Lao Cai Train Station

From Lao Cai train station, many trains depart to take tourists to other Northern provinces. If you are planning to visit to the North of Vietnam, then take this place into consideration as a transit station. Lao Cai train station, as its name suggests, is now serving in the border town of Lao Cai. Located in group no.26A, Lao Cai street, it is the last station of the Hanoi - Lao Cai railway, the Vietnamese section of the meter-gauge Kunming - Hai Phong. 

Every day, many trains leave for other provinces in the North of Vietnam and vice versa. Additionally, the station lies to the South of China, by which just crossing the Nanxi River, you can get into China. However, it only carries freight trains with no passenger service on this route. Therefore, you can consider choosing the station to transit if you are about to travel in the North of Vietnam. Especially, for those who are planning to visit Sapa, traveling by train to Lao Cai railway station can be a money-saving but interesting way. Keep reading as we will give you more information about this.


Overview about Lao Cai Train Station 

Lao Cai Train Station was built from 1903 to 1936. After defeating the French Colonial Empire in the year of 1954, the Vietnam government decided to take control, restore, and exploit the station throughout the process of developing socialism in Northern Vietnam. Its operation was then put to a temporary halt in 1979. Till 1993, the station was used again and since then, it has been operated for 28 years. In the year of 2003, Lao Cai train station was upgraded to one of the main stations. 

The main duty of Lao Cai station is to transport goods and passengers inside and outside the country in order to contribute to the development of the national economy and satisfy the demand of getting around. 

Lao Cai railway station has served 98363 passengers in Lao Cai and many from other provinces and areas such as Bat Xat, Muong Khuong, especially Hanoi. Every day, there are two Hanoi - Lao Cai trains. These get from Hanoi to Lao Cai and vice versa. Therefore, if you are in Hanoi or the surrounding areas of Lao Cai and planning to pay an excursion to Sapa, you can travel by train to Lao Cai, and from Lao Cao, get to Sapa on another vehicle. 

Lao Cai train station at night

Lao Cai train station at night


How to get to Sapa from Lao Cai Train Station 

As previously mentioned, you can travel by train from your place to Lao Cai. On arrival at Lao Cai train station, you can get on a Lao Cai - Sapa vehicle like bus, car to get to the town. This can be a good idea as the path from other provinces to Lao Cai is quite sloping and rough, thus be difficult for motorbike or car. In addition, by traveling by train, you can save a considerable amount of money during your vacation in Vietnam. Let’s take a look at the information below to know more about this way. 

Guide who pick you up from Lao Cai Train station

Guide who pick you up from Lao Cai Train station


Distance and travel time 

From Lao Cai train station, it only takes 35 km to get to Sapa. The distance is quite short. Therefore, travel time is about 2 hours, which is quite easy to get around. If being in Hanoi, the total distance of the Hanoi - Sapa route is 296 km, in which 111km is a curving path. 


Transportation and price

Bus - $1.3

From Lao Cai train station, the best way is to catch a bus to get to Sapa town. This is cheap as a bus will only cost you between $1.3 and $2.17 for Lao Cai - Sapa route. However, it is just suitable for those who come to Sapa alone or in a group of 1 people as the bus is pretty crowded, which doesn’t allow you to have private time. Additionally, during the pandemic, it is not recommended that you travel by bus as the risk of the disease spreading out is extremely high. If coming to Sapa at another time, you can consider Ha Son bus as a choice when you want to travel by bus from Lao Cai. 


Motorbike - $4.34

Another option for those coming to Sapa alone that is safer during this time is to rent a motorbike and ride it yourself from Lao Cai to Sapa. This is convenient as you will not have to worry about transportation when you are in Sapa. On your rent motorbike, you can go anywhere yourself without any risk of being infected. The cost of this way is of course higher than traveling by bus, from about $4.34 to $8.68/day. However, it is still reasonable when you divide it to the day you are in Sapa. If choosing this way, you can rent a motorbike at Do Khao Long store, 366 - Rent Motorbike, Flamingo Laocai Motorbike Tours and Rentals, etc. 


Taxi/ private car - $21.69

If you come to Sapa with a group of 3 to 8 people, you can rent from 2 to 4 motorbikes to travel from to/in Sapa. Alternatively, if preferring a more comfortable experience, you can grab a taxi or private car to get to Sapa. It will take you straight from Lao Cai train station to Sapa and give you private time to talk with your friends. Every car has air conditioners so you will experience quite a comfortable trip in the boiling hot summer. Our to the extra comfort, you will have to pay more for this way. Usually, it is between $21.69 and $34.70. Therefore, if money doesn’t matter to you or you have kids, traveling in a taxi or private car will be a good idea. 


Above is our information about Lao Cai train station and recommendations for traveling to Sapa. If you have any questions or want to book one of our Sapa tours, you can contact us through our website. We are always here to help you

Duc Anh Tran 

Image Source: Internet 

Lao Cai Train Station Map

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