Vietnam Train Travel

Sep 10th, 2011, 07:02 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Vietnam Train Travel

Hi, I've been reading the forums on train travel and they have been very useful. I'm looking to find out if anyone has booked a soft seat for overnight? how do they compare to airplane seat? Seat61 recommends against because you are unable to get good sleep, but it looks like the seats do recline. I was thinking of doing the soft seat because of the long journey I am going to do so it seems it would be easier to see the scenery for a day/night journey rather than being in a soft sleeper with 3 other people. Any info would be appreciated.
Jellis2011 is offline  
Sep 10th, 2011, 11:33 PM
  #2  
 
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Which route are you considering. Hanoi - Sapa does have some quite luxurious sleeper cars that make up into full beds. Don't expect to get too much sleep though as the carriages are ancient and the track rough. You will not get a smooth ride.

I have only done daytime trips on the main Saigon - Hanoi route so can't really comment ecept to say the seats were a lot less comfortable and I was glad I travelled during the day. Sections of the journey,notable the part between Danang and Hue are amongst the most spectacular train journeys anywhere and really should be experienced during the day.
crellston is offline  
Sep 10th, 2011, 11:52 PM
  #3  
 
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You can easily see the scenery in the daytime from a sleeper compartment, that's hardly a big issue.

Sleeping on a flat bed in a safely locked compartment at night is far more comfortable and secure than sleeping in a seat in an open carriage.

I'd only take a seat on a night journey as a last resort, or if your budget is so unbelievably tight you'll put up with any discomfort to reduce expenditure.
Man_in_seat_61 is offline  
Sep 11th, 2011, 04:19 AM
  #4  
 
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Totally agree with seat61, you do NOT want to sit up all night. (Been there, done that (by mistake), never again if I can possibly avoid it.) If money is an issue you could go for hard sleeper but otherwise soft sleeper will give you more headroom at night and fewer people sharing the seat during the day.
thursdaysd is offline  
Sep 11th, 2011, 08:41 AM
  #5  
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Thanks very much for the info. I'll either train from HCM to Danang or from Danang to Hanoi. Man-in Seat_61 - just to confirm, if you are in a sleeper, and there are 4 in the room, can all 4 of you see outside for the day time?
If you have a sleeper, can you walk around train during day time travel and use empty seats if there are any? In the open carriage seats does your luggage just go on top of the seats? (first time train travelor so I'm not sure how it all works)
Thanks!
Jellis2011 is offline  
Oct 9th, 2011, 09:09 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
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4 of us plan to use a 4-person soft sleeper compartment.
Anyone know ?

1. How does the st'd 4-person soft sleeper compartment on the SE 1/3 trains compare with Livitrans car on SE 5?
2. Is it indeed true that the SE 5 Livitrans car runs from Hanoi only as far as Hue, Danang?
3. Does SE 1/3/5 Hanoi to HCM or Hanoi to Danang run on Tet days?
4. For a 4-person soft sleeper compartment, Does it matter whether we travel Hanoi to HCM, or HCM to Hanoi?
TXS !
alowin is offline  
Oct 10th, 2011, 06:38 AM
  #7  
 
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In the daytime the lower berths become seats.

I don't know about the Livitrans carriages on SE5, but I was extremely unhappy with the Livitrans carriage going up to Sapa.

Do you have to travel over Tet? I imagine everything will be crowded.

You need to check the schedules to see what you'll miss in the dark, I don't remember off-hand. However, you will be breaking the journey, right?
thursdaysd is offline  
Oct 10th, 2011, 11:23 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Alowin,

1. How does the st'd 4-person soft sleeper compartment on the SE 1/3 trains compare with Livitrans car on SE 5?

Livitrans car is nicer and cleaner (in my opnion - the sheets are cleaner and got changed anyway).

2. Is it indeed true that the SE 5 Livitrans car runs from Hanoi only as far as Hue, Danang?

Yes, Livitrans last stop is Danang

3. Does SE 1/3/5 Hanoi to HCM or Hanoi to Danang run on Tet days?

I just asked this from my friend in vietnam and she said yes.
Before tet will be very crowded, but during tet ( on the first 3 days of the lunar new year), train will be mostly empty and cramped with people again from the 4th day.


4. For a 4-person soft sleeper compartment, Does it matter whether we travel Hanoi to HCM, or HCM to Hanoi?

what do you mean?

honestly we found the cheap super saving flight tickets even cheaper than the train tickets soft sleeper. You can experience the train while you are going up to sapa. Another worth while ride is from hue to hoi an.
catladyva is offline  

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