Livitrans Express

Livitrans Express
96 / 1,660
5 9
4 33
3 26
2 14
1 14
98.3% of 1,660 travelers were presumably happy with Livitrans Express as they left good or no review

Livitrans Express VIP Sleeper 4x outside
Livitrans Express

Company Information

Livitrans Express was launched in 2007, connecting Vietnam's capital city, Hanoi, with Lao Cai, the gateway to the incredibly popular town of Sapa. Based in Hanoi, Livitrans Express runs private carriages on routes managed by Vietnam Railways and is one of the most popular operators for tourists looking to head north from Hanoi.

Routes served by Livitrans Express Train

Previously, Livitrans Express offered just one route but this service has since been expanded to cover three major routes throughout the country.

Hanoi–Lao Cai (Sapa)

Firstly, there is one train per day leaving Hanoi for Lao Cai at 21.30, arriving in the town at 05.25, so anyone looking to head to Sapa from there should arrive in the early morning. The journey to Lao Cai takes around eight hours and costs VND835,000 for a berth in a four-bed VIP sleeper carriage. The return journey is priced the same but leaves Lao Cai at 20.35, arriving in Hanoi at around 04.45.

Hanoi–Hue–Da Nang

A newer addition to the Livitrans Express schedule is the Hanoi – HueDa Nang route, which takes around 16 hours in total. There are two departures from Hanoi each day, at 19.30 and 22.00. The 19.30 departure arrives in Hue at 08.50 the next morning (13 hours) and arrives in Da Nang at about 11.25 (16 hours after leaving Hanoi). If you depart from Hanoi at 22.00, you'll reach Hue and Da Nang at 10.35 and 14.00 respectively. Tickets are priced at VND1,700,000 to Hue and VND2,000,000 to Da Nang.

If you're leaving Da Nang to head back to Hanoi, you have two options. Trains depart Da Nang at 12.45 and 14.13, taking around 3 hours to get to Hue and 16 hours to reach Hanoi. Prices are the same regardless of the direction you're travelling in.

Ho Chi Minh City–Nha Trang

You can also book tickets with Livitrans Express to travel between Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and the beach resort of Nha Trang. There is one train each evening, leaving HCMC at 20.30 (arrives in Nha Trang at 05.30) and departing Nha Trang at 19.10, which is scheduled to arrive in HCMC at 03.24. The journey takes around nine hours in either direction and costs VND1,100,000.


If you're travelling on the Hanoi – Da Nang route then you will be pleased with the well-scheduled arrival times, which minimises any hassle caused by arriving late at night or early in the morning, when it can be difficult to find accommodation.

There are also charging ports in all the carriages so you can ensure that your phone is fully charged in case you need to contact someone when you arrive, or to use your map to find your hotel.

All the carriages offered by Livitrans Express are four-bed VIP sleepers, so you know that you will be travelling in greater comfort than if you booked with another operator.


It can be worth getting to the station early, especially if you're boarding at the start of the route, as sometimes the carriages can be overbooked. Don't worry, you'll still get onto the train you booked but if you turn up just before the train departs then you may find someone in your seat and will have the hassle of trying to explain the problem to a guard. It's best to just get there in plenty of time.

The other major issue is that the cleanliness of the carriages isn't always up to the standard you might expect, especially as you're paying a little more than if your purchased a ticket with Vietnam Railways. The toilets on these carriages are western toilets but, again, they are not always as clean as you'd like.

Keep in mind

All the carriages on services with Livitrans Express are air-conditioned VIP sleepers so the beds are about as comfortable as it gets on an overnight train in Vietnam.

This company is primarily aimed at foreign tourists, so you are paying a bit of a premium for this service.

Also, if you're travelling between Hue and Da Nang it is probably not worth the extra cost to pay for a sleeper for just three hours, if this is the case then you should look at other operators as Livitrans Express doesn't offer seats, only sleeper berths.

Travellers reviews

The biggest complaint is the cleanliness of the toilets, unfortunately, this is likely to be the case on the vast majority of train services across the country. Livitrans Express carriages are part of a train managed by Vietnam Railways and the cleanliness on the standard carriages elsewhere in the train is likely to be just as much, if not more, of an issue.

The VIP four-bed cabins are ideal if you are travelling in a group of four as you will have a private room. Even if there are three of you, you might want to consider paying for an extra space so you can get a bit more room between you all as well as added privacy.

