Travel Across Vietnam - Reunification Express Train Guide

Vietnam is a Southeast Asian country with a long history and a rich culture. It is known for its beautiful natural scenery, such as Halong Bay - two times recognized by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage site, Phong Nha - Ke Bang National Park, Hoi An Old Town,… Instead of exploring Vietnam from North to South by plane as usual, why don't you try the experience on the Reunification Express Train?


This incredible journey will take you through Vietnam's vibrant landscapes and culture, from bustling cities to peaceful countryside, from majestic mountains to refreshing coastlines. The Reunification Express Train is not only a means of transportation but also a memorable experience.

Vietnam train tour

The North-South railway, connecting the capital Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City, was built by the French in 1936 and was badly damaged in the wars that followed. After Vietnam gained independence and reunified the country in 1975, this railway line was restored and became a symbol of national unity and pride.

The Reunification Express Train offers you a chance to meet friendly locals, enjoy the specialties of each region and Vietnamese coffee, and discover Vietnam's history and heritage. You can also admire the beautiful scenery of golden rice fields, rice terraces, fishing villages, dense jungles, and crowded neighborhoods along the way.

The Best Way to See Vietnam is by Train

In this guide, Incredible Asia Journeys will tell you everything you need to know about taking the Reunification Express Train, including how to book tickets, what to expect on board, where to stop along the way, and what to pack for your journey.

1. How to Book Tickets for the Reunification Express Train

Daily, 4 trains are running from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City: SE1, SE3, SE5, SE7. The trip takes a total of 30 hours, but you can break it up into shorter segments and stop to explore different destinations along the way. The famous stops are Hai Phong, Ninh Binh, Hue,…

Take a train through the beauty of Vietnam's regions

There are 2 forms of ticket purchase: online purchase and direct purchase. With online ticket purchases, you can book tickets through the website of Vietnam Railways. With direct ticket purchase, you can buy tickets at train stations or through travel agencies. Fares may vary depending on the seat type or destination you choose when you book in advance. It is cheaper to book tickets online at the station and you should book at least a few days before departure.

2. What are the Different Types of Seats and Berths on the Reunification Express Train

There are different types of seats and berths on the Reunification Express Train, depending on your budget and comfort level. They are:

2.1. Hard seats

This is the cheapest option, but also the most uncomfortable. It consists of wooden benches and has no cushions for sitting or lying down. It is not recommended for long trips or overnight trips.

Hard seats inside a Vietnam train carriage

2.2. Soft seats

A better option, with plush chairs that can recline slightly. There are overhead TVs that play Vietnamese programs, and some seats face each other with a table in between.

Soft seats on the train

2.3. Hard Sleeper

A sleeping option with six bunks in each cabin. The bunks are hard and narrow, but they come with pillows and blankets. There is a small storage space under the lower bunks for luggage. This is a good option for budget travelers who don't mind sharing space with strangers.

Hard sleeper with 6 bunks

2.4. Soft Sleeper

More comfortable sleeping option with four bunks in each cabin. The bunks are softer and wider than hard sleeper bunks. They also come with pillows and blankets. There is a luggage compartment under the lower bunks. This is a more comfortable option for travelers who want some privacy and space.

Soft sleepers with comfortable facilities

2.5. VIP Sleeper

A luxury sleeping option with only two bunks in each cabin. The bunks are similar to the soft sleeper, but more spacious and private. there is also a larger table, a lamp, and a window for each bunk. They also come with pillows and blankets. There is a luggage compartment under the lower bunk. This is the most luxurious option for travelers who want maximum comfort and privacy.

VIP cabin on the train

3. What are the Facilities and Services of the Reunification Express Train

Reunification Express Train has a full range of basic services to serve passengers to make them feel most comfortable. Each carriage has a sink and toilet at one end for use by everyone in that carriage. There is also a car serving the dining needs of passengers, they can buy food and drinks such as noodles, rice dishes, snacks, coffee, tea, water, and beer,… Or you can bring your own food and drinks.

