Since I have to do a Visa run exit in mid June, I had to make a few changes to other transportation bookings to accommodate that. One thing I had booked was train travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City in June. I will have a little under three months to see Ho Chi Minh City all told before my Visa runs out. Here’s the map of the rail trip.
The trip takes approximately 30 hours and I would get to see everything from where Hanoi is all the way to southern Vietnam where Ho Chi Minh City is. The Vietnam Rail folks wanted to make sure I understood the time the trip takes so I confirmed that I will board the train on the 18th of June and will probably arrive sometime in the afternoon on the 19th.
To me, this is one of those train trips to see an entire country that one should do. Its like the Amtrak across the United States or the rail trip across Canada. To me, there is only one real way to see a thing and its not driving. I’ve tried driving while living in the US and road trips are good but nothing can beat the whistle and sound of the train hitting the rails and the people that gather. While in India, I rode the train from Chennai to Mysore and back. That was an overnight trip and a lot of fun including the morning call for coffee and Dosas. I have ridden Amtrak to San Diego, Santa Barbara, and up to Oregon a few times. There is a quintessential thing about the travel by rail missing in all other methods. Its that progression and sound and feeling that you get as the train propels itself to new places around each bend.
As you probably know, I also took the Shinkansen trains this last few weeks in Japan. i rode in quiet comfort from Tokyo to HIroshima and then from Hiroshima to Osaka. The bullet trains in Japan are nothing short of fantastic. I love the attention to detail on those trains, the speed and the efficiency of the system while still allowing you to see the sights that go past your window at a few hundred miles per hour.
I can’t wait for this trip. Another one interesting is to ride the train from Bangkok Thailand to Singapore. You have to book that one in segments. Just for interest, here are a few interesting travel sites perhaps to consider if you feel that train urge.
- This is a great resource for any train travel. The Man in Seat 61 prepares you for voyages just about anywhere by train.
- Interested in booking a combination of train, rail, bus trips in Asia? Best site I have seen is 12go. You can make immediate travel plans on the go. it works equally well on mobile devices. You can combine rail, bus, and air if you want. Want that trip from Thailand to Singapore? You can do it at 12go.
- Want that train trip in Vietnam I booked? Heres the Vietnam Railways Site.
- Amtrak does a nice job of showing US train travel with how to connect as well.
- Want to book the Shinkansen but you are not yet in Japan? I have you covered. You can book Shinkansen tickets here in advance and they will mail the tickets. Have no fear with this system. I used it and it works.
I started awhile ago gathering resources I would find that make it easier to travel in Asia. Bus travel is probably one of the greatest ways to get around. While not specifically rail travel as those are focused above on, Giant Ibis provides a very nice booking resource for bus trips in Southeast Asia. Give them a whirl if you want to also do what I am doing after Vietnam which is riding a bus to Phnom Penh Cambodia.
Thanks all! Happy travels. Try the train wherever your travels avail. No disappointment