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Hanoi to Sapa in the Lao Cai Province: 3 days 

Travelbay Tip: Choose any date and add this delight to any of our other Vietnam tours.

Sapa is the picturesque town in the mountainous Northwest region of Vietnam. Lying close to the Chinese border, Sapa is known for its sweeping valley views and terraced rice fields. The landscape is truly spectacular and the hill tribes friendly, welcoming and magnificently colourful. 

The planned walking on this tour is for 3 hours each day and is considered easy trekking. We can adjust the length of the walk to make it either less or more depending on your preference. We can be quite flexible with this and you can plan in advance, or when you are in Sapa you can discuss this with your guide.  

This is a Small Group Tour with your own guide, driver and a maximum of 10 people (often less). If you would like to make this tour a Private Tour, please contact us for a quote. We also offer Tailor Made Tours  to Vietnam. 

You are free to choose any date to commence this holiday - please book at least 30 days in advance. If you would like to go earlier, please contact us as it may be possible.

Please note: This tour begins with an overnight train ride. The train departs from Hanoi at 21:40 or 22:00. If you are arriving in Hanoi on an international flight you may want to consider having an extra night and taking the train the next night to avoid an international flight followed by a train ride. 

It is of course entirely up to you which option you choose. If you would like an extra night we can arrange it for you. 

If you would like to spend a little longer in Sapa, please let us know as this can be easily arranged. There is also the option to stay at a homestay. Please contact us for more information. 

Overnight Train: King Express - Shared cabin (3 Star); Chapa Express Train - shared cabin (4 and 5 Star).

The cabins have 4 berths per cabin. If you would like to book the entire cabin, making it a private cabin, please let us know and we will get a quote for you to cover the cost of the extra berths. 

Find out what our customers have to say: Vietnam Customer Reviews and Photos

Download Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Lao Cai, picturesque landscapes and colourful hill tribes

Take the overnight train from Hanoi (see the MORE INFO tab for more information on the train) and arrive early morning at Lao Cai station. The train is the best way to get to Sapa as the road is known for its bumps. The train has full amenities such as air-conditioning and comfortable beds. You will be picked up by a local guide and taken on a scenic one-hour drive up to the hill station of Sapa.

From there you can take a short 30-minute journey South toward Muong Hoa Valley, a stunning place boasting the largest terraced rice fields in Sapa. If your visit is between May and October, the local harvest period, you will have a chance to see the local farmers in action. It is a nice chance to take in the scenery and a great photo opportunity. The walk takes you from Lao Chai Village of the Black H'mong Minority to the Ta Van Village of the Giay Minority with a stop at the local Catholic Church, taking in the different traditions, cultures and costumes of the two minority groups.

After that, you will return to Sapa and you can spend the rest of your afternoon at your leisure.

Overnight Day 1: Sunny Mountain Hotel - Deluxe room (3 Star), Sapa Legend Hotel - Superior room (4 Star), Victoria Sapa Resort - Superior room (5 Star).

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 2: Explore the spectacular charm of Sapa

After breakfast, you will check out of the hotel and depart towards Tram Ton Pass. Along the way, take a short walk to Silver Waterfall and head to Heaven’s Gate, where you can see Fansipan Mountain  the highest peak in Indochina. A one and a half hour downhill ride to Binh Lu includes a stop at Chu Va Village of the Flower H'mong tribe. Enjoy a packed lunch on the way. Trek to Pa Pen Village of the Lu Minority where you can talk with the locals and visit the local school (closed on weekends). Return to the hotel where you can freshen up before transferring to Lao Cai station to board the train back to Hanoi. 

Overnight Train: King Express - Shared cabin (3 Star); Chapa Express Train - shared cabin (4 and 5 Star)

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: Arrival back in Hanoi

The train arrives early morning at the Hanoi train station. You will be collected from the station and transferred to your hotel in Hanoi. 

Check in time is 2pm for the hotels in Hanoi. Please let us know if you would like an early check in (9am) and we can give you a quote. Or you are welcome to leave your bags at the hotel while you spend the day at leisure and check in after 2pm. 


