Train from Hanoi to Sapa

Sapa belongs to Lao Cai province, located in northwest Vietnam, about 370km from Hanoi. Like a mountain girl, Sapa has its own crystal beauty but also very romantic with spectacular mountain, valleys of flower, nice climate, rich traditional ethnic villages, colorful markets…

You can travel from Hanoi to Sapa by railway or road (bus and private car), however, the best convenient way belongs to overnight train. Being preferred by both domestic and international travelers, train from Hanoi to Sapa has plenty of options from budget to luxury for your choice.

Departing from Hanoi in the evening, arrival Lao Cai station after 9 hours riding, you will need to take 50 minutes driving to Sapa in early morning for 30km. Honestly, train quality in Vietnam is not really good as of old age, which may cause trouble sleeping for a few visitors. However, the train from Hanoi to Sapa is the best quality in Vietnam, so you can surely enjoy your travelling.

By train

There are more than ten companies operating train route Hanoi to Sapa with train mark of SP1, SP3, SP7, and LC3 returning as SP2, SP4, SP8 and LC4. All companies’ carriages are attached to a single locomotive, so departure/arrival is quite be the same time.

Actually, all these cars are basically belongs to Vietnamese Railways soft sleeper cars leased and redecorated, there really isn't a big different to choose among private operators. They are quite the same facilities, just little amenities different. All of them designed soundproof, air-conditioning systems, toilets with sink. Each cabin capacitate 4berths, separate into two levels for maximum four people or berths for maximum two people. The cabin equipped reading lamp, door locking system, blankets, sheets, pillows, cushions…To reduce complexity, we temporarily split up the rankings as follows:

Economy class: Bedding is hard, recycles, quite clean and old. Simple decoration, sink and toilet in a same room, mineral water (01 bottle/pax) & tissue are provided. This class considers some operators as: Tulico, Ratraco, TSC, Pumpkin, King Express, Viet Royal….

Business class: Bedding is good, clean, nice decoration. Sink and toilet are separately. Bar or mini bar are availability in carriages and snack, drinks, toothbrush is supplied in cabin. Some operators recognize in this class are Fanxipan Express, Oriental Express, Sapaly, Livitrans…

Luxury class: It is 2berths cabin with beautiful decoration, comfortable bedding. Snack & soft drinking/beer are supplied. There are not much operators can provide the luxury cabin so it is quite easy to be fully book in high season. Tulico, Oriental Express and Livitrans are the operators providing this type of cabin.

  • Victoria Carriages are the top level ones. However, you can only book these if staying at Victoria Sapa Resort Hotel.
  • Some train operators promote their VIP cabin; it is actually private cabin with 4berths but for 2 people staying only. In this case, you will pay double of 4berths cabin ticket for private staying.

Train timetable

RouteTrain markDepartureArrival
Hanoi to Lao CaiSP121:1005:25
Lao Cai to HanoiSP220:0504:35


  • Livitrans is attached to SP7/SP8
  • Sapally, Oriental Express, Victoria Express carriages are attached to the SP3/SP4.
  • Most of the other privately-run carriages including Tulico, Ratraco, Orient Express and Fanxipan are all attached to the SP1/SP2

Train ticket pricelist

Prices (US$)
One WayReturn


  • The prices base on per person/way, included ticket delivery.
  • Shuttle bus from Lao Cai Railway Station to Sapa cost 5US$/pax/way.
  • Early pick-up package included English Speaking butlers, day used room and breakfast is available in Hanoi Railway Station upon requirement.
  • The prices can be changed without prior notices due to low/high season, day/weekend…
  • One way ticket may NOT be available in high season.
  • Free of charge for children under 5 year old sharing parent‘s existing berths.
  • WC is not in cabin. It is located at the end of the carriage.
  • Passengers need to be at the railways station at least 30’ in advance before the departure time

By private car

Private transfer is not really popular to travelling from Hanoi to Sapa as quite long driving (around 8hours). However, Vietnam northwest route is highlights with Moc Chau plateau, the beautiful terraced fields, amazing scenery, friendly people… It completely taking some days discovery northwest included Sapa.

Please, contact us at for travel plan suggestion and the best price of car rental.

By open bus

Besides the train and private car, you can traveling from Hanoi to Sapa by overnight open bus, such as Hai Van, Hung Thanh, Viet Bus, Viet Star ... This transportation provides local people mainly with simple bedding and 9hours driving.

Meeting points:
  • Pick up point in Hanoi: My Dinh Bus Station
  • Ending point: Sap Town

Open bus ticket pricelist:

  • Soft seat: 18US$/pax
  • Sleeping bed: 25US$/pax

Open bus timetable

  • Departure from Hanoi: 08:40; 20:30 & 21:00 everyday
  • Departure from Sapa: 08:00; 18:00 everyday