Livitrans Express

Livitrans Express
80 / 1,362
5 7
4 27
3 22
2 12
1 12
98.2% of 1,362 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.

October 3.5

September 3.2

August 3.8

October 2017

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.
Bjoern, Feb 18, 2017 - Terrible and filthy train. Took the night train but people are coming and going out of the cabin all the time so don't expect many hours of sleep on this train. The beds are also very uncomfortable and the price was pretty high. Next time I would take the flight instead.
Alison, Feb 17, 2017 - The train ride has spectacular views of the coast line coming into DaNang, the staff are great, very polite - check your tickets though as we paid a lot for what we thought was the whole cabin but we were sharing!! Not sure why we paid extra.
Simon, Feb 15, 2017 - Ok, but I think the Livitrans carriage was absent and we were moved to other first class sleeper accommodation. Slightly disturbed night from a drunk tour guide and not much sleep from the noise. The food was a can of beer, a bottle of water, a banana and a crisp packet covered sweet loaf of bread. But it's an experience to talk about! - 12Go: Dear Simon Rains Thank you very much for the feedback, we investigating this case and will get back to you shortly. Best regards, Spencer Tiesse, 12Go Business Development Team [Support case #105688](
Christopher, Feb 15, 2017 - Linens and cabin were clean and overall everything was ok with the actual train ride. Much better than the standard VN railways cabin. However a lot of confusion while attempting to board with only a voucher. A LOT. Basically the staff wasn't letting us on the train because we did not have printed tickets. We were asked to step aside and wait. My wife and I started to get very worried because none of the staff knew what to do with us until last minute someone came running with our tickets. No sure what exactly transpired, but we were only then were we allowed to board.
Matthew, Feb 15, 2017 - I paid for a Livitran ticket and was given a berth in a car with a plastic mattress that had no bedding. People opened the door every 10 minutes and the car was filthy. Interestingly the livitran car was next to this car filled with a tour group of students. I bought my ticket a month ago. I would like to be refunded for the money I spent for a service I did not receive. This car was much worse than the 1st class soft sleeper that was half as much money. - 12Go: Dear Matthew Hickey Thank you very much for informing us and we are sorry that this has happened. We will be speaking with Livitrans about this situation and hope to get back to you shortly with compensation. Hope the rest of your time in Vietnam goes more smoothly. Best regards, Spencer Tiesse, 12Go Business Development Team [Support case #105418](,)
Cynthia, Feb 9, 2017 - Very pleased with service from 12Go. No problems with tickets and we were shown directly to our births at Hanoi Station. However the very efficient air conditioning in our carriage and a single thin cover made it a very cold night. Some other carriages had extra covers but when we tried to get some we were told there were none. This could possibly be because the train staff had them all!! Toilets grim, facilities poor and no coffee on offer so bring your own. Disappointing as we had paid twice as much for the Livitrans carriage and it didn't look any better than the cheaper ones.
Amy, Feb 9, 2017 - Bit of confusion in trying to find our cabin initially but got there in enough time, the staff at the station were not sure about our printed booking voucher. Room was clean and beds were reasonable. Ride was better than expected, quite a lots of noise and bumps but that goes with any train ride. Provided with bread, banana and water which was good. Toilet was clean at the start of the trip but a disaster by the end. A clean a long the way would have been greatly appreciated. Staff all very friendly in the cabin and helpful.
Kevin, Feb 9, 2017 - Good value, bananas, bread and water provided. Beds close together. Traveled as a couple. Killed two cockroaches and two mosquitos. Train clicks and clacks as trains do. Toilets fine.
Jeffrey, Feb 8, 2017 - The last Livtrans I took from Danang to Hanoi wasn't what I paid for. I ended up getting a regular sleeper and only through the kindness of one person at the train station. There were no Livtrans cars on either train and my train number was incorrect and rescheduled an hour. The price is more than double what Vietnam railways charges. Avoid this experience if possible and book your own ticket at the railway station if possible. - 12Go: Dear Jeffrey M Holmes We spoke with Livitrans this morning they claimed that they did hold your berth on the SE4 departing at 14:13. In order to proceed with a possible refund could you please send us a photo of your ticket. Best regards, Spencer Tiesse, 12Go Business Development Team [Support case #95110](,)
Evert, Feb 8, 2017 - Hanoi to Hue, couldn't sleep due to loudness and shocking of the train. Cockroaches crawling on the wall (was warned of this beforehand though, so no big surprise). Toilet was fine.
Alan, Feb 5, 2017 - Our second trip and as highlighted in earlier reviews some minor confusion when boarding. Our voucher stated train SE2 when we were actually travelling on SE4. Guards speak no English, but fortunately someone came to our help and gave us tickets albeit that they were issued in other people's names. However, all turned out ok. The carriages were swept and cleaning linen and food (pot noodle) and water provided. Best part of the trip from HCMC to Hanoi was the coastal route from Da Nang to Hue. Glad we have done the trip, but probably won't repeat it.

January 2017

Hoyong, Jan 29, 2017 - Staffs at Hanoi train station didn't know about the voucher which is given from 12go. We almost lost the train because the staffs understand that this is a voucher but they didn't let us in without seat numbers in it. Couple of travelers were also struggling with same problem. The problem was a staff in charge of tickets from 12go didn't stand in front of the ticket gate but in front of the train door. Come on, this ticket costs 100 dollars.. Seriously? This is not the best you guys could do.
Stanley, Jan 15, 2017 - This is the first and probably the last time travelling on a train in Asia. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a wimp, I can take a little discomfort and chalk it up to experience. The biggest gripe is with Livitrans or 12GoAsia or maybe both. On arrival at the station we had our ticket checked by 2 different agents and we were still placed on the wrong train. Then, while on route, we received a call informing us of this information and we were told to get off in Hue. We waited there for an hour and a half for the correct train. Definitely not the best sleep or the best food, but again, it's an Asian train that we wanted to experience and that is what happened. Enjoyed some beautiful countryside and a couple beers with a group of Vietnamese men who didn't speak a lick of English. (That was my highlight)

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
12:45, 14:13;
3.7 Hanoi - Da Nang
19:30, 22:00;
3.2 Hanoi - Hue
19:30, 22:00;
0.0 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

Comparison Livitrans Express