a VirtualTourist member asked on Jan 17, 2015
Hi, Can anyone recommend to me how I should arrange my trip to Sapa?
As I will arrive in Hanoi on the 20th of Feb, I was planning to take the overnight train to Sapa and be there till the 23rd before taking the train back, a total of 3D2N spent in Sapa.
If you have already booked your hotel in Hanoi then email them to book the train of your choice both going up and coming back down. They will charge you a small fee but nowhere near what an online agent will charge you. Now when you arrive at Lau Cai you will be pestered by touts. They will also lie to you so don't even look them in the face. Just ignore them. I have looked at all the forms of transport up that very winding mountain road and come to the conclusion my life is or th more than the 50,000d to catch the public bus and more than the 60,000d to be crammed into a 16 seater mini van but it is worth paying 40,000 for a private taxi who will drive slowly when I ask him and will even stop for me to take photos. Best of all is you will arrive before all the sardines turn up.
We were checked in and eating breakfast when our fellow passengers arrived in a very frazzled state.
There are times when safety and comfort reign over saving a few dollars.
Warm regards and travel safe in Vietnam. Dirty Pierre.
I am on my tablet and can't edit my post
The word WORTH is missing and the taxi is 40,000 but the auto correct changed my typing.
Bloody auto correct did it again.
Taxi is 400,000 dong
I really hate my tablet and am about to throw it out the window.
Hi pierre! Thanks for your advice!
Just to clarify it, your take would be to spend more on the taxi and enjoy a more comfortable ride instead of going budget on the buses?
The unfortunate thing though is that I won't have a hotel in Hanoi because I am planning to take the overnight train to Lao Cai on the night of my arrival in Hanoi. That's why I'm planning to book the train tickets myself. Do you know of any other ways I can go about doing it more conveniently?
Yes are you planning on staying in HANOI after Sapa because if you are then I would organise a hotel pick up from the airport and go straight to your hotel and collect your train tickets from them and store your excess baggage with them then go to the train station and enjoy your trip to Sapa knowing your bags are safe and secure and you have a nice hotel to stay at on your return to Hanoi.
Yes, I will be staying in Hanoi for 2 nights actually. However, instead of staying in a hotel, I've already reserved a homestay through Airbnb. I guess the alternative is actually to make arrangements through the host and all?
You have wrong information about the one hour trip between Lao Cai and Sapa ! There are now public buses of the Municipality, which costs 28 000 dong and leave from the railway station square. You cannot miss them, they are bright yellow and red ; they stop you on Church Square in Sapa, from where they leave back to Lao Cai. They connect with the train schedules.
My boyfriend and I just choose a van once we arrived at the railway station to get to Sapa. Had no problem. For trekking, we went with Sapa Sisters and did an overnight homestay. We had a great experience touring with Mao. Definitely recommend.
There are minibuses Lao Cai -Sapa but they used to charge anything from 50 000 to 100 000 D depending on the honesty of the handlers. If you take one (and I do not see why) DO NOT pay more than 30 000 D since the big brand new public buses charge 28 000 D (and be careful, some of those minibuses guys will tell you that there are no public buses). Remenber : those buses are bright yellow and red and are on the LEFT side on the Railway Square when you face the station
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