Lake in Hanoi Vietnam

SaPa to Hanoi

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Contents

Overview | Train | Bus | Secret Escapes

How to get from SaPa to Hanoi?

We recommend travelling by train from SaPa to Hanoi, instead of taking a direct bus for this route. Taking the night train saves you a day on travelling and is also a great experience. Since SaPa does not have a railway station, you have to take a (shuttle) bus to Lao Cai railway station. From here you can take the night train to Hanoi.

Train or Bus?

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Train8h 30m588,000 VND ($25.50)Check train tickets
Bus5h 30m230,000 VND ($10)Check bus tickets

Buses are a faster and a better option if you want to travel during the day. However, keep in mind that travelling during peak hours can result in several hours of delay. Also, be aware that travelling by train is much safer and a more convenient option for long distances.

PRO-TIP: After your visited the North of Vietnam, it’s time to explore Vietnam’s beautiful karst mountains on the coast of Halong Bay or Cat Ba. Use the search tool on top of the page to see the route overviews or book a Halong Bay boat cruise directly with Kook.

At this moment flying from SaPa to Hanoi is not an option, but there are plans to build an airport close to Lao Cai. The plan was officially approved by the prime minister in 2019 and the airport should be fully operating in 2021.

Itinerary from SaPa to Hanoi

Sapa to Hanoi travelroute
Train

SaPa to Hanoi by Train


Duration: 8.5 hours
Cost: 588,000 VND ($25.50)

You can either take the public bus or take a shuttle bus organized by your hotel from SaPa to Lao Cai. From this railway station, you can continue by night train to Hanoi.

Since there is not much to do around Lao Cai railway station, we advise to spend the afternoon in SaPa and take a van around 17:00 or 18:00 to Lao Cai. In Lao Cai, you can have dinner at one of the local restaurants around the train station and then hop on your train which will leave at either 20:55 or 21:40.

Be aware that there are no local buses leaving from Sapa to Lao Cai after 18:00!

In case you missed the last bus, you can take a taxi which will bring you for about 250,000 – 300,000 VND ($11 – $13) to Lao Cai railway station.

Step 1: Sapa to Lao Cai by Bus/Van

Duration: 45min
Cost: 30,000 – 60,000 VND ($1.30 – $2.60)

Booking a minibus/van to Lao Cai is the easiest option because these buses will pick you up at your hotel. The other option is taking the public bus but be aware that the bus schedules are not always reliable.

Minibus from hotel
Most accommodations in SaPa can arrange your transport to Lao Cai railway station for about 60,000 VND ($2.60). The latest van leaves between 17:00 and 18:00 and the ride should take about 45 minutes.

Public bus
Taking the public bus to Lao Cai is also a good option. According to the timetable, public buses leave every 20-30 minutes from 7:00 till 18:30. However, don’t rely too much on the board with the blue timetable. Buses often leave later than planned or the last buses can even get canceled without notice. This was what happened to us, but luckily we could take a taxi instead. A public bus ride will cost 30,000 VND ($1.30).

You can find the public bus station in front of “Khach San Hong” hotel (which is at the main square next to the Church).

Step 2: Lao Cai to Hanoi by Train

Duration: 7h 50min
Cost: 528,000 VND ($23)

TrainScheduleDurationSleeper berth
SP220:55-04:327h 37m528,000 VND ($23)
SP421:40-05:307h 50m528,000 VND ($23)

Check Train Tickets with BookAway

With both trains, you can book a bed in a 4-person cabin for 528,000 VND ($23). More luxurious options are available from 815,000 VND ($35.50). Book your tickets or check availability by clicking the booking button.

Bus icon

SaPa to Hanoi  by Bus


Duration: 5.5 hours
Cost: 230,000 VND ($10)

The bus is a cheaper and faster option than the train but doesn’t have convenient departure/arrival times. When you take the bus, you either have to travel during the day or take an evening bus that arrives in the middle of the night in Hanoi.

Sleeper buses in Vietnam have quite a good standard compared to buses in the rest of SEA. However, sleeping on a train and having some extra services offers a lot more comfortable and is much safer!

There are several bus companies leaving from SaPa to Hanoi every day and one of the bus companies we recommend is Interbuslines. They receive great reviews and offer the cheapest rates for this route. Fares start at 230,000 VND ($10).

Green Sapa and Good Morning Sapa are also good alternatives, although a few dollars more expensive.

You can book your bus tickets via BookAway through the link below.

Bus schedules

BusScheduleDurationCosts
Interbuslines07:30-13:30
13:30-19:30
16:00-22:00
22:00-03:30
6h230,000 VND ($10)
Interbuslines
(Luxury)
13:00-19:00
16:00-22:00
22:00-03:00
6h
6h
5h
299,000 VND ($13)
Fansipan Express07:30-13:30
13:30-19:30
15:30-21:30
22:00-04:00
6h253,000 VND ($11)
Fansipan Express
(Luxury)
07:30-13:30
13:15-19:15
16:00-22:00
22:00-04:00
6h494,000 VND ($21.50)
Green Sapa Bus08:00-14:00
13:30-19:30
16:00-22:00
22:00-03:30
6h276,000 VND ($12)
Good Morning Sapa13:30-19:30
15:30-21:30
22:00-04:00
6h299,000 VND ($13)
Sapa Express13:30-19:30
15:30-21:30
6h276,000 VND ($12)

Check Bus Tickets with BookAway

Where to travel next?


Enjoy the stunning views of the karst mountains

Paddle through the Tam Coc or Trang An river while passing karst mountains and rice fields

Visit the world largest caves in Phong Nha

Enjoy the great atmosphere of Hoi An with a mixture of Japanese, Vietnamese and French influences

  Hotel

My favourite places to stay in Hanoi


Ancient Lane Hotel

Looking for a room in the middle of the Old Quarter? Ancient Lane Hotel offers very clean rooms nicely decorated with ancient attributes. The hosts Thuy and Tuan will make sure you'll have a great stay!

Double room from: $28

Read More

Nova Luxury Hotel

Just landed in Hanoi? In this hotel, you will get the best night of sleep you had since ages. The friendly staff will give you a warm welcome and serve a wonderful breakfast buffet the next morning! Located in the middle of the center, but completely isolated from all the noise.

Double rooms with city view from: $42

Read More

    Activities

Visiting Halong Bay


For many travellers, Halong Bay is one of the highlights of Vietnam. The stunning landscape and breathtaking views over the limestone rocks look almost unreal!

To experience Halong Bay in the best way, you can book a boat cruise departing from Hanoi. Organized tours departing from Hanoi are often cheaper than tours sold by agencies in Halong Bay and another advantage is that you don't need to organize your transport to get there.

We recommend to book your boat tour online to get the best prices and be certain that you book with a trusted company. I already spoke to many travellers who booked boat trips from a random agency on the street and were very disappointed by the service and conditions of this boat.

See here our recommendtion of well-rated boat cruises

*Both tours include free pick-up and drop-off in Hanoi.

Want to have a broader choice of tours? Check out Halongbaytours for more boat cruises around Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay (Cat Ba).

 

More routes to Hanoi

Hanoi Airport

CatBa to Hanoi

Ninh Binh to Hanoi

Phong Nha to Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

Hoi An to Hanoi

Hue to Hanoi

Halong Bay to Hanoi

Ha Giang to Hanoi

More routes from SaPa

SaPa to CatBa

SaPa to Ha Giang

SaPa to Ninh Binh

Most popular routes in Vietnam

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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