One of the most stunning train rides in the world can be experienced in Vietnam travelling along its coastal railway from Hanoi to Quy Nhon. I recently travelled down 1,000KM on the rail to Quy Nhon and it was one of the best journeys I experienced in Vietnam.
My boyfriend and I booked our beds in 4-bed cabin leaving Hanoi at 22:15. This 21-hour train journey was full of beautiful landscapes and stunning beach views all along. I’m so happy that I finally ticked my bucket list to do a long train trip in Vietnam. Here, I’ll share my wonderful experience of the journey, food and views!
Perfect Night Train Choice: 4-Bed Cabin
To begin with, I must say that the 4-bed cabin definitely exceeded my expectations. The train itself is definitely very old, but they renovated the interior and everything in the cabin was modern, clean and comfortable.
Each bunk has a USB plug and lamp switch by the head, a rack and a hanging hooks. Next to the upper bunk, there’s a huge storage space enough for all four people to put their belongings. There are plugs for charging under the common table as well as between the upper bunks. Therefore you don’t have to worry about charging your phone during a long train ride.
Under the bottom bunks, there were two pairs of slippers (not four) in my cabin. Although they might not be the same size and are both for one foot, they were there for use. What I found awesome was that there is a hot water station at the end of each carriage. So if you want some cup noodles or tea, you can get the hot water from there.
When I first entered the cabin, the air-conditioning was full on, which was a great welcoming in the summer. But it was on high for the entire night, so it was really cold. And the duvet provided is only a thin duvet cover. So I’d advise everyone to bring a jacket and long trousers to keep warm during the night.
Other than the freezing cold air-con, the bed was super comfy and the cabin was great. Also, if you’re prone to motion sickness or sensitive to noise during sleep, the trains in Vietnam are old and thus they’re pretty rough and loud. So bear that in mind and you could prepare some ear plugs and medicine if needed.
The 4-bed cabin allows enough space for sitting on both the bottom and upper bunks without crouching. But I noticed that the space between bunks in the 6-bed cabins is too low to sit. The middle bunk there is foldable, which makes it possible to sit up straight on the bottom bunk. That could be a thing to consider when choosing the cabin.
Soft Seater & Canteen Carriages
We explored all the way to the canteen carriage at the end of the train. I was surprised with how comfy and soft the soft seats were. If there are empty seats, you can take a seat and enjoy the view from there for a while.
When I arrived at the canteen, I thought I travelled back in time to a couple of centuries before. The wooden seats, table, and even the curtains looked historical and were a great contrast to the modern renovated cabin carriages. I personally loved the canteen for its old school atmosphere.
I really wanted to eat in the canteen, but when I came back for lunch, all the train crew was eating here. So I had to bring back the lunch box to my cabin to eat. So if you want to experience dining in this restaurant, you should go at the right time when there’s a table available.
Train Snacks and Food
Snack cart and drink cart staff walked by the cabin almost every hour except during the night. And they speak out loud the menus while walking past the corridor. I think I tried almost all the menus they had on that cart. Honestly, I wasn’t too impressed with the snack menus at first.
But the next morning, there were some more interesting items such as nem chua (sour sausage). My boyfriend praised that this nem chua was the real authentic one unlike the ones sold in Hanoi. There’s fresh chilli, garlic and pepper mixed in this pork sausage fermented for that special sour flavour. It is from Thanh Hoa province, which is where the train staff bought from and sold on the train.
I found it fascinating how they were picking up local delights from different stops! It’s definitely an awesome foodie journey to try some local delicacies on the go.
Beauty of Vietnam on Train
Initially I chose the last train from Hanoi for two reasons. One was because it was the fastest one amongst the four trains each day. Second was to see the coastal view during the day. And I must say that it was the best decision because I enjoyed the coastal ride as well as a beautiful sunset before getting off at my destination.
Hai Van Pass is a famous coastal road ride between Da Nang and Hue cities. Many travellers and locals praise about this heavenly ride along the beautiful coast of Vietnam. I also had it on my bucket list to drive there. And this train ride passed the Hai Van Pass and it was absolutely breathtaking!
While driving allows the freedom to stop to take in the view and take photographs, enjoying this journey on the train was also incredible and amazing. I think if you don’t have the time to do a long train ride in Vietnam, you should at least do this short train 2-hour ride between Hue and Da Nang. I guarantee that it’ll be one of the most memorable and magnificent train journeys you can have!
I felt as though this 21 hours passed by so fast and genuinely enjoyed every moment. Prior to the trip, I thought I’d probably not do this long train trip again for a very long time, but having done it, I’d love to do it again! I’ll certainly take my friend or family who’ll visit me on this journey. And I highly and strongly recommend everyone do a train travel in Vietnam!
Quick Summary of my train ride from Hanoi to Quy Nhon (Dieu Tri station)
Departed Hanoi station at 22:15
Arrived Dieu Tri station at 18:38 next day
Journey duration 20 Hours 23 Minutes
Booked on Vietnam Railway Official Website