 VND ($240)Reserve a private car

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 to an overnight train going to Lao Cai. From there, you will need to take a van or public bus the next morning to reach Sapa. We only recommend taking the train when travelling back from Sapa to Hanoi.

A private taxi is an option to consider if you are travelling with a group. It provides more privacy and gets you straight to your hotel in Sapa. No need to worry about switching transport and it is quicker than the train. However, it can be very expensive at $240 for a 5-seater car.

PRO-TIP: Consider to continue your journey to Ha Giang after visiting SaPa. Ha Giang is famous for its magnificant views on the highlands of Northern Vietnam.

Itinerary from Ninh Binh to SaPa

Ninh Binh to SaPa travelroute
Bus icon

Ninh Binh to Sapa by Bus

Duration: 8 hours
Cost: 450,000 VND ($19)

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? If coming from Ninh Binh city center, you can also take a bus operated by Ha Son. However, its travel time is 2 hours longer at 10h 15min.

Bus Schedule from Ninh Binh to SaPa

Bus OperatorScheduleCosts
The Long Travel08:00-16:00
450,000 VND ($19)
Buy Your Bus Tickets
Ha Son21:00-07:15395,000 VND ($16.50)
Buy Your Bus Tickets

At the moment, only Long Travel and Ha Son operate 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 they 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

Ninh Binh to Sapa by Train

Duration: 11.5 hours
Cost: 570,000 VND ($24.50)

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, 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: Ninh Binh to Hanoi by Train

Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 115,000 VND ($4.90)

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: Hanoi to Lao Cai by Train

Duration: 8 hours
Cost: 415,000 VND ($17.50)

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

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: Lao Cai to Sapa by Van

Duration: 45min
Cost: 40,000 VND ($1.70)

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 Hanoi16:56 – 19:122h 16m
Train from Hanoi to Lao Cai22:00 – 06:058h 05m
Van from Lao Cai to SaPa06:15 – 07:0045m
Taxi icon

Ninh Binh to Sapa by Taxi

Duration: 8 hours
Cost: 5,580,000 VND ($240)

If you are travelling 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.

You can book a 5-seater taxi to get you from Ninh Binh to Sapa for 5,580,000 VND ($240). You can also save more money if travelling with a bigger group. A mini-van that can comfortably fit up to 10 persons costs 6,350,000 VND ($270).

Check Available Private Cars 


Our favourite places to stay in Sapa

Lodge D&D Eco 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! The adorable bungalows of Lodge D&D cost only $32 a night, including a fantastic breakfast! When you are travelling as a couple, this will probably be one of the best value deals you can find!

Read More

Eco Palms House – Mountain Retreat

Still not convinced with the previous listing? Eco Palm House offers even more luxious bungalows, starting from $90. But don't let this scare you of! Eco Palms House also offer something for travellers on a lower budget. For solo traveller, you can already stay in a dormitory for just $17 or when travelling as a couple, you can book a double bed in the open area for $33.

Read More

Little View Homestay Sapa

Want to stay around the center but prefer a homestay instead of a hotel? The rooms of Little View 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


More routes to Sapa

Hanoi to Sapa

CatBa to Sapa

More routes from Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh to CatBa

Ninh Binh to Da Nang

Ninh Binh to Hanoi

Ninh Binh to Hoi An

Ninh Binh to Hue

Ninh Binh to Phong Nha

Halong Bay to Hanoi

Hanoi to Halong Bay

Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh

Hanoi to Sapa

Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An

Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc

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