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

Da Nang - Hanoi
Find 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
Hanoi - Da Nang
Find tickets
Train Cabin 2x
22:20
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
Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh
Find tickets
Train Cabin 2x
22:20
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
Hanoi - Sapa
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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
Ho Chi Minh - Hanoi
Find tickets
Train Cabin 2x
21:55
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 Sleeper
06:00, 08:00, 09:00, 09:40, 13:10, 14:40, 19:45, 21:25, 21:55
Ho Chi Minh - Hue
Find tickets
Train Cabin 2x
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 Sleeper
06:00, 08:00, 09:00, 09:40, 11:50, 13:10, 14:40, 19:45, 21:25, 21:55, 22:50
Sapa - Hanoi
Find tickets
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
5,358 / 113,798
5 1197
4 1698
3 1284
2 617
1 562
99.0% of 113,798 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.

Jun 23, 2019
train #SE10 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
We had two soft beds in a first class sleeper cabin from Da Nang to Hue. Glad it was a short trip - the train was loud, bumpy, dirty, and our one other cabin mate facetimed someone loudly for the first hour. Halfway through the trip, the guard stopped by. I thought he was going to check our tickets, but instead he climbed into the bunk above me and took a nap. At the end of the trip, the blankets were folded up and placed back on the dirty sheets that don't ever seem to be changed. I had low expectations based on reading other reviews, but was hoping for something slightly better from first class.
Jun 22, 2019
train #SE10 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
For a 20 hour train ride, I'm surprised it went so quickly and smoothly! Not bad at all!
Jun 22, 2019
train #SE18 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
Generally a comfortable ride. Some really beautiful views. My only complaints would be that the room was too hot and there were roaches in the bed.
Jun 22, 2019
train #SNT4 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
Not a bad service for price. Top sleeper bunk was too short me for (6" 1) Otherwise not bad
Jun 20, 2019
train #SE6 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
I got what I expected. Good service and it is worth what I paid. Food served in the train good and cheap. Time of departure and arrival just as programmed.
Jun 20, 2019
train #SE2 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
One of the workers stole my bed and slept in it for part of the trip!
Jun 20, 2019
train #SE22 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
i book two seats together but i was given the seats in two different rooms.
Jun 20, 2019
train #SNT3 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
Good sleep, Train arrived 1,5 hours late, and 1 Class Sleeper was in reality a drunk-cell madrass, but popped some pills and slept like a king.
Jun 20, 2019
train #SE1 Cabin 2x, Vietnam Railways
Limpeza péssima e atendimento no trem péssimo.. Cabine para 2 pessoas é boa.
Jun 18, 2019
train #SE20 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
The beds where not clean, a person slept their before us.
Jun 18, 2019
train #SE2 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
Ok, nothing bad, train was late, but i quess it common
Jun 18, 2019
train #SE1 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
This was our second train trip with Vietnam Railway, it was better than the first which was poor at best. This trip was fair. The seats were more comfortable than the last train, even though it was the same class of ticket. There weren’t any people sitting in the aisle this time, which was an improvement, although it shouldn’t even have to be mentioned, but I’m mentioning it because it could happen. The train was painfully slow, but this was tolerable because the views were beautiful and distracting. Honestly, I would take a bus except the buses are sleeping busses and are very uncomfortable for someone older. The train is easier because you can sit up. Travel in Vietnam is difficult for someone accustomed to a better level of comfort.
Jun 17, 2019
train #SNT3 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
Didn't feel like VIP.. Very old carrage (had way newer one from Hanoi to Danang)... Seats on train next to mine looked better then my bed...
Jun 17, 2019
train #SE19 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
Wow, after all the horror stories of night trains in Vietnam, we were not expecting much. Luckily our trip was AMAZING! Clean rooms, working AC and wifi, excellent service and hey, ok, the toilet wasn't super clean but I'm okay with that. I think we got a solid 8 hours sleep on a 12 hour trip, it was great!
Jun 16, 2019
train #SE1 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
Late departing, but made up time on the journey. Scenic journey, worth the experience, but arrival into Da Nang horrendous, having to jostle off the crowded platform and cross the tracks to exit. Also, no taxi drivers prepared to take us to hotel, preferring to wait on Hoi An transfers...
Jun 15, 2019
train #SE7 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
Too many people sitting in the aisles on plastic chairs. Air conditioning is weak. Train delayed 30 minutes. Train smells of toilet and is dirty overall. Getting on and off the train is very unorganized. Overall poor quality.
Jun 15, 2019
train #SE7 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
Train travel is far better than the bus. We will use it more next time we come.
Jun 14, 2019
train #SPT2 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
Train was okay. I got the first coach, nearest to the restaurant (?) carriage and probably the oldest looking and full of locals. Curtains are very dusty, people do smoke and every time someone opens the door at the back, you can really smell it inside. Better wear a mask! Train also arrived at the destination an hour late.
Jun 13, 2019
train #SE22 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
Air conditioning is spotty. Hit 90 in first class sleeper. Not for anyone over 5'10"
