Lao Cai is a province in the Northwest Region of Vietnam, bordering China. Like every other province in the Northwest, the capital of Lao Cai is named after its province. Lao Cai City is the largest city, but the most well-known and visited destination in the province is Sa Pa.
The town of Sa Pa is at the foot of Mt Fansipan (the highest peak in Vietnam), and it has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in Northern Vietnam. Sa Pa has become so popular that it has also come to be associated with over-tourism and over-development.
Lao Cai province consists of Lao Cai city and 8 districts: Bao Thang, Bao Yen, Bac Ha, Si Ma Cai, Muong Khuong, Sa Pa, Bat Xat and Van Ban. This report lists the construction, transport, and infrastructure projects that are planned or underway in the province.
Future Lao Cai Province Map
Places mentioned in this article are posted on this map.
[Map of developments in Lao Cai Province.]
The Manor Tower Lao Cai
T&T Group Development in Lao Cai
Location: Bac Cuong and Nam Cuong Wards, Lao Cai, Lao Cai Province.
Developer: T&T Group.
The project has an area of nearly 7.7 hectares, located in two wards Bac Cuong and Nam Cuong. The project will build 2 apartment buildings, 17 floors high, 1 mixed service building 45 floors high, and 115 shophouses and 32 adjacent apartments with a maximum height of 5 floors.
Coc San Urban Area
Location: Coc San Commune, Lao Cai, Lao Cai Province.
Designer: Chapman Taylor.
Chapman Taylor’s 190-hectare masterplan concept was created for T&T Group Vietnam.
Take a deeper look at our Coc San urban masterplan in Vietnam’s Lao Cai City – [02/06/20]
Vietnam-China Railway Link
Lao Cai is the border crossing for the original Kunming–Haiphong railway, and there a railway bridge in Lao Cai that crosses to Hekou on the China side. There is no through-railway service though as the Hanoi-Lao Cai railway is on a metre gauge, while the Hekou-Kunming railway has been upgraded to standard gauge. China wants to develop a standard gauge railway to Haiphong, while Vietnam most recently have suggested improving the connection at Lao Cai without upgrading the Hanoi-Lao Cai railway.
Read more about the Lao Cai-Hanoi-Hai Phong railway upgrade.
Transport ministry proposes $96 mln upgrade to Vietnam-China railway link – [01/11/21]
Lao Cai City News
Resolved to build modern and elegant Lao Cai City – [17/08/21]
Location: Sapa Town Stadium, Sa Pa, Lao Cai Province.
The Sapa Complex is a proposed development of the Sapa Town Stadium area next to Sapa Lake. Images via REIC.
New Northeast Sapa Urban Project
Location: Suoi Ho Village, Sa Pa, Lao Cai Province.
“The new northeast Sapa urban project has 160.38 ha of land area including different functions: the hotel and resort (Ho Spring Resort, Doi Spring Resort Hotel), the mixed use of commercial-hotel-office-apartment building, houses (shop houses, semi-detached villas, detached villas, residential apartments), social housing building, public services building comprised of the cultural-sporty club, medical clinic and education center, Trees and plants and water area, traffic road lines and infrastructure system, etc. The project is expected to provide a resort for approximately 2,500 travelers per night and day as well as accommodation, services, entertainment, education and social infrastructure for roughly 15,000 people.”
[The Northeast Sapa Urban Area by Bitexco.]
Sun Plaza Cau May
Location: Ngo Cau May, Sa Pa, Lao Cai Province.
A shophouse development by Sun Group in the city centre of Sa Pa.
Sa Pa Cultural And Ecological Tourism Resort
Address: Sa Pa, Lao Cai Province.
Design: Chapman Taylor.
Developer: T&T Group Vietnam.
Mong Sen Viaduct
Location: QL4D, Tung Chải, Sa Pa, Lào Cai Province.
Tallest viaduct in Vietnam nears completion – [06/11/21]
“With its highest pier rising 83 meters, Mong Sen viaduct is taking shape to link Sa Pa Town with Noi Bai – Lao Cai Expressway.”
Vietnam’s highest viaduct to be completed before Dec 31 – [05/11/21]
“When in place, it will reduce the distance between Lao Cao City and Sa Pa Town in Lao Cai Province by 2.5 kilometers.”
Sa Pa News
Sa Pa to Hanoi highway gets finishing touches – [22/11/21]
Plan for Sapa to become district-level town – [15/03/19]
“Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired a meeting on March 15 regarding a plan to upgrade the popular tourist destination of Sapa in northern Lao Cao province into a district-level town, highlighting the necessity of the upgrade to local development, the Vietnam News Agency reports.”
Bao Yen District
Sa Pa Lao Cai Airport
Location: Cam Con Commune, Bao Yen District, Lao Cai Province.
The new Sa Pa Airport (also being referred to as Lao Cai Airport) is neither in Sa Pa or Lao Cai City. At 80km from Sa Pa it’s a bit of a stretch to call it Sa Pa. This airport is near the Hanoi-Lao Cai highway where there is more flat land to work with. It’s also far from Lao Cai City. Even if there was available land nearby, it would have been restricted due to being a joint military airport, where it would need to have a buffer zone from the Vietnam-China border.
Vietnam approves tourism complex in northern highlands commune – [20/06/22]
“Authorities in northern Lao Cai Province have approved planning for a 3,100-hectare urban tourism complex in Y Ty Commune, famed for its stunning rice terraces.”
Work begins on $306-mln Sa Pa airport – [03/03/22]
Vietnamese Gov’t greenlights investment of US$307-million Sapa Airport – [22/10/21]
“The Sapa Airport is designed to have a total capacity of three million passengers of year and is capable of serving operations of narrow-body aircraft of Airbus 320 or Boeing 737.”
Government approves northern highlands airport in Sa Pa – [13/11/19]
“Located 80 kilometers away from the mountain resort town of Sa Pa, the domestic airport will have nine aircraft parking slots, and will be used for both civilian and military purposes. Its single runway will be able to receive aircraft similar to the narrow-body Airbus A320 and Boeing 737-700.”
Tourism boom threatens Vietnam’s ‘Tonkinese Alps’ – [07/11/16]
“Walking sticks outnumbered by selfie-sticks at once popular hiking spot that has become hugely commercialised.”