Sapa can also be reached by motorcycle from Hanoi by a variety of routes.
The most direct route takes at least ten hours for first time riders, though local expats often brag about making it in less.
Bikes can be rented in Hanoi for unguided passage, or local guides can lead the way.
Along the way be sure to top up with fuel regularly, as petrol stations sometimes prove few and far between. It's also useful to note that fuel vendors in small towns often mix the petrol with other liquids such as alcohol or bio-fuels, and such fuel should be bought and used only when there are no alternatives.
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