Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Sapa and Can cau market in 2 days / Trekking Travel

Posted by ag on 8/3/2010 at 02:54

we want to travel to Sapa , do some light tracking and visit one one the beautiful markets, e.g. Can Cau. Unfortunately we're on a tight schedule so we need we would like to arrive by night train, spend only one night and head back to Hanoi the next evening.
Has any of you managed to do this in this time?
Is there a way to get from Sapa to Can Cau early on Saturdays?
Or would you rather stay in the area around Sapa and can recommend any nice Saturday market around there?

We were also considering doing it on a tour, the only one I found was this one with Trekking Travel. Do you have any experiences with that tour or that agency?

I'd be happy about any help.

#1 ag has been a member since 8/3/2010. Posts: 1

Posted by travel2vietnam2010 on 9/3/2010 at 10:04

Posted from within Vietnam.

There are many travel agency which you would travel like your itinerary.
You would travel at to Can Cau from Sapa or Lao Cai railway station.
Further information, please message to our email. We use Gmail with the account of travelfish( travel2vietnam2010)

#2 travel2vietnam2010 has been a member since 24/2/2010. Posts: 8

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Posted by jckangus on 9/3/2010 at 10:17

Drive should be 4 hours at least.

if you go to Can Cau Saturday market, then stay a night in Bac Ha and visit Bac Ha on Sunday.

I think it's worth it if you like to explore the culture.

#3 jckangus has been a member since 9/3/2010. Posts: 3

Posted by gohlayhuah on 9/3/2010 at 20:41

My husband and I are travelling to Hanoi 0n June 13 ETA 8.00 am, and we will depart Hanoi on 18 June, ETD 9.20 am. This will be our first trip to Vietnam and we have heard so much interesting and exciting things about it and we are looking forward to this trip. We want to make it a memorable one for us. So we want to avoid experiencing the horror stories I have been reading on line. So we are looking for a decent, reliable and comfortable ground tour, but not too expensive. Basically we are interested in: Hanoi, Sapa , Halong Bay (overnight?). Since we have only 5 nights and 6 days in Hanoi, I guess we have to prioritise the places to visit. Is it possible for us to do Sapa and Halong on our own? If not, could you recommend us some trustworthy and reliable ground tour operators? We have not yet booked any hotel in Hanoi, but I have read a lot of recommendations. Your responses much appreciated. Thanks!

#4 gohlayhuah has been a member since 9/3/2010. Posts: 10

Posted by chickenrun on 9/3/2010 at 22:07

Posted from within Vietnam.

@gohlayhuah: hotel in Hanoi, i recommend you to stay at La Dolce Vita hotel which is located in the heart of the old quarter. It prices is 65$ included breakfast. It is 3 star hotel. For Sapa and Halong bay, it is much better to travel with agency. With Halong bay, you would join in not too big group such as Phoenix cruise ( 85$) or Bhaya Luxury ( 130$)

#5 chickenrun has been a member since 9/3/2010. Posts: 4

Posted by rawjer on 9/3/2010 at 23:13

Posted from within Vietnam.

gohlayhuah, that isn't much time so it's going to be tricky. I'm now in Hoi An and I've covered North Vietnam for the past 5 weeks. If money is an issue then you can do a lot better than chickenrun's recommendations, although those might be really nice and perhaps worthwhile.

I spent over 2 weeks in Hanoi and I moved hotels after two days into one I loved and would highly recommend. It's the Prince II in the Old Quarter, and I paid $22 per night for a single, including breakfast. It's like a fairly luxurious boutique hotel and it has Wi-Fi in all the rooms, which are admittedly small, but it's very nice. The only downside is there is no elevator so you might be climbing some stairs.

For Sapa you can easily go on your own and book a day-tour once you are there. Nice hotels start around $20 per night, and I was very happy at the Cat Cat View for that price. The night train from Hanoi costs $17 each way in the normal cars, and $25 each way in the more luxurious private cars. I slept pretty well as it's a fairly smooth ride, at least in the private carriages.

Definitely go to Halong Bay and spend a night either on the boat or on Cat Ba Island. I booked a complete trip on Cristina Cruises for $53 (plus $15 single supplement) and it was an excellent experience. I booked it through the Prince II Hotel, but you can also book through the many Sinh Cafes in the city. I researched this a LOT and I discovered that going on your own won't save you any money and it can also be a bit confusing. The Travelfish reviewers enjoyed their independent trip, but I really wonder how that would be for a first-timer, as opposed to someone who'd already done it 3 times as part of tour groups.

