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Anyone take the Hara Train to and from Sapa recently? Good?

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San Rafael...
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41 posts
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Anyone take the Hara Train to and from Sapa recently? Good?

We are having problems finding an overnight train back to Hanoi from Sapa end of December. Seems as if the only one that can now provide accommodation is the Hara Train. Anyone take it recently, how was your experience if you did? Any and all feedback much appreciated. We need to book asap! Thanks.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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57 reviews
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1. Re: Anyone take the Hara Train to and from Sapa recently? Good?

There is very little difference between these private carriage trains - the newer the better. Hara is a few years old - Sapaly is the newest. I have not heard Hara being recommended recently, but have no personal experience. I've been on Livitrans and King Express and both were good.

San Rafael...
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41 posts
9 reviews
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2. Re: Anyone take the Hara Train to and from Sapa recently? Good?

Thank you! Appreciate the feedback. I've just read some lousy reviews of some of the overnight trains and wanted to avoid the ones that had issues with clean bathrooms, linens, etc.

Sapa
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471 posts
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3. Re: Anyone take the Hara Train to and from Sapa recently? Good?

I recommend you Orient Express. Their carriage has just been upgraded. Very nice and clean.

Sapa Sunshine Travel

spore
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15 posts
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4. Re: Anyone take the Hara Train to and from Sapa recently? Good?

Hi,

Due to some miscommunications with one of the train company, we didnt manage to get the train we want but our hotel is very helpful and helped us to book Hara Train. We were quite worried in the first place but we are happy with Hara train. The cabin and bed is clean. Mattress is thick and comfortable. Im not sure about the rest of the company but we find Hara acceptable. Do bear in mind Hara train reach the Lao Cai station around 515am.

Basically the info i have from travel agency, the whole train is owned by government and each and every carriages are bought by different company such as fansipan, sapaly, tulico, etc and private company deco their own carriages to their own decorations. All of us will be taking the same train to Lao cai, sapa hence for the noise level & rocky experience are all the same for everyone.

Hope above info helps.

San Rafael...
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41 posts
9 reviews
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5. Re: Anyone take the Hara Train to and from Sapa recently? Good?

Thank you that is quite helpful and puts things into perspective. I am probably over thinking this train issue after reading some of the awful reviews others have posted.

Hanoi, Vietnam
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13,176 posts
57 reviews
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6. Re: Anyone take the Hara Train to and from Sapa recently? Good?

Price is a very good indicator of quality when it comes to these private carriage trains. If you want new and clean, then book the more expensive ones. The Victoria Express is only for guests of the Victoria Hotel in Sapa, and the only one with a dining car. I have been very satisfied with the Livitrans carriage in 4-berth mode. Make sure you book with a reliable agent - one who will accompany you directly to your compartment (Hanoi station is somewhat of a zoo, and first timers need some help from their agent here.)

I also recommend that you prebook a transfer to your Sapa hotel with that hotel - Lao Cai station is also a zoo when you arrive. Sapa is a very rustic place - do not take much luggage on that train or you will be sorry (most people leave the bulk of their luggage at their previous Hanoi hotel).

San Rafael...
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41 posts
9 reviews
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7. Re: Anyone take the Hara Train to and from Sapa recently? Good?

Wow, great info! Originally we were going to book and stay at the Victoria Resort and take the V. Express train, but they could only get us there, not back when we wanted to return. The one way on the V. Express for the 4 of us was $600 while a r/t on all the others was around $320. I got so frustrated trying to get direct answers to my queries from Victoria Resort reservation, the fact that they couldn't accommodate us back to Hanoi and their pricing being so much more than anyone else, that I have given up on staying there or riding their "luxury" train. Instead, I am thinking of staying at the Topas Eco-Lodge (despite the 45" ride out to the lodge). We are traveling with our 18 yr and 21 yo and I think they will love it there. Any thoughts on that? Good suggestions re: luggage, but we plan to pack light to begin with and in December I think we'll need our warmer clothes while in the Sapa area so we'll probably keep everything with us. Please keep those suggestions and recommendations coming!

San Rafael...
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41 posts
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8. Re: Anyone take the Hara Train to and from Sapa recently? Good?

I put down a deposit for train tickets with Sapa Adventure. I hope they are reputable and able to reserve and guide us correctly. Good idea about the train station assistance. I have read here on TA that some folks have had issues when they got to the Hanoi train Station.

Friday Harbor...
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8 posts
338 reviews
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9. Re: Anyone take the Hara Train to and from Sapa recently? Good?

My wife and I recently took the Tulico "VIP" to Sapa and back. We normally like trains but not this one. The train suspension is terrible and makes for a very uncomfortable ride. The frequent stops (Express?) does not help. Do not count on any sleep unless you can sleep through anything. This train was a chore and certainly not something we will remember fondly. Also be sure to keep the door double locked. We had someone try to "join" us uninvited. No food AND PRETTY BAD TOILETS.

Adelaide, Australia
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876 posts
48 reviews
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10. Re: Anyone take the Hara Train to and from Sapa recently? Good?

We took the day train, uncomfortable and long, with many stops; but at least we didn't miss a night's sleep.....