Last updated: Sep 18, 2019


Overview | Train | Bus | Taxi |Secret Escapes


Train, Bus or Taxi from SaPa to Ninh Binh?


How to get from SaPa to Ninh Binh?

We recommend traveling from Sapa to Ninh Binh by train. To cover this 400km distance, you first have to take a van from SaPa to Lao Cai railway station. And from there you can take the sleeper train to Hanoi.

When the train arrives in the early morning in Hanoi, you can switch trains to Ninh Binh and optionally take a taxi to Tam Coc.

Continue reading to book your train tickets online.

Another good alternative is to take the bus from Sapa to Ninh Binh.  The bus will first go to Hanoi and continue from there to Ninh Binh. Although the bus is cheaper and also a bit faster, we still prefer to travel by train from Sapa to Ninh Binh. The train is much safer and is also a great experience!

Booking a private car is a very convenient option if you are traveling with more people. The journey will be much quicker and you will be pick-up at your hotel and dropped at the doorstep of your hotel in Ninh Binh.

Your options at a glance

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Train11,5 hours557.000 VND (€21,50)Read article to book train rides
Bus7,5 hours300.000 VND (€11,50)Check bus tickets
Taxi7,5 hours1.980.000 VND (€76)Reserve a private car

SaPa to Ninh Binh travelroute



Train from SaPa to Ninh Binh

Duration: 11,5 hours
Costs: 557.000 VND (€21,50)

Step 1: Van from Sapa to Lao Cai

Duration: 45min
Costs: 60.000 VND (€2)

In SaPa you can arrange a van or take the public bus which brings you to Lao Cai train station in 45min.

Read more about this route on the page from Sapa to Hanoi.

Step 2: Train from Lao Cai to Hanoi

Duration: 7h 50min
Costs: 385.000 VND (€15)

From here you can take the train leaving at 20:55 or 21:40 to Hanoi.

Read more about this on the page from Sapa to Hanoi.

Step 3: Train: Hanoi Ninh Binh

Duration: 2h 17min
Costs: 112.000 VND (€4,50)

When you arrive in the early morning in Hanoi you can switch to the train to Ninh Binh, which departs at 9:00.

This train takes a bit more than 2 hours. If you stay in Tam Coc, you can take a taxi from Ninh Binh railway station (15min).

Read more about this route on the page from Hanoi to Ninh Binh.

Example itinerary

Method of transportTimeDuration
Van or public bus to Lao Cai
17:30-18:15 45m
Sleeper train from Lao Cai to Hanoi21:40-05:30 7h 50m
Train from Hanoi to Ninh Binh09:00-11:17 2h 17m
Taxi from Ninh Binh to Tam Coc11:17-11:32 15m


Bus icon

Bus from SaPa to Ninh Binh

Duration: 7,5 hours
Costs: 300.000 VND (€11,50)

Although taking the train is safer and more convenient, you can also take a direct bus from Sapa to Ninh Binh.

The bus ride takes about 7,5 hours and there are at least 3 bus companies who sell tickets for this route. We assume that ‘Quan Anh’ bus company also drops you in Tam Coc since they also offer a pick-up service from Tam Coc when traveling in the opposite direction. Ask the booking agency or the bus driver to confirm this.

Note: This route is not confirmed by us, so any feedback about one of these routes is very welcome!

Quang Anh
(not available)
7-8h270.000 VND (€10)
Sao Viet
(not available)
7h 30m280.000 VND (€11)
Viet Anh22:00-05:307h 30m300.000 VND (€12)

Quang Anh picks you up from your hotel in Sapa and drops you in Ninh Binh city and possibly also Tam Coc. You can book your ticket at a local travel agency or book your ticket online at Vexere.

Check Available Bus Tickets



Taxi from SaPa to Ninh Binh

Duration: 7,5 hours
Costs: 1.980.000 VND (€76)

A private car is by far the quickest option to reach Ninh Binh. Definitely worth to consider when you want some more luxury and are traveling with more people.

You can book a spacious taxi with the well-rated “Ab Vietnam Travel” taxi service.

Check Available Private Cars 



My favourite places to stay in Tam Coc (Ninh Binh)

Ninh Binh Accommodation 1

Tam Coc Family Hotel

Want to stay in a real Vietnamese Guesthouse? Tam Coc Family Hotel is a perfect example why you don't have to spend more than €15 for a great guesthouse.

The super friendly owners will tell you the best spots to visit and will make sure you have a good start of your day with a delicious breakfast. It's a 1-minute walk from the Tam Coc river and drop-off point of the bus.

Read More

Ninh Binh Accommodation 2

Tam Coc Bungalow

Do you refer to stay close to the river? Tam Coc Bungalow has spacious bamboo bungalows right next to the Tam Coc river. Bungalows start from €23 and dorm rooms from €5.

What we really liked about this place is their common area. From the terrace you can watch the locals paddling back to Tam Coc town during sunset and in the evening you can play a game of pool at the open restaurant area.

Read More


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