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How to get from Sapa to Hanoi: Complete Guide

How to get from Sapa to Hanoi: Complete Guide

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and is situated approximately 315 km away from Sapa. Filled with vibrant markets, fantastic restaurants, awe-inspiring temples and incredible history this is definitely a destination you will want to visit. It is truly the heart of Vietnam, and has so much to offer with its rich culture and amazing experiences. Even though this city was founded over 1,000 years ago, it now blends the old with the new making it a unique place to explore around. If you are excited to start planning your trip from Sapa to Hanoi, you can book your ticket online via 12Go.

Sapa to Hanoi


In this blog I am going to break down the details around how you can travel and book your ticket online from Sapa to Hanoi. There are currently 4 ways that you can make the commute, with either bus, taxi, train or overnight train at affordable prices. The best way to check out details around these options is via the online booking platform 12Go. Once I have gone through the key points you will want to know about the journey to find the most ideal way of travel for you, I will then inform you of arrival and departure times, price comparisons and some good information to know before booking your ticket and travelling.

Following on from the information about how you can pre-book your ticket online from Sapa to Hanoi, I will then delve into details around when is the best time to visit Hanoi, how long you should spend there and the must-do activities you will definitely want to check out.

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Sapa Bus


You may not have the time right now to read through this entire blog but you are ready to start planning your visit to Hanoi and book your ticket from Sapa to get there. If so, then the most reliable way to book your ticket is through 12Go as it provides all of the details you will need to know ahead of booking your ticket online and travelling from Sapa to Hanoi. Through this online booking platform you can also compare the different journeys available to find the most ideal one that will suit your travel plans.

However, if you do have the time to keep reading and find out most of the information you will need to know so that you can start booking your trip from Sapa to Hanoi with ease as well as learn more around when to go to Hanoi and what to do once you get there, then I suggest you check out this whole blog.

