I went to Sapa last weekend with some of my ex-colleagues who I used to work with five years ago when I first arrived in Hanoi. This is the fourth time I've been here and it always feels like the first time. Sapa is such a beautiful mountain town with beautiful scenery and the friendly people impressed me so much.
We went on Friday the 13th and my friends said this was not a good day but I'm not superstitious. We bought tickets ourselves and we made a big mistake as we ended up with six hard beds in a fan-only compartment and it was really hot, at 37 degrees. Oh my god! But it wasn't really bad when the train started moving and it was actually pretty cool early in the morning. We also couldn't book the hotel because most hotels I know were full, probably because it was the weekend!
We arrived in Lao Cai at 5 am and took a mini bus with 10 other people up to Sapa. It cost 25,000Vnd and took 30 minutes to reach Sapa on a cool rainy morning which we didn't expect. Nice and different from the weather in Hanoi. After half an hour walking around looking for a room, we found a guest house which was clean with a good view and it cost 180,000Vnd per night.