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Vietnam Sleeper Train: What to expect & Some Handy Tips before Traveling by Overnight train in Vietnam

Although Vietnam is not large, there is a railway across the country that extends from the North to the South, so that you can go to all parts of the country just by getting on the train and starting the journey… But are you sure you know how to get an overnight train ride in Vietnam on a comfortable train? Read the article below that will help you have some useful experience with the Vietnam sleeper train.

Hanoi railway station.
Hanoi railway station.

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Choose a seat or bed position

This is one of the first and most important things when you decide to use a train as a means of transportation when traveling in Vietnam. Having a good seat, right to your liking will also help to make you feel comfortable on the long journey.

And to get a good sitting or lying position, you should book a train ticket as soon as possible, which will give you more options for the location and even the ticket price will be cheaper. If you are not sure about online train reservations, you can book tickets through travel agents, they will help you solve this quickly.

For a good seating position, We recommend you to choose a seat located in the middle of the carriages because these are the quietest locations. And if you want to book a bed in a sleeper carriage, choose a bed at a low position (lower bunk, you will feel more comfortable when you rest when the bed is low and whenever you need to move out of bed or manage your luggage.

Choose the type of ticket that suits your itinerary

Basically, the train ticket will also be divided into multiple ticket classes as when you buy a plane ticket.

Vietnam train ticket.

Existing ticket classes of Vietnam Railway are:

  • Air-conditioned soft sleepers (VIP 2-berth) – just exists on some trains
  • Air-conditioned soft sleepers (4-berth)
  • Air-conditioned hard sleepers (6-berth)
  • Air-conditioned soft seats (64 seats in a carriage)
  • Air-conditioned hard seats

If you travel a short journey for a few hours, you can choose the type of air-conditioned soft seat to save costs, but if for long journeys and especially overnight, we recommend that you choose Air-conditioned soft sleeper or hard sleeper.

Choosing the right ticket for the journey will help you stay comfortable during your trip.

Luggage

Luggage when traveling by train in Vietnam

Compared with trains in other countries, trains in Vietnam are smaller in size, so the space used by passengers as well as places for luggage of passengers on the train will also be smaller.

Therefore, bringing light and compact luggage when taking the train will also help yourself and the accompanying people to be more comfortable. If bulky luggage is required, contact staff for instructions on where to store luggage appropriately.

Comforts

In addition to the basics like wearing soft, light clothes, you should also bring a travel pillow as well as a sleep mask. In addition, along the rows of seats and beds on the train, there are charging ports for passengers to charge electronic devices such as phones, cameras … during their journey.

You can also bring some books to read as there are also reading lights on board.

Food served on board

Hot food on the train is the food which gets cooked in large quantities and brought down the aisles of the train on a trolley, it’s not included in the ticket price and you need to pay if you want to buy.

Food served on board - Vietnam train

This food comes out every hour or two, it’s hot and it’s popular. Some of the dishes are things only a person from South East Asia would eat, like chicken feet or beef blood soup, but other dishes are simple, healthy and nutritious.

The food will have been cooked shortly before its served and the chances of food poisoning are slim, although for some the spice and fish sauce appear to cause an upset stomach.

In between the regular food service, the drink and snack cart frequently comes down the train. They sell dried noodles, nuts, crisps, chocolate, soft drinks, coffee, beer and infamous cold boiled eggs which I always give a wide berth.

If you really don’t fancy the food cooked on a train in Vietnam then you can buy snack food at about 25% more than it would cost at a shop near the train station before you board.

If you travel on a long journey (overnight train), we recommend you to have dinner before getting on the train.

If your journey is longer (like from North to South), you can get off the train and buy food at some big station where the train stop for a longer time (20-30 mins).

Beware of fraud and theft

These bad behaviors are not only present when traveling by train in Vietnam, but they are also a problem in trains in many parts of the world. To avoid this situation, keep your belongings carefully, try to keep a clear mind and observe your items especially when the train enters the station, even when it is not your station…

If you’re traveling alone, bring your valuables with you when you go somewhere, don’t trust any new passengers, no matter how cute they are.

Enjoy your trip

Even if you may encounter some minor problems on the train as well as being late to the station, enjoy your trip. Because only by train you will be watching, exploring a lot of beautiful mountains, majestic natural forests, beautiful pristine beaches, small villages…

This will make you feel surprised and see the interesting things that can only be obtained when traveling on a train in Vietnam. That will make up for the little discomfort you encounter during the journey.