Bus Sapa - Hanoi $ 8.97–24.05 5h – 6h 20m
  •   VIP Cabin 05:40, 08:45, 09:45, 11:45, 12:30, 12:45, 14:30, 14:45, 16:30, 16:45, 19:00, 19:15, 21:00, 21:15, 22:00, 22:15, 23:00
  •   VIP 32 06:45, 06:55, 21:00, 21:20
  •   Sleeper 13:30, 13:45, 15:30, 15:45
  •   Double cabin 13:30
  •   Single Cabin 13:30
  •   VIP Luxury 22 06:00, 07:00, 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 11:30, 12:45, 13:00, 13:30, 14:00, 14:30, 16:00, 17:00, 18:00, 19:30, 21:30, 22:30, 23:15
  •   Local Cabin 16:30
  •   VIP Cabin 20 07:00, 08:30, 10:00, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 16:00, 21:00, 22:30, 23:00, 23:30
  •   VIP 20 07:00, 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 11:30, 12:30, 13:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 19:30, 21:30, 22:30, 23:15
  •   VIP 24 06:00, 07:00, 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00, 18:00, 20:00, 21:00, 22:00
Bus Sapa - Noi Bai Airport $ 8.91–31.87 5h – 16h
  •   VIP 9 Express 07:30, 07:45, 14:00, 14:20, 14:30, 14:40, 14:45, 14:50
  •   VIP 22 05:30, 05:45, 06:20, 06:30, 06:45, 07:30, 07:45, 08:30, 08:45, 09:30, 09:45, 10:30, 10:45, 11:15, 11:30, 12:30, 12:45, 13:00, 13:15, 13:30, 13:45, 14:00, 14:15, 14:30, 15:15, 15:30, 15:45, 16:00, 16:15, 16:30, 16:45, 17:15, 17:30, 17:45, 19:00, 19:15, 20:00, 20:15, 21:00, 21:15, 22:00, 22:05, 22:15, 22:30, 22:45, 22:50, 23:00, 23:30
  •   Sleeper 41 13:30, 13:40, 13:50, 15:30, 15:40
  •   Semi Sleeper 13:30, 13:45, 15:15, 15:30
  •   VIP 14 07:40, 14:30
  •   Sleeper 44 07:30, 13:30, 16:00, 22:00
  •   Sleeper 14:00, 15:30
  •   Upper Bed 14:00, 22:00
  •   Lower Bed 14:00, 22:00
  •   Couple Bed 14:00, 22:00
  •   CClass 14:00, 15:30
  •   VIP Cabin 05:40, 06:40, 07:40, 08:40, 09:40, 10:40, 11:15, 11:30, 12:10, 12:30, 13:00, 13:30, 14:00, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30, 17:30, 19:00, 20:00, 21:00, 22:00, 22:30, 22:45, 23:00
  •   Sleeper 40 13:15, 13:30, 13:45, 13:55, 15:30, 15:45, 15:55
Taxi Sapa - Noi Bai Airport $ 92.88–262.90 3h 55m – 5h 20m
  •   Economy 3pax
  •   Van 12pax
  •   Minivan 5pax
  •   Comfort 3pax
  •   Van 9pax
  •   SUV 4pax
  •   VIP Van 9pax
  •   Limousine 8pax
  •   Minivan 7pax
  •   Minibus 15pax
  •   Van 6pax
  •   SUV 3pax
Van Sapa - Noi Bai Airport $ 17.34–17.83 5h – 5h 30m
  •   Middle seats 07:30, 07:40, 14:40, 15:15
  •   Limousine 11 07:30, 14:30
  •   Limousine 9 07:30, 14:30
  •   Limousine 13 07:30, 14:30
Bus Lao Cai - Hanoi $ 9.37–18.75 6h
  •   Sleeper 40 13:00, 13:30, 13:45, 15:15, 15:30
  •   VIP 22 05:30, 06:00, 06:45, 07:00, 07:45, 08:00, 08:45, 09:00, 09:45, 10:00, 11:15, 11:30, 12:30, 12:45, 13:30, 13:40, 13:45, 13:50, 14:15, 14:30, 15:30, 15:40, 15:45, 15:55, 16:00, 16:45, 17:00, 17:45, 18:00, 18:45, 19:00, 22:15, 22:30
  •   VIP Sleeper 34 12:30, 12:45, 22:30, 22:45
  •   Sleeper 41 Express 14:00, 16:00
Taxi Lao Cai - Hanoi $ 182.80 5h 30m
  •   VIP Van 9pax
Van Lao Cai - Hanoi $ 15.69–21.09 5h – 6h
  •   Middle seats 06:45, 07:15, 07:30, 13:45, 14:00, 14:30, 14:45
  •   Front and Back seats 14:00, 14:15, 14:25, 14:30, 14:40
Bus Lao Cai - Noi Bai Airport $ 8.91–18.75 5h 30m – 6h
  •   Sleeper 40 13:30, 13:40, 13:55, 15:30, 15:45, 15:55
  •   VIP 22 05:45, 06:30, 06:45, 07:45, 08:45, 09:45, 10:45, 11:15, 12:30, 12:45, 13:00, 13:45, 14:15, 15:45, 16:45, 17:45, 19:15, 21:15, 22:15
Taxi Lao Cai - Noi Bai Airport $ 187.44 5h 30m
  •   Van 12pax
Hanoi to Sapa


There are currently four ways that you can make the commute from Sapa to Hanoi, these are;

Option 1 – Bus
Travelling from Sapa to Hanoi with a bus is one of the fastest and most affordable ways to make the journey. Buses begin departing from Sapa at 5.30am and the latest being at midnight, with up to 600 options to choose from. Each journey can take between 5 hours to 6 hours and 40 minutes, meaning you can be in Hanoi by 10.30am ready to start exploring, with the ticket prices starting from $10 per person. There is also an option of booking a private bus if you are travelling in a group. Private buses can host from nine to twelve people, and the cost for these are between $245 and $248 per vehicle.

There are a few departure stations within Sapa and several arrival stations at Hanoi, making it easy for you to find the most ideal bus options to suit your travel plans. Some bus lines also allow you to choose which section of the bus you would prefer to sit in, which makes it great for those who may suffer sometimes from travel sickness. To check out all of the options available and book your ticket online for travelling with a bus from Sapa to Hanoi, head over to 12Go.

