Trains in Vietnam
Trains in Vietnam are a popular transport for locals. However, trains in Vietnam are not very popular among tourists. In this article we try to find out why, tell you how trains run in Vietnam, where to buy a ticket and find the schedule, as well as how to choose the type of car to travel comfortably.
Why the trains in Vietnam are not popular among tourists
The trains in Vietnam run between the largest cities. We are used to travel by train, but going on a trip to Vietnam, not everyone thinks about buying a train ticket. In this country, other modes of transport are more popular among tourists:
- For long distances, you can travel by plane. Local airlines offer cheap flights, especially for those who travel without luggage.
- Buses are another popular mean of transport. They run between cities. There are two types of them: one with usual seats and the other where you can travel almost lying down.
- For those who prefer individual approach, speed and comfort, there are cheap transfers.
So why the trains in Vietnam are not popular among tourists There are several reasons:
- A train ticket costs a little more than a bus ticket. Tourists try to save money and prefer the latter.
- Sleeper buses are pretty comfortable to travel. You can accommodate comfortably and go for several hours. Most people sleep peacefully in these buses all the way.
- To catch a train in Vietnam, you need to get to the train station. Trains also arrive at stations. At the same time, buses often depart directly from the tourist streets, and sometimes even pick up passengers at the hotel door.
- In the cities there is a large number of offices where you can buy a bus ticket. Train tickets are usually purchased online or directly from the cashier at the train station.
- Tourists do not favor long trips that take more than ten hours, as they don’t want to lose precious vacation time. Therefore, for long-distance trips, travelers buy plane tickets.
Despite all of the above, trains in Vietnam are a very convenient way to travel. They do not look like terrible crowded trains from Indian movies, they are rather almost a copy of European or American ones, so all travelers feel quite comfortable in the train. The main thing to choose is the right class of the ticket, if you prefer travelling lying down, and not sit all the way.
Trains in Vietnam: routes, tickets, types of cars
Trains in Vietnam allow travelers to move between popular tourist cities. For example, if you go from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, on the way you’ll pass cities such as Phan Thiet, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang and Hue. As for the types of wagons, Vietnamese trains offer the following options:
- Soft sleeper / 4 berths soft sleeper cabin is a compartment that accommodates four beds. In general, this compartment is almost identical to an European one. Not every train has such compartments. These compartments always come equipped with air conditioning.
- Hard Sleeper/6 berths hard sleeper cabinis a compartment designed for six beds, so the shelves form three levels, not two. Tickets to a six-beds compartment are only slightly cheaper than to a four-beds one, and therefore it makes little sense to save money here. Almost every train has such wagons, but sometimes they all are occupied (so buy tickets in advance). In these cars there is always air conditioning.
- A/c soft seats. These cars are equipped with soft chairs with folding backs. They are comfortable for short-distance trips, but if you have to travel all night, we advise you to go for a compartment with beds. In such cars there is always air conditioning.
- A/c hard seatsare the cars with wooden benches, reminiscent of benches in the old trains. These cars are not too comfortable to travel. Usually, those Vietnamese who want to save some money prefer these cars. They sleep on the floor on mats, ignoring the hard benches. These cars also always have air conditioning.
- Ordinary hard seats are wagons with wooden benches, not equipped with air conditioning. It’s the most economical, but also the most uncomfortable option.
- On some routes (for example, from Hanoi to Sa Pa) there are also special branded cars: Livitrans and Golden Trains. These are extra comfortable cars. Compartments are often beautifully decorated.
You can buy a ticket for trains in Vietnam at the station, naming the date (it is better to show it in the calendar), time, station of departure and arrival and the desired type of car. The most popular sites to buy tickets:
As for facilities, there are always toilets in trains in Vietnam. You can buy drinks and water from the cart of the seller who goes along cars. The train has a dining car, and everyone can use it. If you travel in a sitting car, you can ask the conductor to give you a blanket. Prices for food you can buy from sellers and food in restaurants are not European, and are often not much higher than the prices for Vietnamese food in cafes and shops. It remains to add that it is better to buy train tickets in Vietnam in advance. The fact is that before the departure, the tickets can be all sold out, or you may not be able to buy a ticket to the car of the desired class. Trains in Vietnam are quite a convenient way to travel and anyone can use this mode of transport to travel around the country.