In the past, traveling to Sapa by bus was taking a long time and made tourists tired as the way to Sapa was mostly rural road. After building a highway in 2014, getting from Hanoi to Sapa by bus has become much more convenient. Here’s a complete guide covering everything you need to know about travelling from Hanoi to Sapa by bus.
Hanoi - Sapa Bus Route
When taking a bus from Hanoi to Sapa, the route follows Noi Bai - Lao Cai highway, which is a modern highway built in 2014. On the way you’ll see beautiful views of the countryside.
During the last 35 km, it is an exciting part of the route because buses need to drive up the hill that is steep in some places. For those who are motion sick, taking a pill is recommended. On this part of the route buses usually drive slowly for safety reasons so the journey up the hill may take more than 1 hour. On the way you'll see views of lush green mountains and beautiful rice fields that contrast with blue sky.
Buses Serving the Route
The buses used for travelling between Hanoi and Sapa are mostly sleeping buses that are supposed to help you sleep on the bus all the way. In general, the sleeper is quite comfortable for small travelers but for larger people it’s quite uncomfortable as it’s impossible to fully lie down. There are some companies that offer buses with reclining seats but they are really hard to find.
Hanoi - Sapa Bus Schedule
A big number of buses depart from Hanoi to Sapa every day. In general, bus departures can be divided in 3 periods: morning, afternoon, and night. You can choose the departure time that suits your travel plans best.
Morning buses depart from Hanoi at around 6:00 - 7:00 and arrive in Sapa in the afternoon. Taking a morning bus is convenient for those arriving at Hanoi late at night and willing to have a good rest before starting the journey to Sapa. If choosing this trip, you will get a chance to see scenic views of the countryside along the way.
Afternoon buses depart from Hanoi between 12:00 - 13:00 and arrive in Sapa late in the evening. Taking an afternoon bus is suitable for those who do not want to get up very early. Traveling by a bus in the afternoon to Sapa is not much different from taking a morning bus as you will also get a chance to enjoy countryside views. However, you will be arriving in Sapa in the dark.
Night buses depart from Hanoi around 21:00 - 22:00 and arrive in Sapa around 4:00 in the morning. In most cases, the bus company allows passengers to sleep on the bus until 6:00. The advantage of traveling by night bus is that you can save time and accommodation expenses for 1 night. However, when traveling at night, you will miss the beautiful scenery along the way. Additionally, driving at night might be less safe as the route to Sapa is hilly and driving conditions are more difficult at night.
Hanoi – Sapa Bus Fares
Bus tickets for a trip from Hanoi to Sapa and vice versa cost about 250,000-450,000 VND per person, depending on the company and facilities on the bus.
Bus Companies Operating on the Route
There are many bus companies operating on the route between Hanoi and Sapa. We’ve made a list of the most famous and reliable companies offering trips from Hanoi to Sapa.