All accommodation and hotels are subject to change. If the stated hotel is not available a hotel of a similar standard and location will be booked.

Travelbay Tip

Combine this tour with one of our other Vietnam tours: 

Travelbay Vietnam Tours - 11 Day Best of Vietnam Travelbay Vietnam and Cambodia – Best of Both in 13 Days  

  • 3 day tour of Sapa exploring the picturesque beauty and colourful hill tribes.
  • 3 nights' accommodation - 1 night in Sapa and 2 nights on the overnight train. 
  • 6 meals included in the package.
  • Return overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai Station. 
  • All transfers – You will be taken to the train station in Hanoi, collected in Lao Cai on arrival, all transport throughout your time in Sapa and again you will be met at the station in Hanoi and transferred to your hotel in Hanoi. 
  • Air conditioned mini van for all overland transport.
  • English speaking guide.
  • Entrance and sightseeing fees as stated in the itinerary.
  • The opportunity to explore the scenic beauty of Sapa and the Muong Hoa Valley.
  • A guided walk from Lao Chai Village of the Black H'mong hill tribe to the Ta Van Village of the Giay hill tribe. 
  • Visit the Silver Waterfall and see the impressive Fansipan mountain, the highest in Indochina. 
  • Get to know the locals after a trek to Pa Pen Village of the Lu Minority.

    Travelbay Sapa Map

    How to get there:
    This tour begins and ends in Hanoi. You will take the overnight train from Hanoi to Lao Cai and arrive on the morning of Day 1 in Lao Cai. Return to Hanoi on the overnight train on the night of Day 2, arriving in Hanoi on the morning of Day 3. 

    Train information:

    King Express

    The King Express is the train we prefer to use for the 3 Star option. It departs from Hanoi at either 21:40pm or 22:00pm and arrives in Lao Cai at either 05:40am or 06:10am. On arrival you will be met at the train station.

    For the return journey, the train departs from Lao Cai at either 19:35pm or 21:05pm and arrives in Hanoi at 04:10am or 05:20am. 


    You will be booked in a soft, 4 berth cabin. If you prefer to have the cabin to yourself you can pay an additional charge.  

    Traevlbay-Sapa---4-Berth-cabin-on-King-Express  Travelbay-Sapa---King-Express

    Travelbay-Sapa.--King-Express-corridor  Travelbay-Sapa---King-Express-bathroom  

    Chapa Express

    The Chapa Express is the train used for the 4 and 5 Star options. In operation since June 2014, it is one of the newest trains in Vietnam. The compact cabins are equipped with air-conditioning, reading lights, comfortable beds and Sapa-inspired décor. The cabins are shared deluxe 4-berth cabins. You can upgrade to a 2 berth cabin or a VIP cabin (subject to availability - please ask us for a quote).

    Travelbay Sapa - Chapa Express Train  Travelbay Sapa - Chapa Express Train

    Travelbay Sapa - Chapa Express Train  Travelbay-Sapa---Chapa-Express

    High-speed internet, restrooms, toiletries and hot/cold water are available on board for your convenience. Welcome drinks, snacks (biscuits or fresh fruits) and hot/cold towels are provided and the professional and multilingual train staff are on hand to assist you throughout the journey.

    All Chapa Express Train guests have access to the Chapa Lounge in Lao Cai with shower facilities, food and beverages and complimentary Wi-Fi. 

    Travelbay Sapa - Chapa Express Lounge

    To help you calculate the time difference we recommend World Time Buddy.

    Visa information: 
    If a visa is required for any country you are visiting it is each travellers responsibility to ensure they have obtained a valid visa prior to travel. Every country has different requirements and it also depends on the nationality of the passport you are travelling on. 

    To find out the visa requirements for your destination, you can check here with Visalink.

    If a visa is required you can use the services on the same link, or you may wish to apply directly yourself.

    In addition to the above link, we have provided some more information on visas here: Visa Information page

    Please note: Every country has different visa requirements and charges. To support we attempt to provide you with the latest information and links. However, please be aware that it is each traveller’s responsibility (and not Travelbay’s) to ensure that you have a valid visa if required for any country you visit.

