We caught the night sleeper train from Hanoi to Sapa. It is only 300kms but it takes 8 hours! So its best to do it at night.
Sapa is up in the highlands of Vietnam and it was so beautiful. We got a really nice room with views of the mountains (when the clouds lifted!) the villages and the rice fields.
The first day we were there it rained most of the day so we just pottered around town checking out the shops with the traditional handicrafts, the markets and had coffee and cake!
The next day was a bit nicer, still cloudy but not so rainy and we decided to walk to the nearby town of Cat Cat. It was a beautiful walk 3kms down the hill and into the village. Its probably one of the nicest 'tourist' villages we have been to. We walked along the paths thru the rice fields and over little rivers. Met a few buffalo, some goats, ducks and a snake along the way and then started to walk to the next town where other tourists dont go as much and it was a really nice peaceful walk past lots of farms and children playing. But we didnt make it to the town as it was too far and starting to rain
Sapa was a beautiful town and i recommend anyone who comes to Hanoi to make the trip up there just to relax for a few days.