Vietnam has changed and it is not a problem to buy a train ticket online.
There are a lot of possibilities to buy a train 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 tickets. This solution, however, I consider it unnecessary, because there may be various discrepancies.
Where and how you can buy train ticket in Vietnam?
1. Online (train and bus e-ticket in your mobile phone)
1. Baolau.com – one of the best services for buying the train and bus tickets for Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos
2. 12go.asia – company sells train and bus tickets mainly for Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos
3. Dsvn.vn – official e-shop of Vietnam Railways (problems with online payments, can not be used a card from abroad)
These companies operate in Vietnam and online, reliable, tested, and fast processing. You pay small comission when you buy online tickets, but it is not so high (Baolau – about 1.5 USD, 12go – about 2 USD). Be careful when you buy these tickets at the various travel agencies in Vietnam, these comissions could be even higher. I recommend to use these services – Baolau or 12go.asia. You will see the final price before payment. 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).
Baolau icon-angle-double-right recommend in Lonely Planet 2016, Vietnam Airlines, Tripadvisor, Gapyear.
The best way to buy train tickets in Vietnam online icon-angle-double-down
2. At the train station in Vietnam
Other option is go to the train station and buy train tickets there. But you must reckon with the fact that most of the staff do not speak English so there can be various disagreements. It is good to know, the train and bus tickets can be sold out and you need to wait at the station for processing. In my opinion, it is not so comfortable and necessary to use this option. Buy train and bus tickets online.
icon-angle-double-down 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 too fast and some are not very comfortable (“Hard seat“ labeled)
• SE1, SE2, SE3, SE4, SE5, SE6 – 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
• air conditioned coaches with comfortable seats (Dièu Hòa – Air-conditioned soft seats)
• Vietnam does not have a large network coverage, but does connect north and south, Vietnam railway map (March 2017)
• tourist trains, 1st class: Orient Express, Sapaly, Chapa, King Express, Violette Train, Livitrans…
Seats and berths in the train in Vietnam icon-angle-double-down
• 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
• 2,4,6 berths cab – Soft sleeper – tourist trains – Hanoi > Lao Cai (Sapa), Hanoi > Ho Chi Minh City
Vietnam railway map
Vietnamese railway map and train routes (March 2017). Click on the picture below for high resolution.
– a specialist for train and bus tickets mainly in Vietnam (also tickets for Cambodia and Laos)
– very nice and mobile responsive website, easy to use
– Baolau company is recommended in the new Lonely Planet 2016, Vietnam Airlines 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 it)
– the final price of the ticket will show when ordering (before starting of paid transaction)
– 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
icon-angle-double-right 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
Train seath selection on Baolau
– a specialist for tickets mainly in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar
– you can not use an online ticket in Thailand, you have to print it
– you can use an online train ticket in Vietnam (not for the tourist trains)
– if you order an train ticket at these companies for tourist trains in Vietnam (Orient Express, Sapaly, Chapa …), you must pick it up at the station
– 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 of the trains and ratings
– 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), more info about trains in Thailand