Vietnam Railways

Company Information

Vietnam Railways runs the country's major train line, the 1600km-long Reunification Line, which connects Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam's two major cities. The Reunification Line was completed in 1936, with services running until 1954 when war divided the country. It wasn't then possible to catch a train from Hanoi to HCMC until 1976.

Vietnam Railways is the national train carrier with responsibility for maintaining the route but in these trains there are also carriages reserved by private transport operators who you need to contact directly to purchase a ticket or to reserve a seat.

Routes served by Vietnam Railways

Almost all the major destinations lie on, or close to, the Reunification Line so it's easy to get anywhere you might want to go in Vietnam. There are five trains connecting the capital city, Hanoi, and HCMC in the south, each and every day. However, a direct train between the two cities is very long, taking around 35 hours!

There is a wide range of tickets for all trips on this line from which you can choose depending or whether you want a seat or a sleeper, air-conditioning or a fan. Fares between Hanoi and HCMC start from VND907,000 for a seat, VND1,265,000 for a hard sleeper and VND1,423,000.

Before you reach HCMC, you'll pass Da Nang (15 hours journey time with seats starting at VND552,000 and berths in sleeping compartments from VND809,000) and Nha Trang (26 hours from Hanoi with seats from VND806,000 and sleeping berths from VND1,181,000).

Hanoi to Hue is a much shorter journey, taking around 13 hours. You can catch any train headed to HCMC and they will all stop at Hue as it is one of the most popular towns in the country. Ticket prices start from VND462,000 for a seat, VND755,000 for a hard sleeper berth and VND849,000 for a soft sleeper. For all trips, the fare will be the same in either direction.

From Hue you can then catch a train to Da Nang in just three hours, costing VND67,000 for a seat, VND94,000 for a hard sleeper and VND106,000 for a soft sleeper. Further afield lies Nha Trang which takes around 13 hours to reach by train with tickets at VND414,000 (seat), VND577,000 (hard sleeper) and VND649,000 (soft sleeper).

HCMC is still a distant 20 hour ride away from Hue, priced at VND666,000 for seats and from VND957,000 for a berth in a sleeping compartment.

If you're travelling from HCMC you can reach Nha Trang in about eight hours, with tickets priced from VND297,000 for a seat and VND469,000 for a berth in a sleeper carriage.

HCMC to Da Nang take around 20 hours and is priced at VND617,000 (seat), VND889,000 (hard sleeper) and VND999,000 (soft sleeper).

If you're planning on visiting some of the smaller stations, such as Ninh Binh, always check the schedule as not every train will stop there. The train from Hanoi to Ninh Binh takes around two hours with prices from VND77,000 (seat), VND111,000 (hard sleeper) and VND126,000 for a soft sleeping berth.

Of course, Vietnam Railways also provides services beyond the Reunification Line. For example, you can catch a train from Hanoi to Haiphong to travel onward to Ha Long Bay and Cat Ba Island. There are three trains a day to Haiphong, taking around three hours for VND60,000.

Alternatively, you will almost certainly want to visit Sapa. Although the town doesn't have its own train station, it is around 40km from Lao Cai and there are plenty of buses heading to Sapa. There are four trains per day from Hanoi to Lao Cai, taking around nine hours, with seats from VND116,000 and sleeper berths from VND295,000.

If you are in HCMC and fancy some beach time you can head to Mui Ne by catching a train to Binh Thuan and then travelling an hour onwards by bus. HCMC to Binh Thuan takes around four hours and costs from VND130,000.

Pros

If you have the time then train travel is the best way to get around Vietnam. It's more interesting than travelling by bus and you can see a lot more of the country.

Plus, it's brilliant value for money, there's no other mode of transport where you can travel from Hanoi to HCMC for under a million dong. These trains are an experience you should have at least once during your time in Vietnam, although it might take longer, it's more interesting than flying everywhere! Plus, it will save you a night’s accommodation.

Overall, these services are pretty comfortable. Previously, carriages maintained by Vietnam Railways were considered inferior to some of the ones run by private operators but this is no longer the case and these carriages are usually of a similar standard.

Throughout the journey you'll be offered very tasty, cheap food by vendors wandering up and down the carriages. It's definitely worth trying what's on offer, after all, it's all part of the experience.

