HANOI to LIJIANG — Train, Flight or Bus?

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The view to the Old Town of Lijiang – Dayan (UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Lijiang City).

Train – Hanoi to Lijiang
Flight – Hanoi to Lijiang
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Lijiang in the Yunnan province – a very attractive destination in China.

    • Lijiang (Lì​jiāng, 麗江) – it is another very attractive tourist site after Kunming in the Yunnan province in the south-western part of China. Lijiang City lies in the valley between the mountains, often covered by snow. One of the highest is Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (5 596 m). Dayan Ancient City (The Old Town) is the biggest attraction in Lijiang. Lijiang and whole area of the Yunnan province has a lot of very intersting places for visit. Historical sites, nature, lakes, mountains, old temples and ethnic villages. It is also a good idea visit and stay in Kunming before you come to Lijiang
    • You can search and book flights from Hanoi to Lijiang on Baolau icon-external-link-square or 12go.asia icon-external-link-square

From Hanoi to Lijiang in China you can travel by train (via Hekou) or plane.

    • Travel distance from Hanoi to Lijiang is about 870 km by plane and about 1220 km by land. From Hanoi in Vietnam to to Lijiang in China you can travel by train (via Lao Cai, Hekou and Kunming) or by plane. The best and fastest option is to travel by plane. There are no direct flights between Hanoi and Lijiang so you have to take another flight in Kunming or Chonqging in China. Travel by train from Hanoi to Lijiang (via Lao Cai, Hekou and Kunming in China) can take up to 25-35 hours. Travel by plane from Hanoi to Lijiang (Lijiang Sanyi International Airport) can take up to 10-15 hours, it depends on the stopover. Travel by train is operated by Vietnam Railway from Hanoi to Lao Cai and from Hekou to Kunming + Lijiang by China Railways. You can book train tickets to Lao Cai or flights to Lijiang online.

1. From Hanoi to Lijiang by train


A) From Hanoi to Lao Cai by train (border town)

    • Trains from Hanoi run to Lao Cai town (340 km from Hanoi), it is the end station and the border town (25 km from Sapa). Trains may be from Vietnam Railways with less comfort (ofic.vietnamese railways) or also trains for tourists (also 2-bed cabin in train), but also more expensive (Orient Express, King Express, Fansipan, Sapaly, Livitrans…). You can search and buy train tickets online. From Lao Cai Railway station you need to go or take a taxi to the border crossing, cross the border to Hekou (China), only about 2 km.
    • Book and buy train e-tickets from Hanoi to Lao Cai on Baolau icon-external-link-square or 12go.asia icon-external-link-square

Vietnam Railways trains – SP1, SP3, SP7, LC3 icon-angle-double-down

    • 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) – price for one-way ticket from 270 000 – 400 000 Viet.dongs / 1 person
    • SP = new comfortable trains of Vietnam Railways, LC3 = old train, carry-on baggage – 20 kg
    • seat selection available on Baolau
    • travel time by train from Hanoi to La Cai is about 8 hours

Tourist and private train operators (added to SP1 + SP3) icon-angle-double-down

    • Livitrans, Violette Train, Oriental Express, King Express, Sapaly, PV2, Fansipan Express, Victoria Express
    • price from 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 train – Victoria Express Train (price for ticket from 2 500 000 – 3 500 000 Viet.dongs)
    • you can read this: 8 Luxury Trains from Hanoi to Lao Cai
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Trains in Vietnam are renovated, new and clean. Soft seats and 4-berth cabin (photo: Baolau)


icon-angle-double-right 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.

icon-angle-double-right 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 buy bus tickets online 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

B) From Hekou North (China) to Kunming by train (400 km)

    • Hekou North Railway Station (or Hekou Bei Train Station) is about 4 km from the center of Hekou town (border town), so the best way how to get there is take a taxi.
    • from Hekou North Railway Station you can go by train to Kunming
    • there are a lot of trains trains every day and the journey takes about 4-7.5 hours
    • train ticket from Hekou North to Kunming costs about $8-31/pp
    • Book and buy train e-tickets from Hekou to Kunming on Baolau or 12go.asia

C) From Kunming to Lijiang by train (517 km)

    • From Kunming Railway Station to Lijang you can travel by train
    • there are a lot of trains trains every day and the journey takes about 3-10 hours, seat or sleeper trains
    • Lijiang Railway Station is about 10 km from the Old Town, you can take a bus to the town
    • train ticket from Hekou North to Kunming costs about $28-62/pp.
    • Book and buy train e-tickets from Kunming to Lijiang on Baolau or 12go.asia
    • there are also direct flights from Kunming to Lijiang (about 1 hour)
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From Hekou North in China you can travel by train of China Railways to Lijiang via Kunming.


