Young Pioneer Tours

Epic Train Trips – Da Nang to Hue

From Beijing to Pyongyang, Moscow, Colombo and beyond YPT love an epic train trip. And we are happy to say, at least from our own experience that the jounce from Da Nang to Hue very much fits into the genre.

Both Da Nang and Hue should both need little introduction. Da Nang is of course one of the most important touristic and beach towns within Vietnam, while Hue was not only the former imperial capital, but also home to the DMZ that split the country in two.

Unlike Korea though reunification as indeed achieved, ending what was the former Republic of Vietnam.

The Reunification Express

While no actual train exists that is known as the Reunification Express, all trains that do the Hanoi – Hoc Chi Minh City route, and visa versa are given this moniker.

The reasoning while somewhat obvious is that after the reunification of the country this train route, originally built by the French was reinstated to link up the country.

Said route takes in around 187 of the 280+ train stations within the country and for much of the journey travels up on the Vietnam coast. One can do this as a big 30+ hour journey or can be broken up into smaller more bite seized pieces. On Our Vietnam Tour, as well as our South-East Asia Adventure, we break up this journey in Nha Trang.

On this particular trip though we took the 16 hour train from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang. Thankfully this set up the chance to enjoy one of the most iconic parts of the Reunification Express, the journey from Da Nang to to Hue.

How to take the Da Nang to Hue Train

There are multiple options for taking the train within Vietnam, which include online (that tend to be expensive), using and agent (of which there are many), as well as simply rocking up to the train station.

On this instance I rocked to the train station. This made the price of the ticket cheaper, as just $13 for the 3 hour journey on soft-sleeper, or around $8 for the air-conditioned seat on the train. There is also an even cheaper non-ac option, but I do not even price this up…..

Vietnam Railways only take cash though, so keep this in mind if you do plan to just rock up. ATM’s are not yet as scarce in Vietnam as they are in China, but the nearest one to Da Nang train station is 2 clicks away.

Tickets need a passport to be purchased and are of the QR, online, or paper variety, rather than old school collectables.

What is taking the Da Nang to Hue Train like?

Taking the train is very pleasant, particularly if you are in the top level 4 berth cabins that have AC. Also so long as you have brought money with you then you will be well fed and watered. Not only is there a restaurant car, but also and more importantly if you want to relax people come around with food and drinks.

Reach carriage also has at least one person looking after that car, which means things are generally very safe on the Da Nang to Hue train. Although with that being said one should always act with due care.

The view on the Da Nang to Hue train

There are essentially day and night options for this fairly quick and easy 3 hour train, with this obviously affecting what kind of view you get. This means that if you really want to experience the Da Nang to Hue train properly take a day, not a night train.

One option for this is the 11.51 train, that usually rocks up at about 12.30. This will give you the best opportunity to get photos. And what can you see on the Da Nang to Hue train?

Of all of the different parts of the Reunification Express, it is probably the Da Nang to Hue and Hue to Da Nang parts that have you so close to the sea. This reminded me somewhat of Sir Lanka, but also with its own charms.

This included seeing the train snake around corners, going into tunnels, seeing cities and islands off of the coast, as well was driving through cities, such as is seen on the Phnom Penh to Kampot train. Overall a pretty epic train journey…..

YPT do not currently feature this on our group tours, but it can be arranged as part of a bespoke Vietnam Tour.

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