Trains between Vietnam and China

There are two railway lines between Vietnam and China, one is Hanoi - Pingxiang - Nam Ninh (Nanning, China) line, and the other is the historical Vietnam - Yunnan line. If you would like to take the cross-border overnight train, Hanoi - Nam Ninh is the only choice. While the other route of Lao Cai - Hekou - Kunming (Vietnam - Yunnan line) is faster and more convenient.

Hanoi - Pingxiang (China) - Nanning Cross-border Train

The cross-border railway between Pingxiang, China and Hanoi, Vietnam was firstly built in 1940. In November 1951, construction of the Nanning - Pingxiang section in China started. Since the railway in Vietnam is a narrow-gauge track built by France in the past, the section from Pingxiang to Youyiguan was also paved with narrow-gauge for the convenience of docking. In this way, Pingxiang Station on the Chinese side has actually become a transfer station for the combined railway transportation between the two countries.

On August 2, 1955, the first Sino-Vietnamese international intermodal train departed from Beijing and reached Pingxiang after dozens of hours, then went all the way to Hanoi. However, at the end of the 1970s, this international railway was completely interrupted. 17 years later, on February 14, 1996, the ceremony of the restoring of China-Vietnam International Railway was held at the Pingxiang Railway Station. The Hanoi-Pingxiang-Beijing-Moscow international train shuttled back and forth, and Pingxiang Station became an important hub for the intercontinental railway transportation line from Eastern Europe to Southeast Asia.

Since the journey time for Hanoi - Beijing is too long, most of the travelers will only take the train from Hanoi to Nanning, then connect China high speed train or domestic flight from Nanning to Beijing.

The travel distance for this route is about 400km and takes around 12 hours. Only soft sleepers are set on the train, one cabin contains 4 berths, the carriages are air conditioned. Toilet, hand sink, water heater, pillow and blanket are available. The ticket fare is around USD45 one way.  One thing to notice is that the train departs from Gia Lam station in Hanoi, which is a little far to the city center. Passengers need to get off the train with their luggage for immigration inspection at Dong Dang (Vietnam) and Pingxiang (China).

Hanoi to Nanning Train Schedule (MR2 - T8702)

Country Train No. Station Arr. Time Dep. Time
Vietnam MR2 Hanoi (Gia Lam) - 21:40
Bac Giang 23:39 23:42
Dong Dang 03:00+ 04:09
China T8702 Pingxiang 04:41 06:31
Chongzuo 08:10 08:16
Nanning (Nam Ninh) 10:10 -

Nanning to Hanoi Train Schedule (T8701-MR2)

Country Train No. Station Arr. Time Dep. Time
China T8701 Nanning (Nam Ninh) - 18:05
Chongzuo 20:11 20:17
Pingxiang 22:10 23:41
Vietnam MR1 Dong Dang 00:22+ 02:55
Bac Giang 05:33 05:36
Hanoi (Gia Lam) 06:30 -

Lao Cai (Vietnam) - Hekou (China) - Kunming (China)

Lao Cai in Vietnam and Hekou in China face each other over the Red River. The two cities are at the junction of the Red River and the Nanxi River. Hekou Port is the transportation hub of the Yunnan-Vietnam Railway, Kunhe Highway, and Red River Channel. It is the most convenient land route from southwest China to Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.

Now, travelers could cross the border at Lao Cai Vietnam to Hekou, China. From Hekou, you could take high speed train to Kunming to start your China trip, this line was developed from the historical Vietnam - Yunnan Train, which was originally built from Haiphong (Vietnam) - Kunming (China) by France during 1904-1910.

Border Opening Times (China is one hour ahead of Vietnam)

Vietnam Time: 07:00-22:00
China Time: 08:00-23:00

Time Table for Hekou to Kunming Train

(Updated on Aug 20, 2020)

Train No. Departure Arrival Train Type Ticket Fare
C8332 08:10 12:29 High Speed Train USD14 for 2nd Class Seat
USD23 for 1st Class Seat
C8336 13:00 17:25
C8340 18:02 21:59
K9826 09:00 16:16 Normal Train USD8 for Hard Seat
USD13 for Soft Seat


- Last updated on Jun. 08, 2023 -
Questions & Answers on Trains between Vietnam and China
Asked by Joe from UK | Jan. 08, 2023 05:03Reply
Border Crossing Closed
Hi, my friend went to the border crossing today (8th January 2022) at Pingxiang and the Chinese border wouldn't let him through to Vietnam; the Chinese government opened the borders today but this border is still closed to travellers (open to Vietnamese people though). Do you have any more information about land borders between China and Vietnam and whether or not they will be open any time soon? Thanks.
Answers (4)
Answered by Joe | Jan. 08, 2023 05:22

8th January 2023 sorry
Answered by bob | Jan. 09, 2023 18:40

Do you know if the Chinese side was open from Vietnam to China for foreigners?
Answered by bob | Jan. 11, 2023 07:22

I just heard the Pingxiang crossing is now open. True?
Answered by Qiu | Jun. 08, 2023 20:19

Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)