Where to buy train tickets in Vietnam

where-buy-train-tickets-vietnamWhere to buy train, bus, ferry tickets for Vietnam in 2019? It is simple, you can buy e-ticket online

There are a lot of possibilities how to book and buy a train, bus or ferry ticket in Vietnam. You can find several websites and resellers on the internet, where you can book and buy tickets online. Lots of travel agencies and hotels in Vietnam offer to buy these train or bus tickets directly from them – but this solution, however, I consider it unnecessary, because there may be various discrepancies and tickets can be overpriced. The best way is to book and buy train, bus, ferry tickets or flights online. Vietnam has changed and modernized and now it is very simple and fast.

Where and how you can buy train+bus tickets in Vietnam?


1. Online (train, bus, ferry e-ticket in your smartphone, simple, fast)

There are various companies and search engines where you can book e-tickets for southeast Asia easily online. Only a few websites are reliable and trusted, modern, updated and recommended. Search+book your tickets at these websites:

  1. Baolau.com – one of the best search engines for booking the train, bus, ferry tickets for Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos…
  2. 12go.asia – company sells the train, bus, ferry tickets mainly for Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos…
  3. Dsvn.vn – official e-shop of Vietnam Railways (there may be problems with a payment card issued outside Vietnam when paying online, if you want to avoid these problems, use Baolau or 12go. Baolau has the same prices as Dsvn.)

  • These companies operate in Vietnam and online, reliable, tested, and fast processing.
  • I recommend to use these services of Baolau or 12go.asia. You will see the final price before payment.
  • These companies have secured payments and websites. Online payment without any problem.
  • You can also choose your seat or berth when you buy train tickets on Baolau or 12go.asia.
  • You will find also other online companies on the internet, but all of them are travel agencies and resellers and the price can be higher (eg. vietnam-railway.com, vietrailways.com, vietnamrailways.net, cheapvietnamtrain.com…).
  • You can also book and buy cheap but also luxury flights of various airline companies operating in southeast Asia.

The best way to book and buy train, bus, ferry tickets in Vietnam online

At the train station in Vietnam

Other option is – go to the train station and buy train tickets at the station. But you must reckon with the fact that most of the staff do not speak English (but not all of them) so there can be various disagreements.

Automatic ticket gates at the train stations from November 2017.

Vietnam to install automatic ticket gates at major train stations. The new facilities wa installed at train stations in Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City. At the Hanoi station, there will be six lanes with ten automatic ticket gates to serve passengers, where as the terminal in Da Nang will have two lanes and three gates, and Ho Chi Minh City, three lanes and five gates. In the near future it can change.
vietnam-transport-tourist-train

Orient Express train from Hanoi to Lao Cai – Sapa.

TRAVELING BY TRAIN IN VIETNAM

  • Vietnamese trains have been extensively upgraded or renovated (Reunification Express Train)
  • you can buy food, snack, toilets available…
  • Vietnam Railways – are the state-owned operator of the railway system
  • a relatively cheap and safe option of transport in Vietnam
  • Vietnamese trains are mostly clean, but not so fast and some of them are not very comfortable (“Hard seat“ labeled)
  • SE1, SE3, SE5, SE7 – high-quality and air-conditioned, comfortable trains with soft seats or sleeper cabs (4-6)
  • TN1, TN2 – air-con soft sleepers (4-berth, old type), air-con hard sleepers (6-berth), air-con soft seats+ordinary hard seats
  • LP3, LP5, LP7, HP1 – trains to Hai Phong (hard or soft seats)
  • SP1, SP3, LC3 – trains from Hanoi to Lao Cai (seats, sleeper…)
  • air conditioned coaches with comfortable seats (Điều Hòa – Air-conditioned soft seats)
  • Vietnam does not have a large network coverage, but connects northern, central and southern parts
  • see the current railway map > Vietnam railway map (May 2019)
  • tourist trains, 1st class: Orient Express, Sapaly, Chapa, King Express, Violette Train, Livitrans…(From Hanoi to Lao Cai)
  • tourist trains, 1st class: Livitrans Express, Saigon Golden Train (southern Vietnam)…(eg. From Saigon to Nha Trang)
  • check also – Train schedule/timetable and the most popular train routes in Vietnam

vietnam-train-seat-cabinTrain in Vietnam, soft seats and 4-berth cabin

 Recommendation for traveling by train in Vietnam

  1. Book your train, bus, ferry tickets in advance online, if you want to avoid scammers in Vietnam!
  2. Arrive to the train or bus station about 30-60 minutes (I recommend 60 min.) before departure.
  3. A lot of tourist agencies in Hanoi, Saigon sell the train and bus tickets, but lots of them are overpriced.
  4. All the trains (also lots of buses) can take a baggage to 20 kg (recommended – keep this rule).
  5. Watch your luggage on the train, yes thiefs are everywhere (do not leave a luggage alone).
  6. Read all additional information if you book and buy train+bus tickets online (on Baolau or 12go.asia).
  7. Online customer support on Baolau and 12go.asia, you can use it.
  8. You can choose your seat or berth in the train if you buy train tickets online on Baolau and 12go.asia.
  9. In some cases, trains and buses in southeast Asia may be delayed (mainly in Laos, Cambodia).
  10. Print your voucher (e-ticket from email) or keep your ticket in your smart phone. (Victoria Express, Fansipan Express, King Express, Orient Express, Sapaly Express, Sapa Express and Saigon Golden Train – you will be required to complete the payment before submitting your order. Your reservation will be processed and you will receive a voucher by email to collect the physical ticket at the station before boarding the train. )

