The city and province of Lao Cai
General information on Lake
Lao Cai (Lao Cai) is a city in the North of Vietnam, the capital of the eponymous province. Lao Cai is 300 kilometers from Hanoi, 33 km from the mountain resort of Sapa, on the border with China (Lao Cai on the map). This is a relatively large market town (population slightly less than 100 thousand people), there is a land passage to China in the Yunnan province.
Sometimes you can find pronunciation and spelling of the city as "Loachy" or "Laoshi", but this is not true. Its correct pronunciation as the pronunciation of the name of the province or Lao Cai Lao Cai.
The city of Lao Cai by itself is of little interest to tourists. There are no notable attractions, and very poorly developed tourist infrastructure. But this is a major transport point on the way to the popular mountain resort town of sa PA (Sapa) and the village of BAC Ha (Bac Ha), which are part of the province of Lao Cai. Through Lao Cai enter and depart China in a very beautiful mountain province of Yunnan. The border crossing is open from 07:00 to 22:00, need a visa to enter China. Visa on arrival to Vietnam is impossible: must be either pre-issued visa, or citizens of the Russian Federation may enter for 15 days without a visa (see all about visa to Vietnam).
The city has a couple dozen hotels and guesthouses to stay the night, but no tourist agencies, tourist attraction, interesting places. You can walk around the city at one of its parks, walk along the river, on the other side which is China, and that's it.
If to speak about the province of Lao Cai, that is one of the most interesting places in Vietnam. The region is inhabited by numerous ethnic nationalities, adorned with emerald rice fields and mountain scenery. But to meet the province's best of the city Lao Cai, and from Sapa or BAC Ha villages that are tourist centers of the province.
Hotels in Lao Cai where to stay
Many hotels and guesthouses scattered throughout the province, but most of them in Sapa (see hotels in Sapa) and BAC Ha. A lot of accommodation options available in the ethnic villages around Sapa and BAC Ha. This is a special type of placement is homstay, anyway, home the accommodation where tourists stay during trekkingov excursions.
In the city of Lao Cai, there are a couple dozen hotels, guest houses and hostel with the usual Vietnam very low prices for accommodation. Given that the city is not as such a tourist center, where you can come and look the location, it's best to book hotels in advance. You can do this on the following websites or via the search form:
- Search hotels in Lao Cai on Agoda.com
- Search hotels in Lao Cai on Booking.com
- Search hotels in Lao Cai on Hotellook.com
- To seek shelter in Lao Cai on Airbnb
Find hotels in Lao Cai
Hotels in Lao Cai on the map
Weather, tourist seasons in Lake
Lao Cai province is mountainous and plain, and that's why the climate here has its own characteristics and much otlichetsya from place to place. So, in mountainous regions, in particular in Sapa in the winter, even the snow falls, while in the city Looki or in the village of BAC Ha can be hot. Anyway, this is the most Northern region of Vietnam, and in the winter months (December to February) in the evenings it can be cold even on the plains, so be sure to bring warm clothes. Will not prevent a warm jacket, hat and gloves, especially if you plan to go trekking in the winter. Also in the region of frequent fogs and rains, always carry a raincoat.
Visit Lao Cai is better not to tie to the weather and the time of harvest of rice. Best to come here before or during the harvest season in September-November or in the spring, while the fields are still green and beautify the scenery. In the summer, especially in August, it often rains fall, and splendid landscapes are hidden. Winter (November to February) are cold and always foggy, and rice terraces brown.
Tourist seasons in Lake months*
*best time to visit;
appropriate time to visit;
not a recommended time to visit
Current weather in Lao Cai and forecast for the near future:
How to get to Lao Cai
Lao Cai is an important border transport node. It connects bus to Hanoi, on the Sly, BAC Ha, Dien bien Phu (border town on the border with Laos), Lai Chau (Lai Chau, another beautiful mountain town on the way to Dien bien Phu), the island of Cat BA, ha long city. Also connects Lao Cai rail links to Hanoi (night train). The airport is not here.
Read more about all the routes, how to get to Lao Cai:
From Hanoi to Lao Cai
The trip from Hanoi to Lao Cai by train is 9-11 hours. Runs daily, at least 8 trains, all night. Buying tickets on the train keep in mind that it consists of branded cars from different companies, and, accordingly, the price and service will vary (see about travelling in Vietnam by train).
