3 ways to get from Halong Bay to Sapa

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From Halong Bay to Sapa

Getting from Halong Bay to Sapa is quite an adventure since the distance between the 2 places is nearly 494 kilometers and take up to 10 hours traveling. Depend on your budget, you could choose to take direct bus, combination of bus and train or private taxi. 

Here’s how to travel from Halong Bay to Sapa. 

Halong Bay to Sapa route
Halong Bay to Sapa route – @GoogleMaps

1. By direct bus


bus halong sapa
Bus is the cheapest way to travel between Halong and Sapa – @PhucXuyen.com.vn
  • Best if: Saving budget is your top priority
  • Don’t if: You don’t want to be trapped in a bus for nearly 10 hours

A direct bus from Halong Bay to Sapa is mostly used by locals. These buses are in sleeper type, with reclining seat so that you could lay down during the ride. There’s normally 3 buses leave per day at 10:40, 12:00, and 10:40 and take about 9 hours to get to Sapa. The ticket price might range around 430,00vnd – 450,000vnd per person. 

However, though a sleeper bus sound decent and reasonably cheap, there’s few drawbacks you’ll need to notice.

Firstly, they’ll stop quite frequently to pick up and drop off passengers or goods midway which might not be so comfortable, especially during a long journey. Another thing to note is that there is no option for hotel pickup or drop-off. So, remember to count the cost of taxi to bus station when planning. 

Below are some bus company offering direct bus from Halong Bay to Sapa:

Company Pick up address Drop off address Pick up time Drop off time
Phuc Xuyen 288 Nguyen Van Cu, Halong City Ha Son Bus Station, Sapa 10:40 18:50
Phuc An 279 Bai Chau, Halong City Ha Son Bus Station, Sapa 19:00 03:30
Daiichi 30A Anh Dao, Halong City Ha Son Bus Station, Sapa 12:00 21:00

You could also book these tickets via Vexere.

Tip: It’s better to ask the hotel staff to help you book the tickets, as all the staff and driver at the bus station can’t speak English. 


2. Bus and train combination


Overnight Train to Sapa
Taking the train to Sapa will bring you an unique experience – @_samanthhaaa/Instagram
  • Best if: You’d like to experience the overnight train of Vietna, (It’s interesting, trust me!)
  • Don’t if: You don’t like to change between vehicles.

Traveling between Halong Bay and Sapa by a combination of bus and train will bring you an one-of-a-kind experience on a Vietnam overnight train. However, since there is no direct train from Halong Bay to Sapa, so you’ll need to stop by Hanoi.

Firstly, take a 3.5 hours bus ride from Halong to Hanoi. The ticket for a bus would be about 250,000 VND – 300,000VND per person. There are quite a few bus companies with different vehicle types and departure times.

At Hanoi Train Station, there’re only 2 trains to Sapa available: SE1 leaves at 21:35 or SE3 leaves at 22:00. They’ll will take about 8 hours, and you’ll arrive at Lao Cai Train Station in the early morning of the next day.

The ticket prices range from 200,000 VND to 1,200,000 VND, depending on the train brand and seat class you choose. If you put your budget over comfortable, book a standard ticket at official website of Vietnam Railway. On the other hand, ChapaSapaly are some companies that rent a few coaches on the train, redesigned it with better facilities so you might have a more comfortable ride with them. 


3. Private car


Private car to Sapa from Halong Bay
Private car to Sapa from Halong Bay
  • Best if: You’d prefer privacy, comfortable and fastest to reach Sapa
  • Don’t if: It’s very expensive. 

Booking a private car is the fastest way to travel to Sapa from Halong, which takes about 8 hours. Unlike the two ways above, it will save you lots of effort in arranging tickets, being on time, etc. However, expect to pay from 6,000,000 vnd (if you travel one way only) up to 12,000,000 vnd (if you take a round trip and stay overnight) for a 4 seat car. 

Don’t just take a random taxi on the street. Contact your hotel reception and they will have you with a trust and reliable private car. 


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