How to get from CAT BA Island to SAPA?

How to get from Cat Ba Island to Sapa (Lao Cai)
How to get from Cat Ba island to Sapa? You have various ways how to travel.

Bus – Cat Ba to Sapa
 Bus+Train – Cat Ba to Sapa  
 Book Tickets to Sapa

Sapa – ethnic people, lots of tourists, homestay and nature.

    • Sapa in Lao Cai province belongs in the recent time to the most visited places in northern Vietnam. It is a home of the Black Hmong ethnic people and they offer their services for foreign tourists, eg. homestay, trekking, walking, travel quide…In Sapa you can try homestay of ethnic minority people or you can visit the highest mountain of Vietnam – Fansipan (by train + cable car). Sapa has no airport, so the only way how to travel is to travel by land – by combination of ferry, bus and train. THe closest railway station to Sapa is in Lao Cai city, about 2 km from the border with China. From Hanoi to Lao Cai you can use private luxury sleeper trains of various companies.

From Cat Ba Island to Sapa by combination of bus, train and ferry.

    • From Cat Ba Island to Sapa you can travel by combination of bus and train: 1.step – From Cat Ba Island to Hanoi (bus+ferry), 2.step – From Hanoi to Sapa/Lao Cai you can travel by train (over Lao Cai) or direct bus/minivan to Sapa, bus tickets to Sapa are cheap. There is also a bus from Cat Ba Island to Sapa, travel time by bus is about 11 hous and bus ticket costs about $15-25/pp. You can also travel by train from Hai Phong to Hanoi and from Hanoi you can take another train to Lao Cai (about 35 km from Sapa). From Lao Cai to Sapa you can travel by local public bus or taxi. There are various direct buses from Cat Ba to Hanoi and from Hanoi to Sapa and travel distance from Cat Ba Island to Sapa is totally about 480 km by land. Recommended – Book and buy your e-tickets from Cat Ba Island to Sapa online.

How do I get from Cat Ba Island to Sapa?

1. BUS from Cat Ba Island to Sapa

    • yes, there is also a bus from Cat Ba Island to Sapa
    • travel by sleeper bus from Cat Ba Island to Sapa takes about 10-11 hours
    • bus ticket from Cat Ba to Sapa costs about $15-25/pp
    • bus companies from Cat Ba to Sapa – Cuong Lan Sapa, Grouptour, Full Moon Party, Ket Doan
    • there is a short boat/ferry transfer from Cat Ba Island to Hai Phong
    • book bus e-tickets from Cat Ba Island to Sapa online on 12go.asia icon-external-link-square or Baolau icon-external-link-square

2. BUS + TRAIN from Cat Ba Island to Sapa

1.step – Ferry+Bus from Cat Ba Island to Hanoi

    • yes, there are direct buses from Cat Ba Island to Hanoi
    • travel by bus from Cat Ba Island to Hanoi takes about 4-5 hours
    • bus ticket price is about $8-15/pp
    • bus companies from Cat Ba to Hanoi – Cat Ba Express, Grouptour, Good Morning Cat Ba, Hoang Long…
    • there is a short boat/ferry transfer from Cat Ba to Hai Phong
    • book and buy bus e-tickets from Cat Ba Island to Hanoi online on 12go.asia icon-external-link-square or Baolau icon-external-link-square
hanoi-cat-ba-express-bus
Cat Ba Express from Cat Ba Island to Hanoi (photo: Baolau)

2.step – TRAIN from Hanoi to Lao Cai (Sapa)

icon-angle-double-right The most fastest way is to use a day or night direct bus from Hanoi to Sapa. Travel by bus from Hanoi to Sapa takes about 6 hours. Bus stations in Hanoi you will find in the map, see article about Hanoi. Buses depart from Hanoi to Sapa from My Dinh bus station, another private bus companies depart from various places. Bus ticket price is about $15-18 from Hanoi to Sapa. You can book and buy bus e-tickets of Hason Hai Van, Dragon Express, Hung Thanh, SapaExpress, EcoSapa or TheSinhTourist.

icon-angle-double-right Lots of travelers go to Sapa with a night train. All the trains go to Lao Cai town (340 km north of Hanoi), it is the end station (25 km from Sapa). Trains of Vietnam Railways with less comfort (ofic.vietnamese railways) or there are also tourist trains (also 2-bed cabin), but also more expensive (Chapa, Fansipan Express, Orient Express, King Express, Sapaly, Livitrans…). You can book and buy train tickets online. Seat selection available on Baolau or 12go. Vietnam Railways may change the orientation of the carriage at the departure station anytime at their convenience.

