Home Hanoi to Sapa Trains

Hanoi to Sapa Trains

Sapa, a small town on a plateau in northern Vietnam, is a popular summer resort in Lao Cai Province. Today, the town retains much exotic architecture dating back to the French colonial period.

Sapa doesn’t have an airport. It can only be reached overland. It takes approximately 9 hours from Hanoi to Lao Cai by train, and around 7 hours by sleeper bus. Trains do not go straight to Sapa, but to Lao Cai. There are plenty of buses from Lao Cai Railway Station to Sapa, taking around 1 hour.

Trains between Hanoi and Lao Cai are specially designed for tourists. They feature privately-owned carriages. Ticket prices vary depending on the operators. There are two overnight trains between Hanoi and Lao Cai, SP1/SP2 and SP3/SP4.

Hanoi–Lao Cai Train Schedules

Updated on May 30th, 2019


SP1 Hanoi–Lao Cai
Station Travel Day Arrive Depart
Hanoi Day1   21:35
Yen Bai Day2 01:25 01:40
Bao Ha 03:46 03:49
Pho Lu 04:28 04:31
Lao Cai 05:30  


SP3 Hanoi–Lao Cai
Station Travel Day Arrive Depart
Hanoi Day1   22:00
Yen Bai Day2 02:13 02:20
Bao Ha 04:21 04:24
Pho Lu 05:03 05:06
Lao Cai 06:05  

Lao Cai–Hanoi Train Schedules

Updated on May 30th, 2019


SP2 Lao Cai-Hanoi
Station Travel Day Arrive Depart
Lao Cai Day1   20:55
Pho Lu 21:48 21:51
Bao Ha 22:28 22:31
Yen Bai Day2 00:31 00:38
Hanoi 04:32  


SP4 Lao Cai-Hanoi
Station Travel Day Arrive Depart
Lao Cai Day1   21:40
Pho Lu 22:33 22:36
Bao Ha 23:13 23:15
Yen Bai Day2 01:20 01:28
Hanoi 05:30  

Seat Classes on the Train

There are two kinds of trains running between Hanoi and Sapa, normal trains owned by Vietnam Railways and luxury trains owned by private enterprises. Privately-owned trains are more comfortable, but more expensive than normal ones.

Privately-owned trains include Victoria Express, Chapa Express, Livitrans Express, King Express, Faxipan, Sapaly Express, Orient Express, King Express, and Pumpkin Express. They have the same schedules with normal trains owned by Vietnam Railways.

All carriages are divided into five classes:

  • VIP cabin: two lower berths in a private compartment, with a lockable door.
  • Soft sleeper: two lower berths and two upper berths in a private compartment, with a door that can be closed.
  • Hard sleeper: six berths (two lower berths, two middle berths and two upper berths) in a private compartment, with a door that can be closed. During the days, all middle berths will be folded against the wall. The space on the upper berth is narrow, and passengers cannot sit upright on the upper bunk.
  • Soft seat: two rows of fabric-covered seats across the carriage. Soft seats are not recommended for Hanoi to Lao Cai travel.
  • Hard seat: two rows of benches across the carriage. This is the cheapest seat class, but it is not recommended.

Trains Between Sapa/Lao Cai and Chin

Vietnam has two international railway connections to China. One is from Hanoi to Nanning in Guangxi Province; the other is the Vietnam-Yunnan Railway from Haiphong to Kunming. The Vietnam section of the Vietnam-Yunnan Railway starts at Lao Cai, which looks across the river opposite Hekou, a small border town of China.

How to Get to China from Sapa/Lao Cai

Lao Cai and Hekou’s customs buildings are on each side of the Red River, connected by a bridge and within walking distance. There are four daily trains connecting Hekou North Railway Station with Kunming Station.

Hekou to Kunming Train Schedules

Updated on May 30th, 2019

Train Number K9818 K9828 K6142 K9824
Stations Time Table Time Table Time Table Time Table
Hekou North 07:00 depart 09:35 depart 11:30 depart 22:55 depart
Pingbian 07:50 10:41 12:17 00:10 the next day
Mengzi 08:29 11:21 13:11 00:55 the next day
Mengzi North 08:49 11:53 13:32 ----
Jianshui 09:30 12:32 14:24 ----
Qujiang 10:05 ---- ---- ----
Tonghai 10:28 13:40 15:13 ----
Yuxi 11:04 14:20 15:55 ----
Kungyang 11:37 14:53 16:28 ----
Kunming 12:34 arrive 15:45 arrive 17:19 arrive 06:36 the next day, arrive

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