I really need your advise on this:
We plan to take the train from SAPA to Hanoi and depart to Bangkok at the same day.
The train arrives to Hanoi about 06:00Am [some websites say-05:00Am or even 04:35AM(???)] and the flight from Hanoi to Bangkok departs on 09:05 AM - Do we have enough time?is it safe?
How much and how long is the taxi from the train station to Bangkok?
A taxi direct from the train station to the airport will take about 45 minutes - 1 hour, so in theory you could make your flight. However, that relies on the train being on time. They're usually good from Sapa but it's not guaranteed! What number train are you getting? I've got the most up to date train times (as posted at the station) here so can tell you what time that says you should arrive in Hanoi.
Regarding price - a pre-arranged taxi from Old Quarter to the airport is usually about $10 but you'll pay more than that if you take a taxi from the station. For your peace of mind you're best off negotiating a price in advance.
thank u so much
I dont have the train tickets yet so I can book the right train tickets to be on time.
I was offered by Littke Hanoi Hotel the train tickets for King express-is it OK?
On the other hand if I book the livitrain It will probably be safer-right?
The thing is that it is the most expensive train tickets..
Which one should I book?
Do u reccomend to book it on web- in advance- before I arrive to Vietnam?
Do u reccomend anyone to book from?
The trains times I have from Lao Cai are:
SP2 departs at 20:05, arrives 04:35
SP4 departs at 20:45, arrives 05:10
SP6 departs at 18:55, arrives at 03:40
SP8 departs at 19:30, arrives 04:05.
So any should get you to Hanoi in plenty of time. I'd suggest the 19.30 as it avoids hanging around in Lao Cai too long. The King Express and the Livitrain are private carriages attached to these trains - Livitrain is on the 1930 but I'm not sure about The King Express. However, I just travel in standard soft sleeper (or hard sleeper) air con carriages and think they're fine and, of course, they're cheaper. The problem you may have is booking a standard carriage in advance: Livitrains can be booked direct via www.livitrantrain.com and King Express can be booked through many websites, just do a search, but you will pay handsomely. If you want a standard train you could try one of the following agencies which I've used in the past, but you will pay up to around $8 per ticket commission.
The cheapest option of course is to buy your ticket direct at the station. Depending upon when you're going and how flexible you are this might be possible. If you have a few days in Hanoi before you go to Sapa you could try at the station and then if you have no luck, shop around at the agencies.
Let me know if this isn't clear or you need further information.
Thank u so much
I have checked about the King express (cheaper than Livitrains) and each website has different information about it…. Many of these websites say that it is attached to SP3 and SP4...
Look at this quotation from http://www.seat61.com/Vietnam.htm
Tulico, Ratraco, TSC, Friendly, Royal, King
These deluxe tourist cars run attached to train SP3/SP4. They're all significantly better than the regular Vietnamese Railways sleepers, but there's reportedly not a lot to choose between the different private operators. For example, the 'Tulico' cars offer VIP 2-berth, 1st class 4-berth or 2nd class 4-berth, aimed at mid-market tourists. The cost is around $60 each way in 2-berth
I don't know anymore than you've found out about The King Express. SP3 goes Hanoi to Lao Cai and SP4 goes Lao Cai to Hanoi so the information you have found is likely to be true. The face value of a soft sleeper a/c bottom birth (the most expensive standard - not private - ticket) is 330,000 each way, that's about $17 at today's exchange rate. Your choice really depends on your budget, exact schedule and attitude. If budget's not an issue and you want the best, book into a private 2-berth in advance. If budget's tight, your schedule's flexible, you have lots of time in Hanoi prior to your trip and you're not a worrier then go hard sleeper a/c and book it at the station (go to B station ticket office) when you get to Hanoi.