If you want more Halong Bay information I wrote a whole explanation including photographs that describes the entire thing from Hanoi and back to Hanoi.

You are going to love it here.


#6 rawjer has been a member since 20/1/2010. Posts: 104
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Posted by gohlayhuah on 14/3/2010 at 08:27

Hi again,
I enquired at Prince II Hotel - they offered me Sapa Summit Hotel in Sapa. When I read the reviews, a few commented on the steep path up to the hotel. Is that a matter of concern? Also I remembered it was mentioned transport was included from Lao Cai to Sapa for US$1.60. Is that the public bus that takes over 1 hour to reach, or is that private prearranged transport, or how much would the latter cost?
As for Halong, Prince II offered me a 2 day 1 night junk cruise from Vietnam Opentour and I checked the net. It appears to be the Bai Tu Long cruise. Any opinions about that? Thanks!

#7 gohlayhuah has been a member since 9/3/2010. Posts: 10

Posted by rawjer on 14/3/2010 at 17:56

Posted from within Vietnam.

I can absolutely recommend the Prince II as a great and cheap hotel, and partly since I stayed there for about two weeks I felt comfortable using them to book my Sapa train ticket and then later my Halong Bay cruise, but I don't have any experience of how they might be as just a travel agency if you aren't already staying there. That said, they seemed honest and nice to me and I was happy with what I got.

In Sapa I stayed at the Cat Cat View Hotel, which had great reviews here on Travelfish, and I found it to be really impressive and almost resort-like (and only $20/night for a single, without breakfast). The Sapa Summit looks like a good hotel as well, and there are lots of fairly steep roads to deal with if you want to really see the area, so that one is probably pretty normal, I'd guess. And it sounds like the $1.60 bus from the train station will be in a semi-public minibus, which seats about 10 or 12 people. Basically there are maybe 10 or 15 of those things that wait for each bus, and if all the seats aren't pre-reserved I think they'll try to fill up with stragglers, but everyone comes off the train at once so it won't take long to be underway. And the minibus goes nonstop to Sapa and then will drop you off at the front door of your hotel.

That Halong company you mentioned appears to be the same size boat and a similar luxury level, but I can only really comment on the Cristina Cruise boat I took, which was quite nice.

Best of luck.

#8 rawjer has been a member since 20/1/2010. Posts: 104
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Posted by gohlayhuah on 14/3/2010 at 21:32

Dear Roger,
I pretty much went with your recommendations. Thanks so much. I love the digging for information and the planning. Cheers!

#9 gohlayhuah has been a member since 9/3/2010. Posts: 10

Posted by Ze on 12/7/2011 at 17:41

Hi there, I'm planning to travel to Vietname in August and I would like to include Sapa in my itinerary but I'm a little short in time.

I was thinking on taking the night train Hanoi - Sapa, stay in Sapa and around for 2 days and 1 night, and then comeback to Hanoi in the night train.

I know it's not enough time to Sapa, but is this doable?

What about the weather in Sapa in August? Lot's of Rain?

Thank you very much for any help with this questions.

#10 Ze has been a member since 12/7/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by fullmoon on 18/9/2011 at 14:58

Posted from within Vietnam.

August is the best time to Sapa. Too much of rice field, cool.

#11 fullmoon has been a member since 18/9/2011. Posts: 3

Posted by sapa_mystery on 29/10/2011 at 16:47

Posted from within Vietnam.

if you want go to sapa you can check information from website:
this is good agency in sapa

#12 sapa_mystery has been a member since 29/10/2011. Posts: 3

Posted by Milsar88 on 29/10/2011 at 18:24

Yes Sapa is a mountain queen. Sapa is a place which you will have to travel by train. Other wise no point of going to Sapa.
Train travel offers several advantages over driving an automobile or flying. You get to observe the countryside as you steam through it. And also you can enjoy your trip cheaply & comfortably. I remember our trip to Sapa by train. We enjoyed the authenticity and natural tranquility while traveling. Sapa is a mountainous town in North Vietnam will make your cameras on for most of your time.


#13 Milsar88 has been a member since 26/10/2011. Posts: 2

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