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Vietnam forum

Overnight trian Hanoi to Hue

Posted by jacpen on 4/4/2008 at 09:54

Travelling for the 1st time to Vietnam on April 19th with 2 friends for 11 days and the to Cambodia. We're looking at doing the overnight train from Hanoi to Hue. Has anyone done it before? also howd you do the most of travelling between cities, we were think of flying to save time, any tips???

#1 jacpen has been a member since 4/4/2008. Posts: 6

Posted by CatBa on 5/4/2008 at 10:23

Posted from within Vietnam.

Given the additional ity >> airport time at BOTH ends totalling 3-4 hours, along with the NEW, HIGHER airfares, you are likely better off by rail.

If you get an overnight sleeper from Ha Noi to Hue you will save a hotel fee so it is the optimum alternative.

Sleeper buses are no alternative as the low skilled drivers give you such a rough ride you arrive tired.

Remember to BOOK YOUR RAIL TICKET at least TWO DAYS AHEAD (very busy lne) and SELECT A TRAIN that arrives after 07.00.

Hue takes a day and a half to visit properly - if you use the tour by CITY TOUR (which is the best one) - and then grab a BUS to Hoi An run by either Mei Linh or Sinh. Avoid others - too many accidents and 'incidents'.

#2 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349

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Posted by CatBa on 5/4/2008 at 22:55

Posted from within Vietnam.

Additional info for your proposed rail journey: Best train set choices are:

Train....From.......Departure....Arrival Hue
SE1......Ha Noi.....19:00........08:12 (next morning)
Air-Con Soft Berth, Lower Bunk In 4-Berth Compartment: VND458,000
Air-Con Soft Berth, Upper Bunk In 4-Berth Compartment: VND450,000

Train....From.......Departure....Arrival Hue
TN3......Ha Noi.....15:45........06:39 (next morning)
Air-Con Soft Berth, Lower Bunk In 4-Berth Compartment: VND440,000
Air-Con Soft Berth, Upper Bunk In 4-Berth Compartment: VND430,000

Train....From.......Departure....Arrival Hue
SE3......Ha Noi.....23:00........10:39 (next morning)
Air-Con Soft Berth, Lower Bunk In 4-Berth Compartment: VND467,000
Air-Con Soft Berth, Upper Bunk In 4-Berth Compartment: VND460,000

URL: < > then SELECT FROM (Ha Noi) then SELECT TO (Hue)


The lower bunk is simply climb into it. Upper bunk is climb up a ladder BUT air-con outlet is up here and you will need something to keep you warm (unless you are from Canada or Scandinavia).

Shared baggage storage is under lower bunk - on either side. There are two toilets at either end of the carriages - one is open door with mirror and hand basin, the other closed door with hand basin and squat toilet.

TIPS: Bring your own toilet paper / soap (some 'local' passengers like to take samples); bring a coat hanger to secure catch to bunk support to stop entry by stealthy 2-footed rats who try to steal things; put your shoes in a plastic bag and keep the bag near your pillow; sleep WITH VALUABLES with you IN YOUR BUNK.


The BEDDING is clean (changed after each passenger exits); bunks are CLEANED WITH STEAM monthly (killing bugs). Food packs are supplied thre times each day + a newspaper in your language (if you speal Vietnamese or English)

There is little benefit in flying over overnight rail travel because of the hotel + time factors.

Ha Noi downtown to airport is $10 by taxi + departure fee of $2 PER PAX + Hue airport to city for $7.50 PER PAX.

Mei Linh, in Hue, is located on Huong Vuong near the Nguyen Tri Phuong intersection. Sinh is on Nguyen Tri Phuong near the Huong Vuong intersection.

#3 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349

Posted by jacpen on 9/4/2008 at 06:47

WOW!!!!! Thank you so so much!!!!

Thats fantasic info, for the next main leg we were thinking of flying from Na Trang to HCMC? would you suggest otherwise?

