We travelled from Hanoi to Sapa on the overnight train. Our hotel, Thai Binh Hotel Sapa (Nam Hong is the owner) organised everything which meant this was completely stress-free and having now done the trip I don't think we would have been financially better off doing this all ourselves.
Our train was Sapaly Express, we could have booked any train through our hotel but I picked this after going through the reviews. To be honest, I'm not sure that there is much material difference between the companies and they are all the same train just different carriages. I have travelled on quite a few sleeper trains but this was my husband's first. We booked a private cabin but both ways this was just a 4 berth cabin with us as the only two occupants so think this is pretty standard. You obviously have to pay double but we are on our honeymoon so decided we would rather pay more and have the place to ourselves. We were very comfortable and slept reasonably well. As with all sleeper trains I recommend earplugs and eye mask!
We arrived early Friday morning and looked out for the sign with our names per hotel instructions and were on our way!
Our hotel gave us use of the room from when we arrived until evening of the train back and so we were able to get showered and eat breakfast before heading straight out on our trek that same day.
Our guide, Zie, was really excellent, a lovely day who speaks good English and has been guiding people for 4+ years. She was really very fun and interesting making our trek even more enjoyable so really can't recommend her enough. We were supposed to stay one night in a homestay but Zie asked we wanted to stay with her family and we though well why not let's give it a go. It wasn't the best night's sleep but was well worth doing. We had a lovely evening with the family, helping to make spring rolls and prepare the veg plus reaching on the 'porch' with a cold beer watching the sun go down! Any one interested in trekking Sapa you should call Zie 01652161586, she doesn't read English so best to call not text.
My husband and I really enjoy trekking (although I'd say I'm more of a fair weather trekker) so for us the only thing is that we could have done a bit more up in the hills as there was quite a lot of going through villages. That said, the rice terraces make really stunning scenery.
One of the best things bout Sapa is the pace so getting up here at this time of year where it is cooler and calmer is a welcome break from the madness of Hanoi!
Early 30s, travelled as a couple
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