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North-South Train Travel Guide

The North – South Express Railway is the interprovincial train route under the management of Vietnam Railways Corporation. It begins in Hanoi and end in Ho Chi Minh City. As the purpose of this railway is to connect the North and the South of Vietnam, in particular Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, it is also called Reunification Express.

This railway is one of the longest train routes in Vietnam with the total length of 1,729 km. Moreover, it passes by most provinces that lie between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, including Ha Nam, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Binh Dinh, Phu Yen, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan, Dong Nai and Binh Dương. A trip from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh Cityon this railway will allow you to enjoy many breathtaking landscapes of Vietnam such as  Hai Van Pass, Van Phong Bay and especially Truong Son Mountain ranges.

Generally, most of Express trains in Vietnam are sleeper trains with many napping carriages, however, some trains on the North – South Express Railway also have sitting carriage.

There are two main trains that are most frequently used. The SE trains are more suitable for tourists thanks to its modern carriages and facilities. Moreover, it provides both hard and soft sleepers to passengers with air conditioners on each cabin. The ticket fare is from 600, 000 to 2,000,000 VND for the whole trip from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh Cityand vice versa and the trip takes about 30 hours. Train SE1 and SE3 depart from Hanoiat 19:00 and 23:00 and make fewer stops along the way than train SE5 and SE7. Train SE2 and SE4 depart at the same time from Ho Chi Minh City and stop at way fewer points than SE6 and SE8.

Another kind is TN trains. It serves customers with old carriage and hard sleepers, and not all of the cabins have air conditioners. These trains also stop in all stations that it passes by, which makes the trip 10 hours longer compared with SE trains. Therefore, the ticket cost for this train is much lower, approximately from 500, 000 to 1,200,000 VND a trip.

In addition, each sleeper carriage of the Reunification Train often contains 5 to 7 cabins, and one toilet with shower room at the end of the carriage. There are mainly two types of cabins: 4-beds and 6 beds. Both of these types have similar equipment including pillow and blankets, TV, fans or air conditioner yet with 4-bed cabin option, you have more space and privacy. Luggage can be stored under the bottom bunks of the cabin.

With SE train, there is a service carriage that serves light meals to customers and provides some other convenient products such as canned foods, cigarettes, beverage, shampoo/soap, tooth paste and brush.

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