One of the
favourite mode of transport in Vietnam is railway. Traveling
by train ensure your safety and provide you an opportunity
to behold spectacular sceneries along the trip, furthermore
you can move around in the train comfortably, you can eat,
go to bathroom and sightseeing through the train windows.
Here are some tips when you plan for a train trip in Vietnam
Buy tickets as soon as possible if you decide to
travel to Sapa by train . If you have made up your mind about the
departure date then definitely you should buy train tickets
early , this not only helps you avoid bad situations such as
the tickets have been sold out (thus affecting travel
schedule ) , but also can help you save a little funding .
The earlier you buy the tickets the more opportunity you
have to buy at cheap prices
In a typical train, there are following cabin categories :
hard seat , hard seat with air conditioning , soft seats ,
soft seats with air conditioning , soft berths, hard berths
... each class has a price accordingly. Seats are cheaper
than hard berths and soft sleepers . Travelers need to know
the way to have the appropriate choice of seats :
For example : Distance from Hanoi to Sapa around 400km so
soft berth is the best choice for the long journey. A train
car has 4 to 6 berths, suitable for a small group travel
together and want to have some own space . Mode of transport
is both entertaining and safe with your luggage stored in
your own cabin
Distance from waiting room in Hanoi station to the train is
rather far it is better to travel light with small bags,
wear loose clothes when on train, bring with you personal
stuff, other items should be stored under the bed or in the
storage space above upper beds. Be careful with your
belongings as there are crooks at the crowded train staion.
Remember to bring light luggage . It is not only convenient
to move around, but also easy to manage while sitting on
train, luggage should be placed near your seats. Personal
daily used items should be put in a separate bag for
convenient use when needed.
Although it is more comfortable on train than bus it is
sometimes tiring to sit at a place for a long time, just
walk up and down the corridor along the carriages for an
excercise or stretch your legs on your seat.
Wear long pants will help your knees warmer at night . Bring
a light jacket will be helpful. A scarf can help you do just
as a pillow, blanket or sheets when needed .
Currently train fare does not include meals on the train as
before. With the short journeys is okay , with the long
journey , the food is a problem sometimes .
You can purchase each meal on the train (served right at
your seat) . However the food is relatively cold (due to
storing in refrigerators) , not tasty and ...uncomfortable (
if you are on a seat ) . To have more choices and more space
you should go to the dining carriage, usually the last car
There is a canteen selling snacks like instant noodles ,
porridge, bimbim ... and there are usually trolleys carrying
food at meal times along train. If you are on a long journey
bring with you drinking water, fruit and eating paper.
Another choice is to buy food at the station stops : During
the journey the train will stop at some main stops to pick
up and drop off passengers, you can take some little time
break to find some thing for you.
Bring your own food: Remember to bring some food on the
train, especially with the short journeys, it is probably
the best way. Be aware that the
tourist trains Hanoi - Lao Cai - Hanoi do not serve meals, you should bring food or
have dinner before boarding the train.
When the train stops on the way, you should be careful with
souvenirs or food and drinks on sales by peddlers . Instead
of buying counterfeit goods , poor quality goods or food ,
unsanitary drinking water , you should buy boxed product
with good trade -name
Each train car usually has one toilet only, considering the
number of passengers there are some times when the toilet is
overloaded or out of water ( especially morning ). You
should wake up a little earlier or wait until the train
arrives at the next stops. Note: When the train stop the
doors and the water system on train is locked, you can use
the station toilets.
If you do not want to use water on board , feel free to
bring your water bottle . Use water responsibly and bring
A train trip is much safer than a trip on sleeper bus and
much comfortable, you can walk along the cars during long
journeys. If you have any trouble or wrong service on your
trip please contact the carriage head (each car has at least
one person on duty) of staff of the train staion.