December 3.7

November 3.3

October 2.5

December 2017

Asli, Dec 30, 2017 - we bought vip cabin but the linens were dirty and there were bugs in the cabins. worst trip ever!
Shankhnad, Dec 27, 2017 - Definitely worth a try. Bring your own food and warm clothes. Otherwise good experience
Anthony, Dec 17, 2017 - Train left on time and arrived on time. Cabin was clean and tidy, traveling 1st class VIP. Complimentary drinks and fruit were available, but would still recommend taking your own snacks. Not as smooth as Bangkok to Chiang Mai train. None of the staff spoke English. For some extraordinary reason we were woken at 7am in the middle of nowhere! Our exclusive cabin was no longer exclusive when two passengers joined us in Hue!
Daniel, Dec 9, 2017 - ‘‘Twas a very nice experience, all good! Even holiday decorations lol
Timothy, Dec 8, 2017 - We took the train from Hanoi to Hue. Don't worry about exchanging voucher for tickets, just go to your platform and carriage once the platform is open(45minutes before departure in our case) for passengers(train number and coach number is on the voucher). Livitrans person was there at the carriage to direct us to our sleeper cabin. No problem with the journey, it's not a Shinkansen as this is Vietnam. Rocked and rolled, had a good sleep and arrived in Hue on time.
Siti, Dec 2, 2017 - Very comfortable and clean sleeper bunks. We were told not to expect much in terms of refreshment, but our cabin came with water, soft drinks, fruit and instant noodles. There was also a power point to charge our gadgets. Toilets were decent and water bidet was available too. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to sleep, but I slept like a baby for most of the trip it actually didn't feel like such a long one. The experience was worth the pricier ticket!

November 2017

Christian, Nov 29, 2017 - The train was clean and comfortable. The staff was not as friendly as assumed. Dillutable coffee and tea for the morning was distributed at night and charged for in the morning. We understood it to be free. Just a little uncomfortable situation based on bad communication.
Philip, Nov 21, 2017 - VIP did not feel like VIP. Yes we got one free soda, water, banana and a bread roll. But besides that the bed was hard and the room a/c was very cold. The toilets were disgusting, seat and floor wet and lack of toiletpaper. The staff was friendly, but no one could any english. The best help was a phone with google translate. The “restaurant” in the first wagon only serves noodles and the room is messy and not very clean. Our trip was a 16 hour long trip from Hanoi to Danang, sadly it ended up being 22 hours with a lot of waiting between stations and a switch to a bus and back to a train just before Da Nang due to flooded tracks. More informations in english during the tour would have been apreciated. Advise is to take an airplane instead of waisting many hours in what must have felt like being in prison. Sorry!
Markus, Nov 17, 2017 - Toilets could have been cleaner

October 2017

Karen, Oct 29, 2017 - We enjoyed our adventure! There were 4 of us, so we had a cabin to ourselves. The beds were quite hard, but it was only 1 night. The toilet was fine. Washroom also fine. The scenery in the morning was beautiful. We had lots of fun on the train.
Gaynor, Oct 29, 2017 - Need thicker mattress. Better snacks and free coffee should have been included. Very grumpy carriage lady!
Julia, Oct 27, 2017 - It was absolutely freezing all night long: that combined with the very rough train ride made sleeping fairly difficult. Take a lot of warm clothing and a hat! Very thin mattress so hard bed. It was an on time departure and arrival. Also, my voucher said that I was to pick up the ticket at the actual carriage on the train, but in fact I had to ask around - a man was just walking round the waiting room looking for people on his list: fairly hit and miss, but I did get the ticket. Also I had asked for a lower berth and said that I would not want a ticket if that was not available, but my ticket was an upper berth. Luckily I was able to change it as I was there early. But be careful - there are no ladders to the top berths so they require considerable agility.
Schnell, Oct 25, 2017 - Despite paying extra for a "cleaner" experience. The cabin was filled with cockroaches and I was not able to sleep well at all
Alison, Oct 7, 2017 - I loved this experience but it was an experience and sleep was a rare commodity!

