Sapa is a small, mountain town in Lao Cai Province. It is located about 350 km northwest of Hanoi, close to the Chinese border. Here’s where you’ll find the Hoang Lien Son range of mountains, which includes Fan Si Pan – the country’s highest peak.
You can choose two ways to travel from Hanoi to Sapa. One way is to use a train and the other way to reach Sapa is by taking a bus. Below are the pros and cons of both the ways to reach Sapa so that you can decide which one is good for you.
Read more: 7 cheap things to do in Hanoi
Reaching Sapa Via Train
You can reach the destination point in nine to ten hours if you are in Hanoi. Basically, it means you will have to travel overnight as the travelling distance is about 320 km. you can book your seat for Sapaly train or the Fransipan Train as both are good options. For better travelling options, it is advisable that you book train tickets ahead of time in order to not facing any difficulty in the end. You can book your ticket via various online systems.
Benefits of Overnight Traveling by Train
- Overnight traveling will save your time as you can use this time to sleep.
- If you are choosing a train, then choose a little more luxury. ‘Soft Sleeper’ is a good option in this regard. Cabins are mostly used on a shared basis, however, if you want to travel alone in a cabin then you can purchase more tickets as per the number of seats in your cabin. In this way, you can travel with full peace, without any kind of disturbance.
- Cabins are well decorated and mattress and pillows are soft. You can drink water for free and can also have snacks.
- In addition to this all, you will also be provided with the toothbrush and slippers.
- Furthermore, you can use electrical points to charge your electronic devices all over the night as this service is also available in the trains.
- Train washrooms are fairly good.
Benefits of Overnight Travel Via Bus
- Now coming to the benefits of traveling via bus, the first thing is that you can reach your destination point in just five and a half hours.
- Fare of the travel buses is quite low, around $20.
- Buses are usually comfortable and seats are good.
- However, buses only travel in the daytime as the road to reach Sapa from Hanoi is quite bandy.
- Bus service provides a bottle of water and a pack of snacks.
- You can ask for a blanket and a neck pillow if you want.
- The bus normally stops only once after halftime and there you can use two types of toilets. One is for locals and free (you can also use them.) while the other type of toilets is for tourist and you need to pay some fee to use.
- Express bus service is a good bus service.
Comparison of Both Services
Reaching Sapa via train will obviously cost you more than the bus, at least double.
Buses only travel in the daytime, so you can enjoy the remarkable scenery on the drive. However, train provides you luxury traveling experience.
By using a bus service, you can have a good sleep in your hotel at night. Nevertheless, train saves your day as it provides overnight service.
The road that leads to Sapa is bendy and bumpy, so train can provide you a better travelling experience.
However, as a result of a recent surge in popularity Sapa has rapidly become a tourist hotspot where money is the new drug of choice. Don’t be put off by the rush, your explorations of the surrounding countryside will be worth the trouble.
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