2. FLIGHTS from Hanoi to Lijiang

    • this is the most comfortable and fastest way how to get from Hanoi to Lijiang
    • there is no direct flight from Hanoi to Lijiang, so you need to take another flight in Kunming or in Chongqing
    • Air service is operated by Vietnam Airlines, China Eastern, Sichuan Airlines or China Southern and other airlines
    • flight from Hanoi to Lijiang with stopover takes about 10-15 hours
    • flight from Hanoi to Lijiang with stopover costs about 200-300 USD/pp
    • Lijiang Airport is about 30 km south from the city, from the airport to the city is possible to go by bus, taxi
    • Book and buy your flights from Hanoi to Lijiang on Baolau icon-external-link-square or 12go.asia icon-external-link-square
    • airport in Hanoi: Noi Bai International Airport
    • airport in Lijiang: Lijiang Sanyi International Airport
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Lijiang Liman Wenzhi Hotel (photo: Agoda). 15 best luxury hotels + resorts in Lijiang (China).
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Lijiang Garden Inn (photo: Agoda). 15 best cheap hotels + guesthouses in Lijiang.

Baolau – search, book, buy tickets + flights

– Baolau company sells the train, bus, ferry tickets mainly for Vietnam (also a tickets to Cambodia, Laos)
– Baolau offers also a tickets of big bus companies (Mai Linh, Hoang Long, Futabus, Hung Thanh, EcoSapa…)
– flights of Vietnamese Airlines, VietJet Air, JetStar as well as flights to neighbouring countries
– ferry/boat tickets for Vietnam, Cambodia, eg. ferry to Cat Baferry to Phu Quoc, ferry to Quan Lan, ferry to Phnom Penh

– tickets for routes in Vietnam, eg. Da Lat to Hoi An, Phong Nha to Cat Ba, Sapa to Cat Ba
– the price of tickets or flights is from the official price of transport company or airlines
– you can have online train e-ticket in mobile phone in Vietnam (I recommend to print a ticket)
– read in the order any other information about ticket before you order
– you can select a seat or berth in the train

12go.asia – search, book, buy tickets + flights

– a specialist for train, bus, ferry tickets mainly in Thailand (also Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia)
– from 2018 you can book train tickets for China online (Beijing to Shanghai, Beijing to Xian…)
– bus tickets of various well-known companies (Mekong Express, Futabus, Hanh Cafe, Hoang Long, TheSinhTourist…)
– boat/ferry tickets for Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, eg. ferry to Vung Tau, Koh Chang, Koh Rong, Koh Kood, Phangan
– tickets for the main routes in Thailand, eg: Bangkok to Hua Hin, Bangkok to Surat Thani, Bangkok to Phuket
– you can not use an online ticket in your mobile phone in Thailand, you have to print it (12go can deliver these train tickets)
– more information about train tickets and trains in Thailand
– information about 12go.asia read in article about transportation in Vietnam

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Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang.
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Dayan Ancient City in Lijiang.
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Temple in the Dayan Ancient City in Lijiang.
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Surroundings in Lijiang.
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In the streets of the Dayan Ancient City.
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In the streets of the Dayan Ancient City in Lijiang.
Tiger-Leaping-Gorge-lijiang-china
Tiger Leaping Gorge in Lijiang.


icon-info-circle Frequently asked questions – Hanoi to Lijiang in China:

How to book train tickets or flights from Hanoi to Lijiang?

    • Search and book flights/train tickets from Hanoi to Lijiang on Baolau or 12go.asia.
    • You can search and book train tickets from Hanoi to Lao Cai of Vietnam Railways

How long does it take to travel from Hanoi to Lijiang?

    • Travel by train from Hanoi to Lijiang (via Lao Cai, Hekou and Kunming) takes about 25-35 hours.
    • Travel by plane (with stopover) from Hanoi to Lijiang takes about 10-15 hours.

How far is Lijiang in China from Hanoi?

    • Travel distance from Hanoi to Lijiang is about 870 km by plane and about 1220 km by land.

How much does it cost to travel from Hanoi to Lijiang?

    • Travel by plane (no direct flights) from Hanoi to Lijiang costs about $200-300/pp.
    • Travel by train (via Hekou) from Hanoi to Lijiang costs about $50-200/pp (depends on the type of train).

What is the best and fastest way of transport from Hanoi to Lijiang?

    • The best and fastest way of transport from Hanoi to Lijiang is to travel by plane. But you should know – there are no direct flights between Hanoi and Lijiang, so you can travel by plane e.g. to Kunming or Chonqging and take another flight to Lijiang Sanyi International Airport.

Is it also possible to travel by bus from Hanoi to Lijiang?

    • Teoretically it is possible to travel by bus, but definitely it is better to travel by train, avoid the bus.

How to travel by train from Hanoi to Lijiang?

    • Travel by train to Lijiang in China from Hanoi in Vietnam has 3 steps: 1.step – train of Vietnam Railway from Hanoi to Lao Cai (cross the border to Hekou town in China), 2.step – train of China Railways from Hekou North to Kunming, 3.step – train of China Railways from Kunming to Lijiang. Travel time by train is totally about 25-35 hours.

Which interesting places you can visit in Lijiang?

    • There are various interesting places for visit in Lijiang, e.g.: The Old Town of Lijiang – Dayan Ancient City (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Jade Dragon Snow Mountain + Blue Moon Valley, Shuhe Ancient Town, Lugu Lake, Mu’s Residence, Baisha Village, , Lijiang Murals, Mufu Palace, Lijiang and other sites…

icon-arrow-circle-right Book your train tickets or flights from Hanoi to Lijiang + Scheduleicon-angle-double-down

(You can book another route, e.g. Hanoi > Lao Cai, Kunming > Lijiang…)

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