September 2017

William, Sep 29, 2017 - Generally satisfactory but needed better direction to carriage and cabin. Please get rid of non train staff from hassling us with our baggage on the platform and wanting payment for directing us to our carriage. Cabin temperature was just slightly too cool. Would certainly take same train again.
Maja, Sep 15, 2017 - The cabins were good and the staff frendly. The were just two ting i didnt like. 1. I was a singel woman traveler and because of that chose the bed for me. It would be ok but i got a bed in a cabine alone and then in the night 3 of the staff sleept in ther... and there were other travelers who had space in the cabins... so that was the only dislike. They diden bothered me but i just woud like to bo informed in such meters. All together it was fine. Just a bumpy ride :))
Clara, Sep 6, 2017 - Overall good night train for vietnamese standards, but people were definitely smoking inside by the smell of it. We had a lot of trouble getting the station and train staff to understand our voucher which we showed on the phone screen, but they were ok with it at the end. Toilets were awful and aircon was way too high as any other train in Vietnam. The views in the morning were stunning though

August 2017

Henry, Aug 21, 2017 - We enjoyed the journey but we're confused on boarding as we were directed to the Violette carriage and thought we would be in the livitrain carriage. It would have been good to know our carriage before we embarked. The main problem was the very cold temperature in the upper bunk and the cotton 'blanket' was not sufficient. It was very difficult to sleep when the air con was so very cold. But the train journey overall was wonderful and the journey along the coast I the last few hours of the journey was simply spectacular.
Katherine, Aug 19, 2017 - Aircon was freezing for me in top bunk bed. Need to fix this. Was loud at each station from other people. Otherwise it was great. Thank you :)
Susan, Aug 9, 2017 - Safe and comfortable. Arrived on time. Great trip.

July 2017

Martijn, Jul 30, 2017 - We travelled with Livitrans. Great trip. Twelve hours guarantee that you will get enough rest!
Linda, Jul 29, 2017 - Having paid extra for bottom bunks we were forced to take a top one. Livitrans was dirtier than the normal Vietnamese Railways sleeper train on all fronts: cabin, sheets, toilets... water dispenser not working either. Certainly not worth the extra cost and a not particularly pleasant experience. We travel a lot by night train and this was one of the more disappointing experiences
Mark, Jul 21, 2017 - Got us from A-B, left on time and arrived pretty much as stated, some comp food( banana and a roll) and some coke and water for booking VIP, had no choice as this was only offering left. Beds okay, train rocked a lot and there was a few hard breaking moments, one that left everything off the table on the floor and us all nearly out of beds, but slept okay for the most part. Cabin clean enough, loos really grim, no paper or soap, very dirty!
Ngadirin, Jul 21, 2017 - Very nice trip. The cabin was clean and even the toilet was clean. Friendly servixe.
Paul, Jul 18, 2017 - Clean train with some refreshments gratis. Still the perennial problem with smelly, overflowing toilets but this is actually due to people not flushing properly - press the flush button and water flows in to the pan. Press and hold, the flap opens and the pan empties with suction assistance. So press and hold, people! Train a bit late but not a problem. Nice view of the country and good craic with fellow travellers.
Gareth, Jul 13, 2017 - No complaints really was just a little cold and the toilets were a little special !!!!!!!
Alexandra, Jul 9, 2017 - Livitrans VIP sleeper is a scam. The standard in Livitrans VIP is the same as regular 1st class, but much more expensive. Toilets are a complete mess, beds are hard and linen smelly. We also had quite a few large beetles in our compartment.

June 2017

Zambarrano, Jun 20, 2017 - 12GO Asia was good... so don't hesitate to book from there site... I was just disappointed with the pillow and the blanket, it's like they never washed it. I think they never change it since there's a smell of others people head in it and same thing with the blanket.. it was really awful !!! The traveling experienced was ok though.. everything was good except the used pillow and blanket.. Such a shame..
Angus, Jun 16, 2017 - When we arrived at the train station to go from Hanoi to Hue (litvans VIP 4 person sleeper), we realised that our 12goasia tickets did not have a seat number. The conductor acted as if he had never seen the tickets sent by 12goasia before. He had to call head office before allowing us to board the train, finding an empty cabin and printing new tickets. We were very lucky that the train was not booked up,that we arrived an hour before departure and that the conductor was so accommodating. The train itself was great but I would highly recommend booking with a different agency

May 2017

Alexa, May 12, 2017 - Dirty cabin and used bedsheets. Gross.
Jenny, May 8, 2017 - Our cabin has leaks on the roof from the air conditioner I assume, and the beds in the top were getting wet. We told this to one of the staff, but he laughed at us, and clean the floor. We had to share the little bed and didn't sleep (10 hours of travel). - 12Go: Dear Jenny Pereira Laguna Thanks for alerting us to this issue and our apologies that you've had this experience. We will speak with the train company about obtaining a partial refund. Please try not to the laughter too personally it's local way of dealing with an uncomfortable situation and kind of a face saving thing. Even after years living here (coming for the US) I still don't understand it fully, but it is what it is. Hope the rest of your journey goes smoothly! Best regards, Spencer Tiesse, 12Go Business Development Team