    Currency information:
    The currency used in Vietnam is the Vietnamese Dong.

    What currency to take over there is a personal choice. Some people prefer to take US$ cash as a backup whilst others prefer to take AUD$ cash – it depends on what you are comfortable with. There are ATM machines readily available in Vietnam. Occasionally the older ATM's do not accept Australian debit cards and you may need to try a different ATM.

    From our personal experience we found the best exchange rate was on taking AUD into a bank and exchanging for dong. Please keep in mind that banks are closed on weekends.

    Bank fees are around $10 each time you withdraw cash at an ATM and the maximum you can withdraw at any one time is 3,000,000 dong (approximately $175 as at March 2018). It is likely you would need to withdraw a few times over your holiday depending on your needs.

    We recommend letting your bank know that you will be using your card in Vietnam to avoid them freezing any 'suspicious' activity.

    Tipping and Tour Guides:
    Tipping is entirely at your discretion.

    In response to some customers questions here are a few guidelines:

    It is usual to tip the guides, drivers, porters and waiters.

    Tipping is not necessary for taxis or for cheaper restaurants. Remember, it’s a good idea to check if service charges are included in your restaurant bill. If not, a tip of 10% of the total bill is normal. 

    Below are a few general guidelines to support you with tipping, however please be aware that tipping is a sign of gratification for good service, and therefore view the guidelines as the middle ground, which can be adjusted depending on the level of service you feel you have received. 

    • Guides: USD 3-5 per person per day
    • Drivers: USD 2-3 per person per day

    You may wish to check if you will have the same guide and driver for the duration of your time in one location and tip them on your last day with them.

    Tipping tip: It can be handy to have small notes for tipping.

    Vaccination Information:
    Travelbay recommends you check with your doctor as to any immunisations that you may require or that are recommended for your travels.  Alternatively, you can visit The Travel Doctor or Travelvax for more information. 

    Electricity and Adaptors
    A useful resource to find out what plug or adaptor you might need for any country can be found by clicking here: and then selecting the country or countries you are visiting.

    The temperatures in Sapa are cooler than the rest of Vietnam year round due to its altitude at 1,500m above sea level (humidity of around 85% is constant year round also). Aside from the winter months Dec-Jan) where the temperatures can be cooler, sitting only a few degrees North of the equator, the temperatures are fairly similar all year round, 25-33 degrees Celsius during the day.

    Wet season: Summer (June to August).

    Peak season: 
    Vietnam is a popular destination all year round. The peak seasons for travel are from November to March and July to August. 

    The Lunar/Chinese New Year is a time when Vietnam all but comes to a standstill. Most people go home to their families and travel during this time is not recommended. The dates for the New Year change each year but usually it is in late January to February. Please note – we do not sell tours nor recommend travelling during this time. 

    Other dates to note include the following:

    • 24 April: Huna King Commemoration Day – this is celebrated in the Ninh Binh Province only
    • 30 April: Reunification Day – This day commemorates the soldiers who died in war during the 1800s and 1900s.
    • 2 September: National Independence Day – There are celebrations and fireworks in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
    • 4 October: Mid-Autumn Festival – Adults and children take to the streets to celebrate and float lanterns in the rivers and lakes. The Old Quarter in Hanoi and the Old Town of Hoi An are generally crowded.
    • 31 December – New Year’s Eve – January 1 is a public holiday and many people celebrate.

    Population: 93.5 million

    Language: Vietnamese

    Predominant religion: 81% of the population has no religion followed by 9% Buddhist

    Some interesting facts:
    Fansipan Mountain is the highest peak in Indochina and can be seen from the town of Sapa. 

    The mountain pass of Tram Ton passes between Sapa and Lai Chau and at 2,000m is the highest mountain pass in Vietnam. 

    Sapa is one of the few places in Vietnam that sees snow. It is home to a large variety of wild flowers including immortal flowers that live forever. 

