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Travelling Vietnam- Safe By train?

Travel Forums Asia Travelling Vietnam- Safe By train?

1. Posted by FlamesGirl (Budding Member 8 posts) 9y

I am planning a 10 day trip to Vietnam with my boyfriend, and we're planning to head to Vietnam in May. We thought it might be a fun idea to take the train around Vietnam, seeming as we managed in Europe just fine. Any tips or thoughts on taking the train? We were thinking of starting in Saigon and heading north to Hanoi (with stops on the way of course).

2. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 9y

Trains are great in Vietnam. Much safer than buses where you risk your life each time you get in one. Trains were very comfortable, safe, and pretty good value. Sorry I can't give you any advise on booking or anything becuase its been a few years now, and I can't even remember how we booked ours.
My biggest concern with what you are doing is attempting to see the whole length of the country in only 10 days. Most people that go from Saigon to Hanoi give themselves 2-3 weeks or so, and 3-4 if they plan to see all the highlights. In ten days you will spend more time on the train than in the towns. I would seriously think about limiting your trip to either the North or South. My recomendation would be the North. You could fly into Hanoi, spend a couple days there with some day trips to the Perfume Pagoda and Tam Coc, do a 3 day Halong Bay trip, and a 3 day tour to Sapa. That's a perfectly spent 10 days.

3. Posted by Darren7 (Budding Member 63 posts) 9y

Whats your thoughts on the Open Tour bus that runs from Hanoi to Saigon Degolasse? You were saying the buses are risky - are you including this route too? its just that looking on their website -
( - it seems ok???

4. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 9y

I have taken the open tour from HCMC to Hue & back and also from HaNoi to HCMC. I will use them again when in moving around VN.

Send me a PM if you have specific questions.

5. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 9y

Quoting Darren7

Whats your thoughts on the Open Tour bus that runs from Hanoi to Saigon Degolasse? You were saying the buses are risky - are you including this route too? its just that looking on their website -
( - it seems ok???

I used the open bus tour thing as well for the first half of my trip. I think the company was TM Brothers but Im not sure. It was a great deal as far as value goes. It was something like $20 for the whole length of the country with lots of stops, and it was very easy to book whenever we wanted to get back on. They also helped find accomidation, though didn't force us to stay there. If you are looking for a cheap way to get around and dont mind hairy busrides, than I recomend it. Just don't listen to any claims of it being a "tour" where the driver gives info along the way. The drivers never spoke, didn't stop anywhere for sightseeing, and didn't really care if we seen anything. It's really just a form of transportation from A to B.

My problem with the buses wasn't the tour companies themselves, and the drivers I had weren't nessesarily bad. I just didn't enjoy driving on Vietnamese roads, period. The driving is quite insane and reckless, and every single time we took a trip we would come across fatal accidents and it started to get to us wondering if we were next. So by the time we got to Hue we were tired of buses and took trains the rest of the way.
Having said that, I think I may have been a bit more of a wuss back then. I've since taken many many far scarier bus rides in China and India and Vietnamese roads would probably seem pretty calm to me now.

6. Posted by Bayontours (First Time Poster 1 posts) 9y

Dear FlamesGirl,

All friends above are right. It is hard to say which choice is either good or bed.

From my experience in Vietnam, it is abit tired and sleepless on the train to go from Saigon - Hanoi or return.

If you have 10 days, you can go to see some high light areas rather to go by train. The good choice that I can suggest is that:

D1-D3: Hochiminh - Cu Chi - Mekong Delta.
D4-D6: Noi An - Hue - Hanoi.
D7-D10: Hanoi - Halong - Hanoi.

You can visit this website for more information about that interesting spots:


Enjoy your journey in Vietnam.


[ Edit: Sorry no promotional details in the forums ]

7. Posted by Laura_B (Respected Member 352 posts) 9y

The open tour buses are a cheap & convenient way to travel around Vietnam. It's not the most pleasant or safe way to travel, bad driving, dodgy roads etc. I wouldn't say the journeys are any more hell raising then the rest of SE Asia, roads are better in Thailand, but the driving certainly isn't!

8. Posted by rowdy1 (Budding Member 16 posts) 9y

i found the train was great for the slightly longer trips like hue to hanoi especially if you do an over night jouirney you lose none of your trip time as you will be sleeping anyway and, as far as booking goes any of the travel agents will be able to get you a ticket and you do not have to look far to find any of those as you will find out. the sleeper was not that expensive and a meal was provided, similar to an inflight meal just a vietnamese version.
relax and enjoy and i bet you will be back real soon.