Violette Express Train

Quick company Intro
Violette Express Train began offering services from Hanoi in 2016. Like many other private transport operators in Vietnam, the carriages on all routes are purchased from Vietnam Railways, the national company which manages the country's rail network.

All carriages on the Violette Express Train are air-conditioned four-bed VIP sleepers so you can rest assured that you will be travelling in the most comfortable surroundings.

Routes served by Violette Express Train

Hanoi–Lao Cai (Sapa)

Initially, Violette Express Train only connected Hanoi with the northern town of Lao Cai, a key stop on the route to the ever-popular mountain town of Sapa. As Sapa doesn't have a train station, if you are heading there by train you'll have to travel to Lao Cai before then catching a bus to Sapa, which should take around an hour.

There is one train each evening leaving Hanoi at 22.00 for Lao Cai, a journey that should take around 8 ½ hours, arriving into Lao Cai at 06.20 the following morning. At 21.10 each evening you can catch a train from Lao Cai headed to Hanoi, arriving at 05.25. The tickets will cost VND1,030,000 regardless of which way you're headed.

Hanoi–Hue–Da Nang

A newer route introduced by the Violette Express Train, connects Hanoi with the popular tourist cities of Hue and Da Nang.

There are two departures each day from Hanoi to Da Nang, leaving at 19.30 and 22.00 (scheduled to arrive at 11.30 and 13.00 respectively). There are also two trains heading in the opposite direction every day, at 12.45 and 14.15, which arrive in Hanoi at 04.50 and 05.40. The 15 hour journey costs VND2,005,000 each way.

Travellers wishing to visit Hue can catch services that are headed for either Hanoi or Da Nang. Hue is around 13 hours from Hanoi with a single ticket priced at VND1,750,000. If you're travelling from Hanoi to Hue, then jump on the train headed for Da Nang (at 19.30 or 22.00 every day).

Alternatively, if you're already in Hue and want to travel to Hanoi you can purchase a ticket for trains leaving Da Nang that will stop at Hue at 15.30 and 16.45 and then take you all the way to Hanoi.

Pros
The route connecting Hanoi and Lao Cai is incredibly scenic and you'll enjoy stunning views. Train travel really is the best way to see this part of the country and although it may be a bit slow, the journey will fly by.

The VIP sleepers on these routes are usually pretty comfortable and all have charging ports so you should be able to keep yourself entertained for the duration of the journey.

Cons
Unfortunately, the arrival times in Hanoi from Lao Cai, Hue and Da Nang are not ideal. It can sometimes be difficult arriving early in the morning or late at night as you may not be able to get to your accommodation easily if you have booked somewhere specifically. If you haven't booked any accommodation then you might have to carry your bags around for a few hours at least.

Although the cabins are usually fairly clean, there can be issues with the bathrooms on board these trains. Western toilets are available but they may not be cleaned thoroughly during the journey so probably won't be up to the standard you used to.

Keep in mind
It's worth bearing in mind that Violette Express Train only offers berths in sleeper carriages and there are no seats. This means that if you're travelling the short distance between Hue and Da Nang then you'll probably want to consider an alternative operator.

What travellers say
The biggest complaint on board these trains is typically the cleanliness of the bathrooms. Unfortunately, this is likely to be an issue on most forms of transport throughout Vietnam.

The noise levels on these routes can also be a bit of a surprise and take some getting used but is part of the experience of train travel in Vietnam. In truth, tickets are slightly more expensive in these privately-run carriages so they are likely to be less noisy than the cheaper carriages managed by Vietnam Railways.

Buy Violette Express Train Tickets

Da Nang - Hanoi
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12:41, 12:45, 12:49, 13:53, 13:55, 14:01
Da Nang - Ho Chi Minh
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11:25, 11:40, 13:15, 13:41, 13:45
Da Nang - Nha Trang
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11:23, 11:25, 11:40, 13:15, 13:45
Dong Hoi - Hanoi
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18:40, 19:40, 19:50, 19:55
Hanoi - Da Nang
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19:25, 19:30, 22:00, 22:20
Hanoi - Dong Hoi
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19:30, 22:00, 22:20
Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh
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19:30, 22:00, 22:20
Hanoi - Hue
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19:30, 22:00, 22:20
Hanoi - Sapa
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22:00, 22:30
Hue - Hanoi
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15:30, 15:31, 16:26
Hue - Ho Chi Minh
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08:37, 08:55, 10:35, 10:59
Nha Trang - Ho Chi Minh
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21:12, 21:14, 22:26, 22:28
Sapa - Hanoi
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21:10, 21:40