#4 jacpen has been a member since 4/4/2008. Posts: 6

Posted by CatBa on 9/4/2008 at 09:15

Posted from within Vietnam.

Given that the time differences between rail and road are minimal - using VN Rail - have you thought about checking out the old hill station the French built at Da Lat?

Suggested hotel accommodation:
BA TU (Room 203 is popular)
34-G1 Nguyen Thien Thuat
Nha Trang
Tel: 058-522-466
Cell: 0905-369-867

Call Mei Linh in NT at (0)58-590-606 to book your seat to Da Lat. 220 Km - VND60,000. About 3-4 hours (uphill)!

Suggested hotel accommodation:
Dreams Hotel
151 & 164 B Phan Dinh Phung
Da Lat, Lam Dong
Tel: 063-833-748

Da Lat >> HCMC
Call Mei Linh in DL at (0)63-521-111 to book your seat to HCMC. 308 Km - VND80,000. About 6 hours

Accommodation - good luck!

However, if you wish to SKIP Da Lat the quickest rail connection is 5-Star Express. Check < >.

VN ail also has numerous trains leaving at more civilised times. The URL is in the earlier posting.

Flying has become significantly more expensive, even with government fuel subsidies + the Da Lat airport is way out of town and accessed by an expensive taxi monopoly.

Bus travel lets you see more of the real VietNam - vegetables, tea and coffee grown hereabouts - and the time gain is only an hour or so by air.

This web site has hotel reviews which might aid you in your HCMC hotel selection. I, personally, find the Pham Ngu Lao area to be a bit of a tourist slum with other areas offering better accommodation in better areas for similar prices - unless you are looking for $3 dorm accommodation.

NOTES: If you ride in a bus and choose to open a window, do NOT KEEP ANY VALUABLES within reach of the window. A common trick is for a motorcyclist to ride alongside a bus and grab whatever they can from he unsuspecting passenger - such as a camera or other valuable.

NT beaches can be risky after dark - robberies, etc. occasionally occur, backed up by knives. Also avoid the more remote bars because of late hour muggings. And NEVER accept rides from cute things riding motorcycles - it's surprising how good some are at picking your pockets!

#5 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349

Posted by gogogirl on 13/7/2008 at 10:03

Hi Fishy's, this is a message for all, but in particular CatBa as you seem to know soooooooooooooooooo much about Vietnam. I'm thinking you live there? Anyhoo,you have advised on a few occasions to buy o/n train tickets direct from the station at Hanoi, to save money from scalpers. I am wondering if it is possible to buy all my train tickets from HCMC? Also, I want to book a Vietnam Airlines flight from Danang to Nha Trang, but can't do it online from Australia. There are heaps of agencies willing to book on my behalf for a price, but can you recommend someone who will not charge the earth? The cost per person is advertised as $US42, but I can't find anyone who charges less than $55. Also, is there anyone out there that has booked Halong Bay/Sapa trips through Sinh Cafe (246-248 De Tham HCMC)? Or should I wait till I reach Hanoi? I would like to book everything at once if possible once we get to HCMC, but an worried that the tours will be crap.We are in Vietnam for 23 days,on a full on tour that I am organising myself, so can't afford to be delayed anywhere.By the way CatBa - I have now put a coat hanger with my stuff to pack. Thanks so much for the tip.These type of tips are invaluable. My husband and I are bringing our two daughters (18 & 21) to Vietnam to show them how to backpack around Asia as we did many years ago.

#6 gogogirl has been a member since 13/7/2008. Posts: 3

Posted by CatBa2 on 13/7/2008 at 13:39

Posted from within Vietnam.

Hi GoGoGirl:
You can buy tickets to any station from any major station where they have electronic reservations.

They do NOT have 'through' tickets - you have to buy tickets for each segment of travel and FOR A SPECIFIC DATE OF TRAVEL (no flexibility).

You are smart to book a flight Da Nang to Nha Trang BUT DO IT IN COUNTRY at any VietNam Airlines office. Check the PRICE though as they have ROCKETED UP for short-haul flights - many of which are now more expensive than a HCMC >> Ha Noi flight!

