Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi by train

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From Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi by train

06:00
SGO Ho Chi Minh City
15:54
HNO Hanoi
1d 9h 54m
Refund 
 
06:00
SGO Ho Chi Minh City
15:54
HNO Hanoi
1d 9h 54m
Refund 
 
06:00
SGO Ho Chi Minh City
15:54
HNO Hanoi
1d 9h 54m
Refund 
 
08:45
SGO Ho Chi Minh City
19:12
HNO Hanoi
1d 10h 27m
Refund 
 
08:45
SGO Ho Chi Minh City
19:12
HNO Hanoi
1d 10h 27m
Refund 
 
08:45
SGO Ho Chi Minh City
19:12
HNO Hanoi
1d 10h 27m
Refund 
 
14:30
SGO Ho Chi Minh City
03:08
HNO Hanoi
1d 12h 38m
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14:30
SGO Ho Chi Minh City
03:08
HNO Hanoi
1d 12h 38m
Refund 
 
14:30
SGO Ho Chi Minh City
03:08
HNO Hanoi
1d 12h 38m
Refund 
 
19:25
SGO Ho Chi Minh City
04:48
HNO Hanoi
1d 9h 23m
Refund 
 
19:25
SGO Ho Chi Minh City
04:48
HNO Hanoi
1d 9h 23m
Refund 
 
19:25
SGO Ho Chi Minh City
04:48
HNO Hanoi
1d 9h 23m
Refund 
 
21:55
SGO Ho Chi Minh City
05:30
HNO Hanoi
1d 7h 35m
Refund 
 
21:55
SGO Ho Chi Minh City
05:30
HNO Hanoi
1d 7h 35m
Refund 
 
21:55
SGO Ho Chi Minh City
05:30
HNO Hanoi
1d 7h 35m
Refund 
 
21:55
SGO Ho Chi Minh City
05:30
HNO Hanoi
1d 7h 35m
Refund 
 

Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi Schedule

Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi Schedule
Transport NameRoute TimePrice
Vietnam Railways Class II Sleeper AC 06:00 – 15:54VND 1,439k
Vietnam Railways VIP Sleeper 08:45 – 19:12VND 1,615k
Vietnam Railways Class II AC 14:30 – 03:08VND 981k
Vietnam Railways Class II Sleeper AC 19:25 – 04:48VND 1,441k
Vietnam Railways Class II AC 21:55 – 05:30VND 1,099k

How to get from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) to Hanoi

Why go to Hanoi

The capital of Vietnam, Hanoi comes second as far as the size is concerned, yielding to the southern sister city of Saigon. It may feel quieter, but by no means less charming. Stately colonial mansions live in harmony with a crazy maze of the narrow lanes of the Old Quarter; rich two-dollar pho bowls are sold in front of the coffee shops pouring out world class flavoursome local coffee; and while the atmosphere of austerity embraces the final abode of Ho Chi Minh, almost palpable French flair fills the air.

From Saigon to Hanoi

Yes, it is a long, long way north from Saigon to Hanoi – actually over 1140 km. The first thought which dawns upon your mind is – let us guess – to take a plane. You can do it for sure and in two hours you will reach the capital, true; but going by land, though takes much longer – about 35 hours – is an adventure you should not miss if you can.

From Saigon to Hanoi by train

Why should you consider going from Saigon to Hanoi by train? It is definitely neither the fastest way to get to the Vietnamese capital nor the cheapest one. Spending almost 1½ day on the move and paying from USD60 to USD140 may seem unreasonable; but it still makes sense to travel from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi by train and that is why.

Originating from the largest southern city of Vietnam, the train travels the length of the country. The scenery you are going to see en route is diverse and provides you with the glimpses of rural, everyday Vietnam you can miss if visiting its cities and towns only. If you opt for a berth in an ordinary sleeper of the Vietnam Railways and not that of one of the private companies serving the route – e.g. Violette Express – there will be quite a lot of locals among your fellow passengers and some of them will be happy to share some insider’s information about their country with you.

