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sa pa

MKE, WI
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26 posts
6 reviews
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sa pa

1. Is it better to book SaPa tour when arrive in Hanoi or before we leave home? One tour on internet quoted a price of $349/person for transportation, train (sleeper), tour guide, one night in 3 star hotel, one night in home stay plus some meals. Seems a little high. Maybe you get what you pay for?

2. If train sleeper is "soft" (four beds per compartment), will a shower be available?

3. Can any one recommend a tour company? One of us is a little limited in hiking (bad knees).

4. If we get back to Hanoi from SaPa around 5:00am and fly out the same day (23:00 hrs.), how do we find a hotel room for a portion of the day (a little rest; maybe a shower). We will try to spend most of the day sightseeing.

Mentioned in this post
Sapa
Sapa
Lao Cai Province, Vietnam
Hanoi
Hanoi
Vietnam
Gold Coast...
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3 posts
5 reviews
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11. Re: sa pa

We booked our trek from Oz over the internet. US$101

Included: Transfer to train station in Hanoi from hotel, return soft sleeper on SE1, minibus transfers to Sapa, one night Bamboo Hotel, 2 days trekking with english speaking guide, Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2 and Dinners x 2. There seemed to be many when we arrived in Hanoi though. All for around the same price. So it depends on how much time you have in Hanoi to book things before you want to leave.

Some things we didn't check beforehand:

Our room wasn't ready on arrival in Sapa till 3.30pm, so we had night on train, breakfast at Bamboo Hotel, trek for 3 hours, back to hotel, walked around Sapa for another 2 hours (in freezing temps!!, found great Hot Chocolate though) then another hour wait before we could dump our bags and wash our faces.

We were lucky enough to have hot water and an oil burner heater in our room, others didn't. It was really cold (-2!).

We got to sit in a restaurant (that was linked to Bamboo) at Lao Cai before our train left where we were given our dinner voucher to use. This restaurant was not the best.

Talking to another couple on the train back to Hanoi and they had an english speaking guide the whole time who took them for the 4km return walk to the Chinese border before taking them to the restaurant for dinner in Lao Cai.

We booked our hotel and pick up from train station in Hanoi before we left as well. Our train arrived early and we were picked up and taken to Hotel and our room was ready. We appreciated this the most! (Sunshine Travel & their hotels are great)

Hint also for Sapa: the mountain tribe girls that congregate at the front of the hotel waiting for the trekkers. They are lovely but expect you to buy their bags, embroidery and silver when you get to their village. If you have no intention of buying anything let them know before they follow you all the way down. We had two Korean girls on our trek who the mountain girls helped down the slippery muddy walk and then they refused to buy anything. The women got quite pushy and it was not a good situation. I had made a deal with one lady who had a bag I wanted and I only had to deal with her at the end of the trek, not 6 of them.

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Hanoi
Hanoi
Vietnam
Sapa
Sapa
Lao Cai Province, Vietnam
12. Re: sa pa

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