I am also looking at travelling to Sapa for 4 nights (2 nights on the train, 2 nights there) - is it easy enough to book independently ie train, hotel and organise a guide when there or is it better to book a package that includes all of the above? Thanks in advance.
I too was in this predicament and just got the hotel I was staying in in Sapa to organize everything for me. I got accommodation, tickets (there and back) as well as transfers. They arranged to meet me at a hotel in Hanoi and take us to the train station to ensure we got on the right one.
We probably paid a bit extra.........I know we paid extra but at least I know it's all done. In reality if I paid US$10 more it certainly beats the stress and cost should I have gotten the wrong one and not made it to SAPA.
I have organized about 8 holidays on my own from my computer at home, but Vietnam has been the most challenging one so far. It probably is easy, but why worry about the hassle.
#2 Benno has been a member since 18/1/2012. Posts: 36
I just buy Livitrans tickets and go - Sapa is just too easy. The only other thing I book is a hotel, and have them meet my train. It does help a bit if you know a good local travel agent.
As Benno says, always have the travel agent take you directly to your train compartment - the Hanoi Ga (station) is a snake pit of "helpers" who insist on helping you when the last thing you want is their help (because it ain't exactly a freebee).