If you're potentially spending almost two days on a train, then it's essential that there are charging ports throughout the carriages. This will help keep you entertained and ensure that once you arrive you are able to contact anyone or book a hotel.

Cons

Delays are common and the journey is often very long and slow so you should take this into consideration when planning your trip. For example, if you're only in the country for a couple of weeks it won't be much fun spending a whole day sitting on a slow train.

The air-conditioning is not always the best quality, but unfortunately, this is the case with pretty much all of the operators in Vietnam. Probably a more important issue is the fact that there are no announcements when you're arriving into a station so make sure you pay attention or find out when you're due to arrive so you can set an alarm to wake you up.

Keep in mind

It's very easy to book tickets with Vietnam Railways whether you choose to do this in person or online.

Families travelling with children will be pleased to hear that children aged below four years old can travel for free, whilst those between five and nine years old get a 25% discounted fare.

Travellers reviews

Visitors were really pleased about the price of train travel in Vietnam, it's the cheapest way to see the country and is incredibly easy to navigate. Due to the narrow shape of the country, most of the main tourist sites are along the Reunification Line so it is an ideal way of getting around.

The main issues that customers have with Vietnam Railways tend to be the cleanliness of the carriages. For example, the bathrooms are often unpleasant and way below the standards you'd expect on public transport in western countries, this can be especially problematic if you're on the train for ten or more hours as you won't be able to avoid going. Another issue some visitors highlight is that the bedding isn't always changed during the journey. If you board at either Hanoi or HCMC, then your bedding will be fresh, however, if you catch the train at Hue then the bedding may not have been changed after the traveller who was previously in your bunk has left.

Buy Vietnam Railways Tickets

Train Class II AC
14:40, 18:45, 19:40
Train Class II Sleeper AC
11:09, 14:40, 18:45
Train VIP Sleeper
14:40, 18:45
Train Class II AC
06:00, 09:00, 13:10, 14:30, 19:30, 20:10, 20:45, 22:20
Train Class II Sleeper AC
06:00, 09:00, 13:10, 14:30, 19:30, 20:10, 20:45, 22:20
Train Class III AC
09:00, 19:30, 22:00
Train Class III Fan
06:00, 09:00, 13:10, 19:30, 22:00
Train VIP Sleeper
06:00, 09:00, 14:30, 19:30, 20:10, 20:45, 22:20, 22:40
Train Class II AC
06:00, 09:00, 13:10, 14:30, 19:30, 20:10, 22:20
Train Class II Sleeper AC
06:00, 09:00, 13:10, 14:30, 19:30, 20:10, 22:20
Train Class III AC
09:00, 19:30, 22:00
Train Class III Fan
06:00, 09:00, 13:10, 19:30, 22:00
Train VIP Sleeper
06:00, 09:00, 14:30, 15:55, 19:30, 20:10, 20:45, 22:20
Train Class II AC
06:10
Train Class II Sleeper AC
21:35
Train Class III Fan
06:10
Train VIP Sleeper
21:35, 22:00, 22:30
Train Class II AC
06:00, 09:00, 09:40, 13:10, 14:40, 19:45, 21:25, 21:55
Train Class II Sleeper AC
06:00, 09:00, 09:40, 12:10, 13:10, 14:40, 19:45, 21:25, 21:55
Train Class III AC
09:00, 19:30, 22:00
Train Class III Fan
06:00, 08:00, 09:00, 13:10, 19:30, 22:00
Train VIP Cabin 2x
21:55
Train VIP Sleeper
06:00, 08:00, 09:00, 09:40, 13:10, 14:40, 19:45, 21:25, 21:55
Train Class II AC
06:00, 09:00, 09:40, 11:50, 13:10, 14:40, 19:45, 21:25, 21:55, 22:50
Train Class II Sleeper AC
06:00, 09:00, 09:40, 11:50, 12:10, 13:10, 14:40, 19:45, 21:25, 21:55, 22:50
Train Class III AC
09:00, 19:30, 22:00
Train Class III Fan
06:00, 08:00, 09:00, 13:10, 19:30, 22:00
Train VIP Cabin 2x
21:55
Train VIP Sleeper
06:00, 08:00, 09:00, 09:40, 11:50, 13:10, 14:40, 19:45, 21:25, 21:55, 22:50
Train Class II AC
10:05, 20:55
Train Class III Fan
07:00
Train VIP Sleeper
19:40, 20:55, 21:40

