Travel Vietnam by train – Schedules, Fares, How to buy tickets online

A complete guide to travel Vietnam by train with schedules, fares & how to buy tickets online…

The train system in Vietnam is operated by Vietnam Railways – a state-owned company and its subsidiaries, Hanoi Railway and Saigon Railway.

Read more articles that will help you when traveling in Vietnam by train:

Currently, trains passing through the Vietnamese railway network are pulled by diesel locomotives. Circulate at speeds of 60 to 80 km / h. Passenger transport service operated by Vietnam Railways and private railway companies.

Currently, there are only 2 main units providing passenger train services:

  • Vietnam Railway
  • Private railway companies

Vietnam Railway

Vietnam Railway Company offers different types of passenger carriages on each train. Usually, there will be 2 main types of passenger carriages: seat wagons and sleepers.

Logo of Vietnam Railways
Logo of Vietnam Railways

All staff on board are professionally trained with the aim of improving service quality and providing the same service quality as on domestic flights.

In terms of the appearance of trains under Vietnam Railways, it is quite old, but the inside has been renovated to improve service quality. Many compartments have been upgraded with a very modern design and interior such as semi-automatic doors, clean toilets, mirrors, hand sinks …

Reunification Express Train in Vietnam (Travel Vietnam by train)

The passenger carriages provided by Vietnam Railways are divided into 4 main classes:

  • Soft bed (car 1-4 passengers)
  • Hard bed (car 1-6 passengers)
  • Soft seats
  • Hard seats

All the carriages serving passengers are equipped with air conditioning.

Private railway companies

These companies only provide higher-quality passenger compartments to meet higher requirements for tourists and operate the same train with Vietnam Railways. Therefore, their schedule will also be similar to Vietnam Railways.

The staff on board can speak a foreign language (English) so international tourists will be better supported.

Train carriages provided by private companies generally have more comfortable space than those on Vietnam Railways. Specifically, the luxury cars are equipped with wooden floors, soft beds, in addition to adding snacks and drinking water for passengers.

The passenger carriages provided by private railway companies will have 2 main classes:

  • Soft sleeper (compartment 1-2 passengers)
  • Soft sleeper (compartment 1-4 passengers)

If you are interested in more privacy, you can purchase an entire cabin.

Vietnam train map

Vietnam Train Map
Click here to view the full size of the Vietnam Train Map

Travel Vietnam by train

According to the announcement of Vietnam Railways, Vietnam currently has a railway network with a total length of up to 2,600km including 8 main lines:

  • North – South railway route from Hanoi station to Saigon station
  • Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hanoi
  • Hanoi – Dong Dang (Lang Son) – Hanoi
  • Route Hanoi – Ha Long (Quang Ninh) – Hanoi
  • Hanoi – Quan Trieu (Thai Nguyen City) – Hanoi
  • Hanoi – Hai Phong – Hanoi
  • Saigon – Quy Nhon – Saigon
  • Saigon – Phan Thiet – Saigon

In addition, Vietnam Railways also connects to China on the Hanoi – Nanning route, so if you intend to go to Nanning by train, you will not have to change trains.

Train codes and train times by route

Hanoi – Lao Cai

The Hanoi – Lao Cai railway route will depart from Hanoi station to Lao Cai station and vice versa. This railway line is suitable for tourists who want to visit Sapa.

SP trains correspond to fast trains and only stop at major stations.

Hanoi – Lao CaiLao Cai – Hanoi
SP121:35 – 05:30 (+1)
SP322:00 – 06:05 (+1)
SP220:55 – 04:32 (+1)
SP421:40 – 05:30 (+1)

In addition, there are passenger carriages provided by private companies on the SP1/2 and SP3 / 4 train lines that are:

  • Fanxipan Express
  • King Express
  • Orient Express
  • Sapaly Express
  • Chapa Express
  • New Livitrans Express
  • Violette Trains
  • Victoria Express

Read more:

Hanoi – Hai Phong

Hanoi – Hai Phong railway route will depart from Hanoi station to Hai Phong station and vice versa. This railway will be suitable for tourists who want to visit Cat Ba pearl island or Lan Ha Bay.

