What comes to your mind when you hear the word, Vietnam? Is it the beautiful beaches? Is it the amazing people wearing a unique kind of hat? It is the flavourful seafood in Vietnam? Well, if you think you have experienced all this, then let me ask you something interesting. Have you been on a Vietnam sleeper train? Here’s our experience on a sleeper train from Da Nang to Hanoi!
Table of Contents (skip directly to the info you're looking for)
- 1 Our First Impression on a Sleeper Train in Vietnam
- 2 Types of tickets in Vietnam Sleeper Trains:
- 3 Things you will find in a Vietnam sleeper train:
- 4 Wonderful Window scenes of the train journey in Vietnam
Our First Impression on a Sleeper Train in Vietnam
We packed our bags along with some snacks and set out for our overnight journey to Hanoi. As we entered the train, we found it to be cozy. At least, it wasn’t as bad as it was mentioned in many reviews. By that, I mean, the trains were basically clean. We would rate it 6 out of 10. Besides, it was really worthy for its price.
You might also like: Vietnam off the beaten track travel guide – Amazing Vietnam hidden gems!
Types of tickets in Vietnam Sleeper Trains:
Vietnam Railway offers passengers four main types of tickets:
- Hard seat
- Soft seat
- Hard sleeper
- Soft sleeper
Every ticket type has a different level of comfort. Each category of tickets has both air-conditioned and non- air- conditioned options and the cost varies depending on that.
Things you will find in a Vietnam sleeper train:
- Four sleeper beds
- A table to keep your stuff like food, laptop or anything
- Sockets to charge your electronic devices
- Music player
- Toilets have basic amenities like toilet paper, hand wash, etc.
- Cafeteria is inside the train
- Blankets to keep you warm
- Wifi is available
As we tucked ourselves into bed, Tah was able to adjust into that space. But, I couldn’t go inside easily or get up from there. Well, as they say, I was out of my comfort zone and I think I am growing that way!
What to know about sleeper trains in Vietnam?
All over Asia, it is definitely a very different experience to travel in a train. Especially if you are from the western part of the world and you are planning to travel to Vietnam, you would find it both adventurous and enjoyable. When you are traveling from Da Nang to Hanoi, it is a 11 hours journey. What is better than an overnight travel when it comes to long hours of travel. Taking a bus or car will definitely leave if uncomfortable. If you want to travel at peace and sleep well too, then trains are the best way.
Below are some things you need to keep in mind when travelling in an overnight train in Vietnam:
- Book a ticket beforehand:
Yes, Same as the visa, it is also important to book your train ticket to vietnam in advance. This can avoid spoiling your mood in the last minute, if tickets are sold out. Such a situation is bound to happen during peak seasons. There are a lot of travel agents who can get you a ticket and send it via email. You have to show this and get your actual ticket in the railway station.
- Food on wheels:
There is a pantry, as I earlier mentioned. The most common item that you will find is instant noodles. But, if you are someone who is choosy or prefers to carry your own food, it is upto you to do it.
- How much luggage is too much luggage?
Have you packed everything on earth? Well, hold on! You need to rethink. The corridors inside the train are super narrow and so you cannot be assured that your fat backpacks or huge suitcases will fit in the train. Make sure you don’t bring very big baggage. You also have to share the luggage space with other passengers. All the bags should be fitted in the space below the lower berth.
- Type of berth:
There are both upper and lower berths. Contrary to Thailand trains where there is a ladder to climb to the upper berth, in Vietnam there is only small peg where only one foot can be placed to climb on. There is a strong steel frame which you can use to climb up or get down.
People who are having knee or leg issues can avoid upper berth as it is very difficult to climb up. If you encounter someone with such injuries or if there are elderly people who have been allocated with such berths, please feel free to exchange seats with them. Let them feel better and comfortable!
- Train Timings:
The trains not necessarily have to come on time. Many frequent passengers have encountered delays in Vietnam sleeper trains. But, it is better you reach the railway station in the mentioned time. This way, you can catch the train if it is early or on time.
How comfortable is Vietnam sleeper train?
As you know, if you are travelling long distances, a sleeper train is the best thing you can book. Here are a few points to judge whether you can consider sleeper trains comfortable or not!
- The sleeper berth may be inconvenient to fit in and come out from there. Perhaps, it is very comfortable if you want to just doze off. The mattress is cozy though it seems thin.
- You are also given a blanket to cover yourself if the AC is too chill.
- The main lights are switched off during the night when everyone sleeps off. However you can switch it on for a while if you want. You also have another option if you are a bookworm on train. There are reading lights on each berth. You can keep the reading lights on if you want to read on the way.
- The electric charging point is also available near the berth. This way you can keep your phone to yourself while it is charging.
- Toilets are moderately clean. Toilet papers are not available at times. So, it is better you carry toilet papers when you are travelling
- Hand wash solution is also kept but it seems to be empty most of the times. Carry a bottle of hand wash solution or sanitizer. Don’t fail to pack one to avoid infections
Scams in Vietnam Sleeper trains:
As any tourist destination, Vietnam is also a place where scams can be encountered. Check you ticket for the company name and stand in the right counter to show it and get the actual ticket. Do not trust any random stranger to claims to be from the agency and hand it over to him.
Many touts in and around the railway station offer help to tourists in a friendly manner. Do not hand over the booking voucher or any valuable carelessly to such strangers.
Call out to the travel agent in Vietnam if you are not able to find the counter or if you encounter some difficulty with such touts.
Wonderful Window scenes of the train journey in Vietnam
If it is an overnight train, make sure you wake up early to see the daylight scenes as you’ve missed the views last night. You will find a beautiful stretch of fields and greenery along the countryside. Random people wave you bye, sometimes. You will encounter what people do that early in the morning outside their cute houses. Never miss out on that time when you are in the train.
Make sure you pick all your things safely as you reach the destination of Hanoi. Are you excited to try out a sleeper train in Vietnam? Why are you waiting? Divert Living can help you plan your trip to Vietnam and suggest you the best things to see in Vietnam and more!
This is a guest post by Jimmy and Tah of the blog DivertLiving.com
About the authors: Hi! We are Jimmy & Tah, American and Thai Millennials who left our careers in the military and finance to become full-time travelers. We met in August, 2015 in South Korea, kicked off traveling in September, 2017 with $4000 in saving account and first started publishing our journey on how we live the life we have always dreamt of – traveling and being able to work wherever we love ( as long as there is Wi-Fi and coffee ☕️)