When in Vietnam, train travel is inevitable. It is cheap and safe. The country has excellent rail links and services and traveling by train gives the impression of local life. Traveling by train in rural areas of Vietnam gives you the chance to witness the marvelous scenic beauty. This not only saves you expenses but also saves time if you choose rail travel options. A night train is a super time savvy. Here are some routes and tips that will help you while traveling across Vietnam:
Routes and Timetable of Vietnamese
There are only 2 major Vietnamese trains – Northbound trains that travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and Southbound trains that travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh city. The trains that travel slowly are abbreviated as TN and those that are faster are abbreviated as SE. Trains usually start from Hanoi in the morning hours. Dong Hoi to Hanoi train starts from 5:46 am onwards. The route has all the SE trains only one TN train passes in a day through this route.
Although the major routes traveled are two, Livitrans, Violette tourist services, and Golden rains are prominent Vietnamese rail companies that have pre-bookings and reservations. The coaches on these trains have berths that are similar kinds as regular ones. Considering the facilities and services on these private tour operators, the private trains stand better than the government coaches. Undoubtedly the fares are higher. For those looking for a comfortable trip across Vietnam, Private trains are a better option.
Pre- Booking or Reserving coaches in a Vietnamese Tain
Booking your ticket in Vietnam is very similar as in every other country. There are basically only 3 methods for doing so – online, through a broker at a travel agency or at the railway station.
Bookings are opened about 60-90 days in advance for long distances. If you are a pro traveler, you can order the ticket at the station itself. But it is recommended to order the tickets in advance during the season or during the festival season as the reservations are full and you will not get any coach vacant, later on.
Booking Tain tickets Online
You can order train tickets online through sites like 12Go.Asia that costs you train tickets + 60,000 VND service fees + 4% for credit card transactions online or www.baoloau.com which will cost, train tickets + 40,000 service fees VND + 2.7% for online credit card transactions.
Train tickets can only be booked after booking for that particular train in live on site. In case the portal does not allow ticket reservations, it may be too early for you to book tickets. Tickets are sent to you by e-mail, which can be printed or stored on the smartphone for viewing while on the train. Credit cards from all countries are accepted. You can also order tickets through the official Vietnam Railroad website, but do not accept non-Vietnamese credit cards.
Booking Tickets via Travel Agent
Travel agents are a good option to book the train tickets if you are not that good at online bookings. The agents are equally reliable. The only thing is their fees. They charge a commission for the management of ticket reservations. They will order train tickets and send them to you.
Booking Tickets on the spot at Railway Stations
The station is usually hectic whenever you show up. Up of that, when the train is on the schedule, you will find the mob and rush around. It is not a bad decision to book tickets if you know the train timetables exactly and if you can manage them. You can also choose to book online and pay the tickets and pick up them at the station within 24 hours post-booking.
The routes undertaken by train in Vietnam are plenty. Almost every town is covered by rail. The above-mentioned booking methods will help you travel without hassle. Don’t forget to know the Vietnamese tongue while traveling. It will certainly help you in enjoying the journey a bit more.