Hai Phong railway station (Travel Vietnam by Train)
Hai Phong railway station

The corresponding HP trains are fast trains and only stop at the main stations, while LP trains are local trains that will stop at all stations on the itinerary.

Hanoi – Hai PhongHai Phong – Hanoi
HP106:00 – 08:25
LP309:17 – 12:00
LP515:20 – 18:00
LP718:15 – 20: 55
HP218:40 – 21:06
LP206:10 – 08:46
LP609:05 – 11:40
LP815:00 – 17:38

North-South railway (Thong Nhat train or Reunification train)

North-South railway connects Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. The train departs from Hanoi Railway Station and ends at Saigon Railway Station and vice versa. Stop at major stations along with the Central Vietnam range such as Ninh Binh, Thanh Hoa, Vinh, Dong Hoi, Hue, Da Nang, Quang Ngai, Dieu Tri, Nha Trang, Phan Rang – Thap Cham, Binh Thuan, and other terminals different depending on the service.

Reunification Express Train (Travel Vietnam by Train)

SE trains correspond to express train services that only stop in major cities. Meanwhile, TN trains corresponding to local train services stop at all stations along the line.

In addition, there are a number of local train services that run dedicated sections of the railway such as TH trains, which are train services between Hanoi and Thanh Hoa, NA trains between Hanoi and Vinh, and VD trains between Vinh and Dong Hoi, a DH train between Dong Hoi and Hue, an SNT train between Saigon and Nha Trang or an SPT train between Saigon and Phan Thiet.

The SE3 / 4 train is one of the fastest North-South trains.

SE1SE3SE5SE7SE9SE21NA1SNT1
Hanoi22:1519:2508:5006:0014:2522:45
Ninh Binh00:25 (+1)21:4211:0708:1716:59
Thanh Hoa01:29 (+1)22:5312:2409:2618:1302:55 (+1)
Vinh03:50 (+1)01:24 (+1)14:5811:5920:4605:16 (+1)
Dong Hoi07:57 (+1)05:30 (+1)19:3016:2301:34 (+1)
Hue10:54 (+1)08:32 (+1)22:3019:5604:56 (+1)
Da Nang13:42 (+1)11:28 (+1)01:16 (+1)22:4208:02 (+1)09:31
Quang Ngai16:03 (+1)14:26 (+1)03:48 (+1)01:16 (+1)11:18 (+1)12:46
Dieu Tri18:53 (+1)17:33 (+1)06:49 (+1)04:14 (+1)14:27 (+1)16:03
Nha Trang22:28 (+1)21:14 (+1)10:51 (+1)08:31 (+1)19:02 (+1)20:2820:00
Thap Cham22:48 (+1)12:46 (+1)10:05 (+1)20:46 (+1)22:18
21:44
Binh Thuan02:34 (+2)01:07 (+2)15:19 (+1)12:55 (+1)23:42 (+1)02:12 (+1)
Sai Gon05:45 (+2)04:38 (+2)18:55 (+1)16:30 (+1)03:25 (+2)06:20 (+1)05:26 (+1)
Hanoi station – Saigon station

SE2SE4SE6SE8SE10SE22NA2SNT2
Sai Gon21:5519:2508:4006:0014:3011:4020:30
Binh Thuan01:10 (+1)22:5812:1309:3618:2615:22
Thap Cham03:20 (+1)14:2811:5120:4917:4203:59 (+1)
Nha Trang04:55 (+1)03:02 (+1)16:0613:2823:1319:4805:30 (+1)
Dieu Tri08:39 (+1)06:52 (+1)20:3117:2903:11 (+1)00:24 (+1)
Quang Ngai11:20 (+1)09:46 (+1)23:2020:2806:34 (+1)03:46 (+1)
Da Nang14:01 (+1)12:41 (+1)02:22 (+1)23:2309:57 (+1)06:28 (+1)
Hue16:35 (+1)15:25 (+1)05:00 (+1)02:09 (+1)13:00 (+1)
Dong Hoi19:39 (+1)18:35 (+1)08:35 (+1)05:21 (+1)16:14 (+1)
Vinh23:41 (+1)22:44 (+1)12:57 (+1)09:45 (+1)20:43 (+1)22:05
Thanh Hoa02:18 (+2)01:26 (+2)15:41 (+1)12:27 (+1)23:28 (+1)
Ninh Binh03:21 (+2)16:56 (+1)13:37 (+1)
Hanoi05:30 (+2)04:48 (+2)19:12 (+1)15:54 (+1)03:08 (+2)05:10 (+1)
Saigon station to Hanoi station

