Just like the diversity of its landscapes, Vietnam offers a variety of ways to get around. You may favour windswept motorbike rides, fly straight from point to point, or take the overland routes of trains and buses, soaking in the sights along the way. With a little planning (and an adventurous spirit), you can usually get where you want to go easily and comfortably.

Averaging about 40km an hour, Vietnam’s trains are an insightful and relaxing way to journey through the country. The North and South are connected by a single, 2,600km-track network managed by Vietnam Railways. The track snakes through the country from Ho Chi Minh City all the way to the Chinese border. Spring for the soft seats and four-berth cabins for a little extra comfort, or splurge on one of the private tourist sleeping cars that are now available for several key routes. The railroad line is undergoing renovations as much of the existing tracks date back to colonial times, so be sure to research before you go.

Buying train tickets in Vietnam
You can buy your train tickets at counters in Vietnam’s train stations days or months in advance of your trip, depending on the route. Train tickets are also sold through many travel agencies and online through Vietnam’s official train ticketing website. Please note that children above 5 years old are charged the full ticket price. Also, you need to be advised that all trains have western and squat toilets on both ends of every carriage.

If you’re travelling during Vietnamese holidays and peak times, be sure to book your train tickets well in advance. On ordinary days it’s still a good idea to buy your tickets a few days early. If you’re trying to buy tickets for same-day travel, you can expect the faster trains and best seats to be taken.