Vietnam’s air-conditioned trains are safe, comfortable & inexpensive, the ideal way for independent travelers to get around and see Vietnam at ground level. The train journeys are a genuine Vietnamese experience in themselves, an integral part of your visit to Vietnam. You might even meet some Vietnamese people. Inexperienced travelers sometimes think they’ll save time by using internal flights – in fact, an overnight train ride from Hanoi to Hué or Danang actually saves time compared to flying, because the train leaves Hanoi city center in the evening and arrives in Hué city center next morning, but it’s more than this, the train journey is a genuine Vietnamese experience, flying is a wasted opportunity.
Flying takes 4 or 5 hours out of your sightseeing day in getting to a remote airport, checking in, taking the flight itself, collecting your bags and getting back into the city center. And the sleeper train saves a hotel bill, too. And what’s the rush anyway? Air-conditioned trains with sleepers and on-board catering link Hanoi, Hué, Danang, Nha Trang, and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). Hoi An has no station, but it’s just 30km by bus or taxi from Danang. There are also trains from Hanoi to Haiphong (for Halong Bay) and Hanoi to Lao Cai (for Sapa).