The North – South Express Railway is the interprovincial train route under the management of Vietnam Railways Corporation. They sometimes call it the ‘Reunification Express’, the train that interfaces Hanoi in North-Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh City in the south. And it it’s indeed one of the best methods for getting to know Vietnam and one of the better train journeys you can make within the previous Indochina.
Train Travel in Vietnam, a Seat or maybe a Berth?
Taking the train in Vietnam usually offers you different options of comfort. First there’s the option between purchasing a ticket to get a sleeping berth or possibly a seat. If you’re going the complete route from Hanoi to HCMC it’s smart to choose a sleeping berth, because being placed in a chair for over 30 hours isn’t exceptional. With the berths you ultimately choose between the hard sleeper as well as the soft sleeper. Both of them have ac within the cabins, nevertheless the soft sleepers are definitely more comfortable plus more spacious (four beds in a very compartment, as opposed to six). When it comes to seats there’s the option between soft seats and hard seats. You might want to go ahead and take soft seat, for the reason that hard ones are created from wood and as such really hard, especially when relaxing in a train for over just several hours.
Because I made on your path from Hanoi to NhaTrang into two different stages, I bought myself two tickets. One soft sleeper from Hanoi to Da Nang and, after keeping Da Nang for the few days, a soft seat from Da Nang to NhaTrang. Both of them were good. The beds undoubtedly are a bit small for tall western people, and often will do. Also the compartments are clean enough, the AC will guarantee doesn’t get too warm (it will even have a bit chilly) and blankets are offered. If you’re only traveling by day time the soft seat is perfect. It really is soft, it provides you with a great look at Vietnam’s landscape and it also a great way to observe how Vietnamese people travel and live.
Drinks and Food on the Train
One of the nice reasons for having the Hanoi – HCMC train is that you simply ought not to bring any food or drinks. Of course you are eligible to bring the maximum amount of food as you desire and that’s precisely what a lot of Vietnamese people do. But there’s enough food available within the train. In the evening you can find yourself a bowl of soup, within the morning and within the afternoon train vendors sell rice with chicken. It’s not the most effective food in the world, as well as for sure not the very best food in Vietnam, but it really cheap also it fills. And if you don’t want it, you should buy drinks and instant noodles around the train. Or hold back until the next station, because there’s usually lots of time to get off the train to obtain a quick bite for a station.
It's about the Experience
So food is alright, the soft sleeper is good and also the seat is perfect, but in the end those things are only small – but essential – parts is the experience. And the event that is what it’s about when taking the train in Vietnam. It’s an ideal way to get to learn the country as well as culture somewhat better in the small stretch of time. Vietnamese people increase the risk for train their property, regardless if it’s just for any few hours. They bring their loved ones, they bring plenty of food also it seems like they believe at home on the first moment they go into the wagon.
Then there’s the fabulous view. The landscape between Hanoi and HCMC is beautiful and diverse. During the daytime I saw endless rice fields, Rocky Mountains, small villages, high cliffs and sunny beaches. It offered me a glimpse of Vietnam’s day to day life, watching the motor cycles, area of workers as well as the people who wait on the stations for something to take place. Of course, utilizing the ‘Reunification Express’ is definitely not enough to get to learn Vietnam, nevertheless it gets you much more detailed of the people and culture than the usual budget flight can perform. And it’s a more fun, safe and relaxing method of travel rather than hop on one with the overloaded, crazy driving busses.
More information about Train Travel in Vietnam
If you want to know the current costs and timetables, make sure to check vietnamtraintravel.com. Train tickets are purchase every corner in most hotels and guesthouses or within the stations. Prices vary which berth or seat you adopt, yet to Western measures, it never gets costly to take a train in Vietnam.