Vietnamese trains are safe and rather comfortable. All the sleeping cars are air-conditioned and feature compartments for six (second class sleepers) or four (first class sleepers) passengers. There is at least one Western-style toilet in each car. You can order meals from the dining car and dishes are ok and reasonably prices (from USD2). Trains SE4, SE6 and SE8 has been recently refurbished and now allegedly provide Wi-Fi on board. In general, SE trains are the best way to travel. Note that your luggage travels together with you in the same compartment: you just place it below the lower berth or on the shelf above the door and thus have the constant access to your belonging what is a plus.

Though there are air-conditioned soft seats and cheap hard seats without air-conditioning in many trains, it is strongly recommended to opt for a sleeper on longer routes in general and on Saigon to Hanoi route in particular. Berths in a second class sleeper cost VND1.325mio/USD60, those in a first class sleeper – VND1.5mio/USD70. Try to get the first class as the difference is not substantial; if the first class is full, do not despair as travelling in a second class sleeper you have almost the same service, the major difference lying in the number of berths per compartment – and well, you may have to queue a bit longer for the toilet.

From the point of view of the schedule, the best departures are probably SE8 at 6am (arrives to Hanoi at 3.35pm the next day) and SE6 at 9am (8pm the next day). Yes, they rob you off two days but give a great opportunity to watch a movie about Vietnam right from your train seat. Arrival time to Hanoi is also convenient. SE2, departing at 7.30pm and reaching Hanoi early in the morning on day 3, as well as SE4 (10pm; 5.20am+2), is a money-saving alternative. You spend two nights in the train and have a full day to enjoy the ride. The last option to consider is train TN2 which reaches Hanoi rather inconveniently in the small hours.

Tip If you are still unsure whether you weather through this adventure, split your long journey into two shorter ones. Danang and Hue make for a great stop and are approximately half the way between Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. Which one to choose, depends entirely on your taste. At the first sight, modern Danang has little chances to win over the former imperial capital of Hue, but a closer look reveals stately colonial architecture, busy restaurant scene and some of the most hospitable people in the whole country, not mentioning its strategic proximity to Hoi An.

From Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi via Danang

Travelling from Saigon to Danang takes time, too. Most trains cover the distance of 850km in about 18 hours. On the bright side of it is that night trains SE2 (7.30pm) and SE4 (10pm) arrive to Danang very conveniently in the early afternoon, letting you sleep tight all night through. Tickets cost VND970,000/USD45 and VND1.1mio/USD50 for a second/first class sleeper. TN2 is a good choice, too, arriving in the morning (8.35am).

The remaining stretch from Danang to Hanoi takes 17 hours, with tickets sold at VND800,000/USD35 and VND900,000/USD40. Your best choice here is probably trains SE18 and SE20 leaving Danang in the afternoon (3.10pm) and early evening (6.40pm) and bringing your to Hanoi the next day in the morning (8.45am) and by midday.

From Danang, instead of buying an ordinary sleeper of the Vietnam Railways, you can proceed your journey in one of the private cars attached to the train. Check Violette Express or Livitrans Express. They cost VND2mio/USD90 but offer a more relaxed and friendly experience. Their VIP compartments accommodate four people and look nice.

Note Splitting your train journey from Saigon to Hanoi into two or more parts means paying more for your train tickets.

Tip If the sea is a must, then make a stop in Danang, not Hue.

From Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi via Hue

Hue is only three hours away from Danang, so to get from Saigon to Hue consider the same trains as for Danang. A berth in a second/first class sleeper will set you back VND1.05mio/USD47 and VND1.1mio/USD52 respectively.

After you have had enough of Hue, jump onto a train to Hanoi which takes in average 14 hours to reach its destination. Look for SE18 and SE20 in the first place, both perfectly scheduled to arrive to Hanoi before or around noon.

Getting around in Hanoi

The Old Quarter is by no doubt to be explored on foot, but if you are going to venture further afield, taxis are a great way to go. They are wonderfully affordable, but even with metres turned on, keep an eye on where your driver is going: some drivers tend to take their passengers for a much longer ride than necessary, basically showing them around the city to make them pay more money. GPS in your smartphone can help or agree on a flat fare if you know already the rates. Another common problem is metres running faster than they should. Good news: Uber is currently operating in Hanoi, offering a decent alternative to conventional taxis.

