There are a lot of possibilities how to book and buy a train or bus 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 or bus tickets directly from them – but this solution, however, I consider it unnecessary, because there may be various discrepancies. The most convenient way is to book and buy tickets online.
Where and how you can buy train+bus tickets 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 the 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. I recommend to use these services – Baolau or 12go.asia. You will see the final price before payment. These companies have secured payments and websites. 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 recommended 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.
🚆 TRAVELING BY TRAIN IN VIETNAMicon-angle-double-down
• 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…(From Hanoi to Lao Cai)
• tourist trains, 1st class: Livitrans Express, Saigon Golden Train (southern Vietnam)…(eg. From Saigon to Nha Trang)
icon-info-circle Recommendation for traveling by train in Vietnamicon-angle-double-down
1. Book your train or bus tickets in advance online, if you want to avoid scammers in Vietnam!
2. Arrive to the train or bus station about 30-60 minut (I recommend 60 min.) before departure.
3. A lot of tourist agencies in Hanoi, Saigon sell the train and bus tickets, but lots of them are overprized.
4. All the trains (also lots of buses) can take a baggage to 20 kg (recommended – keep this rule).
5. Watch your luggage on the train, yes thiefs are everywhere (do not leave a luggage alone).
6. Read all additional information if you buy train+bus tickets online (on Baolau or 12go.asia).
7. Online customer support on Baolau and 12go.asia, you can use it.
8. You can choose your seat or berth in the train if you buy train tickets online on Baolau and 12go.asia.
9. In some cases, trains and buses in southeast Asia may be delayed (mainly in Laos, Cambodia).
10. Print your voucher (e-ticket from email) if you buy train/bus/ferry tickets online.
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
Travelling with children in the train in Vietnam
For trains operated by Vietnam Railways:
– passengers under 6 years old do not need to buy train ticket if they seat with their parents, or else benefit from 25% discount in all fares when they book a separate ticket. If you do not wish to take this passenger into account when making the booking, please select a smaller number of passengers
– passengers from 6 to 9 years old need to buy train ticket but benefit from 25% discount in all fares
– passengers with 10 years old or over are not eligible for children discount, need to book train ticket as adults
Vietnam railway mapicon-angle-double-down
Vietnamese railway map and train routes (March 2017). Click on the picture below for high resolution.
– a specialist for train, bus, ferry tickets and flights mainly for Vietnam (also tickets for Cambodia, Laos, Thailand)
– very nice and mobile responsive website, easy to use
– Baolau company is recommended in the new Lonely Planet 2016, Vietnam Airlines, Gapyear 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 your train, bus or ferry tickets)
– the final price of the ticket will show when ordering (before the payment)
– 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
– read also frequently asked questions on Baolau
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
– 12go sells the train, bus, ferry tickets and flights mainly for Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar
– you can use an online train ticket in your mobile phone in Vietnam, not in Thailand
– 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
– you can not use an online train ticket in Thailand, you have to print it
– 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), 12go can deliver these train tickets in Thailand, more info about trains in Thailand
– if you book and buy train tickets in Baolau and 12go for tourist trains in Vietnam (Orient Express, Sapaly, Chapa …), you must pick it up at the station