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Hanoi to Sapa

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Sapa at a glance

High Season

Sep - Nov
Current Weather
Places you can't miss
Fan Si Pan mountain
Local currency
Good to know
Situated in northern Vietnam by the Chinese border lies Sapa (Sa Pa) and is considered Vietnam’s top destinations. Sapa is roughly a six hour trip from Hanoi but believe me, it’s worth it. The scenery is truly amazing with the surrounding mountains and colors of nature. What’s great about Sapa is that you can visit during any time of the year - the weather is very comfortable year round. If trekking floats your boat, you’ve hit the jackpot. You can walk through mountains so high into the clouds and take in the breathtaking landscapes. Along with the views, Sapa is known for it’s ethnic tribes which you’ll probably run into at the markets. Most travelers connect their trip to Sapa with a visit to Hanoi, you can easily book a private van or tourist bus to Hanoi.

Your questions, our answers

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Top reviews

Great support and service
Bookaway team are so great to deal with. Easy and prompt updates. Had to cancel 2 rides and they made it so fuss free. Fully recommended. Will book with them again 100%.
Everything perfect, very helpful staff.
Everything perfect, very helpful staff.
i just refund my booking cause Covid-19 case.
easy to refund make me so happy, fast respon. next month i will use again to my travel to Vietnam op
Great way to travel to Sapa
Overall a bumpy ride, but this is due to the railroad itself rather than the supplier. You will experience the same with every supplier. Cabin was basic but clean and being a 2 pax cabin private. Overall we enjoyed this experience and would happily use it again.
Everything was good, expect the
Everything was good, expect the bad roads to Sapa. Take something again travel sickness with you.
Smooth and efficient journey
Used the service from Sapa to Hanoi airport, the driver was very courteous and drove safely. The limousine was very comfortable and the journey was hassle free.
Very very recomended.
Température in the bus, too
Température in the bus, too cold !
Perfect impression by bus
All of good and bus driver are safety drive

How to get from Hanoi to Sapa 

When travelling the 319 kilometer (198 mile) distance from Hanoi to Sapa, you have four options: You can take a sleeper bus or VIP bus, which takes about 9.5 hours. You can take a train to Lao Cai, 38 kilometers (24 miles) from Sapa, which takes about 8 hours, or you can take a car or minivan, each with private drivers, on your own or as shared rides, which take about 5.5 hours.

Given the long journey to Sapa from Hanoi, we recommend one of the sleeper options. Comfort is your best bet for this ride, and you’re sure to catch some shut-eye in a bus-bed. An added bonus: If you’re taking the bus or train at night, you’re also saving on accommodation!

The Lao Cai Province in which Sapa sits is mountainous, green, culturally unique, and worth the trek for a wide range of reasons.


What to see when traveling from Hanoi to Sapa

What you are able to see out your window between Hanoi and Sapa depends entirely on what time of day your ride leaves. Of course, if you take a sleeper train or sleeper bus, the majority of your ride will be dark and you’ll be able to catch up on sleep during the ride. However, you will arrive to a striking sunrise in the Vietnamese countryside; an orange glow slowly overtaking the green rice terraces. It’s a sight like no other, and one you certainly want to make sure you are awake for.

If you’re leaving earlier in the day, you will inevitably experience the traffic (AKA hustle and bustle). Once you’ve left the hustle and bustle of busy Hanoi, the road to Sapa from Hanoi is full of long, unending, lush stretches of land, which mountain views as far as the eye can see.


What is the best time of year to visit Sapa?

January-March is a mixed bag when it comes to the weather in Vietnam. Up in the north, things are quite chilly. If you head up beyond Hanoi to Sapa, along the Chinese border, it gets even cooler. Expect to see some frost on the ground, or maybe even snow!

Once March rolls around, the weather in northern Vietnam starts to get much more pleasant. Temperatures can best be described as cozy at this time; not too hot and not too cold. The weather will be cool and dry, making it ideal for hiking around the mountains and villages of Sapa.

April is when things start getting hot and sticky up in the north of Vietnam. Come May, however, rainfall becomes more frequent and will reach its peak by June. It will remain this way through September-time. That being said, although July is rainy up in Sapa, it’s also hot, humid and sticky. It is at this time that hiking tours in the area close as a result of unfavorable conditions, so if you’re planning on driving a motorbike from Hanoi to Sapa, or in the Sapa area in general, be sure to do so cautiously.

Have no fear though; it’s finally October and the sun is shining in Sapa again! Hiking tours throughout northern Vietnam, Sapa included, are back on, as the area has reached its optimal hiking conditions. Thanks to the rain during the previous months, the famous Sapa rice terraces are at their best, with bright colors like you’ve never seen before, ready to be harvested. It’s extremely picturesque. When in Sapa, be sure to make your way to Mount Fansipan, the highest peak in Indochina, as this is the best time of the year to have panoramic views of the Sapa mountains.  


What is the best time of year to visit Hanoi?

Unlike Hanoi’s counterpart, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi experiences all four seasons throughout the year. That being said, the weather here is a bit like “a box of chocolate”; you never know what you’re gonna get. It is very possible that you could even experience all four seasons in a single day!

However, the best time of year to visit Hanoi is during the autumn months. With an average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit), Hanoi’s sun is warm, the breeze is cool, and the air is dry. You may be met with a light rain here and there, but generally speaking, the climate in Hanoi in autumn is very mild, making it ideal for any and all activities whether you’re indoors or outdoors. 

Once December rolls around, Hanoi gets quite chilly, and remains this way until late February-each March. Temperatures hover between 10-15 degrees Celsius (50-60 degrees Fahrenheit), but can often feel colder due to wind chill and the humidity.

Spring in Hanoi can be quite gray and is very wet, making way for the monsoon season in May. You’ll want to pack flip-flops and an umbrella if you visit Hanoi in the spring, as the roads are a bit muddy. Despite all this, spring in Hanoi brings beautifully bloomed flowers, adding a tropical flair to your Vietnamese city break.

Summer in Hanoi lasts from May to August, with July being the hottest month. Although temperatures are high [around 32 Celsius (90 Fahrenheit)], and the humidity makes it feel even hotter, Hanoi in the summer is a truly beautiful sight. The streets are lined with evergreen trees and the city is bustling, making you almost forget how hot it is.