Vietnam has over 2,600 km of railway track, the majority of which (1,726 km) is the famous Reunification line running from the former capital city of South Vietnam now known as Ho Chi Minh city (Sai Gon) to the current capital city of Ha Noi in the North. It takes between 24 and 31 hours to travel the entire length of the line depending upon which train you take.
Train travel in Vietnam is becoming an increasing popular option for foreign visitors to the Country. Rather than travelling the whole length of the Reunification Line in a single very long journey, you can break the journey up into smaller section with stops on route to see many of the most important and interesting attractions in Vietnam. Train tickets in Vietnam are bookable online and inexpensive sleeper berths are available allowing foreign visitors to use trains as moving hotels and travel overnight to make the best use of their time in Vietnam.
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Popular Destinations in Vietnam
Many of the most popular places to visit in Vietnam are accessible by train:
- Sai Gon: Officially known as Ho Chi Minh city, Sai Gon is Vietnam’s largest city and it commercial centre. Sai Gon is at the southern end of the Reunification Line. Amongst the great thing to see in Sai Gon are the Saigon Opera House, the Cu Chi Tunnels, Ben Thanh Market and Giac Lam Pagoda.
- Da Nang: 15 hours north of Sai Gon by train, Da Nang is Vietnam’s third largest city and its most popular beach resort town. As well as going to the beach in Da Nang the ancient city of Hoi An is only 28 km away. The Marble Mountain is another popular attraction only 9 kms from Da Nang train station.
- Hue: Slightly over 3 hours north of Da Nang is the city of Hue. Hue was the capital city of the last Imperial Dynasty of Vitenam has two very important historical sites: the Imperial Citdael and the Tomb of the Emperors. Both sites are located in the city centre and a visit to Hue is a ‘most do’ on any tour of Vietnam.
- Ha Noi: 13 to 15 hours north of Hue by train, Ha Noi is Vietnam’s capital city and the connection point for bus and train services to the famous Ha Long Bay area. Ha Noi is famous for atmospheric Old Quarter, its many public parks and exciting inexpensive cuisine.
- Lao Cai: From Ha Noi many visitors complete their tour around around Vietnam with a train trip to Lao Cai. Lao Cai itself is not a popular tourist destination, but its only a hour away from the famous mountain town of Sa Pa by bus. Estimated as a hill station in the 1920s by the French Colonialists, Sa Pa is well known for its beautiful scenery, it particular the much photographed rice terraces cut into the side of mountains.