How To Get From Hanoi To Sapa By Bus
As a Hanoi resident, I’ve made the journey from Hanoi to Sapa several times, so I feel confident in my knowledge of the route.
In order to get from Hanoi to Sapa, there are two main options, bus or train but today we’ll concentrate on bus travel even though it takes longer, you definitely get to see more of North Vietnam’s towns and countryside and experience their world famous winding roads.
Until 2014, the bus was the preferred mode of transport by most people because it was quicker and more convenient than the train, but that all changed when Vietnam opened the Hanoi – Lao Cai Expressway. Lao Cai is the town at the base of Sapa’s mountain where the train ends up and this new route takes you from Hanoi directly to Lao Cai in much less time.
You may get bus tickets to Sapa from many travel offices in the old quarter. AVOID THEM. Seriously. When I first arrived in Vietnam, I used a travel agency to book my trip. In the brochure, our bus appeared to be immaculate but when it came time to board, it was anything but.
We arrived at Sapa after a long journey through the countryside, during which our bus picked up and dropped off Vietnamese travellers at random. It was a dreadful experience. I’ve learned my lesson.
Choose The Right Bus Company
After the first time we were offered a brochure for a bus company, i decided to book directly with them for my next trip. We had an English-speaking guide and a safe driver on board for the 5-hour journey (by Vietnamese standards).
Rather than those depressing sleeping buses (though if you prefer them, that’s fine too! ), this is a limousine-style bus which irritate me no end.)
Sapa Express is the name of the company and every morning, they go from Hanoi on buses that cost about $17 each trip.
I was able to get some sleep on the bus, which is something I rarely do while travelling in Vietnam.
The Lao Cai Expressway will take you directly to Sapa. To avoid picking up random Vietnamese folks, there will only be two bathroom/snack breaks. You won’t need a taxi or any other form of transportation to go to Sapa from the bus stop.
At 12 Ly Thai To, you’ll find the Sapa Express office, where you may buy tickets directly from the company. As previously stated, the Sinh Tourist agency misled me when I attempted to make a reservation for the Sapa Express.
Sapa Express also offers return trips to Hanoi and the bus departs Sapa around 2 p.m. if I remember correctly.
Ve Xe Re (roughly translated to “Go Cheap,” I believe) is another fantastic option for booking bus tickets. This Vietnamese start-up allows users to pick from a variety of bus companies and booking is a doddle thanks to the site’s English-language edition.