How to Get to Sapa, Vietnam: Recommendations and Tips

Singapore’s heat and humidity can get to you, let’s be honest. That’s why I was thrilled to discover Sapa, Vietnam. This mountain retreat is all about crisp air and cool temperatures—a much-needed break from our tropical sauna. Plus, no long-haul flight required!

Despite its picturesque landscapes and unique cultural experiences, Sapa has flown under the radar of many international travellers. Sure, Bali and Kuala Lumpur are classic getaways from Singapore, but if you’re craving a true escape from the heat and humidity, Sapa, Vietnam is a breath of fresh air – literally. Imagine crisp breezes, cool temperatures, and stunning views of the “Swiss Alps”. And here’s a fun fact: The locals called Sapa “the town of clouds”.


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Reaching Sapa, Vietnam from Singapore: A Quick and Easy Guide

Travelling to Vietnam from Singapore is just a short flight away (approx 3.5hours) and Singapore Passport Holders do not require a visa to enter Vietnam and can remain up to 30 days per entry.

Located in a remote region of northwest Vietnam, Sapa doesn’t have its own airport. To get there, you’ll need to fly into Hanoi first and then continue your journey to Sapa by train, bus, or private transfer.

These are the airlines offering direct flights to Hanoi: Singapore Airlines, Vietjet Air, Vietnam Airlines, and Scoot.

Once you’ve landed in Hanoi, you have a few options to continue your journey to Sapa. Depending on your arrival time, here are 3 recommended mode of transport:

1. Train

The overnight train is a popular and scenic choice. It departs Hanoi in the evening and arrives in Lao Cai (the closest train station to Sapa) early the next morning. From there, it’s a short bus or taxi ride to Sapa town. The entire journey takes about 8 to 9 hours.

Overnight train Hanoi to Sapa

Best for: Travellers who want to save a night’s accommodation and arrive in Sapa refreshed in the morning. Consider this option for late afternoon or evening flight arrivals into Hanoi.

2. Bus

Several bus companies offer direct buses between Hanoi and Sapa, typically taking 5-6 hours. Buses offer varying levels of comfort.

Best for: Budget travellers and those who prefer a faster daytime journey compared to the train. Works well for morning or early afternoon flight arrivals, allowing you to travel directly to Sapa.

Pro tip: Especially during peak season, train and bus tickets can sell out. Book your transportation in advance for peace of mind. Factor in the time it takes to get from Hanoi airport to the train station or bus departure point when making your decision.

3. Private Hire (Recommended for those travelling in groups of 4 and 6)

For flexibility and comfort, you can arrange a private car transfer from Hanoi to Sapa. This is the fastest and most convenient option, but also the most expensive which is more worthwhile if you are travelling in groups of 4 and 6. The journey ride from Hanoi international airport to Sapa will take approximately 3 hours.

Best for: Travellers seeking maximum comfort and convenience, especially if arriving with lots of luggage or travelling in a large group. It’s a good option regardless of your arrival time.

BONUS: Waiting in long immigration lines at Noi Bai International Airport can be frustrating and delay your Vietnam exploration. Imagine if you could skip the immigration line altogether, get through all formalities with ease, and start exploring Vietnam right away. Introducing Fast Track service at (Hanoi) Noi Bai International. With this premium service, there’s no need to worry about unnecessary airport hassles.

Get Fast Track Service in Vietam International Airport!

ICYMI: 👉Guide to the best things to see and do in Sapa, Vietnam


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