April 2017

Allan, Apr 19, 2017 - Cabin very comfortable, complimentary water/snacks, linen clean, train on time and staff helpful. Overall would use again and recommend. Allan (Scotland)
Robbert, Apr 10, 2017 - We booked VIP cabins, and picked up the tickets as was instructed, but the cabin was triple booked!! We ended up sleep-ins in the second class cabin which was rather dirty. - 12Go: Dear Robbert Vetter Thanks for informing us, we will contact Livitrans to find out what happened and request a refund. Hope the remainder of your travels go well. Best regards, Spencer Tiesse, 12Go Business Development Team [Support case #129725](,)
Irina, Apr 10, 2017 - Generally it was a good trip. The bed was quite comfortable and clean. Some snacks and water were provided. Booking was very easy. Look out for local men who walks you to the ticket office area, calls someone for your tickets and then demand 100 000 dongs for their services. Also we had a booking for particular carriage and beds, but ended up moved to another carriage as ours was full. Moreover, we had to exchange booking voucher for the actual tickets with the "help" of a local guy even though the voucher says it can be used as a ticket.

March 2017

Daniela, Mar 28, 2017 - the train was clean and comfortable, but at the raillstation was very difficult meet the righ train, nobady tell us information about the organization before the departure.
Thorsten, Mar 18, 2017 - Total rip off. Cars are indentical to the Vietnamese Rail first class coaches, besides different color blankets and free instant soup.
Ian, Mar 11, 2017 - As safe, reliable and cheap(ish) way to get from Hanoi to Hue this couldn't be faulted. The train was on time, the berths comfortable and the linen clean. I'm not sure what some of the other negative reviewers on this site were expecting? Of course it wasn't a 5 star bedroom - its a train! - but we had no trouble sleeping, bed was comfortable and the rocking carriage probably helped us off to sleep, rather than keeping us awake. Two small quibbles: (1) when we arrived 60 mins before departure the friendly cabin steward had no record of our booking, but found us a couple of berths anyway. And (2) when I booked with 12Go Asia a month ago they couldn't honour my preferred journey so booked this alternative before I'd confirmed it because "with so few berths left we did not want to risk being unable to complete the booking". Yet the young German couple who shared our compartment had only booked the day before and paid 40% less than us. That said, this was still great value and good trip.
Chantal, Mar 2, 2017 - The cabin and toilets were relatively clean for most of our journey, the guard was very helpful and professional - he introduced himself to us straightaway and answered any questions we had. We were provided with complimentary water, snacks and beer which was a pleasant surprise. The air-conditioning was excellent in our cabin. The train departed and arrived on time.

February 2017

Christina, Feb 28, 2017 - We just got off the train smelling like smoke. Though the train is no smoking, people were doing so between cars, and likely within the rooms themselves from the smell of it. In addition, one of the crew attempted to sleep in our 4-bed cabin (2 of the beds were empty) even though the staff has their own cabin. We expressed that we were not comfortable with this, and had to communicate via translation application to get the point across. Very uncomfortable and unprofessional. Otherwise, it's what you expect: little sleep from the constant extreme breaking and a bathroom that isn't cleaned for the duration of the trip. Unless you have a strong desire to see the countryside in the morning, FLY.
Aron, Feb 25, 2017 - This is not for me. I suppose it is what is to be expected. The 4 berth soft sleeper was clean. The train was on time. The printout was already the reservation, nothing else needed to done at railway station. The soft sleeper was the hardest bed I ever slept on - or rather where I spent a night not sleeping, trying to position myself to have the least amount of back pain. Also, if you tend get nauseous, the shaking of the train is not helpful. Like turbulence on a plane for hours on end. If you're the rougher type, this is perfectly adequate, but if you like to be comfortable, take a plane instead. As I said, this train is probably what one should expect, but calling it luxury is really misleading. It's anything but.

Livitrans Express

Livitrans Express VIP Sleeper 4x Inside
Livitrans Express VIP Sleeper 4x Inside
VIP Sleeper 4x Outside
Livitrans Express VIP Sleeper 4x Outside

Schedule Livitrans Express

2.0 Da Nang - Hanoi
12:44, 12:45, 14:13;
3.7 Hanoi - Da Nang
19:30, 22:00;
3.1 Hanoi - Hue
19:30, 22:00;
3.3 Hanoi - Sapa
3.0 Hue - Hanoi
15:30, 16:45;
0.0 Sapa - Hanoi

Stations Livitrans Express

Hanoi, Hue, Danang, Sapa Lao Cai, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City