There are many ways to travel the country, like by plane, car, bus, motorbike, bike or train. However, some tourists prefer traveling by train with air condition because of its advantages which are comfortable, safe, faster than driving motorbike, and cheaper than using internal flights. There are different train classes that tourists need to know before buying a train ticket.
1. Luxury VIP berth (VIP cabin 2 berth)
VIP cabin is available only on Hanoi – Lao Cai (Sapa) route. Each cabin includes 2 soft berths for 2 travelers. Each berth is equipped with air-condition, special blankets, sheets, pillows, individual reading lights, baggage storage and spacious trunk for suite-case and hand luggage. Tourists will be served free water, snacks, soft drinks, beer or coffee. These cabins are designed to for those who desire luxury facilities, more space and privacy for just two people.
2. Air Conditional Soft-sleeper
Soft-sleeper cabins have 4 berths, but in some trains, they also offer 6 soft berths cabin. Each berth is supplied with pillow, sheet, blanket, an individual reading light, and a luggage space. It has a 2-pin power socket for recharging mobile phones or cameras in the most modern cars on some trains. Tourists can find a toilet is supplied with soap and toilet paper at either ends. A water dispenser provides both boiling and cold water for free. In addition, tourists also are served snacks, coffee, soft drinks and beer, and meals (around £1 or $1.60) at meal time if they would like. These cabins are suitable for families or a group.
3. Air Conditional Hard -sleeper
Hard-sleeper air conditional cabins have 6 berths, lower, middle and top on each side. In general, the facilities in these cabins are exactly similar to soft sleeper cabins with luggage space, toilets, free water and meals. Tourists who are in group 5 – 6 people or prefer hard berths are suitable to these cabins.
4. Air Conditional soft seats
The soft seat is often covered with a layer of vinyl as well as possible for passengers to change the seat’s angle and lie down. In the most modern cars on some trains, tourists will find power sockets in the wall for charging mobiles and cameras. Soft seats are recommended for day time or short trips.
5. Air conditional hard seats
Travelers experience their trip with hard wooden or plastic seats in modern air-conditioned cars. These hard seats are impossible for passengers to change the seat’s angle and lie down, therefore passengers may feel uncomfortable for a long journey, but a few hours are totally acceptable.
6. Ordinary hard seats
This is the lowest class with hard wooden seats in older cars without air condition. However, passengers can open windows in cars for ventilation.
Livitrans and Violette Trains
In the route Hanoi – Hue – Da Nang – Nha Trang; Saigon – Nha Trang, trains SE1, SE3 and SE2 offer two private sleeping cars, which are run by two private companies, Livitrans Trains and Violette Trains. Each car has 4 soft sleeping beds with air condition similar to regular Vietnamese Railways soft sleepers. However, the service on board is upgraded, such as curtains, table lamps, and complimentary bottled water & snacks, so the price is higher than. The traveler can buy all 4 berths to have the compartment to themselves if they would like.
Both Livitrans and Violette are appreciated and there is no much difference of fares and sleeper compartments between them. In busy time like Tet, instead of running attached to trains SE1 and SE2, these Livitrans and Violette car maybe offered on trains SE5 and SE6. Therefore, the passenger should check when booking.
Information for your reference:
Hanoi Railway Station:
Gate A: 120 Le Duan, Cua Nam Ward, Hoan Kiem District (To the South, Hue – Da Nang – Nha Trang – Saigon…)
Gate B: 01 Tran Quy Cap str, Van Mieu ward, Dong Da district, Hanoi (To the North, Lao Cai – Sapa…)
Saigon Railway Station: 1 Nguyen Thong, Ward 9, District 3
Da Nang Railway Station: 202 Hai Phong str, Tan Chinh ward, Thanh Khe, Da Nang
Nha Trang Railway Station: 17 Thai Nguyen str, Phuoc Tan, Nha Trang city
Hue Railway Station: 01 Bui Thi Xuan str, Hue city
Ninh Binh Railways Station: No 1, Lane 41, Hoang Hoa Tham str, Thanh Binh ward
Binh Thuan Railways Station: Muong Man village, Ham Thuan Nam district
Quang Ngai Railway Station: 1 Nguyen Chanh str, Tran Phu, Quang Ngai city
Dong Hoi Railway Station: Tieu Khu 4, Nam Ly ward, Dong Hoi city
Thanh Hoa Railway Station: 19/8 Duong Dinh Nghe str, Tan Son, Thanh Hoa city
Vinh Railway Station: 1 Le Ninh, Quan Bau, Vinh city
Dieu Tri Railway Station: Dieu Tri Town, Tuy Phuoc District, Binh Dinh Province
Lao Cai Railway Station: Khanh Yen str, Pho Moi ward, Lao Cai city
How to buy tickets online?
It’s much easier for you to buy tickets online. You can access the official online booking website of Vietnam Railways www.vietnam-transports.com, which is available in English. Please kindly be reminded that this site accepts Visa/Master/JCB credit cards.
- Making a reservation in advance: In normal days, train tickets can be easily booked a few days ahead without problem. However, if you intend to travel at peak holiday periods, you should reserve tickets in advance (1 – 3 months before departure). This action will not only help you reserve the best seat but also save expenses. The fare closer to your trip date may be more expensive than one you book it few months ahead.
- Booking through a travel agent: Nowadays, many travel agencies or hotels can help you to buy tickets with a very small commission. You don’t need to worry about long and hard conversation at ticket counter with staff who cannot speak English or waste time getting to train station & making a long queue in front of the counter to buy the tickets and not sure it’s available. Instead, just contact a reliable travel agent and tell them about your demand. It’s easier, isn’t it?
See more related train schedule from main attractions:
Vietnam Transports is an official online booking agency of Vietnam Railways. Please contact us for any other questions regarding train reservation firstname.lastname@example.org OR you can check via our hotline number +84969623100 / +84969303322 (WhatsApp)