Jun 13, 2019
train #SE2 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
Bed bugs! I could tolerate them but my partner was crazy itchy. Bring your own snacks and toilet paper as options and English are very limited! I slept well but I’m 1.54m so I was super comfy.
Jun 12, 2019
train #SE3 Class II Sleeper AC, Vietnam Railways
I travelled in the Laman express! It was an amazing experience with friendly staff and super clean compartment and blankets!
Jun 12, 2019
train #SE4 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
The train was smelly and stuffy, bathrooms were questionable. Pretty standard for Vietnam travel-but the views of beaches along the wya were nice.
Jun 11, 2019
train #SE1 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
The train and everything was fine, the People in there we're just very loud...
Jun 11, 2019
train #SE20 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
I took the SE20 night sleeper 1rst class. As there isn't a cabin for two, we shared with 2 other people, who changed during the course of the journey. I slept very well. Yet, one must not be too picky about tidiness. The bathrooms are so dirties that it doesn't measure up to anyone worse nightmare. At 5 am, people were shouting in the corridor. The lady who shared our room didn't see the point of wearing earphone at 6am, while the 3 other were sleeping tight: so we enjoyed her favorite tv show on her iPhone. She even opened the light to do so. Another passenger didn't feel uncomfortable sitting on my bed while I was lying there to sleep. Now, my expectations were very low, so I manage to sleep well. Can't figure out, though, why they can't keep things clean. It doesn't require a rocket science degree, nor huge amount of money, to get organize and maintain a minimum hygiene. Also, there are ladies providing toilet paper for 2000 dong at each train station. We got insulted not to use theirs: they wanted to get paid anyway. So we figured out they were responsible to clean the toilet. Well, they were doing such a lousy job, which I underlined to them, that we refuse to give them anything. They weren't happy...
Jun 11, 2019
train #SE1 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
It was ok. Seats were fine. Though 12go price was almost double Vietnam railways. It even said it on the ticket they sent me. The price of convenience I guess. Also there was a little bit of 'tourist pricing' on board with my meal and drinks purchased.
Jun 11, 2019
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
The coach was fine, but it would be better if the staffs can speak basic English since there are lots of foreigners who traveled by train as well. The coach could be cleaner, I struggle to fight with a cockroach and asking help from staffs that understand zero English, so I need to speak Vietnamese to them (google translate). Overall, it was a great experience.
Jun 11, 2019
train #SE8 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
Comfortable and much nicer than a bus ride to mue ne
Jun 10, 2019
train #SE9 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
At times I thought the carriages were going to bounce off the track. It's rough, it's noisy, it's a long night. It's the only overnight train I'm taking and I'm thankful for that.
Jun 10, 2019
train #SE2 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
Seats very comfortable and spacious but toilets smell.
Jun 10, 2019
train #SE19 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
Mr. Tim changed our berth from lower berth to upper berth and say it was upgrade. This was no upgrade and I don’t like. Rest all was very very nice.
Jun 10, 2019
train #SP2 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
The trip was okay but there was a weird smell in the cabin and the AC was too strong. Overall, was a good experience!
Jun 9, 2019
train #SE2 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
Train SE2 or the track made it quite a bumpy ride. Part of travel in Asia. Still good and timely way to go.
Jun 9, 2019
train #SP1 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
Very efficient and on time even if the mattress is not so comfortable. We enjoyed it
Jun 8, 2019
train #SE7 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
It was a long slog in very hot conditions. You couldn't even tell there was aircon until we got halfway into the 11hr 30min journey - which was actually closer to 13hr in the end after an early delay where we sat baking on the tracks. It cooled down once we got up into the mountains and it rained. A family had already taken my assigned seat so I agreed to sit elsewhere until they got off. My seat wouldn't stay upright so I had to jam my pillow behind it so I didn't have to lay back staring at the ceiling. I had thought I'd see more out the windows by getting 2nd class seats rather than a sleeper cabin, but most people shut the curtains so didn't really see much at all for big parts of the journey. I'd probably choose sleeper next time for this length of trip...
Jun 7, 2019
train #SE7 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
12 min delate, Bit every thing else worked quite smoothly
Jun 6, 2019
train #SE1 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
Cockroaches in bed with you and they don’t even share the ticket price.
Jun 6, 2019
train #SE10 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
Train was leaving late. Aircon has some issues in the train.
Jun 6, 2019
train #SE2 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
Train is reasonable but not really clean, avoid toilet if you can, i started in hcm so had clean sheets, but sheets are kept on until hanoi, just in case you wush for ypur own, only 0,5 hour delay on 15 hours
Jun 6, 2019
train #SE20 VIP Sleeper, Vietnam Railways
Great to wake up to the Northern Vietnam countryside! The bathrooms could have been a little cleaner and the blankets a little warmer, but overall good experience!
Jun 6, 2019
train #SE8 Class II AC, Vietnam Railways
The seats and car was infested with bugs. I stood most of the time to avoid them from crawling on me. These cars need to be fumigated and thoroughly cleaned.

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 Song Than Phan Thiet Giap Bat