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Train travel through Vietnam

Updated: 4/4/2015 | 4:30:17 AM
Vietnam is a vast country and you can travel through the country by train. In Vietnam you day trains and night trains. The trains in Vietnam usually do not drive very fast, so a standard train journey between two destinations quickly many hours (10 hours or more is no exception) can last. Along often stopped. The big advantage of a night train is that you save a hotel stay with them; you get the morning it comes to the place of destination.

Trains in Vietnam are usually not very modern (as many trains in China ), but certainly not hopelessly outdated. The degree of luxury while the train is also dependent on the class you are traveling. The classes are usually the most luxurious soft sleeper (4 beds) and hard sleeper (6 beds). Everything below is basic and you can avoid the best long distance (especially in night trains).

Train travel is cheap, comfortable and above all safe, compared to the alternatives. You do not have to bother you sometimes backward driving of the bus drivers, and while you can peacefully enjoy the beautiful views. One of the most beautiful train routes for lovers of beautiful views, the train trip from Hue to Danang; through the beautiful Wolkenpas (Hai Van Pass).

Trains always have a working air conditioner, mainly in the south of the country is pleasant. On board there is a catering service where you can buy snacks and drinks. However, it never hurts to departure to buy some snacks for the times that you (at night) suddenly have considerable pull and no salesperson in sight.

The best trains are of the type: SE1, SE2, SE3, SE4. Furthermore, you have a few slices of tourists Livitrans (on the route Hanoi, Hue and Danang) and Golden Trains (on the route Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang ). These two special private tourist sections are more luxurious, better maintained and offer a bit more comfort. Here you pay for. We explained the route Hanoi - Hue - Danang off in Livitrans Private Coupe.

When buying tickets in Vietnam
Train tickets are usually available from 60 days before the departure date (some routes 90 days in advance). On the route Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City daily driving many trains. The probability that all tickets are sold out is very small. Well, you have a limited number of tickets in the luxury class on each train. Would you like to se a soft sleeper ticket then you best book in advance. Use one of the local travel agencies that specialize in booking train tickets. After you have ordered your tickets, you can have them delivered on site at your hotel (often free of charge, until the day of departure). In many cases you will need to pay for it already in advance (but there are tour agencies that you only pay on the spot).

If you want to be flexible (as is usually the case when you go backpacking in Vietnam ) then you might not buy advance tickets. This is fine as possible, there is always room in the train when the ticket a few days before the spot ordered through your example guesthouse. However, you should then take into account that the luxury class (hard sleeper and soft sleeper) may already full.
On the day the chances are that all the tickets were sold. In addition, there is sometimes a higher price charged. Also tickets often sell out during holidays. Tet (Vietnamese New Year) is such a holiday. A lot of Vietnamese traveling itself during this period. You'll have to take that case settle for anything that is still available, as the soft seat, a standard chair in the night train).

Soft seat

Night train to Sapa
The night train to Sapa you should always book in advance, you want to stay in a soft sleeper. There are several train companies who have their own cars within the same train. The deluxe bed is the cheapest (around 40 USD each way), VIP is the most luxurious type.

The night train to Sapa is a special tourist train and the standard and basic classes are of much better quality than regular trains in Vietnam. In the night train to Sapa can you sleep best on a soft sleeper; but who are close to the departure date usually already sold out. There is also a daily day train from Hanoi to Sapa.

Sapa Train

Online ordering of tickets
There are several travel agencies in Vietnam who sell online tickets. You can well turn to when you want to have some certainty in advance. However, you pay a few dollars extra for the service. After payment you will receive an option on the ticket of your choice. The guarantee that you will actually never have, since the tickets usually only from a specified date prior to departure are available for the travel agency. In practice, it means that the agency almost always can get the right tickets. Read books always by the conditions (most agencies offer a 100% refund under certain conditions).
It is common that during the payment address of your hotel in Vietnam passes. The ticket is in fact concerned here a few days before departure. In some cases, the ticket is a few hours before departure at the train station concerned.
On the website Vietnam Trains you can book train tickets online and get them on arrival in Vietnam.

Tips train traveling through Vietnam

  • Please note that a train journey sometimes takes longer because of lesser weather. Especially the middle of making the country has regular flooding by typhoons. Read more about the climate in Vietnam.
  • During holidays like Tet many locals traveling by train. Chances are great that tickets for certain classes have already been sold in advance, although the Vietnamese railways in this period more trains run later.
  • Train tickets during holidays and high season (depending on each region in Vietnam) is often more expensive (usually up to 10/15%). In low season ticket prices often go back down a bit.
  • The official rules determine that an adult may take up to 20kg of luggage on board a train. Children must baggage allowance of 10kg. In practice it on a few pounds more or less down.
  • An useful website with everything about train travel through Southeast Asia and Vietnam in particular is Seat61. However it is not always updated!
  • There is no railway station in Hoi An. It is customary to take the train to Danang, and from there travel to Hoi An. The same applies to Mui Ne (here you take the train to Phan Thiet or Binh Thuan).
  • For Vietnam trains, you can only get tickets for individual trajectories (contiguous) buy. For each route you buy a train ticket separately (ie one ticket from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, but more tickets if you want to prematurely out to explore a destination).
  • In soft sleepers and hard sleepers you usually have an outlet where your phones can charge laptops and cameras.
  • If you do not mind paying a bit more for a little luxury on board the train, go for a soft sleeper of Livitrans or Golden Trains.
  • Always make sure that you arrive in good time at the train station, since the tracks are sometimes changed at the last moment.
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