Train from Hanoi to Lao Cai depart from the main railway station in Hanoi (Ha Noi Ga), which is located in the city center at 120 Le Duan. To buy train tickets in advance and best directly at the ticket office of the station or via the Internet. Travel agents and ticketing offices add to the cost of tickets Commission, moreover, does not sell tickets for simple inexpensive trains.
Through the Internet you can buy e-tickets, but on the official website of the iron dorogu Vietnam https://dsvn.vn/ plateaulike accept plastic cards of the Vietnamese banks. But you can buy tickets through a trusted site 12go.asia. This site has Russian interface, the purchase is carried out with a small Commission.
The Schedule Hanoi-Lao Cai:
And another useful tip: train in Vietnam mercilessly conditioned and sleep in them really cold even under the blanket. So either dress warmly or bring a tape (not the same, what to drink and which to glue) and paper to seal the vents on the ceiling.
From Lao Cai to Sapa and back can be reached by minivan, local bus or taxi. Distance – 40 kilometers; journey time is just over an hour.
A huge number of private minenow to Sapa always waiting for arriving by train travelers in the Parking lot in front of the railway station, and with the suggestions to take you to Sapa, you will meet immediately upon exiting the train, and even in cars. But do not rush to accept such proposals, because it has a so-called "taxi mafia": young people caught sleepy tourist arrivals, put them in vans, raising money for the travel and disappear. As a result, you will either sit an hour or two and wait for the driver who would say that knows nothing, and again ask you money for travel, or just can't wait to send, because it looks like some minivans even never go. The trick relies on the fact that tourists just get tired of waiting send, and they will go away to find another bus. So look for a van that is already filled with tourists, and give money only directly to the driver. And next to building works corporate office where you can go and just buy a ticket for the next departing bus.
You can also take the local public bus No. 1 and No. 2. They depart every 30-60 minutes from 06:00 to 18:00, cost 30 000 dongs. Their stop is right behind the Parking in front of the railway station, although according to unconfirmed information was moved a little further, since the local "mafia" simply didn't allow tourists to these buses to come. In any case, it is not difficult, everything is close by.
Sapa buses and minivans to arrive in the center of Sapa on the main square to the bus stop next to the Church of Sapa, and from there travel to Lao Cai.
Village BAC Ha - Lao Cai
From Laka in BAC Ha or return can be reached by local bus in 57 000 Dong. Buses depart from early morning to about 14 hours, in 3 hours. Point of departure is the bus station opposite the railway station. In the opposite direction departing at the same time.
Tickets should be purchased only in the ticket office of the bus station, which is 300 meters right from the exit from the railway station of Lao Cai on the street of Phan Dinh Phung. Don't pay the fare to the driver or "helpers" who will meet you immediately upon exiting the train, because it is a Scam. Do not pay even the drivers who will put you on the bus until you are sure that it is a real driver and not "fake".
Lao Cai attractions, what to see
As we have already mentioned, in the city of Lao Cai attractions no, but the province is filled with various interesting places. And, to get to know them better not because the capital of the province and of the tourist towns of Sapa and BAC Ha.
Sapa (Sa Pa, Sapa) is a town located among the Hoang Lien Son mountains, also known as the Tonkin Alps, at an altitude of 1600 metres in North-West Vietnam province of Lao Cai (Lao Cai). Sapa is located almost on the border with China and 400 kilometers from Hanoi (Sapa map Vietnam). It is a popular tourist destination, attracting with its magnificent mountain scenery, because it is surrounded by high mountain peaks, valleys, and beautiful rice fields. Also here you can meet many ethnic groups that there is a richly populated Northern part of the country.
BAC Ha (Bac Ha) is a village almost on the edge of North Vietnam near the Chinese border ( BAC Ha on the map). From Hanoi here 300 miles, and from the popular tourist town of Sapa – 100 kilometers.
The village is not so little, at least its geographical extent, no less than Sapa, and maybe even more, and a population of just over 7,000 inhabitants. But for some reason it still insist on calling a village, not a city. Although, in our opinion, this place has a prospect of becoming as popular a resort as Sapa, because there are some obvious advantages: in winter is not as cold as Sapa, at least there is no snow; the surrounding ethnic villages, and BAC Ha, not-yet-spoiled tourist popularity.