Sa Pa is a highland town in Lao Cai, Vietnam. This is an area known for its beautiful landscape and tourist attractions. Located in the northwest of Vietnam, Sa Pa town is at an altitude of 1,600 meters above sea level, 33 km from Lao Cai City and 317 km from Hanoi. In addition to the main road from Lao Cai City, there is another traffic route to Sapa such as the National Highway 4D connecting Binh Lu, Tam Duong, and Lai Chau communes.
Although located in the North of Vietnam, it should have a humid tropical monsoon climate. But due to its high terrain and proximity to the Tropic of Cancer. Sa Pa has a humid and temperate subtropical climate with cool air around the year. In the summer, the weather in the town is like four seasons in a day. Besides the diversity of cuisine and culture, the weather is also a strong point that helps Sapa attract many tourists. Now let’s discover how to move from Ha Noi to Sapa with us!
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There are many ways to move from Hanoi to Sapa for you to choose
The distance from Hanoi to Sapa is different if you follow different routes:
- About 320 km: if you follow the highway Hanoi – Lao Cai.
- About 390 km: if you follow National Highway 70, which is the main route connecting the northwestern provinces of Vietnam, used before the expressway comes into operation.
- About 340 km: if you go by train from Hanoi to Lao Cai, then take a car or bus to Sapa.
- About 455 km: if you ride a motorbike or car along Highway 32 running through Mu Cang Chai.
To go to Sapa from Hanoi, there are many ways and different means of transport that you can choose from, follow this article to find the most suitable way for you to travel.
Ha Noi to Sapa by Bus
It is the easiest and cheapest way to travel to Sapa. There are a lot of bus companies run on the Hanoi – Lao Cai highway. It only takes about 5 – 6 hours to reach Sapa.
Advantages of using the bus: Short travel time and there are many different bus trips. Thanks to that, you can be proactive about the time and choose to go Sapa in many different time frames.
Currently, many bus operators are going from Hanoi to Sapa and are divided into 2 types: Seats and Sleeper buses. Most bus companies have a good quality, safe and clean. You can check prices and bus trips from Hanoi to Sapa here!
- You should choose bus companies that have an office address near you, or buses can run through to pick you up.
- If you are in Hanoi Old Quarter, you should ask in advance if you can get a free pick-up or not? Because there is a bus company, it will be free to pick up from the old town to the departure station.
- For people with motion sickness, when booking a sleeper bus ticket, you should choose to book a lower bunk bed.
Ha Noi to Sapa by Train
The train was the main means to go to Sapa in the past. Currently, a large number of passengers switch to traveling by bus or motorbike. Taking the train from Hanoi to Lao Cai will take about 8 – 9 hours. There are usually 2 types of trains: SP (fast) and LC (slow) trains. They are usually departing from Hanoi Station in the evening (7:00 pm – 11:00 pm) and arrive at Lao Cai Station in the early morning (5:00 am – 7:00 am). After that, you have to go by other means to reach Sapa such as a taxi.
Advantages: Taking the train is still a good choice if you have time, and want to take an experience. If you take a 4-person wooden-paneled train with a mattress, air-conditioner, the price seems to be about 560,000VND/ticket. You can have a good night’s sleep before going to Lao Cai.
Where to buy train tickets from Hanoi to Lao Cai?
You can access the website www.dsvn.vn to order online, which is the website of the Vietnam Railways Corporation. On this website, you can buy soft seats (280,000 VND/ticket) or a bed for 4 people (560,000 VND/ticket/person). To make it easier, you can refer to the cheaper prices and book the train here. Note that you should arrive at the train station at least 1 hour before the train time.
Going from Lao Cai to Sapa
From Lao Cai to Sapa, the distance is about 40 km by the following means:
- Public bus: The ticket price is 30,000 VND/ passenger starting from 5:30 am and there will be a bus every hour. You can find a bus stop right in front of Lao Cai station. The last bus spot is the Stone Church in Sapa so you need to move a bit to the hotel by motorbike taxi or by walk.
- Pick-up car from hotels: about 50,000 VND/person, pick up at Lao Cai station door and take to the hotel.
- Taxi Lao Cai – Sapa: the price is about 400,000 / 4-seat taxi and 450,000 VND / 7-seat taxi.
- Private car: it costs about 500,000 VND/7 seats or 550,000 VND/16 seats. You can contact hotels or travel agencies to book in advance.
- Motorbike taxi: it is about 150,000 VND.
Hanoi to Sapa by motorbike
If you have the “blood” of backpacking and like to take a new experience, you can choose to go by motorbike so that you can comfortably conquer the winding roads, rest, admire the scenery, and take pictures at any time. How to go to Sapa from Hanoi by motorbike? With a cost of only about 150,000 VND for gasoline for a distance of nearly 400km, it is not a bad idea to go to Sapa from Hanoi.
Directions to Sapa by motorbike
There are 2 ways that you can choose to travel to Sapa from Hanoi by motorbike.
- Going towards Lao Cai:
- Route 1: Hanoi – Vinh Phuc – Viet Tri – Phong Chau – Doan Hung – Yen Bai – Lao Cai – Sapa (Total distance is about 360km)
- Ruote 2: Hanoi – Hoa Lac – Son Tay – Trung Ha Bridge – Phong Chau Bridge – Phong Chau – Doan Hung – along road 70 – Lao Cai – Sapa (Total route is 370km)
- Traveling to Sapa in the direction of Lai Chau:
- Route: Hanoi – Hoa Lac – Son Tay – Thanh Son – Along Highway 32 – Sapa (Total route more than 420km)
Going to Sapa by motorbike is not as simple as you think, it takes health and perseverance. The weather is also a remarkable thing to have a perfect trip, so especially avoid the rainy season to make it easier to move as well as to enjoy the view.
Related Article: Travelling to Sa Pa for the First Time (Tips & Tricks)
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