If you want to head for the hills at Sapa, the best way to get there is to take the train from Hanoi to Lao Cai. Sapa has no railway station, but it’s about 38 km (24 miles) from Lao Cai railway station and easily reached from there by bus, jeep or taxi in about 50 minutes. There are both daytime and overnight sleeper trains between Hanoi & Lao Cai, and on the sleeper trains you can choose between the normal Vietnamese railways sleepers or a whole series of privately-run sleeping-cars of a higher standard aimed at tourists.
SP1, SP2, SP3, SP4: All run daily, recommended trains with very few stops. Air-conditioned soft sleepers, air-con hard sleepers, hard sleepers, air-con soft seats, soft seats, hard seats,
SP1/SP2 also convey a whole series of privately-run sleeping-cars for tourists, including Fansipan Express (Recommended), Ratraco Express, Orient Express, Royal Express, TSC Express, Tulico Express , Green Express and Hara Express
SP3/SP4 also conveys several private sleeping-cars including the Hara Express, Orient Express, Green Express, Sapaly Express Train (Recommended) and Victoria Express Train, (Recommended)
SP7, SP8: Daily. Recommended train. Also conveys privately-run ‘Livitrans’ sleeping-cars for tourists, Livitrans Express (Recommended) and King Express