Routes and Timetable For Trains in Vietnam
The Timetable for the Southbound Vietnamese Trains is as follows:
|Hanoi Depart||19:30 Day 1||20:10 Day 1||22:00 Day 1||06:00 Day 1||09:00 Day 1||14:35|
|Ninh Binh||21:47 Day 1||22:24 Day 1||00:13 Day 2||08:22 Day 1||11:21 Day 1||17:06|
|Thanh Hoa||22:58 Day 1||23:33 Day 1||01:16 Day 2||09:31 Day 1||12:37 Day 1||18:29|
|Vinh||01:37 Day 2||02:25 Day 2||03:32 Day 2||12:08 Day 1||15:11 Day 1||21:05|
|Dong Hoi||05:46 Day 2||06:39 Day 2||07:40 Day 2||16:34 Day 1||19:40 Day 1||01:47|
|Hue Arrive||08:48 Day 2||09:29 Day 2||10:27 Day 2||19:45 Day 1||22:42 Day 1||04:55|
|Hue Depart||08:56 Day 2||09:34 Day 2||10:35 Day 2||19:53 Day 1||22:50 Day 1||05:02|
|Danang Arrive||11:26 Day 2||12:05 Day 2||13:00 Day 2||22:31 Day 1||01:28 Day 2||07:49|
|Danang Depart||11:41 Day 2||-||13:15 Day 2||22:47 Day 1||01:43 Day 2||08:04|
|Quang Ngai||14:34 Day 2||-||15:35 Day 2||01:21 Day 2||04:09 Day 2||11:41|
|Dieu Tri||17:41 Day 2||-||18:36 Day 2||04:23 Day 2||07:08 Day 2||14:43|
|Nha Trang||21:23 Day 2||-||22:12 Day 2||08:36 Day 2||10:57 Day 2||18:42|
|Binh Thuan||-||-||02:20 Day 3||12:38 Day 2||15:19 Day 2||22:53|
|Ho Chi Minh Arrive||04:39 Day 3||-||05:25 Day 3||16:15 Day 2||18:47 Day 2||02:50|
The timetable for the Northbound Vietnamese trains is as follows:
|Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) Depart||19:30 Day 1||22:00 Day 1||-||06:00 Day 1||09:00 Day 1||14:40|
|Binh Thuan||22:55 Day 1||01:15 Day 2||-||09:33 Day 1||12:36 Day 1||18:23|
|Nha Trang||03:21 Day 2||05:00 Day 2||-||13:27 Day 1||16:29 Day 1||22:57|
|Dieu Tri||07:13 Day 2||08:46 Day 2||-||17:29 Day 1||21:17 Day 1||02:55|
|Quang Ngai||10:07 Day 2||11:27 Day 2||-||20:21 Day 1||00:06 Day 2||06:29|
|Danang Arrive||12:31 Day 2||13:58 Day 2||-||22:44 Day 1||02:49 Day 2||09:10|
|Danang||12:46 Day 2||14:13 day 2||18:55 Day 1||22:59 Day 1||03:04 Day 2||09:25|
|Hue Arrive||15:23 Day 2||16:39 Day 2||21:26 Day 1||01:28 Day 2||05:33 Day 2||12:33|
|Hue Depart||15:31 Day 2||16:47 Day 2||21:30 Day 1||01:36 Day 2||05:41 Day 2||12:41|
|Dong Hoi||18:45 Day 2||19:52 Day 2||00:49 Day 1||04:55 Day 2||09:21 Day 2||15:54|
|Vinh||22:55 Day 2||23:53 Day 2||05:48 Day 2||09:26 Day 2||13:28 Day 2||21:01|
|Thanh Hoa||01:19 Day 3||02:17 Day 3||08:09 Day 2||11:58 Day 2||16:11 Day 2||00:04|
|Ninh Binh||02:30 Day 3||03:21 Day 3||09:31 Day 2||13:14 Day 2||17:27 Day 2||01:23|
|Hanoi Arrive||04:50 Day 3||05:30 Day 3||12:33 Day 2||15:33 Day 2||19:58 Day 2||03:40|
Livitrans, Violette tourist services and Golden rains are some private Vietnamese rail companies that have certain coaches reserved. These coaches have the same berths as the other seats on the train, but the facilities and services on these private tour operators are better than on the government-run coaches. While the fares are proportionately higher, they offer a comfortable option for those looking to travel Vietnam by train.
