Rail Tours

D8E-1001 heads out of Đồng Mỏ with a train from Đồng Đăng to Hà Nội in May 2014

Lead by a Vietnamese tour guide and accompanied by Tim Doling, author of the books The Railways and Tramways of Việt Nam (White Lotus Press, 2012) and Mountains and Ethnic Minorities: North West Việt Nam (Thế Giới Publishers, 2010), these two group tours will be of interest to those who enjoy train travel, however they are not designed exclusively for rail enthusiasts and will only include visits to engine sheds by special request! Instead, the focus is on using the train as much as possible to discover Việt Nam, its history and its culture.

We currently offer two specialist Việt Nam rail tours:

D9E-222 Hải Vân Pass 23 February 2011 i

D9E-222 heads a northbound train through the Hải Vân Pass in February 2011

Starting in Hồ Chí Minh City (Saigon), Discover Việt Nam By Rail takes travellers on a voyage of discovery from the Mekong Delta to the Chinese border in the far north, following the old French Transindochinois railway line in its entirety from Saigon to Hà Nội and then taking the former Chemin de fer de l’Indochine et du Yunnan (CIY) line from Hà Nội to Lào Cai.

On the way, travellers will visit all of the essential attractions in south, central and northern Việt Nam, including Hồ Chí Minh City and the Mekong Delta, the Central Highlands town of Đà Lạt, the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Hội An, Mỹ Sơn and Huế, the 1,000 year old capital of Hà Nội and the colourful ethnic minority communities of Sapa. The tour will include visits to the Thái Nguyên Steel Works and to the Vietnam Railways Exhibition Room in Hà Nội.

D12E-656 Long Biên 19 March 2011

D12E-656 waits at Long Biên in March 2011

Starting and finishing in Hà Nội, Discover Northern Việt Nam by Rail is a unique tour which uses the entire Vietnam Railways public network in the north to visit to explore the little-visited northeast border region around Lạng Sơn, the awe-inspiring UNESCO World Natural Heritage site of Hạ Long Bay and the colourful ethnic minority communities of Sapa.

This tour will also include visits to the Thái Nguyên Steel Works and to the Vietnam Railways Exhibition Room in Hà Nội.

For larger group tours, we hire our own dedicated sleeper and restaurant carriages which are coupled to/uncoupled from scheduled train services as we make our way through Việt Nam.

For smaller groups, we use scheduled train services throughout.

For further details of these two tours see:

Discover Việt Nam by Rail – full itinerary

Discover Northern Việt Nam by Rail – full itinerary

Interested in Việt Nam’s railways? Why not join the open Facebook group Rail Thing – Railways and Tramways of Việt Nam

You may also be interested in these articles on the railways and tramways of Việt Nam, Cambodia and Laos:

A Relic of the Steam Railway Age in Da Nang
By Tram to Hoi An
Date with the Wrecking Ball – Vietnam Railways Building
Derailing Saigon’s 1966 Monorail Dream
Dong Nai Forestry Tramway
Full Steam Ahead on Cambodia’s Toll Royal Railway
Goodbye to Steam at Thai Nguyen Steel Works
Ha Noi Tramway Network
How Vietnam’s Railways Looked in 1927
Indochina Railways in 1928
“It Seems that One Network is being Stripped to Re-equip Another” – The Controversial CFI Locomotive Exchange of 1935-1936
Phu Ninh Giang-Cam Giang Tramway
Saigon Tramway Network
Saigon’s Rubber Line
The Changing Faces of Sai Gon Railway Station, 1885-1983
The Langbian Cog Railway
The Long Bien Bridge – “A Misshapen but Essential Component of Ha Noi’s Heritage”
The Lost Railway Works of Truong Thi
The Mysterious Khon Island Portage Railway
The Railway which Became an Aerial Tramway
The Saigon-My Tho Railway Line


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