I am planning a trip with my family (older parents not wishing to rough it and small kids including a baby). I have read mixed reviews about the train (we would be travelling from Mui Ne to Hue), in particular in relation to cleanliness. We're all experienced Asia travellers but I don't want my parents to be too uncomfortable. Any advice?
#1 Ingridf has been a member since 16/12/2009. Posts: 1
I did it myself last month going in the opposite direction ( Hue to Nha Trang ) on SP5 soft sleeper. I've been on other VN trains, but they were all the private carriage Livitrans and King Express before. This was a first with the state train and frankly it was none too clean. Soft sleeper is a 4 berth compartment and 2 of the other berths were taken by 2 younger VN men (not very friendly). I boarded in Hue after 1am and did sleep a little, and the train was late because of typhoon washouts north of Nha Trang - approx 3 hrs late. It was not really bad or uncomfortable, but flying certainly would have been far far better. The restroom was ok, not terribly dirty. The station in Hue is rather close to downtown (about 1/2 mile) and the river. I just wish that Livitrans would extend service down to Nha Trang, and then there would be first class service the length of Vietnam. You could fly from Nha Trang into Danang if there are any decently priced seats open.
I would NOT do it - fly! this is from experience of travelling with two young girls 4 years old & 18 months old. We have travelled on best available which is "soft sleeper beds" (6 pax. per cabin) and you must have lower bunks to be at least reasonably comfortable.
Toilets are of course a mess!
I suggest Vietnam Rail tries to copy the Chinese who in comparison run a very clean good quality operation at comparable prices!
#4 Pablot has been a member since 4/5/2009. Posts: 102
I travelled the other way a few weeks ago. In first class, there were 4 to a cabin, and reasonably clean, western style toilets. Basic but do-able, and overnight it's not too bad.
But...you can buy "upgrades" once on board the train, which are not available any other way. I think they're reserved for tour packages, and if they're not full, they're sold off to the highest bidder. They cost us $US10 per person, and our group jumped at them. Quite a bit more comfortable. I don't know if they're available on every trip.
#5 pinky has been a member since 30/12/2009. Posts: 2