Booking A Ticket on a Vietnamese TrainBooking a train ticket in Vietnam is very easy. You can book it in three ways - online, through a travel agency or at the railway station. If you are not particular about class and coach, you can book tickets at the station. But it is advisable to pre-book tickets during peak season or festival season (For example, trains fill up fastest during Tet season). Bookings open up around 60-90 days prior for long distances. For shorter distances train tickets open up later, opening up just a few days prior for jump stops.
1. Booking Train Tickets in Vietnam Online
2. Booking Train Tickets Through a Vietnamese Travel AgencyAnother reliable way of booking tickets is through a travel agency. They will book your train tickets and mail it to you. They charge a handling fee for booking tickets for you, but it is a guaranteed way of booking tickets. Book tickets in advance so they have enough time to mail the tickets to you.
3. Booking Train Tickets at the Railway StationTrains are busy, but when you go to the station you will get some train. It is not a bad idea to book tickets if you are flexible with trains and timings. However, it is advisable to look up trains and tickets on www.dsvn.vn, the official Vietnamese railway booking site. You can also reserve online and pay and collect your tickets at the station, within 24 hours.
Food Available While Travelling Vietnam by Train
Smoking Zones on Vietnamese TrainsThere are no specific allotted smoking zones in trains in Vietnam, but generally, you can smoke in the passage between two coaches, behind a door. However, sometimes the conductors do not allow smoking on the train.
Different Classes For Train Travel in VietnamThe following tables list the different classes present in a Vietnamese train and its respective features:
|Soft Sleeper |
|A soft sleeper has different cabins. Each cabin has four beds - two on the top and two in the bottom. Each bed has a light and a charging port. Pillows and linen sheets are provided. Each cabin has a small coffee table in the middle. The cabins can be locked from inside.|
|Hard Sleeper |
|A hard sleeper also has different cabins. Each cabin has six beds - two upper berths, two middle berths and two lower berths. Each bed has a light and a charging port. Pillows and linen sheets are provided. Each cabin has a small coffee table in the middle. The cabins can be locked from inside.|
|These are soft comfortable seats that have cushions. They can be reclined. These seats also have power sockets.|
|Hard Seats |
|These are hard wooden seats, with no cushions. It is a bit hard on the rear for long journeys but suitable for short journeys.|
|Hard Seats |
|These are hard wooden seats with no cushions and no air conditioners. On the plus side, these windows can be opened, which makes it ideal for photographing the surroundings.|
General Hygiene on Trains in Vietnam
Safety While Travelling Vietnam by Train
Punctuality of Trains in VietnamGenerally, Vietnamese trains are not very punctual and there is a delay of at least 20-30 minutes. Train timeliness is affected a lot by the weather. If it rains trains may get delayed more, up to an hour and a half too.
Approximate Fare For Train Travel in Vietnam
Train Travel From Vietnam to ChinaThere are three border crossings from Vietnam to China: Lao Cai in the north and Mong Cai and Dong Dang in the east. You can easily reach Nanning, Guilin, Beijing, Hong Kong, Kunming and even Shanghai by train.
There are overnight sleeper trains that travel from Hanoi to Nanning, Guiling and Beijing every day while a soft-sleeper train travels twice a week. The approximate distance between Beijing and Hanoi is almost 3,000 kms with tickets costing around VND 68,00,000 while Nanning to Hanoi is almost 400 kms with tickets for around VND 750,000. From Nanning, you can continue to Shanghai on a high-speed train that will take you 12 hours or a fast train that will take 24 hours.
To reach Hong Kong, you can take a train from Hanoi to Nanning or Guangzhou. This trip will cost anywhere between VND 17,00,000 to VND 25,00,000. Depending on your time restrictions, you can take a sleeper train that will take 2 nights and 1 day (to be spent in Nanning) or you can take a high-speed train which will only take one night with a quick transfer in Nanning.
To travel to Kunming, you can travel from Hanoi to Lao Cai on an overnight sleeper. Lao Cai is just 2.5kms from the Chinese border, from where you can travel to Hekou. From Hekou, you will find plenty of trains travelling to Kunming.
For all these travels out of Vietnam into China, don't forget that you will require a Chinese visa on entry. This can be either a transit visa or a tourist visa. Requirements for both these visas vary between nationalities. Most often than not, you will require a ticket proof in order to obtain a Chinese visa. With this in mind, be sure to book your tickets and make travel plans accordingly!
Travelling Vietnam by train is not for the faint-hearted. It is comfortable and inexpensive but the facilities, cleanliness and on-train food are not too great. However, it gives you a peek into Vietnamese local life. Train travel in Vietnam leaves you with stories to tell and lets you experience the true essence of the country. So if you are adventurous enough, train travel is for you!