Option 2 – Taxi
If you would like to travel from Sapa to Hanoi in a taxi, you have approximately 15 options to choose from daily. The cost of taking a taxi is between $144 and $342 per vehicle, with the availability of three to fifteen people being able to fit into one. When booking a taxi, the commute time can take from 3 hours and 55 minutes up to 5 hours and 20 minutes, making it a quick way to get from Sapa to Hanoi. You are also able to book your preferred departure time from either Sa Pa Lao Cai or the city centre, with options to arrive into Hanoi Noi Bai Airport, the city centre or train station.

Pre-book your taxi online via 12Go to find the most suited option for you.

Option 3 – Train
There is an option of travelling from Sapa to Hanoi on a train, however you will first need to commute to Sapa La Cai to board the train. Commuting by train can take from 7 hours and 18 minutes up to 7 hours and 55 minutes in travel time, costing between $26 and $123 per person with options of the style of cabin you would like to be seated in. You can choose between shared cabins, suites, VIP and first class. The earliest departure from Sapa La Cai is 9.30pm with the latest being 9.40pm making all of the trains overnight commutes. To find out more information around this form over transport, check out 12Go.

Option 4 – Overnight train – [Vietnam Rail] Train to Sapa From Hanoi & Vice Versa – Klook
This form of transport takes 8 hours in travel time from Sapa to Hanoi. The cost per person can be as low as $31 with different options of cabin styles for you to book, such as shared or private, as well as the travel operator you would like to take the journey with.

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Sapa Travel


These are some great key points to know ahead of booking your ticket online from Sapa to Hanoi and making the commute…

Most affordable form of transport from Sapa to Hanoi
The cheapest way to travel from Sapa to Hanoi is one of the 6 hour long commute buses as these only cost $10 per person. Most of these options are overnight journeys, however there are a couple that are during the day. You can find all the available options on 12Go.

Quickest form of transport from Sapa to Hanoi
The fastest way to travel from Sapa to Hanoi is with a taxi. There are three options to choose from which take 3 hours and 55 minutes in commute time with the travel operators VTS and Dichung. These taxis have availability to take between 3 to 15 people per vehicle, costing from $163 to $400 per car.

Arrival times at departure stations in Sapa

When travelling from Sapa to Hanoi with a bus, they ask that you arrive between 30 to 60 minutes before your pre-booked departure time. However, to ensure that you have everything you need ahead of travelling and to avoid check in queues, arriving 15 minutes earlier than the preferred time is always a great idea.

As you are allowed to choose your preferred departure time when travelling from Sapa to Hanoi in a taxi, there is no stated arrival time you need to be at the departure station for. Saying this, if you are late for pick up there is a chance that extra charges will occur so arriving around 15 to 30 minutes ahead of your departure time is something I would suggest doing. 

Train and overnight train
If you have chosen to make the journey from Sapa to Hanoi with a train, you will need to ensure that you are at your platform ready for departure approximately 15 minutes ahead of the train leaving. This will make sure that you are ready to board as soon as the train doors open onto the platform and eliminate the chance of you missing your transport.

Luggage allowance for transport from Sapa to Hanoi

Your luggage should not exceed 15 kg per person when travelling via bus from Hanoi to Sapa.

Each passenger is allowed to take 1 suitcase and 1 piece of hand luggage with them in their taxi from Hanoi to Sapa.

Train and overnight train
With the form of transport from Hanoi to Sapa, each person can take up to 20 kg of luggage with them.

Powered by 12Go system
Hanoi Bus


The best and most convenient way to book your ticket online from Sapa to Hanoi is with the platform 12Go. Through this online booking platform you are able to view all of the different options available which you can make the commute via, as well as check out the departure and arrival times, where you depart from and arrive in to, the cost for each trip and the length of time each journey takes.
Alongside this, when using 12Go, you will then have a reliable point of contact if you should need to change anything around your travel plans or if anything chances with your booked journey they can easily contact you.

