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Sapa Train Travel Guide

By Expert Author: Careca Mongolana

One of the favourite mode of transport in Vietnam is railway. Traveling by train ensure your safety and provide you an opportunity to behold spectacular sceneries along the trip, furthermore you can move around in the train comfortably, you can eat, go to bathroom and sightseeing through the train windows. Here are some tips when you plan for a train trip in Vietnam

Purchase tickets:
Buy tickets as soon as possible if you decide to travel to Sapa by train . If you have made up your mind about the departure date then definitely you should buy train tickets early , this not only helps you avoid bad situations such as the tickets have been sold out (thus affecting travel schedule ) , but also can help you save a little funding . The earlier you buy the tickets the more opportunity you have to buy at cheap prices

Cabin types:
In a typical train, there are following cabin categories : hard seat , hard seat with air conditioning , soft seats , soft seats with air conditioning , soft berths, hard berths ... each class has a price accordingly. Seats are cheaper than hard berths and soft sleepers . Travelers need to know the way to have the appropriate choice of seats :

For example : Distance from Hanoi to Sapa around 400km so soft berth is the best choice for the long journey. A train car has 4 to 6 berths, suitable for a small group travel together and want to have some own space . Mode of transport is both entertaining and safe with your luggage stored in your own cabin

Distance from waiting room in Hanoi station to the train is rather far it is better to travel light with small bags, wear loose clothes when on train, bring with you personal stuff, other items should be stored under the bed or in the storage space above upper beds. Be careful with your belongings as there are crooks at the crowded train staion.

Remember to bring light luggage . It is not only convenient to move around, but also easy to manage while sitting on train, luggage should be placed near your seats. Personal daily used items should be put in a separate bag for convenient use when needed.

Moving around:
Although it is more comfortable on train than bus it is sometimes tiring to sit at a place for a long time, just walk up and down the corridor along the carriages for an excercise or stretch your legs on your seat.

Wear long pants will help your knees warmer at night . Bring a light jacket will be helpful. A scarf can help you do just as a pillow, blanket or sheets when needed .

Currently train fare does not include meals on the train as before. With the short journeys is okay , with the long journey , the food is a problem sometimes .

You can purchase each meal on the train (served right at your seat) . However the food is relatively cold (due to storing in refrigerators) , not tasty and ...uncomfortable ( if you are on a seat ) . To have more choices and more space you should go to the dining carriage, usually the last car on train.

There is a canteen selling snacks like instant noodles , porridge, bimbim ... and there are usually trolleys carrying food at meal times along train. If you are on a long journey bring with you drinking water, fruit and eating paper.

Another choice is to buy food at the station stops : During the journey the train will stop at some main stops to pick up and drop off passengers, you can take some little time break to find some thing for you.

Bring your own food: Remember to bring some food on the train, especially with the short journeys, it is probably the best way. Be aware that the tourist trains Hanoi - Lao Cai - Hanoi do not serve meals, you should bring food or have dinner before boarding the train.

If you take a day trip to Sapa in Vietnam, when the train stops on the way, you should be careful with souvenirs or food and drinks on sales by peddlers . Instead of buying counterfeit goods , poor quality goods or food , unsanitary drinking water , you should buy boxed product with good trade -name

Each train car usually has one toilet only, considering the number of passengers there are some times when the toilet is overloaded or out of water ( especially morning ). You should wake up a little earlier or wait until the train arrives at the next stops. Note: When the train stop the doors and the water system on train is locked, you can use the station toilets.

If you do not want to use water on board , feel free to bring your water bottle . Use water responsibly and bring toilet paper

Best way to tour Sapa is by train, a train trip is much safer than a trip on sleeper bus and much comfortable, you can walk along the cars during long journeys. If you have any trouble or wrong service on your trip please contact the carriage head (each car has at least one person on duty) of staff of the train station.

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