Vietnam Railways Company Reviews

3.4
4,161 / 88,087
5 899
4 1325
3 1025
2 483
1 429
99.0% of 88,087 travelers were presumably happy with Vietnam Railways as they left good or no review

At 12Go our operators offer three types of service:

Cheap, Fast, Good - but you can usually pick only two of them!
Cheap & Fast won’t be Good. (e.g. buses from/to Khao San Road, local buses or 3rd class trains)
Cheap & Good won’t be Fast. (e.g. VIP trains in Thailand)
Fast & Good won’t be Cheap. (e.g. private limousine services, or VIP24 buses vs Express buses)

Make your choice! Please remember that while we are closely monitoring the services, we are still an agency marketplace. That means we focus on ticketing services and route availability & coverage rather than on the factual seat reclining angle you will get on the bus today.

Jan 16, 2019
train #SE20 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★★
We had a great trip. The train conductor asked us if we wanted to reserve the whole 1st class cabin for 400k dong which we did! Awesome trip with the train.they have powerplugs in the cabinnand A/C. No wifi though.
Jan 16, 2019
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★☆☆
The sheets were much cleaner than the sp3 eide from hanoi to lao cai. Still not very comfortable bed, too hard
Jan 15, 2019
train #SE8 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
★★☆☆☆
Train was on time, but extremely dirty. Nut shells and orange peels and empty water bottles beside the window and stick to the curtain, and puddles of liquid on the seat that we had to clean before sitting down.
Jan 15, 2019
train #SE10 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
★★★☆☆
It is cheap and relatively fast, but these trains are uncomfortable.
Jan 15, 2019
train #SE21 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
★★★★☆
Everything was fine and on time.
Jan 15, 2019
train #SE5 Class II Sleeper AC, Vietnam Railways
★★★☆☆
Train was late but not a major issue. The insects that infested our sleeper carriage however were. Got us where we needed to be but was very unclean and took the enjoyment out the trip.
Jan 15, 2019
train #SE10 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
★★★★★
I liked the train. It was on time and the Seats were good. Very relaxt.
Jan 14, 2019
train #SE19 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★☆
Cabins were clean, but too small. Beds are too short As they are not Made for nonasian People. There was no noise, As I read in previous comments. Good ratio of price and quality.
Jan 14, 2019
train #SE10 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
★★★★☆
No AC.
Jan 14, 2019
train #SE19 Class II Sleeper AC, Vietnam Railways
★★★☆☆
The WC is bad!
Jan 14, 2019
train #SE10 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
★★★☆☆
Glass of Window was shattered, so bad view. WC was disgusting. Seat was fine.
Jan 14, 2019
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★☆
Very comfortable and spacious, saw a very small cockroach but overall great experience!
Jan 14, 2019
train #SE2 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
★★☆☆☆
The toilets were horrible. All the seats were broken. The staff was leaving the door of the wagon open all the time, it was very noisy and we had to get up many, many times to close it.
Jan 14, 2019
train #SE19 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
★★★★★
Everythings fine again - like to travel by train in Vietnam! :-)
Jan 14, 2019
train #SE20 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★☆
Bathroom really dirty
Jan 14, 2019
train #SE4 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★★
It’s all about expectation! As others have stated, this isn’t what many westerners would expect when reading the words, “1st class.” With that said, it’s clean and comfortable enough for a one night kip. Just go into it with the anticipation that the A/C won’t always work and your neighbors may be a little noisy and you’ll be fine. As a bonus, we did receive rice dishes for dinner and breakfast on this train, but not on another one we later booked, so pack some snacks, just in case.
Jan 14, 2019
train #SE2 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★☆☆
Average experience, especially when compared to our previous journey from HCMC to Da Nang. The A/C was intermittent, so became very stuffy during the night. There was also no food provided. On the previous train, we were provided dinner and breakfast. I’m not sure if we were lucky on the first journey or unlucky on this one, but it was disappointing to not be fed for the amount of money paid.
Jan 14, 2019
train #SE1 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★☆☆☆☆
