How to go to Sapa
Today, there is a very good road from Lao Cai to Sapa, it is 38 km. Everyday, there are lots of tourist buses and taxi to transfer tourists from Lao Cai to Sapa and return.
You have two ways to go from Hanoi to Lao Cai and Sapa. Firstly, you can choose the trains. Almost travelers like this way because it is safer and they can book the nights trains. This economizes the time of travel.
Many companies supply the tourist compartments: Ratraco, Tulico, Et Pumkin, Victoria Express, Fansipan, Royal, Sapa Ly,... in purpose to encrease the quality of the train in comparison to the ones of the goverment. They have the better conditions on these tourist compartments: water; food; fruits; air conditioner; luxious bed and all have staff to take care of the clients. Secondly, you can travel by bus. Some trusted bus furnish provides this services: Hung Thanh, VietBus
Train From Hanoi to Sapa
Train trip between Lao Cai (gateway station to Sapa) and Hanoi has become much more comfortable with the advent of a soft-sleeper class and private rail carriages hitching ride on the main train.
The day train leaves Lao Cai at 10.20am, while two night trains depart 8.35pm and 9.15pm, with the later express service including the private carriages. The journey takes about 10 hours. From Hanoi the all-stations day train departs at 6.1 Sam and the night trains depart at 9.20pm and 10pm respectively.
The train LC1 departed from Hanoi at 10:10 pm, and scheduled to arrive at Lao Cai at 7:20 am. But it didn't arrived until 8:00 am.
There was no sign that it's Lao Cai station, except for this label at the building. Announcement didn't help much as it's in Vietnamese, so your best bet will be the warden.
Outside of Ga Lao Cai train station, there were plenty of minubuses waiting to bring passengers to Sapa.
Bus, Mini bus & Motorbike
Sapa, proximity to the border region makes it a possible first or last stop for travelers crossing between Vietnam and China.
The gateway to Sapa is Lao Cai, 38km a on the Chinese border. Buses to points west such as Lai Chau and Dien Bien Phu pass through a few times a day from Lao Cai, the main transport hub. Sapa’s bus station (for minibuses in this case) is in the north of town.
Minibuses make the trip from Lao Cai regularly between 5am and 5pm (1.5 hours). In Sapa, minibuses wait in front the church but do not run to any particular schedule. However, in Lao Cai minibuses wait the train that arrives from Hanoi. If you arriving from China, you can pick one up Lao Cai bus station.
Driving a motorbike from Hanoi to Sapa is feasible, but it is a very long trip, so start early. The total distance between Hanoi and Sapa is 380km. The last 38km are straight uphill – unless you’ve been training for the Olympics, it’s hell on a bicycle.