We are planning a trip to Vietnam and would love to see the countryside, not just fly over it. Time is not an issue as we have 3 full weeks in country. I have seen various posts on a variety of sites about the overnight trains and we have actually decided to go ahead and fly from Danang to HCMC, but we were thinking of doing the day train from Hanoi down to Hue so that it would be light and we could actually see the countryside. We did that in Thailand from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and loved it.
Has anyone on this forum ever done that train? I could really use some input.
#1 jcasale has been a member since 13/5/2011. Posts: 3
We do not have children - I agree that would be hard. We are two couples in our 50's and 60's. We are mainly concerned that the train be clean and relatively comfortable. It does not have to be luxury. Our friends had read about people bringing chairs and putting them in the aisles and about rodents and roaches. But other places it seems that this only happens on the local trains. Can you reassure us?
#3 jcasale has been a member since 13/5/2011. Posts: 3
The best and only first class service to Hue is on the SE1 overnight train from Hanoi (Livitrans service). I would not recommend regular soft sleeper - somewhat dirty/bugs. Actually, the most scenic portion of track in all of Vietnam is along the coast between Hue and Danang. Take the overnight service Hanoi-Danang on Livitrans, and then return to Hue by car or continue on to Hoi An by car. Buy your Livitrans ticket at any agent or hotel in Hanoi (the travel agent will accompany you to your train berth - Hanoi station is complicated and should not be attempted alone for a first trip!) I've done it several times.
Maybe I've been lucky, but I've never had any bugs or rodents on trains in Vietnam and always been happy with them. But if you're worried about it, the overnight train Daawgon mentions will be travelling the most scenic part during daylight hours anyway as it doesn't get into Danang until nearly 11am.
I'm glad to hear some positives. We are only going as far as Hue and I think it gets in there at about 8 so we wouldn't see much. I think we'll give it a go and keep good thoughts. It's only one day out of 21, so even if it is a bit rough it'll just make for a good story when we get back !
#6 jcasale has been a member since 13/5/2011. Posts: 3
did the exactr journey last night and we loved it. The trains inevitibly late so we had about three hours of light/coiuntryside viewing before we arrived in Hue. No bugs either! Avoid booking anything through Loveplanet if you're buying tickets - they're recommended in rough guides but ripped a bunch of people off - us included! Happy travels.