Chapa Express Train

Posted in Trains

2014 newest train carriage- Chapa  from Hanoi to Lao Cai and return

With its luxury carriages, the Chapa Express Train together with Travel Sapa offers every visitor a wonderful travelling experience to Sapa.

The train departs every day, linking Hanoi to Lao Cai. The Chapa Express Train is a 8.5 hour trip from Hanoi to Lao Cai, accommodating up to 28 passengers 7 superior cabins (4 berths) which can transfer to deluxe cabin (2 berths), all are air-conditioned, wood panelled, with individual reading lights, baggage storage and oversized windows.


Train departs from Hanoi at 9:50 pm and arrives in Lao Cai at 6:25 am – 7:00 am the following morning
Train departs from Lao Cai at 8:20 pm and arrives in Hanoi at 4:45 am the following morning
Meals onboard are not included in the ticket.
Hanoi Railway Station: 1 Tran Quy Cap Street, Dong Da District, Hanoi.
The Hanoi Railway Station is about 1 hour drive away from Noi Bai (Hanoi) International Airport and less than 10 minutes from City Center

Which station in Hanoi?

The trains to Lao Cai depart from platforms 5 to 10 of Hanoi’s main railway station. However, in most cases these platforms are not accessed from the main ‘A’ station building on Le Duan street, but from the ‘B’ station building on Tran Quay Cap street on the far side of the tracks. The ‘B’ station has its own ticket office, waiting room and check-in desks for the various private sleeper carriages to Lao Cai, including the Chapa Express Train and Orient Express. Make sure your taxi driver knows it’s the ‘B’ station on Tran Quay Cap street that you want. In theory you can enter the main ‘A’ station and walk across the tracks on the wooden barrow crossing linking all the platforms, but the doors from the main station building onto platform 1 are normally kept locked unless a train to the south is boarding, so you may not be able to do this unless you can persuade a member of staff to let you through.

Recently, Hanoi Station has upgraded some facilities for passengers (updated Nov 2014)

clean platform

The biggest change is the new platform which is refreshing, clean and beautiful. The surface is painted with anti-slip paint, while the lighting system, walls and columns are also embellished.


Some flyovers are built so passengers don’t have to cross the railway.

LED signs

LED signs are installed throughout the station

roof system

It is now very easy for passengers to get on the train. Thanks to the new roof system, passengers don’t have to worry about the weather anymore.

Lao Cai: Peter Chef Restaurant, 327 Khanh Yen Street, Lao Cai
For more information or booking, please contact


How to buy Chapa Train tickets by email via a travel agency…

If you want to get your train reservation sorted in advance before you get to Vietnam, contact a recommended local travel agency such as, or These agencies can book both the regular Vietnamese carriages and the special high-quality tourist sleepers. Tickets can be waiting for you at your hotel when you get to Vietnam, or for an extra charge couriered overseas. Payment is by Visa, MasterCard or other major credit card. is relatively new but has already received a steady stream of good reports. Further feedback or agency recommendations is always appreciated!

Arranging a transfer from Lao Cai to Sapa…

Lao Cai to Sapa is about 38 km (24 miles) and the road journey takes about 50 minutes by bus, shared minibus taxi or private car on a scenic winding road up into the hills. If you have pre-booked a hotel the best idea might be to ask them to arrange your transfer. But don’t worry if you don’t have a transfer arranged, on arrival at Lao Cai you’ll be besieged by offers of a transfer to Sapa. A ticket for a bus from Lao Cai to Sapa costs around US$ 3, a seat in a shared minibus taxi about 40,000 dong ($2) per person, a private car about US$ 35 per vehicle. On the way back, the shared minibus taxis all leave from outside the Sapa church, running to no fixed schedule, just filling up with passengers and leaving when full. You’ll need to leave Sapa around 17:00-17:30 to meet the trains, to allow for any delays on the road down. Or you can arrange a transfer back to Lao Cai direct from your hotel, ask at reception or our sales at

– Deluxe ticket at 48USD/ticket/1way
– Private cabin at 192USD/cabin/1way


– Sapa Travel recommends you to book the train tickets in advance

– Please email Sapa Travel number of tickets you need, and let Sapa Travel know you ask for single or return tickets

– Chapa Express is a luxurious train carriage with a strict cancellation policy, so we recommend you to buy cancellation insurance to protect your money.

– Our contact for Chapa express booking is (operated by First Choice Travel, a travel agency in Sapa)


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