1. Green Bus
Bus Type: 40-seat sleeper bus
Departure time from Hanoi: 7:00, 7:30, 14:00, 21:30 and 22:00
Departure time from Sapa: 8:00, 13:30, 15:30, 16:00 and 22:00
Pick up/Drop off point in Hanoi: 30 Hang Muoi, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Pick up/Drop off point in Sapa: 618 Đien Bien Phu, Sapa, Lao Cai
Price: 250,000-320,000 VND per person
Tickets: Green Bus tickets
2. Sapa Express Bus
Bus Type: 38-seat sleeper bus, 28-seat limousine, 16-seat limousine
Departure time from Hanoi: 06:30 (28 seats), 7:15, 10:00, 14:30 (28 seats)
Departure time from Sapa: 13:30, 15:30
Pick up/Drop off point in Hanoi: 12 Ly Thai To st, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Pick up/Drop off point in Sapa: 08 Thủ Dầu Một, Sapa, Lao Cai
Price: 280,000-386,000 VND per person
Tickets: Sapa Express Bus tickets
3. Sapa Dragon Express Bus
Bus Type: 29-seat bus, 40-seat sleeper bus
Departure time from Hanoi: 06:45 (40 seats), 06:55 (29 seats), 21:45 (40 seats)
Departure time from Sapa: 15:00 (40 seats), 15:10 (29 seats)
Pick up/Drop off point in Hanoi: 80 Tran Nhat Duat, Dong Xuan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Pick up/Drop off point in Sapa: 35 Thac Bac, Sapa, Lao Cai
Price: starting at 350,000 VND per person
4. Good Morning Sapa Bus
Bus Type: 40-seat sleeper bus
Departure time from Hanoi: 6:30, 13:30, 22:00
Departure time from Sapa: 13:30, 15:30, 22:00
Pick up/Drop off point in Hanoi: 20 Hang Muoi Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Pick up/Drop off point in Sapa: Sapa May Hotel - 139 Thach Son, Sapa, Lao Cai
Price: starting at 330,000 VND per person
Tickets: Good Morning Sapa Bus tickets
5. Fansipan Express Bus
Bus Type: 34-seat sleeper bus
Departure time from Hanoi: 7:00, 14:00, 22:00
Departure time from Sapa: 7:30, 13:20, 16:00, 22:00
Pick up/Drop off point in Hanoi: 41 Luong Van Can, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Pick up/Drop off point in Sapa: 588 Duong Dien Bien Phu, Sapa, Lào Cai
Price: starting at 300,000 VND per person
Tickets: Fansipan Express Bus tickets
6. Inter Bus Lines Bus
Bus Type: 46-seat sleeper bus, 38-seat sleeper bus
Departure time from Hanoi: 7:00, 13:30, 21:30
Departure time from Sapa: 7:30, 13:30, 16:00, 22:00
Pick up/Drop off point in Hanoi: 110A Tran Nhat Duat, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Pick up/Drop off point in Sapa: 468 Duong Dien Bien Phu, Sapa, Lào Cai
Price: starting at 250,000 VND per person
Tickets: Inter Bus Lines Bus tickets
7. Sapa Shuttle Bus
Bus Type: 38-seat sleeper bus
Departure time from Hanoi: 7.00, 13.00, 22:00
Departure time from Sapa: 8:00, 15.15, 15:30
Pick up/Drop off point in Hanoi: 16 Hang Chinh, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi
Pick up/Drop off point in Sapa: 582 Dien Bien Phu, Sapa, Lào Cai
Price: starting at 350,000 VND per person
Tickets: Sapa Shuttle Bus tickets
Travel time from Hanoi to Sapa
Most of the buses include the pick-up service from Hanoi Old Town and it can easily take about 1 hour until everyone gets on the bus so buses tend to depart later than advertised.
Additionally, buses stop for food and toilet breaks 1 or 2 times and it takes more than 30-45 minutes, making the entire travel time longer than it should be.
Hanoi - Sapa Bus Tickets
Buying bus tickets for a trip between Hanoi and Sapa is easy. You can check the information of every company operating on this route online. We would recommend checking the bus details of each company along with the schedule and pick up/drop off points prior booking a ticket.
Hanoi - Sapa bus tickets can be conveniently booked using the form below.
Advantages of taking a bus from Hanoi to Sapa
The main advantage of taking a bus is that this way is cheaper than taking a train and much cheaper than taking a taxi. The journey by bus takes about 6-7 hours and the bus drops you off in Sapa town without having to transfer from Lao Cai, like you need to do when taking a train.
In addition, most of the bus companies provide pick-up service from hotels in Hanoi Old Quarter. You don't need to go to the train station or bus station by yourself.
Disadvantages of taking a bus from Hanoi to Sapa
Taking a bus is less comfortable than taking a train. However, the main disadvantage is related to safety as the last part of the route to Sapa is a mountain road that can be quite dangerous, especially at night.
Other ways of traveling between Hanoi and Sapa are briefly described here: How to travel from Hanoi to Sapa by Train, Bus, Car.