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Vietnam itinerary and Hanoi to Hong Kong by train

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My family (wife and two daughters 18 and 21) and I are intending to travel to Vietnam at the end of the year and were thinking of, instead of ending the trip in Hanoi, taking a train from Hanoi to Hong Kong and, in that way, seeing something of China as well. Has anyone done the trip who can advise on whether this is a good idea or not, i.e. are the trains infrequent, reliable, easy to book, comfortable, expensive, etc? Would it make more sense to rather take a bus?

By the way, we are intending travelling throughout Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh City (3 nights) to Hanoi (3 nights) by train as well, stopping over in Nha Trang (2 nights), Hue or Hoi An (any suggestions on which is better would also be welcome) (3 nights) and then finishing in Hanoi (including a one night cruise on Ha Long Bay). Any comments on this proposed itinerary would also be welcome.

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