Travelling from Hanoi to Lao Cai overland will inevitably take longer but in many cases it is the cheapest option if you opt for a bus.
Things to remember: For a more comfortable ride opt for a higher-class bus wherever possible. These buses usually have soft reclining seats and are equipped with air-conditioning and on-board toilets.
They often include water, snacks or a light lunch into your ticket price and make bathroom stops en-route.
Companies operating bus routes between Hanoi and Lao Cai
Fansipan Express Bus
Some travellers consider taxi to be the most convenient form of overland transport thanks to flexible departure times, a possibility to choose the size of the car you need, and a hassle-free door-to-door service.
Things to remember: If you are planning to make detours during your trip, discuss it with your driver or service provider in advance as it may affect the price.
Companies offering charters between Hanoi and Lao Cai
Booking Car (Lang Viet Trading Co.,Ltd), DichungTaxi, Hai Van Transport (Hai Van), OUROS Travel
Train is a often a great choice for long-haul travel especially if you opt for a night sleeper train with berths which will allow you to sleep all your journey through. To make the most of your train journey, choose the class of your ticket wisely.
Note that there are air-conditioned and fan-only carriages; private compartments for 2 or 4; hard and soft seats.
Though the upper class you get the smoother is your journey, often second class air-conditioned or fan-only sleepers are a good money saving alternative.
Vans are a great alternative - or, in many cases - your only option - if you need to travel overland within one and the same province or neighbouring provinces or states. Vans ply the roads between Hanoi and Lao Cai, too.
Things to remember: When travelling by van with huge luggage buying a separate seat for your suitcase or backpack is a good idea. Do not expect there is a roomy luggage compartment in a van - there is actually none and your fellow passengers are unlikely to appreciate your luggage stuck under their feet, alas.
Companies operating vans between Hanoi and Lao Cai
GreenLion Bus (Du lịch Sư tử Xanh), Grouptour (Công ty du lịch quốc tế Grouptour)