This was the worst travel experience I have ever had and I travel for a living. Bugs and mice running all over the place, very uncomfortable. It was a joke, I wish I could relive getting on this train as I would have gotten off straight away.
Jan 14, 2019
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★☆☆☆☆
Train operators wakes us up to ask for purchase of items during wee hours. It’s very annoying as we did not have enough rest as well.
Jan 14, 2019
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★☆☆☆
Cost efficient but very uncomfortable. Very hard couchettes, no clean bedding offered
Jan 13, 2019
train #SE1 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★★
pleasant journey
Jan 13, 2019
train #SE1 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
★★☆☆☆
Bloody hot
Jan 13, 2019
train #SE1 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★★
I can’t think of a way to improve the service only thing is the big step on and off the train
Jan 13, 2019
train #SE19 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★☆☆☆
No air conditioning in our car and we were all hot. The toilets were disgusting. I almost threw up using it.
Jan 13, 2019
train #SE10 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★★
Great sevice. Nice clean rooms. Nice beds and sleeping gear
Jan 13, 2019
train #SE7 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★☆
Our opinion is the same as Damien Anthony Mills. He has given a good description.
Jan 12, 2019
train #SPT1 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
★★★★☆
If the toilete were cleaner, they would achieve a lot
Jan 12, 2019
train #SE9 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★☆☆☆
Nog very much comfort and hygiëne
Jan 12, 2019
train #SE1 Class II Sleeper AC, Vietnam Railways
★★★★☆
The train was loud (both from people and from the train itself - doors, tracks, etc) but the beds were comfortable enough. It started out cold and then warmed up. The train originates in Hanoi where we got on, yet someone had obviously already been sleeping in one of our berths. Not sure how that happens and it was vacant when we boarded the train 35 minutes prior to departure.
Jan 12, 2019
train #SE5 Class II Sleeper AC, Vietnam Railways
★★★★★
We had a great journey.the service was brilliant.and the toilets was nice and clean
Jan 11, 2019
train #SE2 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★☆
Es hat ziemlich heftig gerattert im SE 2-Zug nach Hue. Doch man konnte im 1.Klasse-Sleeper wirklich gut liegen, bekam sogar eine Zudecke, Kissen und frisches Laken, und so habe ich sehr gut geschlafen und die 19stündige Fahrt ganz angenehm verbracht. Bei der Toilette und den verteilten Essen muss man zwar schon einige Abstriche machen. Doch ich wollte gern die Landschaft sehen und nicht im typischen Touristenbus unterwegs sein.
Jan 11, 2019
train #SP1 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★★
Very clean. Good value for money. Nice and helpful staff
Jan 11, 2019
train #SE1 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★★
It was excellent and exciting experience for me and my friends
Jan 11, 2019
train #SE22 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
★★★☆☆
The trup was fine. Way too much noise from television. Please turn them off
Jan 10, 2019
train #SE8 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★☆
Would. Have preferred a lower berth. They scenery was stunning once daylight broke.
Jan 10, 2019
train #SE19 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★☆
Trip was fine. Sleeper comfy. The toilet was horrid and stank.
Jan 10, 2019
train #SE3 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★★
Great bed!
Jan 10, 2019
train #SE3 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★☆
Very nice train. Toilets could be better maintained. Good journey.
Jan 10, 2019
train #SE1 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
★★★☆☆
The exit door usually leave open which gave so much noise. The seat adjustment sometime doesn’t work. And not clean. But okay. The operator is helpful. And toilet is okay, smelly but not so bad.
Jan 10, 2019
train #SP1 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
★★★★☆
Basic compartment. Everyone went to sleep right away. I was satisfied.

Vietnam Railways Stations

Bien Hoa Cho Sy Dong Ha Dong Hoi Di An Dong Le Danang Dieu Tri Hanoi Huong Pho Hue Long Khanh My Duc Minh Khoi Minh Le Binh Thuan Ninh Binh Nam Dinh Ninh Hoa Nha Trang Phu Ly Quang Ngai Ho Chi Minh City Suoi Kiet Thap Cham Tuy Hoa Thanh Hoa Tam Ky Vinh Yen Trung Bim Son Bong Son Cam Giang Gia Lam Hai Duong Haiphong Phu Thai Thuong Ly Long Bien Bao Ha Sapa Lao Cai Lang Khay Pho Lu Trai Hut Vinh Yen Yen Bai Yen Vien Mau A Phu Tho Viet Tri Duc Pho Gia Lang Co La Hai Nga Ba Nui Thanh Phu Cang Tra Kieu Song Mao Phan Thiet Giap Bat Song Than