For shorter trips, cyclos are a quintessentially Vietnamese way to get around. They are somewhat safer than renting a motorbike (USD5-USD6 per day), what can turn out to be a real ordeal for those not familiar with Asian-style driving. Do not overlook local buses, which are a cheap and fast way to move around (VND7.000).

Where to stay in Hanoi

For some ideas and tips on where to stay and what to do in Hanoi check our Haiphong to Hanoi page.

Onward travel from Hanoi

The two most popular destinations in Vietnam to continue your journey from Hanoi are Sapa, to the north, and Haiphong, to the east.

Though trains do not reach Sapa and stop at Lao Cai, the final 40 km are easily done by bus or taxi. Sapa will enchant those interested in ethnic minorities and nature trails.

Haiphong is a convenient stop on the way to the wonders of Halong Bay, which possesses an undeniable beauty and is rightfully included by UNESCO in their World heritage list.

Out of Vietnam, think Bangkok in Thailand, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia or Singapore.

Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi destination reviews

3.4
91 customer reviews
5
24%
4
30%
3
22%
2
12%
1
12%
MB
5
train #SE2 Cabin 2x, Vietnam Railways, Nov 13, 2019
Lower your expectations folks, it’s a frickin train! Yes, toilets are smelly, but there’s ha hose to shower of all possible disgusting things and bring wet tissues and hand sanitizer. We had toilet paper, but better bring some of that too if you want to be sure. Yes, people leave and new come and that makes some noise, also it’s a train so it make noise. Bring noise cancelling headphones or earplugs - no big deal. They served food on the train, we ate that and brought instant noodles and fruits. Also they sell snacks on a carriage but that’s quite expensive. There is hot and cold water, but we only used the hot as we were unsure of the quality of cold (means also bring own water). Cabin for 2 was great, nice pillow and blanket. They provided water, tea, coffee and some strange vacuum packed banh mi which was terrible. AC was on and off so mostly the temperature was ok, but do bring some sweater or something for the day. The views were amazing! First through south of Vietnam overlooking the cloudy hills and then train changed orientation and we got to see the coast in central Vietnam from our window. We’re about 40-60 min late all the way but arrived on time. Overall (after experiencing Russian railways) over my expectations and a great experience.
AS
4
train #SE6 1st Class Sleeper, Vietnam Railways, Oct 30, 2019
Bed was quite comfortable. Staff were helpful. Train ran on time. Toilets weren't great though.
MW
2
train #SE6 1st Class Sleeper, Vietnam Railways, Oct 22, 2019
You need to work on your food service. I went without eating for 12 hours. The arrival time of 1900 was way off. I got to Hanoi around 24:30. The beds were not made new for every guest that came aboard. It was unclear where any of the facilities were and I got yelled at when I went looking for the restaurant car. It was not a pleasant 39 1/2 hours. Will not recommend
ES
2
train #SE2 1st Class Sleeper, Vietnam Railways, Sep 13, 2019
We thought this service can’t be advised as first class. The compartiments were okey, we had enough space and the beds were comfortable. However, it was very hot during the day and very cold during the night (unbearable even wearing a sweater under the sheets). Moreover, we spent the 30 hour trip surrounded by cockroaches which is by far the worst part of this service ofered as a luxury experience. The staff attitude was good and the food was tasty, but we felt a little deceived because of the whole inconveniences. We travelled by train around Vietnam before and other companies offered by far much better facilities. We feel a little disappointed too to read now other customer reviews and not before the booking, 12go.asia should change this.
12Go response:
We are sorry this trip did not live up to expectations. Please understand that everyone is selling tickets for the same National Railway service and there is nothing that can be done by 12Go or anywhere ticket seller to control the quality. Best regards, Spencer Tiesse, 12Go Business Development Team [Support case #989902](https://12go.asia/en/support-case?token=9d6bb3efc41a65d8ee5c1dd4e5dafc9a)
SA
4
train #SE2 1st Class Sleeper, Vietnam Railways, Aug 27, 2019
