Train Travel in Vietnam
Information on getting around the country by train using the Vietnam rail network...
The Vietnamese railway system is operated by Vietnam Railways (Duong Sat Viet Nam). There is a main line running along the coast between Hanoi (linking to Sapa and other towns in the north) and Ho Chi Minh City in the south. The journey takes in some major cities and varied scenery including mountains, tunnels, coastline and forests along the way.
- For a route map of the railway: Click here (in Vietnamese)
Vietnam’s rail network is rather old and can be quite slow. The Vietnam Railway Administration (VNRA), part of the Ministry of Transport, is currently planning a massive programme of expansion and development of the rail network in Vietnam, which will include the building of a Sky train in Hanoi, an electric high-speed train track, and upgrading and overhauling the existing passenger and freight lines.
Contact numbers for some of the main train stations on the route can be found below:
- Hanoi station
Tel: (04) 3942 3697
- Ho Chi Minh station
Tel: (08) 3846 6091
- Danang station
Tel: (0511) 382 3810
- Hue station
Tel: (054) 382 2175
Types of Train
There are four main classes of train available in Vietnam:
- Hard-seat – mostly used for day travel, this is the cheapest and least comfortable type of ticket available
- Hard-berth – used for night travel, this has three tiers of beds (six per compartment). Prices vary depending on the level of the berth (those closest to the top are cheapest). These compartments do not have a door
- Soft-seat – mostly used for day travel, these seats are covered in vinyl and are more comfortable, and more expensive, than the hard-seats
- Soft-berth – used for night travel, this has two tiers of beds (four per compartment). All bunks are charged at the same rate. These compartments have a door
Note: The cost of these tickets also varies depending on whether they have air-conditioning.
- For a full list of the classes of seat available: Click here (in Vietnamese)
Booking a Ticket
Tickets can be bought at the station, online or by telephone. Demand for tickets on overnight trains is usually high so reservations should be made well in advance.
- For the English-language version of the Vietnam Rail website: Click here. Information about timetables, stations and ticket prices can also be found on this website
Children under the age of two travel free of charge. Children between the age of two and nine (and less than 130cm tall) travel at half price.
Pets may travel on trains, but only in the hard-seat compartments.
Bicycles may be taken on trains as long as there is a freight compartment.