Ticket Types of Vietnam Trains

There are generally five types of tickets: soft sleeper (4 berths in a compartment), hard sleeper (6 berths in a compartment), soft seat, hard seat and VIP berth cabin (only available on tourist trains). The sleeper tickets are recommended and most westerners use this type. The sleeper cabins are spacious and comfortable. Each compartment has a door to separate it with the corridor. The soft sleeper and VIP cabins have charging plug, and offer bottled water to passengers besides the hot drinking water.

Soft Sleeper

There are four berths in a soft sleeper compartment. A berth is 185 cm (73 inches) long and 65 cm (25.5 inches) wide, generally enough for a passenger with medium stature. There is a space under the lower berths and a rack above the upper berths, for storing the luggage.

Berth Size of Vietnam Train

Soft Sleeper on Tourist Train: Most of the tourist trains offer soft sleeper berths. The decoration and service on the tourist trains are better than that of the reunification express. Since different tourist companies offer discrepant service, the prices are also different. For the route from Hanoi to Danang, take train SE19 for example, following are the prices of soft sleeper ticket for Reunification Express and two other tourist trains:

Train Type Price for Soft Sleeper (USD)
Reunification Express 58
Lotus Express 63
Laman Express 82

Hard Sleeper

There are six berths in a hard sleeper compartment. A berth is 185 cm (73 inches) in length and 66 cm (26 inches) in width. The height between the lower berth and the middle berth, being about 74cm (29 inches), is hard for an adult to sit up straight.  The tourist trains don't offer hard sleeper compartments, so you could only take hard sleeper on the Reunification Expresses.

Sizes of Hard Sleeper on Vietnam Train

More Pictures for Soft and Hard Sleepers

Soft Sleepers on Vietnam Train
Hard Sleepers on Vietnam Train

VIP Berth

There are only two lower berths in one VIP cabin, and parts of the VIP cabins are converted from Soft Sleepers Cabins, when you book the VIP berth, the staff will fold-up the upper berths and only keep the lower berths. The ticket fare for VIP berth is about twice of the Soft Sleeper.

VIP berths are only available on part of the luxury tourist trains, since the tourist trains don’t serve all the train routes, you could only experience this seat type on certain routes and trains. In Vietnam 90% of the VIP berths are on the route of Hanoi - Sapa, then Laman Express offers VIP berths on another route. Following are the detailed information.

VIP Berth on Hanoi - Sapa Routes

Train No.  Tourist Trains with VIP Berths
SP1/SP3 Orient Express, The Pumpkin Express, Fanxipan Express
SP2/SP4 Sapaly Express, King Express, Victoria Express, Chapa Express, Laman Express

VIP Berth on Laman Express

Train No. Train Routes with VIP Berths
SE19 Hanoi to Dong Hoi / Hue / Danang
Ninh Binh to Dong Hoi / Hue / Danang
SP3 Hanoi to Sapa
SP4 Sapa to Hanoi


Soft Seat

The soft seats on the Reunification Expresses are a bit like seats on a plane with armrests and fold down tray table. Although the soft seats come in a variety of styles depending on the train, while in most of the carriages, the seats are arranged in 2+2 way, two seaters in one row on each side of the aisle. The back of a chairs could be reclined so that you could take a rest during the trip. A soft seat is the best option for day time travel by train in Vietnam.

Hard Seat

The cheapest ticket on Vietnam trains are Hard Seat tickets. The seats are wooden benches with no armrests, and the back of a chairs could not be reclined. Normally one bench is shared with 3 people. On busy trains the hard seat carriages could be crowded.

Part of the hard seat carriages are air-conditioned, and most of them are fan cooled with the windows open. Hard seat is not recommended unless the journey is less than 2 hours. While, you could also sit in the restaurant car if you order food or drinks.


Hard Seat
Soft Seat


How to Read the Vietnam Train Ticket

Vietnam Train Ticket
- Last updated on Nov. 04, 2021 -
Questions & Answers on Ticket Types of Vietnam Trains
Asked by Gus from SWEDEN | Mar. 04, 2017 09:31Reply
If we are four persons for train Danang to Saigon and take soft sleeper how sure we are to be in the
Same cabin all of us
Answers (1)
Answered by Sergio from USA | Mar. 05, 2017 19:51

You can ask them to book the whole cabin for you directly.
Asked by Tony O'Grady from ENGLAND UK | Oct. 05, 2016 14:23Reply
operate over the tet festival Jan / Feb 2017
My wife and I travel to Vietnam end of January 2017 (new years eve)
We are hoping to travel by rail from hanoi to hai phong on Monday 30th January returning to hanoi on Wednesday 1st February ( I understand this is during the "tet" holidays?) Do the trains run during this time?
If so when and how do I book
Thank you in anticipation of your help
Answers (1)
Answered by Ms. Chin from MALAYSIA | Oct. 07, 2016 01:58

it could be booked as normal, but seats are very hard to get and station will be very crowd during holiday. You could contact this agency to book for you.
Asked by Kristine from DENMARK | May. 25, 2016 13:13Reply
No visa required
Hello, I am a Danish citizen and I therefore I can enter Vietnam without a Visa(15 days stay with a return ticket). So, how do I buy a ticket from Nanjing to Hanoi? I just want to make sure that I can buy one :)
Answers (1)
Answered by Holmes from USA | May. 25, 2016 19:49

If you hold the Danish passport to buy the ticket, you can explain this policy and they would not request you to show the visa for purchase. It should work the same way if you book online via a booking agent.
Asked by MACSBK from BN | Mar. 21, 2016 10:32Reply
HaNoi to Nanning

May i know if this train MR1 is a daily train ? price?
provide timetable and what station should i go and where i can buy ticket.. at Hanoi...

Thank you
Answers (1)
Answered by Wilfred | Mar. 22, 2016 00:48

Yes, this MR1 runs everyday and the price would be around USD60. You can go for HaNoi station for the ticket. The trip start around 9:20pm from Gia Lam station and arrive at Nanning around 10:10am the next day.
Asked by Vira from CHINA | Nov. 04, 2015 01:04Reply
Ha Noi to Nanning
Hey there, we want to take the train from Hanoi to Nanning. Do you know what time it arrive on the China border and what time it leave the Vietnam border? We don't want to over stay the visa in Vietnam. Thanks
Answers (1)
Answered by Wilton | Nov. 04, 2015 19:09

As i know, Mr2 departs from Ha Noi about 21:40 and arrive at Nanning about the next day 10:10am. It arrive at the border around 2 or 3am in Vietnam time and 3 to 4am in Beijing time,
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