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Travel Guide > Asia > Vietnam > Đông Bắc Bộ > Lào Cai

Lào Cai Travel Guide

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    Lao Cai is a town in northern Vietnam. It is on the border with China, adjacent to Hekou. Everything you will see is either water or land. The place is a dry old mainland.


    There are a couple of ATMs in Lao Cai. The Techcom Bank has ATMs on the square of the train station as well as close to the border. However, they accept only some international cards. There is one ATM accepting all international cards but it's neither close to the border nor to the railway station. Motorbike drivers usually know it and will drive you there which will cost 10,000 Dong one way.

    As soon as you leave the immigration building you will be approached by money changers. They usually offer poorer exchange rates than the bank. There are two banks just next to the border and a third one just at the other end of the first bridge, though these are all annoyingly closed at weekends. Banks in Hanoi will also readily exchange your RMB for Dongs.

    Getting to Lao Cai

    There are several night trains each day from and to Hanoi. Journey is about 9 hours and costs from USD$20.

    Buses run from Kunming and other cities in Yunnan (China) to Hekou from where it is only a short walk over the border to Lao Cai. The border is open from 7am to 5pm (8am to 6pm Chinese time).


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