Violette Express Train Company Reviews

3.0
312 customer reviews
5
12%
4
32%
3
24%
2
15%
1
18%
98.1% of 5,332 travelers were presumably happy with Violette Express Train as they left good or no review
MW
5
train #SE1 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, Oct 16, 2019
Really good cabin, clean, felt safe, just the air con is pretty cold - so dont forget extra jacket, right in time
MC
4
train #SE3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, Oct 9, 2019
Toilets were gross and we didn’t get offered any food.
RD
2
train #SE3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, Sep 14, 2019
I had come to Vietnam to travel the country by train and was not expecting high standards of any type, The trains and station facilities are very basic and there is a definite lack of information for tourists, no help from staff at station not a word then again nobody in this country seems to want to engage with tourists or not me at least ??? I have enjoyed my train journeys and I’ve seen some fantastic scenery along the way and would recommend you for yourself however just don’t expect high standards that you may be used too in your own country. I paid for violette train SE3 which should have had luxury compartments as in the description and cost was far higher than standard price ??? Apparently this was the only ticket available so I had no choice, standard is always good enough for me. There was a woman sitting at a small desk at the station where I swapped my voucher and was given a ticket for getting through the automatic barriers. I boarded at Danang and my cabin was very dirty from previous occupants from Hanoi to Danang, there was lots of insects crawling on the walls, the bedding had been used already and just simply folded for me to reuse. I quickly realised that my compartment was no different to any other compartment on the train regardless of ticket type you paid for so makes me wonder why I had to pay far more for the same thing ? I arrived at Nah Trang 20 minutes late, not bad for over 9 hour journey. Go for it and give it a try but don’t expect too much, certainly don’t expect a Vietnamese to acknowledge you or speak to you, maybe push you out the way, give you dirty looks, run off with your change !
EB
2
train #SE1 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, Aug 23, 2019
Per 60 euro mi aspettavo servizio diverso, invece le cuccette del treno erano tutte uguali. Se quello era un letto morbido poi... era semirigido diciamo. L'unica cosa positiva è che ti forniscono da bere e da mangiare qualche snack.
EC
2
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, Aug 22, 2019
Following the instructions in the voucher, we approached the coach we had been assigned. However, we were not allowed to get on the train because we had not exchanged the voucher for a ticket and, after 15-20 minutes, we were asked to get on a standard coach which did not correspond to the VIP coah we had paid for. Very disappointed.
AR
5
train #SE1 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, Aug 20, 2019
Excellent the best Sleeper Train we have have used so far. More room than previous trains and more modern.
LT
4
train #SE3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, Aug 17, 2019
The train was clean, bathrooms were fine, slept well. Individual lights and charger ports
MB
2
train #SE1 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, Aug 17, 2019
Vip coach only means different sheets and drinks and a crisp. The beds are the same and the noise also
AB
5
train #SE3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, Aug 9, 2019
Excellent journey, really easy to pick up tickets at Hanoi station. Comfortable couchette.
HJ
3
train #SE3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, Aug 4, 2019
This was not a vip sleeper, despite the price we payed. Hard beds also
AW
2
train #SE1 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, Aug 1, 2019
AC could not be regulated and it was set to VERY cold!! We were all freesing all trough the night!! VERY helpfull staff though!
TH
4
train #SP4 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, Jul 27, 2019
Had a very nice trip with our family (3 kids, 6-9 years old). Cabin cool and clean. Toilet very dirty.
TH
3
train #SP3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, Jul 22, 2019
Our VIP sleeper was very comfortable and clean. We used it with 2 adults and 3 kids (6-9). The toilet is far from clean, that is a pity.
MB
4
train #SE3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, Jul 16, 2019
Vi havde en fin togtur. Vognen var ok ren og pæn. Dog så vi en lille mus under et af vores sæder. Desuden kunne rude med fordel gøres ren, så man kunne se mere ud af den. Men samlet er vi fint tilfredse.
GE
4
train #SE1 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, Jul 7, 2019
Very clean. 4little bottles of water en 4 bananas on the table. Not European comfort, but top experience !
LG
2
train #SE2 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, Jun 26, 2019
Quality of the sanitary and cabines very very bad. Would not recommend to book with this company.
JW
3
train #SE3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, May 25, 2019
Cheap enough and comfortable enough. The toilets were disgusting and the mouse in our cabin was a good bunk mate for the cockroaches. Couldn’t wait to get off. The staffs were very pleasant and helpful though. Very long trip.
GS
4
train #SE3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, May 22, 2019
Arrangements by 12goasia were excellent and it was easy to board the train. Berth on train was OK, but could have been quieter and more comfortable. The bunks did not fold away and travelling during the day was uncomfortable.
RM
3
train #SE1 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, May 21, 2019
We travelled from Danang to Saigon on VIP TICKETS. The voucher that we had printed stated the carriage number but had no cabin number. It stated that on this trip, you showed the voucher as you boarded. Don’t do this! Ensure you know your cabin number before. We tried to get on our stated coach number (11a)for train SE 1 but were pointed in the direction of another coach. Now slightly panicked with lots of luggage in 38 degree heat, we rushed to coach 9 and boarded. We still didn’t know cabin number! Luckily the guard phoned through our booking number and found out. Unfortunately, we had been put in first class cabin, not VIP. We had the free drinks etc but had to share with a stranger. We payed £200 for three people and therefore expected to have the cabin to ourselves. The VIP cabins had all been taken by a tour company. The rest of the trip was as expected - beds a bit hard, bumpy , noisy ride, not much sleep, air con stopped for a while so everyone sweating (sorted quickly once we complained). The other difference between our coach and the VIP coach was the toilets. They had loo paper and western toilets, we had squat toilets. However, at least we could wander into the VIP cabin and use theirs!
NK
4
train #SE3 VIP Sleeper 4x, Violette Express Train, May 12, 2019
VIP Sleeper - Hanoi - Hue Wasn't so bad at all clean beds toilets, of course, wasn't great but did the job. Just luck on who's in a cabin with you and next door regarding noise.

Violette Express Train Stations

Nha Trang Ho Chi Minh City Hanoi Sapa Lao Cai Dong Hoi Hue Da Nang