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Ho Chi Minh to Halong Bay Train: Travel Like a Local

February 23, 2023 - 1160 views

The distance from Ho Chi Minh to Halong Bay is 1700 km, you can use flight, bus, or train to travel between these 2 places. If you are looking for an inexpensive, safe, comfortable, and charming way to travel from Ho Chi Minh to Halong Bay, the train is the best option for you. Find more information about Ho Chi Minh to Halong Bay train in the below article. 

There is no direct train from Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay; therefore, you need to catch a train that runs from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and then use other kinds of transfers to get to Halong Bay. A journey by train lasts more than 30 hours. The train called the Reunification Express, stops at a few train stations along the way for you to buy food, and drinks. Major train stations in Vietnam from the south to the north are Ho Chi Minh, Mui Ne in the south, Nha Trang, Dieu Tri (near Quy Nhon), Da Nang, Hue, Dong Hoi (near Phong Nha), Vinh in the center, and Ninh Binh, Hanoi in the north. 

Train road Ho Chi Minh to Halong

Train road Ho Chi Minh to Halong

Riding a train from the south to the north in Vietnam is really a remarkable local pleasure. This kind of transfer offers a practicable cost, which is almost half the air flight price and only a little higher than a bus. Moreover, staying on a long train allows you to make new friends mingle with different classes of people, learn more about local life, enjoy the spectacular view outside the train’s windows in Vietnam as the train moves along with forests, mountains, plains, and even seashores...making you feel closer to nature. A lot of tourists choose to travel on the train because of its safety. Vietnam's railway system has been reconstructed and developed significantly in recent years to adapt to the world's railway industry's innovations. Therefore, the train is much better than before. 

Ho Chi Minh to Halong Bay Train

Reunification Railway

There are 4 main classes of train tickets for you: Hard seat, soft seat, hard berth, and a soft bed. 

  • Hard-seat: cheapest option, non-armchair seat, but still offer an air-conditioner. Suitable for short transfer for less than 2 hours.
  • Soft-seat: air-conditioner available and also suitable for day time travel for less than 4 hours. 
  • Hard-berth: or 6 berth cabin, it is available 6 berths in 1 cabin, each bed a thin cushion & blanket. This cabin is available for 6 people but the bed & space quite small for foreigners. 
  • Soft-berth: Most popular one for travelers also is the highest price. It is suitable for overnight travel along with Vietnam.

4 Berth sleeper cabin on train from Ho Chi Minh to Halong Bay

4 Berth sleeper cabin on the train from Ho Chi Minh to Halong Bay

Ho Chi Minh City to Halong Bay train schedule & price

  • Transfer time: 1 day 11 hours
  • Price: $69 - $120

There are 5 daily trains leaving Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi and then you can catch another transfer to Halong Bay (please read more detail at Hanoi to Halong Bay 6 best ways to transfer). They are Train No.SE2, SE4, SE6, SE8, and SE10. 

From Saigon to Hanoi, these trains transfer through 24 stations. The type of train is the main factor that might impact how long a train takes to travel. A typical train's speed ranges from 40 mph (65 km/h) to 65 mph (105 km/h). There are certain intercity trains that go slower than 40 mph between stops.

Train prices depend on train no and class of train. To be more detailed: 

A soft seat which is the cheapest position on the train gets the price from $69 to $71.

A hard sleeper has 3 levels: Level 1 ($97 - $104), Level 2 ($94 - $99), and Level 3 ($81 - $86).

A soft sleeper owns 2 levels: Level 1 ($103 - $108), Level 2 ($110 - $120)

Children who are less than 4 years old can travel for free, while those between the ages of 5 and 9 are charged 75% of the adult fare. Passengers who are more than 10 years old must pay the full amount of fare. 


  • Hard Sleeper: 6 berths in a cabin (Level 1: Lower berth; Level 2: Middle berth; Level 3: Top berth)
  • Soft Sleeper: 4 berths in a cabin (Level 1: Lower berth; Level 2: Upper berth)

For a foreigner, I do recommend you choose a 4 berth sleeper cabin which provides you a soft bed and more space, it will make your trip more comfortable.

Tips for traveling from Ho Chi  Minh to Hanoi by train

  • Vietnamese trains are not always on time. Prepare yourself for the delay, sometimes a few hours.
  • Bring some food if you are afraid of food quality on the train. There will be a few stops along the way where you will be able to buy food and drinks with a service on board the train. Be careful about selecting the food. 
  • You can bring a huge towel or blanket with you to cover you and keep you warm throughout the journey. It can be freezing on the train.
  • Bring with you a neck pillow to support your posture and keeps you comfortable. 
  • Bring only small luggage if possible as you have to watch over your belongings all the time.
  • Take a small change to pay for a taxi from the station and food on the train.
  • If there are problems with your seat or the food, do not hesitate to report them to the conductor.
  • It is recommended not to stay in your seat the whole trip. It is better that you do some light movements to stretch your legs and improve blood circulation. 

To avoid any inconveniences during the train trip, it is best to book a Vietnam package tour where you travel on the train from the south to north Vietnam, including Halong Bay. The tour starts in Ho Chi Minh city with must-see places in Ho Chi Minh City and surrounding areas such as Reunification Palace, Saigon Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post Office, Ben Thanh market, Cu Chi tunnel, Mekong Delta. Then, traveling up north on the overnight train to Da Nang, where you will visit Hoi An, Hue in the center. Continuing with an overnight train from Hue to Hanoi, then overnight train to Sapa. The tour ends with a Halong Bay Cruise, one of seven natural wonders in the world. That is a 15 days tour with a lot of sightseeing, visiting historical, cultural sites, mingling with local people... The price for this incredible tour starts at $948/person, so do not hesitate to contact our travel consultant for this great deal.

A train trip from Ho Chi Minh to Halong Bay will never disappoint you. Book the train ticket or a training package tour, and get more travel experience! 

Please contact us to get more information and achieve your best ticket now!

book train Ho Chi Minh to Halong


Jenny Tran

(Image source: Internet)

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