Getting from Ba-Be national park to Sapa. Everything I tried to find about it said I basically had to go back to Hanoi then get a night bus from there. That would take 2 full days but by asking the locals I found out I could do it by using local buses rather then the tourist bus in just one day. However this is not as simple as it sounds. I am writing this blog to help others who may want to do this.
When your at Ba Be you will probably be staying in the town by the lake called Bo Lu in which case you need to get one of the boats to take you across the lake. Simply follow the one road down to the lake and there is always someone ready to take you across. Once there you can get one of the motorbike taxis. Tell them you need to go to Cho Ra to catch the bus to Thai Nguyen.
They should drop you off at the right place double check. Its just across the bridge on the right. I ended up sat with some locals sharing some food while I waited. This is where it became a pain as the bus was cancelled and I had to wait 1.5 hours for the next one. Its a small local bus and it should say Thai Nguyen. This takes 4-5 hours. Expect plenty of stopping to pick up and drop parcels and people on the way.
At Thai Nguyen you get dropped of right in the main bus station and there in front of me was the next bus I needed. This is the sleeper bus to Lao Cai. It should be lit be up on the front in bright neon letters. Expect beds not quite large enough to fit on and probably some version of Asia has talent (it probably does but not on this show) to be playing for most of the night. My bus was not due to leave for a couple of hours but they let me throw my gear on anyway and it was a good time to stretch my legs and go and get lunch. There is plenty of restaurants just outside the station. This is about 8-9 hrs so get back to the bus early if you want a decent bed.
At Lao Cai breath a sigh of relief as you are nearly there. You will find a ready supply of the local mini buses ready to take you to Sapa. More small local mini buses I am afraid, but it is a fairly short journey and you should find yourself dropped of near the lake in the middle of town. If you know where your guest house is I would walk it as most are fairly near where you get dropped of otherwise get one of the local motorcycle taxis to take you.