    Related Blogs & articles:

    Travelbay-Blog-Snapshot-Sapa Travelbay Blog - 5 things to enjoy whilst in Vietnam 

    Travelbay Tip

    Combine this tour with one of our other tours to Vietnam

    Travelbay Vietnam and Cambodia – Best of Both in 13 Days Travelbay Vietnam Tours - 11 Day Best of Vietnam

    More Travelbay Sapa & Vietnam Tours:

    Travelbay Vietnam – 14 Day Amazing Tour from South to far North including Sapa Travelbay Vietnam Tours - 11 Day Southern Vietnam Local Life and Beach Holiday

    Travelbay Vietnam – 10 Day Highlights of Vietnam Tour Travelbay  Cambodia & South Vietnam – Wonderful 10 Day Tour with 3 Night Luxury Mekong River Cruise

    Terms & Conditions

    Booking Process:

    Upon purchase of your tour online you will immediately receive a receipt and order confirmation. Travelbay will contact the tour operator to confirm availability for all accommodation and transportation for your tour.

    As soon as we have confirmed the dates (usually within 48 hours sometimes a little longer at weekends) we will email you your booking confirmation.

    We will request further information from you to ensure that all your personal preferences are taken care of. This will include details such as your accommodation preferences, dietary requests, allergies, health issues, emergency contact and any special requirements. We will also request copies of the passport for each traveller.

    Very Important:

    It is important to note your dates are only confirmed once we have been in touch with you to confirm availability. Therefore, please wait on purchasing your international flights until you have received a booking confirmation from us. In the unlikely event that there is no availability on your chosen date we will offer you alternate dates. If these do not suit we will fully refund your payment. 

    Booking Information:

    • Quoted prices are per person.
    • Booking valid for selected and booked travel dates.
    • Please book at least 30 days prior to your desired date of travel.
    • Bookings are subject to availability.
        • Child prices: Please ask us for a quote. 
        • Minimum group size is 2.
        • Maximum group size is 10. Please contact us if your group is larger than 10 people. 
        • The listed "Price per person ~ single room" relates to having your own room for the tour (with a minimum of 2 people on the tour). If you are a single traveller, please contact us for a single traveller price.
        • If you would like to arrive before the start of tour or leave later and require extra nights’ accommodation, please contact us and we can arrange it for you at very reasonable rates.
        • Prior to completion of your booking we take great care to go through all the details together with you until we get everything exactly as you would like it. At that point we confirm your booking and the details and you pay for it. If after payment, you decide to make further changes we will do what we can to accommodate them and will also need to charge an additional $50 administration fee.
          • 1 night accommodation in DBL/TWN room.
          • Overnight train ride in a quad cabin (You can upgrade to have the cabin to yourself by purchasing the other berths - please contact us for rates).
          • 6 meals as per itinerary.
          • An English speaking guide throughout the tour.
          • Entrance and sightseeing fees as stated in the itinerary.
          • All transfers.
          • All transport as per itinerary.
          • Taxes and service fees.
            • International flights.
            • Domestic flights.
            • Vietnam Visa.
            • Meals not outlined in the itinerary.
            • Drinks for all meals.
            • Travel insurance. Please contact us if you would like a quote.
            • Tips and gratuities.
            • Personal expenses such as telephone, laundry etc.
            • Others not indicated in the inclusions.

              General Terms & Conditions:

