Traveling by train in Vietnam is really an unforgettable local experience. The biggest advantage of this means of transport is the reasonable price and safety. The fare is half a flight and only slightly more expensive than the bus.
The slow train goes through mountains, forests, valleys and even along the ocean, allowing you to enjoy the authentic natural view of Vietnam. Moreover, it is an interesting way to travel by train for a few hours to make friends with the locals and get a better picture of their daily lives.
Train schedules for the Lunar New Year (Tet holiday) season.
Several Reunification Express trains depart daily from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Train times change regularly, so check the departure times on the Vietnam Railways website.
Vietnamese trains are not always on time. There is often a delay, sometimes a few hours. Do not plan your connecting flight without a significant pause between the arrival of the train and your next departure. The weather can also cause train delays. Conditions are changing rapidly and they do not announce delays or cancellations in advance.
TN3 and SE9 trains will be in service longer than expected to meet the travel demands of passengers from central provinces to HCMC, Binh Duong and Dong Nai after the 10th day of the lunar new year.
Particularly, the TN3 train will continue to serve passengers until February 5 (the 15th of the first lunar month) instead of February 2 as in the previous schedule. The train departs Hanoi Railway Station at 12:25 p.m. and arrives at Saigon Railway Station at 3 a.m.
Meanwhile, the SE9 train will run until February 7 instead of February 5 as earlier scheduled, departing Hanoi Railway Station at 9 p.m. and arriving at Saigon Railway Station at 10:30 a.m.
The tickets for those train trips are available at the normal price, 20% lower than during the peak period at Tet, according to the Hanoi Railway Transport JSC.
Buying a train ticket in Vietnam
Train tickets are generally more expensive than the bus, but cheaper than a domestic flight. The price of tickets depends on your train and which class you book. Hard seats is the cheapest and least comfortable option. Soft sleeper is suitable for long distances at night, but also more expensive (recommended!). For a ride from Hanoi to Hue you pay around 500,000 Dong, which is around $ 22. Often, the earlier you book the tickets, the cheaper the price.
Because the trains in Vietnam always have a limited amount of soft sleepers, it is wise to book train tickets as early as possible. Train tickets are usually available from 60 days before departure (sometimes 90 days in advance).