Ho Chi Minh to Sapa: 3 Best Ways to Travel

July 14, 2023 - 7711 views

Ho Chi Minh city and Sapa are the two tourist attractions in Vietnam. Many tourists stop at these two beautiful places in Vietnam, so many look for the best ways to travel between these two places. If you plan to travel from Ho Chi Minh city to Sapa, do not miss the below article.

Ho Chi Minh city is in the south and the biggest city in Vietnam. This city is situated on the southeastern edge of the Indochina peninsula along the South China Sea, 1000 miles from the Hanoi capital. This city has an international airport, so it becomes the starting point for many tourists to explore the whole country

Sapa is a small, mountain town in Lao Cai Province. It is located about 350 km northwest of Hanoi, close to the Chinese border. Sapa lies amidst the mountainous region and is surrounded by beautiful green terraced rice fields, so it becomes a favourite spot for any natural seekers.

Distance from Ho Chi Minh to Sapa

The distance from Ho Chi Minh to Sapa is more than 2000 km by car and it takes about 60 hours. There is no direct flight or train from Ho Chi Minh to Sapa, so you will need to travel to Noi Bai airport or Hanoi train station, then use other kinds of transfers to get to Sapa.

Ho Chi Minh to Sapa

3 Best ways to travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Sapa

The below are 3 best ways to travel from Ho Chi Minh to Sapa: bus, train and flight. Keep reading and find useful information for your travel.

1. Flight

There is no direct flight from Ho Chi Minh to Sapa, so customers can fly from Ho Chi Minh to Noi Bai airport in Hanoi, then use other kinds of transfers to get to Sapa.

Getting a flight to Hanoi

The distance from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi by flight is about 1100 km, and flight is the fastest way to travel. It takes around 2 hours instead of nearly 2 days travelling on the road. As they are the two biggest cities in Vietnam, there are many flights each day from the early morning to midnight. Accordingly, the price ticket is not too expensive, ranging from 26 USD to 150 USD. To save your money, you can book the flight early in the morning, late at night, or book to travel with budget airlines like Viet jet air or Bamboo airline. Booking the ticket early in advance also can get you to get the good price


Getting from Sapa

The distance from Noi Bai airport to Sapa is around 240 km, and there are several ways to get to Sapa: normal bus, limousine bus, taxi, and private car.

The cheapest way to get to Sapa from Noi Bai is to get on the direct bus, which takes about 5hours, and costs from 11 to 26 USD. Sao Viet and Inter Bus Line are the 2 most popular buses on this route. These bus providers have a transfer service from the airport to the meeting point which is about 3 km from the main gate of Noi Bai airport, but you need to book early in advance to get that service.

If you are looking for a more luxury bus service, there are limousine buses from Noi Bai to Sapa. The price starts from 350.00 VND. Limousine Truong Thanh, Sapa Limousine VIP, Eco Sapa Limousine are popular choices for getting to Sapa from Noi Bai airport by limousine bus.

The fastest and the most convenient way to get to Sapa is to book a private car or a taxi. The price ranges from 2.5 million for a 4-seat car. This option is great if you travel with a big group of friends, or with your family.

Ho Chi Minh to Sapa Flight


2. Train

Again, there is also no direct train from Ho Chi Minh city to Sapa, you need to catch a train from Ho Chi Minh city to Hanoi train station, then catch another train from Hanoi to Lao Cai.

Getting to Hanoi by train

The distance by train from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi is 1718 km, and it takes from 32 to 37 hours. There are 5 trains running from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi which is SE1, SE3, SE5, SE7, and TN1 train, and the price ranges from 26 to 60 USD per ticket depending on the kinds of seats and trains. Although it is slow to travel on the train, many tourists choose this kind of transfer because travelling on the slow train, tourists can enjoy Vietnam’s scenery, including the coast, mountains, jungles, countrysides, cities…


Getting from Hanoi to Sapa by train

Tourists interested in travelling on the train can get on another train from Hanoi to Sapa. There are both day and night trains to Lao Cai, however, most of the tourists choose to get on the overnight train to Lao Cai which departs around 9 pm, and arriving in Lao Cai at 5 am. Depending on the kind of train, seat and the time you choose, the price for train tickets ranges from 6 to 60 USD. The train run by Vietnam Railway is the cheapest while Victoria express train is the most luxurious one.

Ho Chi Minh to Sapa train


3. Bus

Most of the bus from Ho Chi Minh City up north starts from Ben Xe Mien Dong, so you can make your own way to that bus station to catch the bus. You can easily find many buses to Hanoi, but few direct buses to Sapa. Direct bus from Ho Chi Minh to Sapa costs around 30 USD, and it takes 42 hours to travel. Hoang Long, Mai Linh, Tan Dat are good bus providers for direct buses from Ho Chi Minh city to Sapa.

Ho Chi Minh to Sapa bus


Recommended tours to Sapa from Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam is a long country with a lot of beautiful tourist attractions from the south to the north, so it is not recommended to travel directly from Ho Chi Minh city to Sapa. Travelling this way, you will miss a lot of must-see places along the way like Nha Trang, Hoian, Hue, Phong Nha, Ninh Binh, Hanoi, and others. If you have time, do not skip these places. You can book a Vietnam package tour that starts from Ho Chi Minh and ends in any city in the north. On the tour, you will travel on many kinds of transfers: bus and train for a short distance where you can see local people, local life; flight for a longer distance, and time-saving.

Local tips to travel from Ho Chi Minh to Sapa

  • Depending on your budget, and how much time you have, you should can the best option to travel from Ho Chi Minh to Sapa.
  • If you have less than one week, spend few days in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, use a flight to travel between these two places, and use the overnight train to get to Sapa to save your time.
  • If you have about two weeks, we would recommend flying from Ho Chi Minh to Hoian, spend few days in Hoian, Hue, then take another flight to Hanoi, and continue to travel up north to Sapa.
  • The train trip is only suitable if you have more than 2 weeks. Use the overnight train to save your time, and do not miss places like Hoian, Hue, Ninh Binh, Phong, or Nha Trang. If you have plenty of time.

Hope that the above information is helpful for your plan to visit Vietnam. If you need any help to book transportation from Ho Chi Minh to Sapa or any tours here, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be able to provide you with free advice, some tips for your trip, or even book any packaged tours in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.


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Questions & Answers (1)

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Hi is 1 week enough for Vietnam I'm arriving from hoi Chi Minh were is best place to stay there then we're going to Hanoi da Nang if we have time sapa as well thanks ana


If you only have 1 week in Vietnam, you can cover HCM, Hanoi & Halong at my suggestion itinerary: Vietnam at A Glance 7 Days 

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