Sapa Transportation Guide For Tourists: Traveling By Bus Or Train

Transportation guide to / from Sapa from / to Hanoi, Bac Ha, Ha Giang, Ba Cat, Halong Bay, Dien Bien …

Sapa is 370km north-west of Hanoi. The inauguration of the Hanoi – Lao Cai highway in 2014 decreased half the journey time between Hanoi and Sapa, 5 hours away.

As Sapa is one of the most tourist destinations in northern Vietnam, it is very easy to book the bus or train to Sapa.

Traveling from Hanoi to Sapa

Hanoi to Sapa by bus

If you are not looking for a luxury bus equipped with the wifi internet, the Hung Thanh travel bus company is recommended because of its comfortable buses and its very reasonable price. There are 2 departures per day:

  • Departure from Hanoi at 7AM and arrive in Sapa around noon
  • Departure from Hanoi at 10PM and arrive in Sapa towards 3AM the next morning.

The ticket per direction costs from 200 000VND. The departure to Hanoi is done at the company’s office, at 162B Tran Quang Khai Street, just 1km from the Hoan Kiem Lake (Restored Sword Lake) and the old quarters of Hanoi. You can book tickets at their office or by phone at (+84) 4.3927.4285, just 1-2 days before departure.

Hung Thanh Bus

Buses will drop you off at Cho Moi bus station, about 1km from Sapa town center. You can then take a taxi, a motorcycle taxi or even walk to downtown Sapa.

Hanoi – Sapa bus schedules and prices are here.

Hanoi to Sapa by train

Some prefer to take a night train after a full day of visiting Hanoi city. Trains depart from Hanoi around 20-21h and arrive at Lao Cai train station around 05-06h the next morning. A bunk in a compartment of 4 is recommended to have more space to sit. The bunk costs from 35 USD and Livitrans trains are recommended. If your budget is more generous, Victoria Express is the best choice but much more expensive. Trains and timetables from Hanoi to Lao Cai are here.

Tickets must be booked at least a few days before departure, especially if you leave on Friday night.

Fanxipan Express

In Hanoi, trains for Sapa depart from the station on Tran Quy Cap Street, near Hanoi’s Old Quarter. They will drop you off at the Lao Cai train station and then you can take a bus to Sapa which is 45 minute drive. It is very easy to find buses to Sapa in front of Lao Cai station. Tourist buses are more numerous and cost 50,000VND. Public buses are cheaper but you have to wait more. Schedules of Lao Cai – Sapa public buses and vice versa.

For the Lao Cai – Hanoi direction, the trains also depart around 20-21h and arrive in Hanoi around 4-5am the next day.

From Sapa to Bac Ha and vice versa

Bac Ha District is well-known for its ethnic markets, 3 hours drive from Sapa. The bus leaves Sapa at 13:45 and arrives at Bac Ha at 16:45. You can buy the bus ticket on .You can also travel from Sapa to Bac Ha by local bus, private car or motorbike. Learn more in this article: How to get from Sapa to Bac Ha?

Go from Sapa to Halong Bay and vice versa

Sapa to Halong by bus

There is only one company offering buses for the journey from Sapa to Halong Bay and vice versa: Phuc Xuyen Bus Company.

Sapa – Halong itinerary: departure at 1pm at Sapa bus station and arrives at their office at 145 Le Thanh Tong street, Halong town, Quang Ninh province around 8pm. Their office in Halong is located near the port of Hon Gai, the embarkation and disembarkation of boats sailing in Bai Tu Long Bay: Oriental Sails, Calypso, Swan, Indochina Junk, Signature, Treasure, Huong Hai …

You can read the list of less touristic cruises with prices in Bai Tu Long Bay.

On the other hand, it is difficult to find a reasonably priced hotel and restaurants around the area. So you can ask the driver to drop you off at Bai Chay, not far from Muong Thanh Luxury Hotel. You can find more reasonably priced hotels and restaurants here, for example the Starlight Hotel $ 28 per night, and many other hotels and hostels. A walk along the coast is nice.

Halong – Sapa itinerary: departure at 18:10 at 145 Le Thanh Tong street, Halong city and arrives at Sapa bus station around 1.10am the next morning.

The bus ticket costs around 370,000VND. Tourists can book tickets at hotels or travel agencies in Sapa and Halong. It should be noted that the journey is long, less frequent and the service of the company is not too appreciated.

Sapa to Halong by train

There is no direct line between Sapa or Lao Cai in Halong.

Go from Sapa to Cat Ba Island / Lan Ha Bay and vice versa

By bus

Duy Long is the only company that offers buses between Sapa and Cat Ba Island, then to Lan Ha Bay.

Sapa – Cat Ba Island itinerary: departure at 06:30AM at Sapa Bus Station and arrive at Cat Ba Island around 17:10. Note that you have to change several buses and then take a hydrofoil. The ride is superb long and tiring. The ticket costs from 350 000VND.

Cat Ba – Sapa Island itinerary: departure at 6:30 am in downtown Cat Ba and arrive at Sapa Bus Station at around 18:30.

Tickets can be booked at hotels or travel agencies in Sapa and Cat Ba.

Go from Sapa to Ha Giang and vice versa

by Bus

There is no direct bus from Sapa to Ha Giang. First you have to go from Sapa to Lao Cai bus station and then take the bus to Ha Giang.

The Lao Cai – Ha Giang direction: 2 departures daily at 5.30am and at noon

Ha Giang – Lao Cai itinerary: departures at 5:30, 7:30, 09h, 12h

Tickets cost from VND 150,000 for the Lao Cai – Ha Giang route. You can not book tickets in advance, you have to go to the bus stations half an hour before the departure to buy tickets on the spot.

Go from Sapa to Dien Bien Phu and vice versa

By bus

Sapa – Dien Bien Phu itinerary: 2 departures per day, by day bus at 7:30 and by sleeper bus at 18:30 in downtown Sapa. The ticket costs from 250 000VND. Contact Sapa Ethnic Travel at 785 Dien Bien Phu Street, Sapa Town. Here is his website: The bus will drop you off at Dien Bien Phu bus station, 1.1km away from Ruby Dien Bien Hotel, the best hotel in Dien Bien. One room costs $ 31 per night.

For the Dien Bien Phu – Sapa itinerary, you can ask for information at the Ruby Dien Bien Hotel. The hotel’s staff is friendly and always ready to answer you.

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About Me

Welcome to Local Life In Vietnam Blog. I’m a Vietnamese who love traveling around the world. My mission is to share with those who are interested in traveling in Vietnam the best travel experiences, things to do in the most popular tourism destinations in Vietnam. Vietnam is definitely a great place to visit and has much to offer. I strongly hope that someday you will take on a trip to visit my beautiful country.