Hanoi to Sapa Taxi


Getting to your departure station ahead of travelling from Sapa to Hanoi is the first part of your journey. This commute can be made with a couple of forms of transport, however the best and cheapest way to get around Sapa is by foot but if you have heavy or big luggage this may not be a great choice for you. Other ways you can get to your departure station is with;

  • Local bus
  • Taxi
  • Motorbike

Before choosing which form of transport you would like to take, it is important to double check the required arrival times at the departure station and then compare that against how long each travel option will take you. This is going to help you then decide the most ideal way for you to get to your departure station ahead of travelling from Sapa to Hanoi.


Once you have arrived from Sapa to Hanoi you will then need to get to your final destination which will be the last part of your commute to complete the journey. In Hanoi you have a handful of options for how you can travel from the arrival station, these are;

  • Public bus
  • Taxi
  • Xe Om (Motorcycle taxi)
  • Cyclo (A fun and authentic form of transport)

Depending on what time you will arrive from Sapa to Hanoi could have an impact in which form of transport you can choose. When planning your visit to Hanoi, take into consideration arrival times and then have a look into which option is best for you.

Bus Hanoi to Sapa


During the months of April through to and including June is when the temperatures in Hanoi are at their highest with the least amount of rainfall, making it a great time to visit. For the best month to visit, you will want to come in May as this is when you will be able to enjoy great sunny days and only a small amount of rain. Temperatures can reach 29 degrees with rainfall staying at 30mm for the whole month. This is going to ensure that you have brilliant weather days whilst being in Hanoi.

If you are looking for sunshine filled days but are not too fussed about it being really hot, February is the driest month of the year with the clearest days, making it another amazing time to visit Hanoi during.


The minimum amount of time you will want to spend in Hanoi is 3 days, as this will allow you to enjoy the vibrant city, check out the most popular and well known attractions, and enjoy Hanois wonderful culture. However, extending your trip to be a week long is always a great idea as there is so much to do in the capital of Vietnam that you will always find something new to check out and never find yourself bored. This is also going to allow you to explore throughout the city at your own pace and not need to squeeze everything into a short break or miss out on some bucket list to-do’s.

Sapa to Hanoi


Here are five things you will definitely want to experience on your visit to Hanoi…

The Old Quarter
Emerge yourself into this bustling and fast paced environment. Within the Old Quarter you can discover a huge part of Hanoi’s culture and join in activities such as a walking street food tour or book a fun cycling tour to explore more of the city. You will get to see through unique stores, busy markets and wonderful architecture that creates the neighbourhood’s nickname as the ‘historic urban core’ of Hanoi.

Hoan Kiem Lake
This popular landmark is situated between the Old Quarter and French Quarter in the city. Even though this location is within the heart of Hanoi, it still provides you with a tranquil atmosphere. You can admire the beautiful lake at any time during the day, however, in the morning you will be able to see people practising Ta Chi or visit in the evening when there is the 7pm till midnight traffic jam which adds an extra touch of tranquillity.

Ngoc Son Temple
It would be a visit to Vietnam without admiring one of the temples. This temple, also known as the Temple of the Jade Mountain is located within the Hoan Kiem Lake and has become one of the most visited temples in Hanoi. You can view this gorgeous building close up and personal by crossing over the red bridge that runs across the lake.

Hanoi nightlife
Being known as a vibrant city, checking out Hanoi after dark is always fun. You can wander around the streets to find different restaurants and bars where you can then enjoy some authentic food and refreshing drinks to end a fun-filled day. The city also has a great music scene which is showcased through different events, DJs and social clubs.

The National Museum of Vietnamese History
If you love to learn about the history and culture of different places, you will definitely want to add this to your Hanoi bucket list of things to-do. There is an abundance of history to discover here, as well as being able to admire the beautiful building that it is all housed in, with more than 200,000 pieces of Vietnam’s past to see.



Looking for more information about travelling around Southeast Asia? Then I have got you covered. Check out these blogs to read about where you should go next, the best places to stay, activities you will want to experience and guides for how to get from one place to another…