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Hanoi to Hue

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Kent UK
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Hanoi to Hue

I have posted elsewhere on this subject but though maybe this might help.

Posting on the Hue Forum.

Options for getting to Hue from Hanoi seem poor.

Flights appear to be sold out or if not extremely expensive. The alternative by train is a long arduous overnight taking 16 hours. Can anyone suggest how they would travel to and from Hue? What other options are there. We will have come to Vietnam from China after days of train travel and were hoping to avoid any more. What about coaches? Are they comfortable and how quick and safe are they? I have travelled a lot on Vietnamese roads and must say I do not favour this option.

Help.........................

Hanoi, Vietnam
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1. Re: Hanoi to Hue

I use the train, and I really think that's best if you can't fly (whatever you do, do not use a bus!)

book a Livitrans berth - the highest class there is (use a local travel agent)

rural West Aussie
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2. Re: Hanoi to Hue

I'm with daawgon, fly is first option, train if you can't fly, don't use the coach.

Sapa
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3. Re: Hanoi to Hue

Phu Bai airport in Hue is going to be closed for maintenance, so all pre booked flights to Hue will be transfered to Da Nang. Coach is not recommended, so take a train to Hue with a tourist carriage. The best choise you can choose.

Sapa Sunshine Travel.

Cologne, Germany
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4. Re: Hanoi to Hue

Check the different trains. It took me only 12:30 hours from Hué to Hanoi with SE4. Soft sleeper is a good way to travel overnight. Bing some food and tea or coffee, hot water is available in every coach.

Quainton, United...
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5. Re: Hanoi to Hue

The train should be first choice - this is hardly a 7,000 mile inter-continental journey, so there's no need to go anywhere near a jet airliner, and most of all a train ride across country is an integral part of your Vietnam adventure, not mere transportation.

The best train to take is the SE1 which runs overnight, leaving downtown Hanoi at 19:00 and arriving in central Hue at 08:02 next morning.

So it actually feels really quick, taking as little (or less) time out of your day than 3 or 4 hours by air (remember that it's an hour-long taxi ride to Hanoi's remote airport, lengthy check-ins, flight, and more taxis). The sleeper train is an experience, and it saves a hotel bill too!

Far from being arduous, in an air-conditioned soft sleeper you get a comfy bed, there's a power socket in the compartment which can recharge phones or cameras, a small table, and bedding is supplied.. There are western-style toilets and washrooms at the end of the corridor. Just remember that you're visiting Vietnam not Switzerland, and this is a real Vietnamese train which the Vietnamese all use to get around, an adventure, not a swish western train/plane/whatever.

The train leaves at 7pm, you enjoy a beer and perhaps some noodles you bought from a stall at the station made up with the free boiling water from the samovar at the end of the corridor, read a book by the glow of your berth light as steel wheels swish on the rails beneath you, fall asleep, wake up, see sights of rural Vietnam with rice fields and water buffalo for an hour or so, and you're there!

You can travel in the regular DSVN (Vietnamese Railways) soft sleepers for around 880,000 dong ($43) or in the more upmarket privately-run Livitrans sleeping-car which I'd recommend, $59.

You can book regular trains at the station or through a reliable agency such as www.vietnamimpressive.com

Book the Livitrans car direct with Livitrans at www.livitrans.com

This video shows exactly what it's like and what to expect: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g65b7xAMZxE

In the video, the first car interior you see is the Livitrans soft sleeper, later in the video you'll see my father in law calmly reading the paper in our regular DSVN soft sleeper between Danang and Saigon. You'll also see many westerners getting off the Livitrans sleeper at Hue, it's the way to go.

As you can see from the video, the scenery from the train south of Hue on the next section to Danang is amazing, all along the coast and through the Hai Van Pass, don't miss that bit when it's time to move on and see Hoi An, 30km from Danang by taxi or bus.

Kent UK
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6. Re: Hanoi to Hue

To all respondents especially man_in_seat_61. Thank you very much. Extremely helpful.

Because we are travelling individually through China and Vietnam we are appreciating just how much easier it would be to book the whole thing through Albany Travel or the like.

Already we were facing quite a high number of overnight trains within China and our previous experience of flying within Vietnam had been very good and we remembered cheap and efficient flights, good airports etc. However, things seem to be a little different especially with regard to cost which seems to have jumped hugely. We had hoped that after weeks of train travel in Southern China, Vietnam might have afforded some quick and easy cheap flights. Hue also is clearly the wrong destination in this regard.

We will take your advice though it will mean switching around our arrangements because we did not fancy an overnight trip back from Hue to Hanoi and our return international flight would take off just a couple of hours after returning from an overnight train journey. So new plan is to leave Hue a day earlier and spend a night of rest at our lovely hotel in Hanoi. All the comments above have been a huge help and again I rejoice in what a massive resource TA is in such cases.

Our 4 week trip is mainly in China this time as we have had already two previous long trips to North and South Vietnam which we love greatly.

It is now looking as if our only flight in China will be Kunming to Guilin.

By the time we get back we will be totally trained out. Just hope that the sleepers in China are as good as in Vietnam.

Thanks again to everyone.

Bangkok, Thailand
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7. Re: Hanoi to Hue

Train is the best if you could not fly. :) You could use bus but I am sure it not better, just cheaper

Wellington, NZ
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8. Re: Hanoi to Hue

Dear Man at Seat 61

Vietnam Airlines has let me down as all the flights out of Hanoi are now going to Danang. A one hour flight sounded really good vs 12-13 hours on a train. The only way that I can make this trip now, seemingly, is via private car (I have been quoted $400!), or train.

I am a solo female and have read about rats and cockroaches and light-fingered locals. So I am feeling some trepidation to say the least. I am a confident traveller, having done overnight train travel soft-sleeper in India, but hate crawling beasties that should stay outside!

Is the Livitrans safe and clean? Not filled with joy at this one, though I do like train travel generally...

Please advise thank you

rural West Aussie
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9. Re: Hanoi to Hue

Why don't you fly to Da Nang then take either a daytime train from there to Hue, or a private car (should be less that $60-70)? The daytime train is fine and the views are spectacular- this is one trip you really should do.

Plus, it's not Vietnam Airlines that have let you down, it's hardly their fault the Hue airport has been closed for runway renovations.

Edited: 24 March 2013, 12:58
Wellington, NZ
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10. Re: Hanoi to Hue

Thanks something to consider but that's feels like going back on myself as I was planning to stop off Hanoi-Hue-Hoi An and onwards down South...

I only booked the air ticket around a month ago and surely they must have known about the fact that the airport would be closed, never mind sure I will find a way around it