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. We recommend splashing out and going in the privately-run luxury cars which vary in price from $30 to $70 one way. Most of these provide comfortable bedding, water, and a toothbrush. From the Lao Cai train station there are numerous minibuses to Sapa centre for 50,000VND.