Tips to book Sapa train tickets
You are planning to visit Sapa by train and don't know how to buy train ticket? and what you should do to have the train tickets to Sapa at low cost? Below are some experiences we would like to share.
Before the new highway was built from Hanoi to Lao Cai, most tourists travel Sapa by train so there is always a need for train tickets to Sapa from Hanoi although the railways have run tens of train between Hanoi and Lao Cai everyday.
There are many train booking offices in Hanoi however most tourists are disappointed because only hard seats are available, no sleeper berths for both ways, the reason is sleeper trains to Sapa are always overloaded, and more inportantly all sleeper carriages were owned by travel companies, only a fewsleeper cars belong to the state railways company however most tickets are sold out very soon and travelers can hardly buy the tickets even if you go to railways station.
From my experience I want to give you some tips about how to buy train tickets Hanoi to Sapa at cheap price.
1 - Make up your mind about schedule: Once your trip date is set you know what you want. Avoid going to Sapa by train at weekend, especially on Fridays or Saturdays as people tend to go to Sapa at the end of the week, it would then be very difficult to obtain tickets or you have to pay much higher than normal to get the tickets, foreign travelers usually go to Halong bay at the beginning of the week and then to Sapa so it would be much cheaper if you go to Sapa from Monday to Thursday, there are markets in Sapa neighborhood almost everyday and you don't need to see the touristy weekend markets in Sapa.
2 - Check your budget and define the cabin type you want.
There are many cabin types from dirt cheap hard seats to deluxe VIP 2 sleepers cabins and prices range from 10 usd - 40 usd. The most expensive train from Hanoi to Sapa is Victoria Express, it costs approx 100 usd for just one way however travelers can book Victoria train only if you stay at Victoria resort. From my point of view it is a waste of money to book Victoria train as there is not much difference between Victoria Express and other trains such as Sapaly, Fanxipan, Livitrans, Hoa Phuong express...Just consider your budget so that you have a good trip without paying too much.
As mentioned above most sleeper carriages are rented by travel companies
, they invest and provide services, equipments and put up the standard of the cabins to meet requirements of tourists especially international visitors who want to have a bit of comfort in their trip, some trains such as:
- Livitrans Express (SP7 - SP8) belongs to Vietnam Coal and Minerals Corporation, in terms of quality Livitrans is one of the best choice for high end class, and price is pretty reasonable, at the moment it is the hottest train for tourists.
- Ratraco (SP1 - SP2) under management of Vietnam Railways Joint Stock Company, quality of cabins is pretty good with soft sleepers, pillows and blankets available, AC and lighting system inside cabin, fares is equal as Livitrans
- Green train (SP3 - SP4) run by Vietnam Railway Corporation. This train departs at 22.00 everyday from Hanoi, it has probably the best interior decoration and facilities, the cars are new and in good condition, the problem is this train has only a few cabins and it is always booked up by travel companies.
Also in the age of information technology, there are a lot of websites offering train ticket booking service online, it is very convenient for travelers to booking train tickets to Sapa online, quick and easy, and travelers can find all information around the net. Our website SapaTrainTicket.com offered detailed information about how to arrange a trip to Sapa by train. Hope the above tips is helpful to you before arranging a wonderful holiday in Sapa..