Saigon Golden Train
Saigon Golden Train is a great option for travellers in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) who are interested in enjoying some beach time at the popular seaside city of Nha Trang.
These carriages are attached to the Vietnam Railways SNT1 and SNT2 trains that connect HCMC and Nha Trang and each can accommodate up to 50 passengers. Do bear in mind that Saigon Golden Train is a popular choice along this route so it is worth booking in advance if possible, especially during busy periods such as Tet.
Routes served by Saigon Golden Train
Ho Chi Minh City–Nha Trang
There is one departure each day in both directions, with the journey typically lasting just over nine hours.
The train departs HCMC at 20.30 every evening, arriving in Nha Trang for 05.30, and costs VND1,340,000 for a space in a four-berth cabin. The cost is also the same if you're travelling in the opposite direction with the train departing Nha Trang at 20.05 and scheduled to arrive in HCMC at 05.25.
The carriages operated by Saigon Golden Train are typically of a higher quality that the standard Vietnam Railways carriages. Indeed, the difference in quality between carriages managed by Vietnam Railways and private operators on this route is more noticeable than on other routes such as Hanoi – Sapa.
The cabins onboard are more comfortable so you may find the higher price a worthwhile investment if it means that you can enjoy a better sleep.
As well as the food and drink vendors who wander up and down trains across the country, there is also an onboard restaurant open to customers of Saigon Golden Train, ideal if you want a slightly more substantial meal.
Unfortunately, Saigon Golden Train only offers one departure each day which may not fit into your schedule. It is also possible to visit Nha Trang from HCMC, or vice versa, travelling with Vietnam Railways where you can purchase slightly cheaper tickets and there are more departures each day so greater flexibility.
Also, if you're travelling on a tight budget then you may consider Saigon Golden Train too expensive for you. If this is the case then don't worry, Vietnam Railways is also a good way to travel and you've got a higher chance of making friends with the locals!
Keep in mind
It is worth noting that, unlike many other private operators on trains throughout Vietnam, Saigon Golden Train only offers four-berth carriages rather than private two-berth compartments.
Travellers who picked Saigon Golden Train for this trip are usually impressed with the quality and the comfort offered in the cabins. Unlike on some other routes around the country, the difference in quality between these and the standard Vietnam Railways cabins is more obvious and you may feel as though you're getting greater value for money.
However, if you're on a strict budget you may rather take your chances in the cheaper Vietnam Railways cabins. This is a view shared by some customers who believe that the difference in price is too large to justify choosing Saigon Golden Train. It really does just come down to a matter of personal choice.
Another issue that is made by reviewers of Saigon Golden Train is the cleanliness of the bathrooms onboard the trains. Cabins do not have individual bathrooms so you will have to share with other Saigon Golden Train customers and they can quickly become dirty with a large number of passengers using them. Unfortunately, this is an issue with train travel across the country in general. If it's any consolation, the bathrooms in the standard Vietnam Railways carriages are likely to be even worse! Just be sure to bring some toilet paper and hand sanitizer with you…