The train from Da Nang to Nha Trang
Da Nang Travel Blog› entry 13 of 23 › view all entries
We had decided on a route for a trip through Vietnam before we stepped on the plane. We had made all hotel reservations beforehand, booked a tour to the Halong Bay, the Cu Chi tunnels and the Mekong Delta and we even bought train tickets on the Internet. At http://www.vietnamimpressive.com/ I found complete itineraries for the entire Reunification Express Train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. I had booked a night train from Hanoi to Hue, a day train from Da Nang to Nha Trang and a night train from Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh City. I had paid on the Internet with my Visa Card and told them to send the train tickets to the hotel we stayed in in Hanoi (Hanoi Continental Hotel), and this worked out perfectly.
For the night trains, I booked hard sleeper beds. We had slept on hard sleeper beds on trains in China and India, and these were fine. The hard sleeper beds are the same in Vietnam, the only difference is that the compartments (which hold six beds) close with a sliding door.
For the day train, we first had to get to Da Nang, since Hoi An doesn’t have a train station. We booked a taxi at the hotel we stayed in (Long Life Hotel), which took us directly to the train station in Da Nang in about thirty minutes.
The train was scheduled to arrive in Nha Trang about thirteen hours after departure In Da Nang, and since it was a day train, we had decided to go for soft seats for a change. This meant that for the first time there were no other western travelers around us while we were on a train. We were surrounded by locals and they too settled themselves for a long haul.
Warm food was served around lunch and dinner time, it seemed this could be reserved at the restaurant cart. The food looked questionable though, and since we brought enough to chew on, we passed.
During most of the day there were Vietnamese television shows on small TV sets that hung from the ceiling, once the evening fell a really bad movie aired. It was originally in English, so it wasn’t hard to follow the story. By this time the train had a delay of about an hour and I was bored out of my mind. The movie was the best option at that time.
The chairs in the soft seat compartment are reasonably comfortable and most people spend most of the day sleeping, so it is quite silent. Bringing a backpack along may cause problems, since most people bring a lot of luggage in weird packs and boxes and stuff it in the overhead compartments. Some creativity may be needed to put away your backpack, but the staff on the train is willing to help.