Lao Cailocated near the border of China in North-Western Vietnam

​​​Last Update: 24th October 2020

Separated with the Hekou Town, Yunna, China by Hồng Hà or Sông Hồng, Lao Cai works as the political, economical, and cultural center of Lao Cai Province. It is an important gateway and trading port for Vietnam to the Southwest China.

Lao Cai Fast Facts
  • Name: Lao Cai
  • Area: 230 x square kilometers
  • Things to do there: Photography, Vietnamese History and Culture
  • Who visits: Photographers, Vietnamese History and Culture Lovers
  • Time required: 3 – 4 x hours
What to expect at the Lao Cai

Every morning, the Vietnamese people from Lao Cai usually go to Hekou to purchase Chinese garment and daily necessities. The goods are usually stored in a manpower tricycle to save more money as the tax revenue for the tricycle is much lower. The Chinese people in Hekou Town always transport the fresh vegetables and fruits from Lao Cai in the morning as well. And, the Vietnamese people also carry fresh bananas, litchi, jackfruit and the like into Hekou for sale.


Compared to the modern buildings in Hekou, Yunan, China, those in Lao Cai may be a little lower and older. Though, visitors can experience Laotian and Burmese customs and cultures in a specific tourist spot in Lao Cai. Lao Cai features tens of old French buildings to visit. Hekou-Lao Cai Railway Bridge plays an important part in the frontier trade between the two cities as well as the Vietnamese tourism.


During the holidays in Lao Cai, especially the Spring Festival, the temple fairs are usually held from the lunar 1st of January to the 15th of January. During the period of time, visitors can experience the distinctive customs of the Vietnamese temple fair.

Best time to visit the Lao Cai

The best time to visit Lao Cai is in the morning.


The best months to visit are from April to November.


How to get to the Lao Cai

There are direct trains to Lao Cai from Hekou, Yunnan, China or Hanoi, Vietnam.


Additional Lao Cai Travel Advice
  • The ticket office at Lao Cai Train Station is opened from 8 am to 10 am and from 14 pm to 16 pm.
  • If you’d like to get to Lao Cai from Hekou, please remember to book the train ticket as early as possible.
  • Please ask locals if they are happy to be taken photos by you.
Interested in visiting the Lao Cai on a Tour?

Wendy Wei Tours offers a variety of different packaged tours as well as custom tours including the Lao Cai , among other attractions and destinations. To find out more, please visit our Tours page or Contact Us directly to find out more.