There are only two forms of transport in Sapa apart from scheduled tour buses – motorbike taxis and private cars. Rates are negotiable for both. Rates for car hire start at around 1,000,000VND for a half day hire, but realistically are usually 50% higher. Motorbikes start around 15,000VND for a short distance. You can also hire your own wheels to ...
There is free wifi in a number of hotels and restaurants if you have your own device. There are no internet cafes in Sapa, but if you ask really nicely, you may be able to use the computers at Sapa Pathfinder Travel on Xuan Vien. Some of the mid range hotels also have free computers in the lobby.
Sleeper buses also make the journey from Hanoi to Sapa. The buses are quite new and not as noisy as the train, but are also less comfortable. Prices start around 200,000VND depending on the company. The bus journey takes upwards of 10 hours.
There are a few ATM’s scattered around Sapa, but remember there are withdrawal limits. Credit cards are accepted in some of the more up-market venues, but many places are cash only. Some of the bigger hotels can exchange cash or traveler’s cheques, but you won’t get the best rates.
There are small post offices in both Lao Cai and Sapa. At: No.6 Thach Son (Sapa), and at: No. 196 Hoang Lien (Lao Cai). There is also a mail box on Xuan Vien if you already have your own stamps. In general, the postal system is quite reliable.
There are a number of trains running the Hanoi to Lao Cai route, both during the day and overnight, taking 8-9 hours. Seats range from hard seats at the cheaper end of the scale, up to ‘luxury’ soft sleepers for overnight travel. Prices start at 110,000VND, but you get what you pay for. Air conditioning starts around the 200,000VND mark. ...
There are several pharmacies on Cau May Street, but few staff with strong English language skills. If charades fails, try writing down the brand name of the medicine you are after. General items are easy to find, but more specialized medicines may not be available so plan ahead.