HANOI RAILWAY STATION
"Wij hebben onze hele reis in Nederland uitgestippeld. Nu is treinreizen ons altijd best goed bevallen, dus besloten we ook in Vietnam de trein te gebruiken. Van Hanoi tot Hue met het vliegtuig en verder met de trein in drie etappes naar Ho Chi Minh Stad. De tickets met Creditcard in Nederland betaald en de tickets op laten sturen naar ons eerste hotel in Hanoi. Inderdaad in Hanoi lag alles klaar in ons hotel.
De treinen zijn comfortabel, niet lux. Wij hadden soft seats. Wel aan te raden. De langste reis was tien uur en dan worden houten banken wel erg hard. We hebben genoten. Natuurlijk toeristen, maar ook veel locals. Je raakt makkelijk in gesprek en je ziet veel van het land. Prachtige natuur. In de trein loopt men met van alles te eten en te drinken rond. Wat ons betreft doen! ".
The Hanoi Railway Station - is divided into station A and station B. Station A is the most important and is located on Le Duan street. A little less than two kilometers from the center of the old quarter. It is an imposing, gray concrete building with clear letters "Go Ha Noi". We assume that you have not bought a ticket and so "blank" goes to the station.
A station for the trip to the Reunification Express to the South and Station B is to the north (Sapa). It is best if you have someone in advance, who has written everything in advance in Vietnamese: the departure time, date and whether you want a chair or bed. That note can you show to the counter.
You can also pre-purchase a ticket from a travel agent. They purchase usually a number of tickets and if you buy your ticet from the, that will save you a lot of trouble. These travel agents charge you a few dollars more, but it's worth it.
When you enter the counters on the left side in the railway station. Large white posters on the walls, are showing you the departure times and prices. You have to draw a number and that you should keep an eye on. The number is called and the display shows the number of the counter, where you need to go.
Be firm and do not turn away to another counter. Also, you should pay attention to Vietnamese people, who want to penetrate. Vietnamese do not like to wait, and will certainly try to push you backwards.
Once you have a ticket, you must check everything: departure time, date and seat. When you have to go to the right platform, you have to cross the railway tracks and you have to walk to the right platform. There will be undoubtedly people, which will come to you and want to carry your suitcase. Do not go into here.
If the train is ready for departure, you have to find the right door of your car. At the door you have to show the train ticket before boarding.
On the platforms are shops where you can buy something for the trip. There is even a fast food restaurant. Also there are people walking around on the platforms peoplewith merchandise. Make sure you have always exact change to pay.
Station B is for trains to the north, on the other side of the track. It is accessible via an entrance on Tran Quy Cap. To get there, walk to the crossing to the north of the station and continue over the road to the left. Here tickets are sold to Sapa and Lao Cai. The opening of the counters are 04:00 till 06:00 and from 16:00 till 22:00, although I have also seen open at other times.
If you bought a ticket from a travel agent, you should probably swap your ticket at a counter. Do not worry: it happens very fast. These counters are located in the waiting area. There are not so many shops as in Station A. There is not a fast food restaurant. If you still want to eat something, you have to walk out of the station again.
When you see on the board in the waiting room, that the train is ready for departure, you'll walk through the gate and they check your ticket before you go to the train. The same rules apply: don't give anyone your ticket or luggage.
Daily life in Hanoi
Uit een reisverslag:
"We hadden de Violette train geboekt voor wat meer luxe. Eigenlijk kan ik kort zijn hierover: het was een avontuur maar dat was het dan. Kinderen vonden het leuk om te doen maar als je wil slapen dan moet je niet via de trein naar het zuiden".
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