Day train to Sapa
to Sapa by train is the most convenient mode of transport, there
are several trains running between Hanoi and Lao Cai every day
and most of them depart in the evening. Are there any
train from Hanoi to Sapa and vice versa? The answer is yes
however day train is not recommended unless your time is limited
and have to choose Sapa day trains.
Trains to Sapa in the day time is not as good as night trains. The night trains (actually they are seperate compartments) are owned by travel companies and their service is very good with all necessary bedding facilities plus basic items such as some complimentary bottles of water, toothbrush, lighting system...However the day train is run by state owned Vietnam Railways, there are only sitting carriages and cargo compartments, passengers can't have a good sleep in their own cabins, the passenger carriages are equiped with basic facilities like fans, squat toilets. Although facilities on the day trains cannot compare to the night trains however the passengers will have a chance to enjoy the spectacular scenery in the northern mountain of Vietnam through the windows. Since the completion of highway Hanoi Lao Cai that shorten travel time to approximately 4 hours more and more people choose express bus for their journey instead of day trains to Lao Cai.
As the online selling service is not well attended passengers find it hard to book tickets directly from Vietnam Raiways website and usually purchase tickets at the train station, address 120 Le Duan street, about 2 km from city centre, if your time is short and want to have the tickets ready before you arrive in Hanoi my advice is to arrange the tickets through your hotel in Hanoi or Sapa adventure tours with a small fee, that will save your time and make your plan smooth because on big holidays like National Day 2nd September or Reunification day 30th April it is very difficult to purchase tickets as the high demand of domestic tourists, travel to Sapa this time visitors often have to pay 3 times more expensive to get a ticket. Passengers can also buy tickets by calling the booking office at 84439423697, remember to check the train timetable carefully before you buy. Train times is not always fixed and passengers need to consider this when you plan the trip long time in advance.
There are many types of seats on the day trains to Sapa and prices are also different, you can choose soft seat, hard seat, with or without air conditioner, cheapest choice is hard seat only 6 usd/way however foreign visitors are not recommended if you don't want to torture your body throughout the long trip, soft seats with air-conditioner is the best class on the day train to Sapa, fares is 10 usd each way. It is pretty easy if you buy tickets yourself at the train station however at weekends is more difficult and you may have to wait in the long line, avoid being ripped off by staying away from street dealers who hang around at the Hanoi train station.