The north-south train passes Thua Thien-Hue Province’s Lang Co Bay (this routes is train Hue to Da Nang or Da Nang to Hue) in central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress
Hot breakfast, black coffee and a chance to watch Vietnam’s beauty unfold right outside your window.
It won’t be the most convenient or comfy train ride of your life, but a trans-Vietnam trip will always be an unforgettable experience.
U.K.-based travel publisher Rough Guides has named the journey on the country’s north-south rail link one of the best scenic routes in Asia.
The trip of more than 1,000 miles promises beautiful views of Vietnam along the way. And while many passengers have complained about service quality, the globetrotters at Rough Guides have discovered only great things.
“Breakfast in the dining car is pot noodles in broth, served with fresh lime and chili. Enjoy it with cup of instant black coffee, drunk as the train chugs its way past buffalos grazing in rice paddies,” according to Rough Guides.
“Watch fishermen cast their nets as you pass the sea, just meters away from the tracks, before curving around the coast past deserted white beaches and lush rainforest,” it added.
Hai Van Pass
Rough Guides has also recommended train journeys through Sri Lanka, China, Malaysia, Japan and Uzbekistan.
The north-south rail system in Vietnam has been degrading after decades of use – it was completed by the French in the 1930s. With air travel becoming more affordable, more Vietnamese have stopped taking the train.
For many, a three-day journey from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City can be too long. But travelers who want something different than an easy one-hour flight will be rewarded with stunning scenery. Watch out for the breathtaking sights in central Vietnam.
Tourists can also try the new service between Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang for a weekend getaway, if a trans-Vietnam trip seems daunting.