THAT SAID you should take an OVERNIGHT SLEEPER from Da Nang to Nha Trang as the journey is sufficiently long to get a good nights sleep. You lose nothing in terms of time but gain through hotel and flight savings.

You are best to book a Ha Long Bay cruise from Ha Noi - from the cruise lines offices not through a Travel Agent many of which, in Ha Noi, are simply crooks.

Emeraude is now back on the wtaer after a refit and the smaller, 15 cabin, Tropical Sails boats are also very modern and better equipped.

Good luck with your journey - VietNam is a great place. BTW, you should know that contact lens fluid can be hard to locate; tampons are rare, too.

#7 CatBa2 has been a member since 6/11/2007. Posts: 53

Posted by gogogirl on 13/7/2008 at 14:59

Hi CatBa2,
I have already bought a HUGE box of tampons for the trip - box of 64!! My daughers would be horrified if they had to use anything else!I was in Vietnam last year and am really excited to be able to show my girls this beautiful place.

#8 gogogirl has been a member since 13/7/2008. Posts: 3

Posted by RoxannLMT on 1/4/2011 at 11:32

We're off to Vietnam for 2 weeks in country at the end of April. We plan to spend a day or two in HCMC with our son. From there we'll fly to Hanoi and then visit Halong Bay, after which its Hue and Hoi An. We'd like to find some time along the Mekong, with a day or two on Phu Quoc island, then back to HCMC for a day and a half before flying out. Is this doable? Any suggestions?


#9 RoxannLMT has been a member since 1/4/2011. Posts: 2

Posted by duong on 9/4/2011 at 11:49

Posted from within Vietnam.


If you have much time for your Vietnam trip, you could try to do the overnight train Hanoi - Hue. It is not very convenience but it is cheap and I am sure that you will have new experiences in Vietnam.

SE1: Departure: 19.00 - Arrive: 07.57

SE3: Departure: 23.00 - Arrive: 10.45

#10 duong has been a member since 22/12/2010. Posts: 19

Posted by Rasheeed on 10/4/2011 at 06:54

I'm sure the OP appreciates the help. Especially as he did the trip 3 years ago...

#11 Rasheeed has been a member since 4/11/2010. Location: Cambodia. Posts: 311
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Posted by violets on 23/4/2011 at 07:37

The only problem with the Danang to Nha Trang overnight trip is that you can only get hard sleepers (6 beds per cabin) for that train, or you could sit up overnight in a soft seat. It's still ok but more difficult to manage because there's less space.

Check for train info.

#12 violets has been a member since 6/7/2009. Posts: 153

Posted by kezzaj666 on 25/4/2011 at 17:21

Hello Catba i have oodles of questions i want to ask you how do i contact you ....

#13 kezzaj666 has been a member since 25/4/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by Rasheeed on 25/4/2011 at 22:30

Time travel?

#14 Rasheeed has been a member since 4/11/2010. Location: Cambodia. Posts: 311
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Posted by daawgon on 4/9/2012 at 13:03

If you're western, you won't be comfortable on anything but the Livitrans car. 11 days is barely enough time to get your feet wet. I see the advantage of taking the train to Hue because you save big by not having to take that jaunt up to Hanoi Airport (not in Dong, but in frustration!)

Don't try to rush or stop in too many places - even air travel in VN is very time consuming. Hanoi is worth the stop, but HCMC is not.

#15 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,151
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Posted by enigmatic on 8/9/2012 at 02:48

Posted from within Vietnam.

The train ticket is very cheap two years ago. But I see almost of train increased so much in 2012. The same 52$ on We will book online before we travel to Vietnam? Anyone book the train tickets on this website before?

Looks like a travel agent website. The hard seat prices are hilariously expensive. is probably accurate as a current price guide.

#16 enigmatic has been a member since 14/4/2011. Posts: 84

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