There are a lot of possibilities how to book and buy a train, bus or ferry 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 and tickets can be overpriced. The best way is to book and buy train, bus, ferry tickets or flights online. Vietnam has changed and modernized and now it is very simple and fast. Updated for 2021.
How you can book and buy train and bus tickets in Vietnam?
1. Online (train, bus, ferry e-ticket in your smartphone, easy, fast)
There are various companies and search engines where and how you can book and buy train/bus or ferry e-tickets for southeast Asia easily online. Only a few websites are reliable and trusted, modern, updated and recommended. Booking process of train tickets in Vietnam is very easy and fast. You can use e-tickets in your smartphone for regular trains in Vietnam, so you can also save your time. Search and book your tickets (+flights) at these websites:
1. Baolau.com – one of the best search engines for booking the train, bus, ferry tickets for Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos…
2. 12go.asia – company sells the train, bus, ferry tickets mainly for Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos…
3. Dsvn.vn – official e-shop of Vietnam Railways (there may be problems with a payment card issued outside Vietnam when paying online, if you want to avoid these problems, use Baolau or 12go. Baolau has the same prices as Dsvn.)
Book your train / bus / ferry tickets or flights in Vietnam online
(You can search another travel route, date of departure, place of departure…)
- These companies operate in Vietnam, online booking, reliable, tested, and fast processing, online support.
- I recommend to use these services of Baolau or 12go.asia. You will see the final price before payment.
- These companies have secured payments and websites. Online payment without any problems.
- 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, vietrailways.com, vietnamrailways.net, cheapvietnamtrain.com, vietnamtrain.com…).
- You can also book and buy cheap but also luxury flights of various airline companies operating in southeast Asia.
- Read carefully the instructions before and after you book your tickets.
Baolau icon-angle-double-right also recommended in Lonely Planet, Vietnam Airlines, Tripadvisor, Gapyear.
The best way to book and buy train, bus, ferry 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 at the station. But you must reckon with the fact that most of the staff do not speak English (but not all of them) 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. Book and buy train, bus or ferry tickets online.
Automatic ticket gates at the train stations from November 2017.
- Vietnam to install automatic ticket gates at major train stations. The new facilities wa installed at train stations in Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City. At the Hanoi station, there will be six lanes with ten automatic ticket gates to serve passengers, where as the terminal in Da Nang will have two lanes and three gates, and Ho Chi Minh City, three lanes and five gates. In the near future it can change.
- Passengers can scan their printed or electronic tickets at these automatic ticket gates to enter platforms for boarding their trains (more infos).
🚆 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 so fast and some of them are not very comfortable (“Hard seat“ labeled)
- SE1, SE3, SE5, SE7 – 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
- LP3, LP5, LP7, HP1 – trains to Hai Phong (hard or soft seats)
- SP1, SP3, LC3 – trains from Hanoi to Lao Cai (seats, sleeper…)
- air conditioned coaches with comfortable seats (Dièu Hòa – Air-conditioned soft seats)
- Vietnam does not have a large network coverage, but connects northern, central and southern parts
- see the current railway map > Vietnam Railway Map
- tourist trains, 1st class: Orient Express, Sapaly, Chapa, King Express, Violette Train, Livitrans (From Hanoi to Lao Cai)
- tourist trains, 1st class: Laman Express, Violette Train, Livitrans Express (From Hanoi to Da Nang)
- tourist trains, 1st class: Livitrans Express, Saigon Golden Train (eg. From Saigon to Nha Trang)
- check also – Train Schedule/Timetable and the most popular train routes in Vietnam
icon-exclamation-circle Recommendation for traveling by train in Vietnamicon-angle-double-down
- Book your train, bus, ferry tickets in advance online, if you want to avoid scammers in Vietnam!
- Arrive to the train or bus station about 30-60 minut (I recommend 60 min.) before departure.
- A lot of tourist agencies in Hanoi, Saigon sell the train and bus tickets, but lots of them are overprized.
- All the trains (also lots of buses) can take a baggage to 20 kg (recommended – keep this rule).
- Watch your luggage on the train, yes thiefs are everywhere (do not leave a luggage alone).
- Read all additional information if you book and buy train+bus tickets online (on Baolau or 12go.asia).
- Online customer support on Baolau and 12go.asia, you can use it.
- You can choose your seat or berth in the train if you buy train tickets online on Baolau and 12go.asia.
- In some cases, trains and buses in southeast Asia may be delayed (mainly in Laos, Cambodia).
- Print your voucher (e-ticket from email) or keep your ticket in your smart phone. (Victoria Express, Fansipan 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.)
Seats and berths in the train in Vietnam:
- 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 or 6 berths cab – Soft sleeper – regular + luxury 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 Map (2021)icon-angle-double-down
Vietnamese railway map and train routes. Click on the picture below for high resolution image.
Baolau – Search, book, buy tickets online icon-angle-double-down
- you can book 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, 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)
- online payment – accepting international credit cards – Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JCB, UnionPay and Alipay
- 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 or train
- 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.asia – Search, book, buy tickets online icon-angle-double-down
- 12go sells the train, bus, ferry tickets and flights mainly for Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar
- you can use an online train ticket (e-ticket) in your smartphone 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 and ratings+reviews of the trains, bus…
- you can not use an online train ticket in Thailand in your smartphone, 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 to Lao Cai (Orient Express, Sapaly, Chapa, King Express…), you must pick it up at the station, read carefully all information before you book and buy tickets
Popular travel routes in Vietnam (Train, Bus, Ferry, Flight) icon-angle-double-down
International popular travel routes from Vietnam icon-angle-double-down
icon-info-circle FAQ + TIPS – Train tickets and travel by train in Vietnamicon-angle-double-down
How to book and buy train or bus tickets in Vietnam?
Is it better to travel in Vietnam by train or tourist bus?
- It depends where do you want to travel. Railway routes in Vietnam are not everywhere, because there are a lot of mountain places, especially in the north of Vietnam. I think it is better to travel by train in Vietnam, it is more comfortable, but it takes a lot of time, trains are not so fast.
How long is the train ride from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh?
- Travel by train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City takes about 32-36 hours. You should book your sleeper cabin advance.
Are trains safe in Vietnam?
- Yes, traveling by train in Vietnam is safe, but you should still watch your luggage.
I have already train e-ticket, when to come to the train station?
- If you have your already train e-ticket in your smart phone, come to the train station at least 30-60 minutes.
Train e-ticket, is it acceptable in your smartphone?
- If you book train ticket online, you can use this e-ticket for regular trains of Vietnam Railways in your smartphone. If you book train ticket for tourist train you have to print this ticket, but there are some exceptions. Read carefully the instructions before and after you book your train ticket in Vietnam.
Is it possible to sleep in the train in Vietnam?
- Yes, it is possible, but you should know, trains in Vietnam are a little bit noisy.
How many people are in the sleeper cabin in the train?
- Sleeper cabin in the train in Vietnam are for 4 and 6 people, there are also some trains with 2-berth cabin.
Can you smoke on trains in Vietnam?
- No, it is not possible to smoke in the train in Vietnam, it is prohibited.
How much is the train from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi?
- It depends what you want to book – there are regular trains of Vietnam Railways, hard or soft seat, sleeper 4-berth, sleeper 6 berth. The most cheapest train tickets from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi start at $20/pp (hard seat). But you will probably take a sleeper berth – it starts at $35-40/pp.
Book your train / bus / ferry tickets or flights in Vietnam onlineicon-angle-double-down
(You can change your departure, arrival, date of departure)