Vietnam Country Guide

Getting In


By Train & Boat

By Train
There are direct international train services from Beijing and Nanning in China to Hanoi. However, t
here are no train links from Laos or Cambodia to Vietnam. Most journeys require a change of trains (Chinese trains to Vietnamese trains) at the border at the Pingxiang/Dong Dang crossing, which also involves immigration and customs. However, the Chinese-operated daily Nanning express runs through directly (no need to change trains) to Hanoi, though time is still spent at the border for immigration and customs.
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The trains are safe, comfortable, air-conditioned with 4-berth sleeper facilities and restaurant cars. Riding on the trains from China to Vietnam offers you scenic views of cross-sections of both countries, which you would not experience if you were to fly. The one-way fare from Beijing to Hanoi is about USD320, which you can purchase from the railway station's ticket counter or travel agent in Beijing. From Hanoi, there are onward trains to Ho Chi Minh City.

The journey from Beijing to Hanoi requires two nights stay on the train. The trains leave Beijing on Sunday and Thursday departing at 3:45 p.m. The trains then arrive in Nanning on the following Monday/Friday and depart for the Pingxiang/Dong Dang crossing around 9:15 p.m. The trains arrive at the crossing on Tuesday/Saturday, requiring passengers to change trains as well as pass through immigration and customs. The trains then leave for Hanoi arriving on the same day around 8:00 a.m.

Hanoi Railway Station in Hanoi by Kelcey Kinjo

By Boat
Boats can be taken from Phnom Penh in Cambodia to the Vietnamese border town of Chau Doc. Such a journey takes roughly five hours and includes brief stops both to exit Cambodia and enter Vietnam. Make sure you carry a few US dollars to tip the boat porters with, so as to avoid losing your luggage in the Mekong when alighting or changing boats. Longer tours lasting multiple days may also be available from Phnom Penh. Check with your accommodation provider or along Sisowath Quay in Cambodia.

Sisowath Quay in Cambodia by Paolobon 140

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