I seem to be reading mixed reports about the day train to Sapa. Some say theres nothing to see, so the night train is better. Others say there is very interesting visuals along the way. So, from experience has anyone taken the DAY train, and Is the scenery worth it, or not? Even better, has anyone taken BOTH and could give a comparison?
#1 ndeeds has been a member since 18/3/2012. Posts: 6
I seriously doubt that you would be comfortable on the day train - really doubt that you'll find anyone that's taken both trains. I've only done the overnight. Day train is all hard seat, I believe, but it is one way to save a few bucks, as well as avoid other tourists.
Bummer. My goal with the day train thought definitely wasn't to save money, or avoid tourists (although both a plus!) it was to get a view of the countryside. Its going to be a bit of a blitz of a trip, and I thought I'd maybe see some pretty cool scenery along the way. But its sounding less and less like it will be anything I want to do.
#3 ndeeds has been a member since 18/3/2012. Posts: 6
ndeeds - you might enjoy the trip from Hanoi to Mai Chau . Mai Chau is in a beautiful little valley 3 or 4 hrs from Hanoi by car (a little longer by public bus). This is the place where the White Thai villagers live in stilt homes. I would say that after Sapa, this would be #2 on my list of beauty spots in the NW. The valley is very green/beautiful, tourists ride bikes around - a great place for pictures. You can do it in one day from Hanoi, stay overnight in a homestay, or include it as a stop on the way to Ninh Binh. Very little English spoken in that area. I stayed in a homestay of sorts (more of a hostel on stilts than a true homestay), but the food was excellent and the rice wine was potent as hell! The problem for me was that it was just a little too quiet for this city slicker (Sapa has a little more going on than MC). You sleep under nets here - it's right in the middle of rice fields.