Besides, there are passenger carriages provided by private companies on the SE1 / 2/3/4/19/20 train lines running between Hanoi, Hue, and Da Nang:

  • New Livitrans Express
  • Violette Trains
  • Laman Express
  • Lotus Train

Sai Gon – Quy Nhon

The Saigon – Quy Nhon railway route will depart from Saigon station to Quy Nhon station and vice versa. This railway will be suitable for tourists traveling to Quy Nhon coastal city.

Quy Nhon railway station
Quy Nhon railway station

Also on this railway line that stops at Nha Trang station, Thap Cham, Binh Thuan are also famous tourist destinations in Vietnam.

SQN trains are trains that will only run on weekends or holidays.

SQN1
Quy Nhon13:10
Nha Trang18:19
Thap Cham20:01
Binh Thuan
Sai Gon04:07 (+1)
Quy Nhon – Saigon

SQN2
Sai Gon18:20
Binh Thuan21:52
Thap Cham
Nha Trang02:26 (+1)
Quy Nhon08:06 (+1)
Saigon – Quy Nhon

Saigon – Phan Thiet

The Saigon – Phan Thiet railway will depart from Saigon station to Phan Thiet station and vice versa. This railway line will be suitable for tourists traveling to Phan Thiet city and from this city you can move to Mui Ne.

Phan Thiet railway station
Phan Thiet railway station

SPT trains correspond to fast trains and only stops at major stations, while PT trains will be additional train lines on holidays or weekends.

SPT1SPT3SPT2SPT4
Saigon – Phan Thiet06:40 – 10:2407:15 – 10:54
Phan Thiet – Saigon13:20 – 17:3514:20 – 18:27

How to book train tickets in Vietnam?

With the modernization of technology, nowadays, booking train tickets in Vietnam is very simple and fast. You just follow the simple steps below to book train tickets for a new travel experience while traveling Vietnam by train

Booking tickets with Vietnam Railways

  1. Visit the official website of Vietnam Railways at dsvn.vn and then enter the necessary information such as departure point, destination, and departure date. If you want to buy a 2-way ticket, please tick the 2-way ticket and choose to add a return date.
  2. After you have made your selection, press the Search button, the system will display the results for you. You will find trains operated by Vietnam Railways and choose the most convenient and suitable route for your itinerary.
  3. Choose the right ticket class
    Hard seats.
    Soft seats.
    6-bed compartment.
    4-bed compartment.
    2-bed compartment.
  4. Enter passenger information and contact information.
  5. Complete the payment.
  6. Get tickets via email

Booking tickets with private railway companies

Private railway companies will mostly sell tickets through agents or mainly travel agencies, depending on their routes such as Hanoi – Lao Cai or between 3 points: Hanoi, Hue, and Da Nang, you will need to contact the travel agencies directly to book tickets.

How to use e-ticket to take the train in Vietnam?

Once the booking is completed you will receive an email notification of your e-ticket. It is perfectly valid to use the e-ticket to board the train.

Vietnam Railways e-ticket

Passengers can either print their e-ticket on paper or use the e-ticket sent to their email right after completing the successful online booking process to present to the train staff prior to boarding.

For private rail companies, passengers are required to follow the instructions attached by email and obtain a boarding pass at authorized ticketing offices at stations prior to boarding.

Precautions for the prevention of Covid-19 epidemic

Passengers using public transport must strictly comply with the regulations set forth by the Government of Vietnam as follows:

  • Must wear a mask from when entering the station until the end of the journey.
  • All passengers have their body temperature checked.
  • Must make a medical report.

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