We traveled on the SE2 from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. The train started on time but reached Hanoi a couple of hours late. The cabin had 4 berths and we had the lower and upper berth. The compartment was clean and the berths comfortable. The compartment rolls and jerks.a bit so sleep is intermittent. The air-con was adequate but sometimes felt a bit warm. The booking process was very smooth and finding our berths and compartment quite easy. The food sold on board was inexpensive and tasty. There is not much variety, so do carry your favourite snacks and drinks. Beer is available for sale on board. The scenery is pretty good and the long journey gives a chance to see the beautiful countryside. The train staff were extremely polite and though they could not communicate in English, did their best in sign language. Downsides: 34 hours on the train can be quite long, so it is better to break up the journey. There is no restriction on smoking, so smoke smell can be overwhelming. Sleep is not very smooth due to the constant swaying of the compartment.
AO
3
train #SE2 Cabin 2x, Vietnam Railways, Aug 19, 2019
Cabin was nice and clean, comfortable beds. The view from the window was stunning. Service was very poor, had to call and ask for meals. Got forgotten at dinner time and had to have instant noodles. Toilets were very dirty and toilet paper ran out within the first day.
DK
5
train #SE8 2nd Class AC seats only, Vietnam Railways, Aug 11, 2019
Interesting trip. We booked seats because we left it till late and all the beds were sold out. Seats were comfy. No tray for food (i.e. no tray like the ones you get on planes but you can book seats with tables in the middle). Blankets were provided. Lots of kids and people are generally loud even though the carriage is quiet. If you're going from HoChiMinh to Hanoi, then somewhere in the middle, the train changes sides. So there will be one half of the journey going forward and one half going backwards no matter what seats you select. Food: No need to carry water as you can buy water on the train and at various stations at the usual street prices. If you're vegan/Vegetarian/allergic and/or picky about where and how things are cooked, then take your own food unless you only want sugary snacks which are plentiful. No fruits on offer at stations nor the train (which was a surprise to us at least). Amazing scenery on both sides!
EJ
3
train #SE2 1st Class Sleeper, Vietnam Railways, Jul 12, 2019
The staff on the train were nice but the toilets were really dirty. There were men smoking on the train as well and you can smell the smoke going inside the cabin.
FB
4
train #SE6 2nd Class AC seats only, Vietnam Railways, Jun 20, 2019
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.
DA
5
train #SE6 1st Class Sleeper, Vietnam Railways, Jan 3, 2019
This train is not for those who worry about smelly toilets, noise or soft beds. It is not comfortable, is very, very noisy at times and the beds are so hard that I had bruised ribs and my wife had bruised hips from lying on them. It is the most awesome train in the world in terms of value for money and adventure? Yes. It is one step away from the age of steam and that step is some air conditioning that goes off at stations, a toilet that flushes (as against being locked at stations because the output goes straight on the track) and a blaring PA system. You need to stock up on food and water. What is offered in the train is VERY local and quite OK but if you travel the full distance from Saigon to Hanoi then it gets a bit challenging. This is a "must do" for the adventurous traveller as sometime soon Vietnam will make this posh and expensive like the Ghan in Australia. Then instead of it costing less than $100 it will cost $2,000. By the way, we all slept very well. One one leg we slept for 10 hours straight. If you like trains, then you should travel on this one.
ND
3
train #SE4 2nd Class Sleeper AC, Vietnam Railways, Dec 22, 2018
Cigarette, oh my god, could not find any documentation or review about cigarette smoke. We were constantly hot boxed. Walked over to first class and it was much much more ventilated.
EZ
3
train #SE6 1st Class Sleeper, Vietnam Railways, Nov 29, 2018
Everything was okay, but a little dirty. Sheets are not washed.
MF
5
train #SE4 2nd Class Sleeper AC, Vietnam Railways, Dec 21, 2018
Good service

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