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Trains Between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Because of Vietnam's narrow width, there is only one main railway line crossing the whole country from north to south: the Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City line.

This meter gauge railway was built by the French during the colonial period, with an average speed of 50 km/h (31 miles per hour). Any train running on the North-South Railway is called a Reunification Express.

Daily there are six trains linking the capital, Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest city.

  • Distance: 1,726 kilometers (1,072 miles)
  • Trains: SE1, SE3, SE5, SE7, SE9. SE11
  • Stops: Hanoi, Nih Binh, Thanh Hoa, Vinh, Dong Hoi, Hue, Da Nang, Quang Ngai, Dieu Tri, Nha Trang, Binh Thuan, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
  • Duration of journey: approximately 34 hours

Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City Train Schedules

Updated on May 24th, 2020

Train Number Hanoi (depart) Ho Chi Minh City (arrive) Ticket Fare
SE7 06:00 16:10 the next day Hard seat: VND 669,000
Soft seat: VND 1,024,000
Hard sleeper: VND 1,395,000
Soft sleeper: VND 1,525,000
SE11 08:00 21:05 the next day
SE5 09:00 18:38 the next day
SE9 14:30 02:47 two days later
SE3 19:30 04:45 two days later
SE1 22:20 05:45 two days later

Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi Train Schedules

Updated on May 24th, 2020

Train Number Ho Chi Minh City (depart) Hanoi (arrive) Ticket Fare
SE8 06:00 15:30 the next day Hard seat: VND 669,000
Soft seat: VND 1,024,000
Hard sleeper: VND 1,395,000
Soft sleeper: VND 1,525,000
SE12 07:55 21:12 the next day
SE6 09:00 19:12 the next day
SE10 14:40 03:55 two days later
SE4 19:45 04:50 two days later
SE2 21:55 05:30 two days later

Scenery Along the Way

Winding along the coastline, the North-South Railway offers much landscape and many cultural highlights along the way.

Views from the train window change from green to golden paddy fields, from thriving orchards and countryside to towering mountains and shining blue sea. You can also have a close-up view of a railroad market, which can only be found in Southeast Asia.

Most popular tourist cities are dotted along the line, including Hanoi, Vinh, Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh City.

The Hue–Da Nang section of the railway is the most beautiful and stunning. The train goes through world-class tourist attractions Hai Van Pass and Lang Co Beach. This stretch of line has been designated by National Geographic as “One of 50 must-sees in a lifetime”.

Train vs Flight from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City

What is the best way to travel between the two cities: plane, train or bus? Bus is only recommended for journeys less than 6 hours. Bus fares are the cheapest. Trains and planes, however, are safer and more comfortable than buses.

Train vs Plane

  Pros Cons
Plane 1.Faster: only around 2 hours between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
2.Many flights to choose from
3.Good service
4.Clean and comfortable
5.Sometimes the price can be very low due to good discounts
1.More expensive
2.Not as scenic
3.Airports are far from downtown
Train 1.Very comfortable if travel in a sleeper car
2.Reasonable price
3.Train stations are usually in the city center with easy access
4.A scenic and interesting way of traveling
1.Slower: around 34 hours from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City
2.Most staff at train stations and on board cannot speak English


  1. From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, trains take a much longer time than planes. Still, many travelers choose trains because you can view stunning scenery along the way, which cannot be seen from a plane.
  2. If you decide to take a train, it is recommended to book sleeper tickets. Soft seat and hard seat tickets are really not recommended. Soft sleeper is comfortable, with air-conditioning. There is a lockable door, guaranteeing privacy and security.
  3. There are no open tickets enabling you to hop on and off Vietnamese trains. Seats/berths are reserved for the whole trip you booked.
  4. If a 35-hour train journey sounds too long to you, a good option might be to break the journey into two or three parts. Making stops at Hue, Da Nang, or other tourist cities, for a few days of visiting, would be a good idea.

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