im going to be arriving in hanoi on june 29th in the morning and fly out on july 2nd at 11am to bangkok...
I really want to go to Sapa but am wondering if anyone else has been...is it worth going for such a short amnt of time or would I not be doing it justice?
I have read that I would need to get a night train which means either going for one or two days max!! Would this be feasible?
Have you got the night train to Sapa? Was it reliable? What sort of accomodation can be gotten at Sapa? ie. can I just turn up and book into somewhere?
Please recommend any 1 or 2 day tours if you have been on one!
Look forward to your advice guys as I am a bit clueless about this!!
I didn't get to Sapa so I can't really comment much for your post, but others have mentioned to me that it is worth visiting even for a short time. When in Hanoi, you can book many cheap tours through any number of travel agents to Halong Bay, Sapa and numerous other places.
You should check out http://www.sinhcafe.com.vn
That site is the website for the company which runs the tours you purchase in Vietnam, but it doesn't mention all tours and the prices are almost always considerably more expensive on that site to what they actually are when you pay in Vietnam. So only use that site as a browsing thing for what you can get rather than buying off the site.
[ Edit: Edited on May 9, 2007, at 5:58 AM by aharrold45 ]
I agree- you can book a short tour in Hanoi- involving a night train and a trek in Sapa- I went on a 3 day trip, but I suspect shorter trips are available- The scenery is incredible, the trek was fun, and staying with a hill tribe family was a great experience. Look into it in Hanoi and I would say go for it.
Go to Sapa, it take you at least 3night2days. From Hanoi you get the night train to Sapa which depart at 9:30 pm and arrival Lao Cai Sattion at 6 am, you can get soft sleeper tarin at 20$ per ways. From Lao Cai Station you catch bus to Sapa ( 2$/way)
here is the traditional 2day trekking to sapa, you can have look
Day 1 : Laocai - Catcat - SinChai ( 5 hours trekking, 12 km, 2 villages ) (B/L/D)
Trek around 14 km to visit 2 villages of the Black H'mong (CatCat and SinChai). Picnic lunch at a waterfall and this is a chance to see the hydroelectric power station established by the French. Jeep from Catcat back to Sapa roughly 4:00 PM.
Day 2 : Sapa - Giang TaChai - Sapa ( 7hours trekking, 17 km, 3 villages ) (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Get the show on the road in the morning from the hotel by jeep to head for the valley where to visit 2 villages of the H'mong and the Dzay. Picnic lunch on the way or in a local family. Go on visiting the Red Dzao in GiangTaChai village, visiting a waterfall and a suspension bridge. Walk up to the road for the jeep back to Sapa. Transfer to Laocai train station for boarding to Hanoi by Tulico Express Train ( 20 : 45 - 5 : 00 ).
Hope the information is good enough for you.
I would like to suggest the following schedule for your short time in North Vietnam. I think you should not miss Hanoi and Halong bay. If you want to squeeze in Sapa, you must do everything in a high pace.
29 June: arrival in Hanoi, city tour: HCM area, the Temple of Literature, Old Quarter, etc. Today, Remember to buy a day trip ticket to Halong bay on 1 July with a travel shop in Hanoi.
Take night train Hanoi Tulico to Sapa. This train is good enough and reliable.
30 June: Arrival in Lao Cai early around 5am, take a bus or motorbike taxi to Sapa. In Sapa, do it on your own or buy a local short trek to Lao Chai and Ta Van villages - mainly for photos
In the afternoon, hire a motorbike to drive you to Ta Phin village - walk around and then go further down to Lao Cai to take night train again back to Hanoi. Remember to buy a permit at any travel shops in Sapa to visit those villages before you start. Going by motorbike can be great fun if you are not scared!
1 July: Arrival in Hanoi early in the morning around 6am. Go to the travel shop where you have bought the ticket for Halong Bay and enjoy this wonderful tour. You will be back to Hanoi on the same day.
2 July: Departure.
Hopefully this schedule can give you some ideas about planning your short trip in North Vietnam.
Please feel free to contact me for any further information.