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a VirtualTourist member from Bilbao


Train timetables - markets - number of days

I would like to know if you can help me...
When does the train from hanoi arrive to Lao Cai, and how long does it take by car from Lao Cai to Sapa.
When does the train leave to hanoi from lao cai?
When and where are the markets?
Is it enough arriving by train day one, sleep, day two leave at night?
Thanks a lot!!!

3 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Venice

Trains from Hanoi to Lo Cai depart daily. There is one daytime train and three night train options. With each you have the option of soft or hard seat / sleeper. I highly recommend spending the extra few dollars for the soft sleeper. In the soft sleeper cabins there are 4 bunks to a room and you will be assigned a sleeping berth when you purchase your ticket. The bottom bunk lifts up so you can store your luggage securely. Hard Seat5US (no a/c), Soft Seat8US/$6US (no a/c), Hard Sleeper11US/$9US (no a/c), Soft Sleeper15US

Hanoi to Lo Cai
LC3 06:10 – 16:35
SP1 21:15 – 5:30
SP3 21:55 – 6:15
LC1 22:05 – 07:25

Lo Cai to Hanoi
LC4 09:15 – 19:55
LC2 18:45 – 04:00
SP2 20:15 – 04:30
SP4 21:00 – 05:05

[original VT link]

Sapa is a really magical place. And you would be able to see a lot if you just spent one night, but I would highly recommend staying AT LEAST two nights.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Sydney

I have been to Sapa twice, 1st time was 2005 for 2 nights and then again last october for 1 night, unless you are planning on going on a trek for a few days I would say that 1 night in Sapa is sufficient as there is not a gret deal to do in Sapa itself. Both times though I haven't been able to co-ordinate the travel dates to line up with the saturday market at "Bac-ha ?" however by all accounts I haven't missed a great deal. In the middle of Sapa there is a market which is open 7 days a week selling all kinds of handcrafts, clothing , foodstuffs etc and also a smaller market about a block away selling western clothing and bits and pieces.

Sapa is about 45 mins from Lau Cai and if you book the trip from a travel agent in Hanoi you can get a package deal which includes the transfers to and from your hotel in Sapa.

Last Octobers we arrived in Lau Cai at about 6 in the morning, picked up at the train station and driven to our hotel, wandered around the market and in the afternoon hired scooters and went for a bit of a ride around( we were going to go to the silver waterfall but a lot of rain made it very hard to ride the scooters through the thick mud)
The next day we walked down the hill to Cat cat falls and village (a must do) and then after climbing back up to the road level negotiated with a couple of xe oms to take us back up the steep hill into Sapa.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Bilbao

Thanks a lot, I think that with some things to see in mind we´ll spend one night, do you think that is better to stay there on saturday that is Sapa´s market or is it too crowded? I´ve heard that on saturdays they sell everything much more expensive...

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