All aboard Vietnam’s new five-star train

Get beneath the surface - The InsideVietnam Blog

Train staff

There once was a time when the 31-hour trip from Hanoi to Saigon by train via the 1,726 km (1,072 mi) Reunification Railway was the preserve of the hardened backpacker: slow, dirty, noisy, uncomfortable and therefore avoided by many a traveller – which is a shame, because some of the scenery that the railway cuts through is truly spectacular.

Now, all this is about to change as Vietnam unveils its first five-star trains – as reported by Thanh Nien News last Saturday. According to the article, the upgrade made to the SE3 and SE4 trains cost a total of VND 83 billion (£2.5 million), yet fares have remained unchanged. Amazing!

Each train has 31 highly trained crew members and takes 31 hours to make a full journey between Vietnam’s two main cities (was that on purpose? We’re not sure).

six-berth sleeper cabin

A soft seat in an air-conditioned car with TVs costs VND 1.2 million (£37); a bed in a six-berth sleeper cabin…

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