Is there a sleeper train to Sapa? What is it like?
Yes, there is a night train to Sapa. The train offers a range of seating types but we at Footprint only use the air-conditioned soft sleepers for our guests. There are four berths in each cabin, two lower and two upper. The beds are soft, clean and come with a blanket and pillow. The beds are sometimes a bit small for some Westerners, but all of our guests have managed fine.
Each cabin locks on the inside for security and has a fair amount of room for luggage storage under the beds and above the door.
This cabin is standard level and used for 4 people sharing. If you would like to splurge and go first class, the Victoria Train is available. Please ask your Footprint travel consultant for more details.
The train itself does not go fast and takes about 9 hours from Hanoi to Lao Cai (about 330 km). In comparison to other trains it is not too noisy, although some people bring earplugs, especially if they are in the hard-sleeper class. Toilets are available on each coach. It is advised to bring your own toilet paper.
About half the time there is a dining car on the train. Just recently we have noticed that they have replaced the dining car with another passenger coach. Thus, it is advised to bring water, snacks, or anything else you may want to eat for the journey.
Tip: If you are two persons traveling and you would like to book the whole cabin just for the two of you, Footprint can make this possible.
Note: Please be aware that Vietnamese train is just standard level; it can never be compared with Western trains.