Vietnam Railway Information
First built in 1881, now the total length of Vietnam railway is about 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) and the 2,700 kilometers (1,680 miles) is the trunk routes. Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Railway, also called the Reunification Express, is about 1,700 kilometers (1,070 miles) long, a popular route for tourists wanting to travel between the two cities while enjoying beautiful scenery. Train SE1, SE2, SE3, SE4, SE5, SE6, SE7, and SE8 are best trains running between. SE3 and SE4 are the fastest trains which could finish the whole trip within 30 hours, while others may take longer time, about 33 – 41 hours.
Except the Reunification Express, there are some popular tourist trains operated by private train companies, the tourist train carriages have better decoration and service, you have options like Sapaly Express and King Express on Hanoi - Sapa / Lao Cai line, Livitrans Express on Hanoi – Danang line, Laman Express or Lotus Express on Hanoi - Hue line. Also, tourists can take international trains to China at Hanoi, Gia Lam Railway Stations.
For independent travelers, if your destinations include Sapa, Hue, Danang or Hoian, the tourist trains would be an ideal way to save time and hotel bill. Overnight trains from Hanoi to Sapa, Hue or Danang actually saves time over flying, because the trains are located in city centers. And the train journey is an absolute Vietnamese experience. There are also trains from Hanoi to Haiphong (Halong Bay).