              • Your contract with Travelbay commences upon us providing you with a booking confirmation (not upon payment).
              • By purchasing this tour you confirm that you have read, understood and agree to these terms and conditions.
              • All prices we list are in AUD unless otherwise stated and include GST where payable.
              • This package, including any unused portion, cannot be exchanged for other services or cash.
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              • Passport and visa regulations can change and it is your responsibility to ensure that you possess the relevant travel documents before you travel. Delays can be experienced in obtaining a passport or visa, so you are advised to apply in plenty of time. We accept no responsibility in any regard in relation to customers who are denied entry to a country because they do not possess the correct travel documents.
              • It is also your responsibility to ensure that you hold a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your date of return. If you hold multiple passports, you may be required to present your passport of residence on departing that country. If you hold a passport for a country to which you are travelling, you may be obliged to produce that passport on entering the country. Accordingly, you could be obliged to carry more than one passport when travelling overseas. You should make your own enquiries in relation to your specific circumstances and requirements.
              • It is your responsibility to ensure that all your details are recorded correctly. Any request for a name change after documents have been issued may incur amendment fees or result in the original booking being cancelled and in the case of airlines, the loss of a seat.
              • When purchasing flights, cruises and other carriage and travel services, the name on the passport must match the name on the ticket otherwise you may not be able to travel and insurance may be invalid. If, after purchasing products or services but before traveling, any member of your party changes their name you must notify the relevant carrier, or us, immediately so that the necessary changes can be made to your documentation. You may incur a fee.
              • Travelbay recommends you check with your doctor as to any immunisations that you may require or that are recommended for your travels.  Alternatively, you can visit The Travel Doctor or Travelvax for more information. For those of you who have any medical conditions please also ensure you are fit to travel and have all the medication you need with you. Recommended inoculations for travel may change and you should consult your doctor for current recommendations before you depart. It is your responsibility to ensure that you meet all health entry requirements, obtain recommended inoculations, take all recommended medication, and follow all medical advice in relation to your trip.
              • Many but not all suppliers have facilities for people who require assistance. If you have any disabilities or require special assistance, please let us know at the time of booking so we can check if suitable services are available.
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              • All accommodation and hotels are subject to change. If the stated hotel is not available a hotel of a similar standard and location will be booked.
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              • In some circumstances, some specific products or services as contained on this website and promotional material may not be available due to circumstance beyond our control. In that situation, we will do our best to provide replacement products and / or services of a comparable nature and quality. Travelbay and our respective Suppliers make no guarantees about the availability of specific products and services.
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              If you have any questions please email us 24/7 or call us Monday to Friday on 1800 020 020 to speak with one of our friendly team.

              You can start this holiday on any date, pending availability

              Please contact us to book

              Customer Reviews

              Based on 8 reviews
              Thank you so much

              My cousin and I looked into lots of options and companies to do a tour of Vietnam as we like a "local" approach to touring a country. It was an advertisement for a tour of Vietnam in the Courier Mail in Brisbane that I first heard of Travelbay. The tour was cheap so we did have a bit of hesitation about how good it would turn out to be!!

              Our trip was absolutely fantastic, everything flowed like clockwork. There was never a moment where we were left wondering what was going on. All the guides met us at the arranged time and place, were friendly, informative and we always felt safe. Most of our tours were private with a driver and guide.

              We both enjoyed getting to meet and talk to the Vietnamese people as they are so happy, friendly with a genuine nature to make us feel welcome. There is a lot of history, beautiful sights and the hotel were of a high standard even though we went 3 star.

              Thank you so much to everyone at Travelbay who answered all our questions and organised every little detail to make our holiday so sensational. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend your company to anyone. Thank you so much.

              I have recommended you

              I have recommended you and your company to my clients as I have found you to be so lovely and helpful and patient with getting our holiday organised.

              I had the absolute pleasure of using this wonderful company

              I had the absolute pleasure of using this wonderful company when travelling to Vietnam and Cambodia. I cannot fault TRAVELBAY for the private tour myself and travel buddy took with them. Right from the conception and planning of this tour Nikki and Nicola were right there online helping my friend and I through the planning stages. In Vietnam the guides went above and beyond and were amazing and informative who couldnt do enough for us. If we wanted a change of plans it wasnt a problem. Nikki and Nicola were always close by online enjoying our adventures through our videos and pics we were sending them. THANK YOU for an amazing carefree holiday. I recommend this company to everyone I speak to and have no hesitation in planning another with them.

              Sapa was wonderful

              Sapa was wonderful. Thank you so much. Well certainly be recommending you.

              Sapa is amazing

              SAPA was or is an amazing place and should be on everyones hit list. Our tour guide during the stay was exceptional and we could not have asked for better. We actually became friends over just a short time and had the opportunity to meet his family.
              The quality of service, hotels, tour guides and the places we've been taken to have been fantastic.
              Thanks for all your involvement and I would thoroughly recommend the package to anyone.