Whether you are traveling in Vietnam from north to south or viceversa, you will have to choose how to get from Da Nang to Hue when you are halfway there, and the answer to this question is by train!
The beautiful Hai Van Pass lies in the middle between Da Nang and Hue, showing off stunning views of the mountains and the jungle on one side, and amazing tropical beaches and the sea on the other side.
Your 3-hour long trip will be full of great views! Here’s how to get your train ticket.
There are 3 ways to book a seat on a train in Vietnam:
- Book online on the Vietnamese railway website dsvn.vn. After you choose your seat, date and time, you will have to go yourself to the nearest train station with the e-mail confirmation in order to pay for your ticket in VND cash (unless you have a Vietnamese credit card to proceed with payment online, foreign cards are not accepted). You don’t need to go to the station you are leaving from to collect your tickets, for example we got our tickets to travel from Nha Trang to Da Nang when we were in Dalat station!
- Book online on amt.12go.asia, a very nice and clear website which allows you to use all the main global credit cards. Prices are fair, same as on the Vietnamese one, you will only have to pay a processing fee (around 1.5$). You will receive your e-tickets straight to your e-mail, and you will have to show it when you board the train. We used it when we were in Cambodia to buy tickets from Ho Chi Minh to Phan Thiet, it was a very nice surprise, sometimes we can’t even use this simple system back home in Italy!
- Just head to the train station and buy the ticket that suits you. Most of the employees can speak a basic English which is enough to do the job.
What seat/bed do I need to buy?
It depends on how long your journey is. The Da Nang to Hue train is a 3-hour ride, so a seat is the best option, just skip to the seat type info.
In case you will travel longer distances later in Vietnam, read here about bed options. Trains in Vietnam are very slow, which is good both to enjoy the landscapes by day, and to get some sleep at night. If it’s gonna be a 6-hour travel or more, we recommend to do it on a sleeper train overnight. You have these choices:
- 6-bed compartment with hard beds: they are really hard and thin mattresses. The compartment is quite narrow and crowded, good if you want to chat with other travellers and if you are on a budget (the price is even cheaper if you choose the upped bed), not that good if you are looking for some rest and/or privacy. Normally there’s a fan on the ceiling very close to the upper bed.
- 4-bed compartment with soft beds: comfortable enough to fulfill their name. Good space, decent mattress. We used this option, got the upper beds, shared the compartment with a very polite Vietnamese family (mum, dad and baby), had a very good sleep, and woke up at 8 am, in time to get ready to step off in Da Nang.
On every coach, there’s a toilet, a pair of sinks with mirrors, basic needs to prepare for the night.
If you have a shorter journey, you can try a very local experience like:
- hard seat: you will enter a bare coach with nothing but wooden benches on the long sides. Not really comfortable as a sofa, but for a few hours that will do. Very nice experience to see how local people travel everyday. No numbered seats, so get on early to secure a decent spot. Ridiculously cheap, we even got served a snack with a bottle of water complementary.
- soft seat: a “normal” train seat as we know it, less crowded coach with numbered seats.
Basically every Vietnamese train runs from Hanoi all the way to Ho Chi Minh City, or the other way. For this reason, timetables are variable, you need to book some days before to find a soft bed which normally are the first to sell out.
Classic seats are bookable at the station only on the same day of travel, so just show up at the station as early as you can. Book online in advance to be sure you will have your numbered seat.
Train travelling in Vietnam is a rewarding experience that we definitely suggest to try! Plane tickets don’t cost much more than a night ride on a train, but on the latter you’ll be able to relax, sleep, meet new people, and enjoy the views.
Da Nang has been our home town for more than 1 year, so feel free to ask us anything you would like to know! The city of Da Nang is definitely underrated and not well known among travelers, which makes it not very busy with tourists as other Vietnamese locations, but at the same time full of outdoor activities with awesome beaches and great landscapes. Check out here what to do&see in Da Nang, and if you need inspiration click here to look where to stay in Da Nang. One of our favorite places along the beach is Jazz Hotel Da Nang, a smart stay with live music everyday in front of the beach! Check it out here.
Hue historical city features a bunch of activities to do, from visiting the imperial city within the walls to hit the local market along the river. Probably 2 half days and 1 night are good enough to make the most of your stay, or you can add one more day if you are keen on visiting the emperor’s tombs. There are many cheap stays in Hue that will allow you to meet other fellow travellers, before you continue your trip in Vietnam either southbound or northbound. Recently we stayed at Casablanca Boutique Hostel in Hue and it was just perfect: the staff speak good English and are very friendly, the rooms are big and clean, the location is great close to the river, and you get all this for a cheap price! Find your deal here.
This should be a good start to plan your train trip, if you have any more doubts, don’t hesitate to contact us!
Enjoy your travel!
WHERE TO STAY:
- Jazz Hotel Da Nang: nice sea front location, neat rooms, great atmosphere with live music every night in the lounge;
- Adamo Hotel Da Nang: a brand-new hotel right in front of Da Nang beach, amazing rooftop with swimming pool&bar;
- Casablanca Boutique Hotel Hue: great staff, located in the city centre close to riverside, awesome value for money.
- You can pre-book all your stays in Da Nang and Hue with free cancellation here.
HOW TO GET AROUND:
Never leave home without a reliable travel insurance. Even if you trust yourself, you can’t always trust others. Better safe than sorry! Get your quote here.
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