How to get to Sapa from Hanoi
There are many ways to travel from Hanoi to Sapa and back. The cheapest way is by (overnight) bus and there are several departure times a day. The overnight train is a great options for those looking for a bit more comfort.
TRAVEL BY BUS:
1. Morning bus - pick up time in between 6.30 and 7am - bus leaves at 7am and arrives in Sapa at 1pm. For this there are options for a luxury or comfortable sitting bus or sleeper bus.
2. Morning bus - pick up time in between 7 and 7.30am - bus leaves at 7.30am and arrives in Sapa at 1.30pm. This is a sleeper bus.
3. Overnight bus - pick up time in between 9 and 9.45am - bus leaves at 10pm and arrives in Sapa at 3am (they park the bus so you can stay on it and sleep some more till 5.30-6am). This is a sleeper bus.
Prices for a one-way trip are in between $10 and $18
TRAVEL BY TRAIN:
1. Overnight train - SP1 - Departure time 9.30pm - Arrive in Lao Cai at 5.30am. From Lao Cai it is a 1-hour ride to Sapa.
2. Overnight train - SP3 - Departure time 10pm - Arrive in Lao Cai at 6.20am. From Lao Cai it is a 1-hour ride to Sapa.
For trains you can opt for a hard sleeper (6 berths in a cabin) or soft sleeper (4 berths in a cabin). For soft sleeper there are various quality options, this is mainly about the comfort and thickness of matrassess.
Prices for a one-way trip start at around $20 for a hard sleeper and around $25 for a soft sleeper.