Vietnam Reunification Express

The Vietnam Reunification Express is the most famous and import railway line in the country. The line connects Hanoi in the north and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) in the south. The rail route was cut off in 1956 and resumed in Dec, 1976 when Vietnam was re-unified. It re-connected the country from north to south. Then the rail line named Reunification Express. 

Trains SE1 – SE8 belong to Reunification Express Train, which are equipped with air-conditioned 4-berth soft sleepers, air-conditioned 6-berth hard sleepers, and air-conditioned soft seats. 

As for the Tourist Trains, which are operate by the private companies. They are actually tourist carriages attached to the main line. It has VIP Cabins and Soft Sleeper Cabins with equipment up to an advanced hotel. Each VIP cabin has 2 soft berths providing magazines, newspapers, drinks and snacks during the trip. Each Soft Sleeper cabin has 4 soft berths (two lower and two upper). The carriages are equipped with mini bar serving Vietnamese, snacks, coffee, tea and drinks. Certainly its fare is a bit higher.

Reunification Express in Vietnam
Reunification Express in Vietnam

Fanxipan Express to Sapa
Fanxipan Express to Sapa


At present, there are more than ten different tourist trains running on the popular routes like Hanoi to Sapa, Hue, and Danang:

 Hanoi - Sapa:
Orient, King, the Pumpkin, Fanxipan, Sapaly, Chapa, Laman, Victoria, and Livitrans Express

Hanoi – Hue – Danang:
Viollete, Lotus, Livitran, Laman Express

 Hanoi – Dong Hoi:
Lotus, Laman Express

Ho Chi Minh City-Nha Trang:
Livitrans Express


Vietnam Reunification Express and Tourist Trains

Train Routes

Reunification Express covers most cities along the country. Tourist Trains are only available on some popular routes. For economy travelers and short trips, Reunification Express would be a good choice. While if you would like to have a more comfortable overnight train journey, tourist trains would be better options. 


Seat Classes

Train Type
Seat Classes to Choose
Reunification Express
Hard Seat, Soft Seat, Hard Berth and Soft Berth.
Tourist Trains
Soft Berth and VIP Cabin

Seat Classes
Differences
Hard Berth
6 berths in one cabin - 2 lower, 2 middle, 2 upper
Soft Berth
4 berths in one cabin -  2 lower, 2 upper
VIP Berth
2 berths in one cabin - 2 lower

Facilities and Cleanliness

Both squat toilets and Western toilets can be founded at the connections of carriages, which depends on the structure of the trains. Besides, all carriages are air-conditioned due to the hot weather in Vietnam. The railway also provides some basic equipment for passengers, such as water dispenser and water basin. While these facilities on the tourist trains are much better than Reunification Express. If you need clean bedding and toilet, then choose Tourist Trains. The overall review for Reunification Express is not too good.


Water basin on the train
Water Basin on the Train

Water dispenser on Reunification Express
Water Dispenser on Vietnam Reunification Express



Ticket Fare

Tourist Trains are much expensive than Reunification Express. For example, train SE3 from Hanoi to Danang, Soft Berth on Reunification Express is around USD61, on Livitrans Express is about USD79. While the same route, train SE19, there are VIP berth on Laman Express, the price is USD145. Higher price, better decoration, facilities and service. 

Following is a price compare for two routes:

(Last Updated on May 19, 2020)

Train Types

Seat Types

Hanoi - Sapa - SP3 (US$)

Hanoi - Da Nang - SE19 (US$)

Reunification

Soft Seat

-

42

Hard Sleeper

-

55

Soft Sleeper

34

58

Laman

Soft Sleeper

43

76

VIP Berth

89

132

Victoria

Soft Sleeper

95

-

VIP Berth

145

-

Lotus

Soft Sleeper

-

63


Train Speed

The train speed in Vietnam is about 40-60 km per hour. Almost no difference between Reunification Express and Tourist Trains. 


Booking Policy

The change and cancellation rules, and also children tickets policies are different for Reunification Express and Tourist Trains. And each private train company may have their own booking policy.