book and buy train and bus e-tickets from Hanoi to Lao Cai or Sapa on Baolau or 12go.asia
– this is a top travel route from Hanoi to Lao Cai/Sapa – recommended – book your train or bus tickets online!

vietnam-train-seat-cabin-berth
Seats and sleeper cabin in train in Vietnam. Soft seats and 4-berth cabin (photo: Baolau)


Vietnam Railways trains – SP1, SP3, SP7, LC3

    • hard or soft seat – price for one-way ticket from 120 000 – 160 000 Viet.dongs / 1 person
    • hard bed (6-bed cabin) or soft bed (4-bed cabin) – ticket price is about 270 000 – 400 000 Viet.dongs / 1 person
    • SP = new trains, LC3 = old train, carry-on baggage – 20 kg
    • seat selection available on Baolau and 12go.asia

Tourist and private train operators (added to SP1 + SP3)

    • Fansipan Express, Victoria Express, PV2, Livitrans, Violette Train, Oriental Express, King Express, Sapaly
    • train ticket price is about 700 000 – 1 800 000 Viet.dongs / 1 person – soft bed (depend on the type of cabin)
    • better quality and service, 2 or 4-bed cabins, carry-on baggage – 20 kg
    • the most deluxe/luxury train – Victoria Express Train (price for ticket from 2 500 000 – 3 500 000 Viet.dongs)
    • read this article: 10 Luxury Trains from Hanoi to Lao Cai / Sapa

luxury-trains-hanoi-lao-cai-sapa For bookings with Royal Railway and private railway companies Victoria Express, Fanxipan Express, King Express, Orient Express, Sapaly Express, Chapa Express and Saigon Golden Train, you will be required to complete the payment before submitting your order. Your reservation will be processed and you will receive a voucher by email to collect the physical ticket at the station before boarding the train.

For bookings with Vietnam Railways and private railway companies Livitrans Express and Violette Train, you will be required to complete the payment before submitting your order. Your reservation will be processed and you will receive your e-ticket by email, ready to print or carry in your mobile phone or tablet and present when boarding the train.

icon-angle-double-right If you book and buy bus tickets on Baolau or 12go.asia, you will receive your e-ticket by email, ready to print or carry in your mobile phone or tablet and present at the ticket counter of the station before boarding the bus

hanoi-to-sapa-tourist-train
Violette train and King Express trains from Hanoi to Lao Cai. 2-berth and 4-berth cabin (photo: Baolau)


3.step – Bus/Taxi from Lao Cai town to Sapa:

    • If you’re traveling from Hanoi to Sapa with a train >>> All the trains (Vietnam Railway and tourist trains) ends in Lao Cai town, 10 km from the Chinese border in northern Vietnam. Trains run throughout the day and many travellers and tourist travel in the night (20.30 – 22.00 pm). The nigth train arrives to Lao Cai town about 6.00 – 7.00 am. You have to take a public bus or taxi from Lao Cai town to Sapa (25 km), lots of tourist buses are waiting outside the railway station in Lao Cai. Be careful they are overprized.

Sapa / Lao Cai – Tourist Map:

Baolau – Search, book, buy tickets + Flights

– Baolau sells the train, bus, ferry tickets and flights mainly for Vietnam (also a tickets to Cambodia, Laos)
– bus tickets of trusted companies in Vietnam, Cambodia… (Mai Linh, Hoang Long, Futabus, Sapa Express, TheSinh Tourist…)
– flights of Vietnamese Airlines, JetStar, VietJet Air, Air Asia and flights to neighbouring countries
– ferry tickets for Vietnam, Cambodia…eg. ferry to Cat Ba, ferry to Phu Quoc, ferry to Phnom Penh, ferry to Quan Lan
– tickets for Malaysia (eg. Kuala Lumpur to Malacca, Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, Malacca to Penang…)
– the price of tickets or flights is from the official price of transport company or airlines
– you can use your online train e-ticket in smartphone in Vietnam (I recommend to print a ticket)
– train seat/berth selection available online, read also frequently asked questions on Baolau

