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Trains from Hanoi

Kilmarnock, United...
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Trains from Hanoi

Hi everyone,

I'm planning on getting the train down to Da Nang in a few days and was wondering if anyone has any advice on how to go about getting tickets. I was originally just going to order them online and have them delivered to my hotel in Hanoi but if anyone has any better or cheaper ideas feel free to share them!

Also, I know about the most expensive soft berth option but are they really worth it? Any info on luggage storing and the train in general is much appreciated too.

Thanks!

rural West Aussie
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for Perth
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1. Re: Trains from Hanoi

If you insist on taking the train then the soft berth option is definitely worth it. The cheaper six berth is crowded, no room for luggage to speak of and you will smell the feral toilets all the way to your destination.

Cologne, Germany
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2. Re: Trains from Hanoi

Best to buy your tickets at the station or in your hotel or every travel shop in Hanoi with a small fee added.

Soft sleeper is ok, hard sleeper is a bit uncomfortable, especially the upper berth with not much space.

Luggage can be stored under the seats or in an alcove beside the upper berth if you bring normal sized luggage. With these big hard-top cases it's a problem.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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3. Re: Trains from Hanoi

I always use a travel agent for tickets - a good one will pick you up at your hotel and take you right to your compartment on the train (a good idea because the station is a problem)

Cologne, Germany
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4. Re: Trains from Hanoi

Why is the station a problem? I can't remember any problems at the train stations, only the taxi touts could be a bit annoying.

Llanbrynmair...
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5. Re: Trains from Hanoi

Well pzinken, the southbound trains present no problem at all because you just turn right at the entrance, go into the waiting room and stay there until the doors to the platform are opened.

Getting to the right platform for the Sapa trains is somewhat more complicated and it might be that to which Daawgon refers.

As for buying tickets, I sometimes buy them myself at the station, sometimes ask the receptionist at whatever hotel I'm staying in at the time to buy them for me. In the latter case a tiny fee might be charged. I certainly wouldn't pay the extortionate fee that some online agents charge, especially if I was in Hanoi anyway.

Soft sleeper only, unless you're into claustrophobia and umpteen more people misusing the loos, in which case by all means book a berth in a hard sleeper.

Take loo roll with you as it soon runs out, plus antiseptic wet wipes for your hands. Drinks and snacks will come in handy too.

Perth
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6. Re: Trains from Hanoi

There are touts who make you believe that they "work" for the railway who sit you down at the station waiting area and take your tickets to be "validated" then escort you to your carriage. Then comes the rub - they want you to pay them for their services. Easy to be taken in by them but just tell them to go away as it is a well used scam - at least at the Hanoi train station

Perth
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7. Re: Trains from Hanoi

Also a good ideal to take your own silk bed liner which can be purchased for a couple of dollars at any market and take a can of insect spray for the bugs (and as someone reported recently "bed bugs on the Livitrain) so give the outside of your luggage a good spray as well.

I first travelled on this train in 1989 and it was rough then and has not improved that much since my last trip a couple of years ago.

Having said that - a couple of bottle of red and a few beers and we really enjoyed the journey.

Kilmarnock, United...
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8. Re: Trains from Hanoi

Thanks guys!

Managed to get my ticket from the train station cheaper so that's a start, any idea where I could get bug spray before I leave? Stupidly didn't bring any DEET with me!

rural West Aussie
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9. Re: Trains from Hanoi

Small shops and pharmacies should sell it- we have found Remos brand works well.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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10. Re: Trains from Hanoi

To keep you away from hassel. Book train ticket via one of reliable travel agent and ask them to deliver ticket to your hotel. Soft sleeper on Livitrans is a good option and worth paying (based on Vietnamese standard)