vietnam-train-saigon-nha-trang

Seats and berths in the train in Vietnam

  • Hard seat – hard wooden seats with air-conditioning in the cab
  • Soft seat – soft and comfortable seats with air-conditioning in the cab
  • Hard sleeper – hard bed in the cabin, pillow+cover, shared with 3 or 5 other people
  • Soft sleeper – soft bed in the cabin, pillow+cover, shared with 3 or 5 other people
  • 4 berths cab – 4 persons share one cab
  • 2-4 or 6 berths cab – Soft sleeper – regular + luxury tourist trains – Hanoi > Lao Cai (Sapa), Hanoi > Ho Chi Minh City

Traveling with children in the train in Vietnam

For trains operated by Vietnam Railways:

  • passengers under 6 years old do not need to buy train ticket if they seat with their parents, or else benefit from 25% discount in all fares when they book a separate ticket. If you do not wish to take this passenger into account when making the booking, please select a smaller number of passengers
  • passengers from 6 to 9 years old need to buy train ticket but benefit from 25% discount in all fares
  • passengers with 10 years old or over are not eligible for children discount, need to book train ticket as adults

Vietnam Railway Map (2019)


Vietnamese railway map and train routes (January 2019).
Click on the picture below for high resolution image.vietnam-map-train-railway

Vietnam Railway Map 2019.


Baolau – search, book, buy tickets online 

  • you can book train, bus, ferry tickets and flights mainly for Vietnam (also tickets for Cambodia, Laos, Thailand…)
  • very nice and mobile responsive website, easy to use
  • Baolau company is recommended in the new Lonely Planet, Vietnam Airlines, Gapyear and Tripadvisor
  • you can choose a seat or berth in a train (Vietnam Railways may not guarantee a selection)
  • keep your online ticket in your mobile phone or tablet (I recommend to print your train, bus or ferry tickets)
  • the final price of the ticket will show when ordering (before the payment)
  • bus tickets icon-angle-double-right you will receive your e-ticket by email, ready to print or carry in your mobile phone or tablet and present at the ticket counter of the station before boarding the bus
  • read also frequently asked questions on Baolau

Baolau integrate ticket booking for trains operated by Vietnam Railways and private railway companies Victoria Express, Fanxipan Express, King Express, Orient Express, Sapaly Express, Chapa Express, Livitrans Express, Violette Train and Saigon Golden Train. At the end of the booking process you will receive the official tickets, which you can use to board the train.

 For bookings with Vietnam Railways and private railway companies Livitrans Express and Violette Train, you will be required to complete the payment before submitting your order. Your reservation will be processed and you will receive your e-ticket by email, ready to print or carry in your mobile phone or tablet and present when boarding the train.

 For bookings with Royal Railway and private railway companies Victoria Express, Fanxipan Express, King Express, Orient Express, Sapaly Express, Chapa Express and Saigon Golden Train, you will be required to complete the payment before submitting your order. Your reservation will be processed and you will receive a voucher by email to collect the physical ticket at the station before boarding the train.

 For bookings with the international railway service Hanoi-Nanning-Beijing, you will be required to complete the payment before submitting your order. Your reservation will be processed and you will receive a voucher by email to collect the physical ticket at the station before boarding the train.

Train berth selection on Baolau icon-angle-double-down 

baolau-train-berth-selection-vietnam

Train seat selection on Baolau 

baolau-train-seat-selection-vietnam

12go.asia – search, book, buy tickets online

  • 12go sells the train, bus, ferry tickets and flights mainly for Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar
  • you can use an online train ticket (e-ticket) in your smartphone in Vietnam, not in Thailand
  • advantage: immediately after your search, this final price of the ticket and the fees will shown
  • in the search of this website you will see also a photos and ratings+reviews of the trains, bus…
  • you can not use an online train ticket in Thailand in your smartphone, you have to print it
  • if you buy train tickets in Thailand on 12go.asia, you have to pick them in the office: Bangkok (DOB building) or Chiang Mai (Bossotel), 12go can deliver these train tickets in Thailand, more info about trains in Thailand
  • if you book and buy train tickets in Baolau and 12go for tourist trains in Vietnam to Lao Cai (Orient Express, Sapaly, Chapa, King Express…), you must pick it up at the station, read carefully all information before you book and buy tickets

It is better to travel in Vietnam by train or bus?

It depends where do you want to travel. Railway routes in Vietnam are not everywhere, because there are a lot of mountain places, especially in the north of Vietnam. I think it is better to travel by train in Vietnam, it is more comfortable, but it takes a lot of time, trains are not so fast.

It is traveling by train in Vietnam safe?

Yes, traveling by train in Vietnam is safe, but you should still watch your luggage.

How long is the train ride from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh?

Travel by train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City takes about 32-36 hours. You should book your sleeper cabin advance.

I have already train e-ticket, when to come to the train station?

If you have your already train e-ticket in your smart phone, come to the train station at least 30-60 minutes.

It is possible to sleep in the train in Vietnam?

Yes, it is possible, but you should know, trains in Vietnam are a little bit noisy.

How many people are in the sleeper cabin in the train?

Sleeper cabin in the train in Vietnam are for 4 and 6 people, there are also some trains with 2-berth cabin

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