12go.asia – Search, book, buy tickets + Flights

– 12 go sells the bus, train, ferry tickets, flights mainly for Thailand (also Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia)
– bus tickets for Vietnam, Thailand, Laos… (eg. Sapa Express, TheSinhTourist, Mai Linh, Hoang Long, Futabus…)
– ferry/boat tickets for Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, eg. ferry to Vung Tau, Koh Rong, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui
– tickets for the main routes in Thailand, eg: Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, Bangkok to Surat Thani, Bangkok to Phuket
– you can use an online train e-ticket in Vietnam in your smartphone (not in Thailand)
– train seat/berth selection available online
– if you buy a ticket of private trains in Vietnam to Lao Cai on 12go.asia or Baolau (Fansipan, Sapaly…), you must pick it up at the station
– you can not use an online train ticket in your mobile phone in Thailand, you have to print it (12go can deliver these train tickets)
– more info about trains in Thailand and information about transportation in Vietnam

hoang-lien-park-sapa-vietnam
Hoang Lien National Park in Sapa.
sapa-lao-chai-hmong-vietnam
Trekking with the Black Hmong ethnic women in Sapa.
sapa-muong-hoa-hmong-vietnam
Relax in Muong Hoa valley, about 5 km from Sapa.
Sapa-HauThao-vietnam
Hoang Lien Son Mountain range at the Hau Thao village in Sapa.
best-homestay-sapa-vietnam
The best homestays in Sapa.
best-cheap-hotels-sapa-vietnam
Chapa Dew Boutique Hotel in Sapa (photo: Agoda). 15 best cheap hotels and guesthouses in Sapa.


icon-info-circle FAQ + TIPS – Travel from Cat Ba Island to Sapa/Lao Cai:

How to book tickets from Cat Ba Island to Sapa?

    • You can book tickets from Cat Ba Island to Sapa online on Baolau or 12go.asia.

How long does it take from Cat Ba Island to Sapa?

    • Travel by bus/ferry/minivan from Cat Ba Island to Sapa (via Hanoi) takes about 10-11 hours.
      Travel by bus+train from Cat Ba Island to Sapa (via Hanoi) takes about 14-16 hours.

How much does it cost to travel from Cat Ba Island to Sapa?

    • Travel by bus/ferry/minivan from Cat Ba Island to Sapa (via Hanoi) costs about $15-30/pp (depends on the type of bus).
      Travel by bus+train from Cat Ba Island to Sapa (via Hanoi) costs about $20+/pp

What is the travel distance from Cat Ba Island to Sapa?

    • Travel distance from Cat Ba Island to Sapa (over Hanoi) is about 480 km by train+bus/bus/minivan/ferry.

What is the fastest way of getting from Cat Ba Island to Sapa?

    • The fastest way of transport from Cat Ba Island is to travel by van, minivan or bus +ferry.

How to travel by train from Cat Ba Island to Sapa?

    • If you want to travel by train – first you have to take a ferry to Hai Phong. From Hai Phong you can travel by train to Hanoi and from Hanoi you can take another train to Lao Cai. There is no railway station in Sapa town, the closest railway station is in Lao Cai city, about 35 km from Sapa.

Where to travel by bus from Sapa?

    • There is no railway and no airport in Sapa, Sapa is accessible only by road. So from Sapa you can travel by bus to Mu Cang Chai, it takes about 4 hours or you can take a bus to Ha Giang and visit Dong Van Karst Global Geopark.

How to travel via Hanoi from Cat Ba Island to Sapa?

    • If you want to visit and stay in Hanoi and after this visit you want to travel to Sapa, there are various way how you can travel, train to Lao Cai or bus, van, minibus, minivan to Sapa. Read this article: How to get from Hanoi to Sapa?

How you can go from Sapa to Noi Bai Airport?

    • From Sapa to Noi Bai Airport you can travel by tourist bus or private taxi/car. Travel time is about 6 hours and you can book tickets or private car easily online. Read this article: How do I get from Sapa to Noi Bai Airport?

Where to stay in Sapa?

    • Sapa has various types of accommodation, the most popular are homestays in the nearby villages. But there are also various guesthouses, hostels, cheap or luxury hotels and resorts in Sapa town.
    • Choose and book your accommodation in Sapa belowicon-angle-double-down


icon-arrow-circle-right Book your bus/train tickets from Cat Ba to Sapa + Schedule:

(You can change your travel route, eg. Cat Ba to Hanoi, Hanoi to Sapa…)

SapaCat BaDa NangDong HoiDa LatMui NePhu QuocHoi AnNha TrangPh.PenhSiem ReapDien BienCan ThoAirportsNinh BinhVisa

Vietnam Bus Schedule icon-angle-double-right

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