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Vietnam community

Train to Hanoi, via Dong Hoi and Vinh

2 months ago

Looking for tips on catching the train to Hanoi. We are a family of 2 adults and 3 teenagers. Wanting to stop at Dong Hoi and Vinh on the way.

Is there much to do at those places if we stay two nights? We would like to visit a few beaches. Also, what are the trains like? Thanks

8 comments
Belarus
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2 months ago

Hello!
Just returned from Vietnam.
How i travelled by train?
At first - find the nearest railway station and check the correct name of the station. (the names of the stations are very similar)
I used this site for timetable: https://www.virail.com/

Fortunatelly, the site has incorrect prices.
For example: i travelled from Phan Rang to Nha Trang, the price on the site was 14$ per person and at the station i bought it 2,5$ for a carriage with air conditioner.
I guess that 14$ is the cost for a carriage with a bed.

From your places, i can say that 3-4 hours for Vinh is enough. It is a very small sailor's village.
Fortunatelly, near the bus station 1 boy sold us a 3 hours excursion on his motor boat and we spent time with pleasure.
The price of excursion is 20$ for 3 hours.

Australia
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2 months ago

Thanks Yan 😁

Australia
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2 months ago

Hi Alisa,
There are a few sites (Baolau & 12go) that you can book Viet trains on but of course they take a commission. The best way is to book once in country at the train station a few days before you travel. Check vr.com.vn it’s the Viet rail official site and has all the info you’ll need.
You don’t say where you are travelling to Hanoi from? I haven’t been to Vinh so can’t comment there but Dong Hoi is ok but I would travel the 40 odd k’s out of Dong Hoi and stay in Phong Nha for a night or two. Much nicer and it’s where the caves are, check it out.
The trains are pretty good overall, some of the older ones are a bit dodgy though. I’d suggest getting a six berth sleeper for a family of five even paying for the extra bed so that it’s all yours. The sheets don’t get changed between Hanoi and Saigon so be aware of that if you start your journey in between. Take your own snacks and toilet paper as well as the train often doesn’t have any or runs out.
Tony

Australia
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2 months ago

Hi Tony, thanks for your tips especially on taking toilet paper and snacks 😁

That's good to know that they dont change the sheets. We were looking at taking the train from Danang to Hanoi, but wanted to break it up into a few shorter trips so we may not need a sleeper carriage. Just worried we may not get air conditioned carriages if we wait until we are there to book.

And will check out Phong Na. Have you been to Hanoi, cat ba island or Halong bay? Also looking for advice on good places to stay or how long in each. We would prefer to be in areas that aren't super touristy..if that is possible in Vietnam.
Thanks

Australia
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2 months ago

Hi Alisa,
All the carriages have aircon as far as I remember, there are hard seat, soft seat, 6 berth and 4 berth carriages. We’ve had soft seat a couple of times, one was great and the second time it was an older train which wasn’t as good. Last time we booked a six berth for a journey of a couple of hours and it was good as well. Doesn’t cost much if you book it yourself.
Me, wife and 3 kids (13, 10, 9) have been to Vietnam the last 3 years running and always have a good time, Hanoi and Phong Nha are our favourites along with Ninh Binh and Hoi An comes in at fourth. Bai Xep is also worth a visit for a couple of days at the beach.
One night cruise at Halong Bay was enough for us, beautiful part of the country but also fairly polluted in the water which spoilt it for us a bit, haven’t been to Cat Ba so cant say.
Look at Danang-Dong Hoi-Ninh Binh-Hanoi with two nights in Phong Nha and one in Ninh Binh and you won’t be disappointed.
https://Booking.com reviews are the best place for finding good accomodation.
Have a great time and let me know if I can be of any further help🇻🇳😁

Australia
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2 months ago

Thank you! Have you been around April? Might look at booking train tixs when we get there so we can be a bit flexible.

Australia
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2 months ago

We have been in the June school holidays twice and September once. I am going with a bunch of mates in March/April this year for a motorbike ride up north, can’t wait.
Don’t be too put off by tales of cockroaches etc on the trains, they are everywhere else as well😀. Any hotel you stay at will be able to book your train tickets, for a small fee of course, or you can go to the train station to book them if that’s the way you decide to go.

Spain
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2 months ago

I'm preparing the same journey.
I've contacted a local agency to get the Ninh Bình-Hue ticket by night train.He has advised me against it, very dirty, and with cockroaches in some cases....I have read comments and there are all but many are bad experiences I have looked at the Lama Express, much more expensive , but there is not much information...
The possibility of ordering extra bunk is great, there are 5 of us, as requested