Destination Travel Tips Vietnam ~ A Different Orient

Train ride from Danang to Hue: Yay or Nay?

Scenic route overlooking the Hai Van Pass

When travelling around Central Vietnam, Hue is one city that you don’t want to miss – especially if you are a history buff. This former capital of Vietnam is known for its well-preserved royal mausoleums, imperial citadel and iconic pagodas. It is also the home of the late Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh. 

I finally had the chance to visit Hue on my last trip, and the experience of getting from Danang to Hue was (ahem) interesting. Wondering how to get from Danang to Hue and which is your best mode of transportation?

Here’s what I learnt: 

  • The highlight of the journey between Danang to Hue is the Hai Van Pass, one of the world’s top ten most beautiful coastal roads. 
  • Travel distance from Danang to Hue takes ~ 80km to 100km, which is about 2 to 3 hours.
  • There are a few ways to get from Danang to Hue; by private car, bus, motorbike or train
  • If time and budget permits, a private hire could afford you greater comfort and the occasional stops to take beautiful photos
  • There are also some tour / intercity buses to consider, and the price is very affordable. Alternatively, you can also hire a bike or an Easy Rider.
  • Many travellers recommend taking the train from Danang to Hue. It is as affordable as the tour buses and since I was looking for a unique experience, I decided to take the train. 
  • Train tickets can be purchased online (highly recommend this) or at the train station in the city centre. I did the latter and got the wrong tickets at first, likely due to language barrier and my own carelessness. 
  • There are different classes of seats/cabins, depending on your travel group size and budget, you may want to choose the better classes

Danang to Hue train ride experience

Hello there! Please turn on caption/subtitles for optimal viewing of this video. 🙂

What’s Good?

  • The experience was uniquely local and authentic and the cramped cabin space makes one rethink about utilisation of tiny spaces.
  • Interacting with locals on the train; I was having a conversation with a 9-year old boy and we were teaching each other the language that we were familiar with, and that enriched our journey with greater laughter and fun.
  • The beautiful scenery of the Hai Van Pass was mesmerising, and viewing it together with the other train passengers made it more so.

What’s Bad?

  • Train delays! Be prepared for train delays of 1 to 2 hours, and you may want to take a toilet break before you board the train.
  • Errant passengers who claim your seat/bed -keep your tickets on hand and don’t hesitate to let the person know that’s your seat/bed. It can also get rowdy, depending on your cabin neighbours. 
  • The cramped space comes with blankets (usually re-folded, not washed after use by the previous passengers). People who are claustrophobic or have OCD may want to consider getting a private car to travel from Danang to Hue instead.

Train ride from Danang to Hue: Uhh….

Sometimes, we make do. For those who are travelling from Danang to Hue and have time to spare, the train ride could be a good experience to have. Nevertheless, I would choose to hire a private car the next time since prices are almost the same, but the comfort level will be much higher.  

– End –

The above information is based on personal experiences and should only be used as a reference. For more information on the destination, do check out Danang FantastiCity!

From Me to You: A Simple Reference Guide For Your Travel In Vietnam

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