Vietnam Train Service

Each carriage has air conditioning and a fan to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. There are power outlets in some cabins so you don't have to worry about where to charge your devices. There are also overhead TVs broadcasting Vietnamese programs in some cabins.

The staff on board are very friendly to foreign guests, but some of them may not speak English. You can communicate with them both with simple gestures and words. You can also ask other passengers nearby for help if needed.

4. Famous Places You Will See While Taking The Reunification Express Train

While taking the Reunification Express Train, you will see many places along the route that showcase the diversity and beauty of Vietnam. Some of the places you will see are:

 4.1. Hanoi

The capital and cultural center of Vietnam, with a rich history and a vibrant atmosphere. You can visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, the Temple of Literature, the Old Quarter, and many museums and temples.

Hanoi Train Station

 4.2. Ninh Binh 

Ninh Binh is a province and a city in northern Vietnam, about 100 km south of Hanoi. It is known for its stunning natural scenery, rich cultural heritage, and historical significance. Some of the main attractions in Ninh Binh are: Tam Coc, Trang An, Hoa Lu - the ancient capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries,...

The Most Beautiful Train Routes in Vietnam

 4.3. Hue

The former imperial capital of Vietnam, with a UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Citadel, where you can see the royal palaces, tombs, and temples. You can also enjoy the Perfume River, the Thien Mu Pagoda, and the Dong Ba Market.

The train journey from Hue

 4.4. Hoi An 

Hoi An is a charming city in central Vietnam, famous for its well-preserved ancient town, cultural diversity, and beautiful beaches. Some of the main attractions in Hoi An are Hoi An Old Town, My Son Sanctuary,...


Vietnam Railway Routes With Scenic Views

 4.5. Ho Chi Minh City

The largest and most dynamic city in Vietnam, with a mix of colonial and modern architecture, bustling markets, and street food. You can also visit the War Remnants Museum, the Cu Chi Tunnels, and the Mekong Delta.

Ho Chi Minh City Tourists Attraction

These are just some of the places you will see while taking the Reunification Express Train. There are many more stops along the way that you can explore if you have time and interest.

5. What are Some Tips for Taking the Reunification Express Train

Here are some of our tips to make your Reunification Express Train journey more enjoyable:

 - Carry a bag for important items: You'll have separate space for your luggage in each carriage, so you only need to bring your important items with you. A small backpack or small handbag is ideal.

 - Bring earplugs and an eye mask: Trains can get noisy early in the morning or at night, so if you want a seamless sleep, bring earplugs and an eye mask to block out sound and light.

 - Bring entertainment: A long train ride can get boring, so bring something to keep you entertained, such as books, music players, games, etc.

Hop on a train to explore Vietnam

 - Bring your own toiletries: The train doesn't provide toiletries like soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. so prepare yourself if you want to shower on board.

 - Bring snacks and water: In-flight food and drinks may not suit your taste or budget, so bring some food and drinks if you want.

 - Be a cultured passenger: A train is a shared space with different passengers from different cultures and countries. Please respect this shared space. For example, do not turn on the speakerphone too loud or talk too loudly.

 - Keep yourself safe: The odds of theft or fraud on board are not high, but it's not unheard of. Take care of your important items at all times. Do not leave your cabin unattended, or agree to open the door to strangers. Do not accept any food or drink from strangers if you do not feel safe.


Hanoi Train Station Staff

6. Conclusion

Taking the Reunification Express Train is a great experience to travel around Vietnam by rail. It helps you see different sides of Vietnamese beauty and culture while enjoying a comfortable trip with friendly and hospitable locals. If you are planning to experience this train, do not hesitate to do it now.

Make sure you follow our guide above to book tickets, choose seats, pack, and essentials,… Incredible Asia Journeys hope this detailed guide will help you have a great experience in Vietnam. Also, don't forget to contact us to schedule your Vietnam tour package!

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