Booking code: OV13
Below are a few typical train tours we can provide.
– From Hanoi to Lao Cai (then to Kunming in China);
– Hanoi to Lang Son and Dong Dang (then to Nan Ning in China);
– Hanoi to Hai Phong;
– From Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (mostly Unification Express Trains)
We also offer short train tours from Hanoi to Sapa, Halong Bay and Cat Ba. We take the train to Lao Cai (leaves Hanoi at 22:00 and return from Lao Cai at 21:00) and Hai Phong (leaves Hanoi at 6:00 and return from Hai Phong at 16:00) and from there we connect with trekking tours in Sapa and cruise in Halong Bay and Cat Ba.
SENDING BIKE(S) ON VIETNAMESE TRAINS
Please note that the station wants all bikes to be empty (fuel), so you can empty your bike(s) or let them do it at the station. In fact, they are happier with the second option as they can earn some extra money with it.
On Reunification Express Train
It’s very easy. In fact, you don’t need to travel on the same train with the bike(s). In addition, bikes are well protected in a wooden box. Best of all, most of the stations have storehouses for bikes. Therefore, you can pick up a few days later (usually 2-4 days). You have to keep the Bill of Loading. Any person who has this bill can pick up the bike(s) with his/her ID card or passport.
Hanoi – Lao Cai Train (For rides up to Sapa)
There are two gates in Hanoi. The main gate is on Le Duan street and the smaller one is on Tran Quy Cap street. In fact, the main gate is the entrance for Reunification Express (Southbound) trains while the smaller gate is for all local trains (Northbound), including train to Lao Cai. However, you have to travel on the same train as both ends have no storehouses. In case you don’t want to travel by train, a small tip can do. You just collect the bike(s) in Lao Cai.
2019 update: Recently, the cargo wagon is rarely available so check it out carefully before purchasing your passenger tickets. The only way to find out is by checking out at the main gate (Ga Hanoi). Alternatively, you can send the bike(s) by bus but it is quite expensive (around two times by train).
From Hanoi, the best train to take leaves at 21.15 and you have to be at Tran Quy Cap entrance at 19.15 as they can accept about 20 bikes on the train only. The people at the station will provide you with a form to fill in (in Vietnamese) the bike information. If you don’t understand the form, ask the lady to do it for you and give her some tips (50,000 VND). After completing the form, you have to take the bike to the wagon (or pay someone to do it) and show the man/woman in charge of luggage. The price of the bike shipping is about $15-30US per bike depending on displacement.
In Lao Cai
When you arrive in Lao Cai, you will have to pick up the bike(s) at the luggage wagon, usually at the end of the train. Take your bike(s) and show your ticket(s) at the exit. Don’t throw the ticket until you get out! Go straight from the exit for about 300m and turn right and you can find a gas station about 50m from the turning.
From Lao Cai, the best train to take leaves at 20.15 and you have to be at Lao Cai station at 16.00. The people at the station will provide you with a form to fill in (in Vietnamese) the bike information. If you don’t understand the form, ask the lady to do it for you and give her some tips (50,000 VND). After completing the form, you have to take the bike to the wagon (or pay someone to do it) and show the man in charge of luggage. The price of the bike shipping is about $15US per bike. You can fill up the bike(s) from vendors in front of the train station, but ask them about the price first as they are likely to charge you much more than you think. Write down the price in VND on a paper to avoid any potential misunderstanding (in USD as they expect!).
– In reality, people at the train stations may say that they don’t accept bikes without central stands (dirt bikes). In this case, smile and offer a small tip (50,000 VN Dongs) and you will get through. Don’t say bad things or trying to complain as this doesn’t help. Surprisingly, the regulations don’t allow bikes without central stands. This explains why they saw a decline in selling train tickets in recent years!
– If you return to Hanoi by train, our office will be closed when you get back. You could either park the bike(s) in front of our office (take the keys with you) or ride to your hotel, get some sleep and return the bike(s) later in the day. We won’t charge an extra day if you return before 10am.
More Classic Road Tours
You come this far but still have specific questions about train tours in Vietnam, then feel free to contact us for more details.