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Punctuality of trains in Vietnam?

Posted by cloud on 19/9/2010 at 09:55

I plan to stop by at Thap Cham on the way to Da Nang to visit the Po Klaung Garai ruins, which is near, probably less than 500m away from the Google Earth, the train station at Thap Cham.

I checked the train time table and the arrival and departure times are as follows.
TN2 Sai Gon 10:05->Thap Cham17:03,
SE6 Thap Cham18:41->Da Nang 05:38

If the train TN2 arrives at Thap Cham on time, then I can have one hour and forty minues at Thap Cham and that is, I guess, sufficient for me to visit the ruin site. However, if the train arrives more than 20 minutes late, I may have a problem.

How much trains are punctual? On the whole, is the plan workable?

#1 cloud has been a member since 19/9/2010. Posts: 26
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Posted by travellingsarah on 19/9/2010 at 15:57 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

In my experience trains tend to leave on time but can often be late arriving - perhaps up to a couple of hours late even, although they are just as likely to be on time (my last train to Lao Cai was 2 hours late but the one before was dead on time). So I really wouldn't make plans which depend on the accuracy of the trains - build in a contingency if you really want to visit the ruins. Also - are you sure they will be open at that time of day? A lot of places shut at 5pm.

#2 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 681
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Posted by Indoluso on 19/9/2010 at 20:31

Hi!

Probably my case was 1 in 10, I don't know, but my train from Hanoi to Danang arrived 30min ahead schedule. Just make sure you take enough food with you because what they serve in the train looks awful!! I was always eating in street kitchens BUT in that train I simply couldn't!!

Have a nice trip!

#3 Indoluso has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 133

Posted by Indoluso on 19/9/2010 at 20:32

Hi!

Probably my case was 1 in 10, I don't know, but my train from Hanoi to Danang arrived 30min ahead schedule. Just make sure you take enough food with you because what they serve in the train looks awful!! I was always eating in street kitchens BUT in that train I simply couldn't!!

Have a nice trip!

#4 Indoluso has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 133

Posted by KazAussie on 21/9/2010 at 14:53

I only did one train trip.... Hue to Hanoi, left on time and arrived about half an hour early. I had heard the same thing about food on trains being inedible or non-existent (they run out apparently). I stocked up but in the end didn't need it as the food service was good on the train and we had a couple of short stops at stations and the hawkers would come on the train and sell stuff.

#5 KazAussie has been a member since 18/7/2009. Posts: 221

Posted by violets on 22/9/2010 at 06:29

I've found trains are mostly on time, and I've travelled on trains a lot, though in April a train from Danang to Hanoi was 3 hours late. The TN trains are more likely to be late. I'd have contingency plans, maybe a stop overnight at Tap Cham and move on the next day, or find out when a bus is available. Or you could go earlier to Tap Cham by bus and have a reasonable time for seeing the ruins without stress.

I found that some of the places I stayed in just to avoid too long a bus trip were real highlights for me because I got the experience of a town unaffected by tourism.

#6 violets has been a member since 6/7/2009. Posts: 152

Posted by cloud on 23/9/2010 at 10:05

Thanks everybody. Based on the information you provided, it seems the plan is too risky. I changed my mind to arrive at Tap Cham early in the morning and then go to Da Nang with a brief stop at Nha Trang. Now I need information about the transportation from Tap Cham/Phan Rang to Nha Trang. I put it on another thread.

Travelfish is really helpful!
I appreciate the efforts of running and participating in this site.

#7 cloud has been a member since 19/9/2010. Posts: 26
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