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.