- 1 History Of Da Nang Railway Station And The North-South Line:
- 2 Getting Around The Station:
- 3 How To Buy Train Tickets?
- 4 What To Expect When Taking The Train:
- 5 Transportation To And From The Station To Hoi An:
- 6 Hidden’s Thoughts:
Da Nang Railway Station is one of Central Vietnam’s main train stations along the historic North-South “Reunification Line.” It sees daily arrivals and departures from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Hue, and other national hubs.
Hidden shares a brief history of train travel through Da Nang, before sharing the information you need to make your station experience as user-friendly and enjoyable as possible. From how to buy train tickets and get to and from the Da Nang train station, to a breakdown of station facilities and services, Hidden has got you covered! Let’s get started.
History Of Da Nang Railway Station And The North-South Line:
Built in 1902, Da Nang Railway Station still occupies its original downtown location along Hai Phòng Street. It is one of the several stops along Vietnam’s historic North-South Railway Line, and it runs 1,726 km (1,072 miles) between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Completed in 1936 under French rule, the railway line was cut in 1954 when the country divided into North and South Vietnam. The line also suffered massive damage from wartime bombings in both the North and South.
When the war ended in 1975, the Hanoi-based government began the colossal task of restoring the North-South railway line. By New Year’s Day of 1978, the Vietnamese government had fixed 1334 bridges, 27 tunnels, and 158 stations—all in under two years. Heralded as a symbol of a nation unified once again, the North-South Line was dubbed Vietnam’s “Reunification Line.” Some guidebooks still refer to the North-South line by this name, even though multiple trains, with names starting with “SE,” now run the route.
Each day, nearly 75,000 passengers travel through Da Nang’s Railway Station. Demand has grown so much that the local government is considering moving the station and upgrading its tracks as part of a master plan for 2030.
Getting Around The Station:
Da Nang Station is easy to find—just look for the vintage steam engine displayed in front of the entrance at 200 Hai Phong Street.
The station is also pretty easy to navigate, being quite a bit smaller than those in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. But, like in many Vietnamese train stations, you won’t find much signage in English. Hidden have done some insider research to help you navigate the station, as easily as possible, so you can get on your way.
Main Station, Passenger Lounge, and Platforms
The station’s main building is just behind the steam engine. You can’t miss it—just look for passengers and green taxis out front. Just inside, you’ll find an entry hall with kiosks for printing e-tickets, along with a couple of shops to pick up snacks and drinks.
If you’ve got your ticket and everything else you need for your journey, go right ahead through the entry gates. Station staff will scan your ticket at the gates, allowing you to enter the passenger lounge that leads to the station’s platforms. The lounge has seats for 200 passengers and a restroom, along with a screen that displays train arrival and departure times.
Since the station only has three platforms, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding your train. Just queue up at the central door leading to the platforms from the lounge when your train is set to depart.
Hidden Hint: Most train staff speak limited English, so you may want to have a translation app handy if you have specific questions about your journey.
Open from 6 am to 11 pm, this office is in a separate building, just to the left of the main station. There are five ticket counters, plus a restroom and a small, air-conditioned waiting area. You can buy your train tickets here for your journey from Da Nang, as well as for other train trips you plan to take in Vietnam.
Da Nang’s station is small but still has most of the basics you might need for your trip. If you’re looking for souvenirs or speciality items, it’s best to shop for these elsewhere.
There are three shops inside the station selling snacks, coffee, and cold drinks, along with cigarettes, tissues, toothpaste, and other small necessities you may want to pick up for your trip. (You can also buy liquor, though the bottle selection is limited).
A small coffee shop in front of the station also sells noodles and soups if you need a heartier meal. Be aware though, that most of the shops close by 5 pm. If you arrive later, you can still get a cold drink from one of the vending machines just outside the main station.
Need to pick up some cash before travelling? There is a Vietin Bank ATM just outside the station, next to the parking lot. Free (and fast) Wi-Fi and restrooms are available in both the main station and ticket office.
Parking is a breeze at Da Nang Station. You’ll find two 24-hour parking lots located on either side of the steam engine in front of the main building. When you enter, the attendant will direct you where to park and give you a ticket to keep.
Parking costs 3,000 VND per day (0.13 USD) or 10,000 VND (0.43 USD) for each night you keep your vehicle, car, or bike in the lot.
Luggage Storage & Bike Transit
The luggage office is in a small building just beside the ticket office. Along with storing your bags here, you can also visit this office to send your motorbike ahead to your destination.
How To Buy Train Tickets?
There are multiple ways to buy train tickets to get to and from the Da Nang train station, as well as any other station along the North-South line. The best option for you will depend on a few factors, explained below.
Regardless of how you buy your ticket, remember that you’ll need a separate ticket for each leg of your journey. In other words, you can’t hop on and off unless you have a ticket for that specific trip.
You can purchase train tickets (including same-day tickets) online from 12Go.Asia or Baolau.com. Both sites offer the option of choosing your travel class and train seat from a real-time graphic, as well as options for booking ferries, flights, and buses to reach other regional and international destinations.
Both sites charge the official Vietnam Railways price for tickets plus a small service fee for booking. Each site also allows you to buy tickets on many of Vietnam’s privately run cars such as Livitrans, Violette, Fansipan, Orient Express and Golden Trains.
Hidden Hint: Buy your ticket at least one day in advance to make sure you get the particular seat or sleeper that you want.
If you book on 12Go.Asia or Baolau, you’ll receive your tickets via e-mail. Either show the ticket QR code on your smartphone to the attendant or print it out and bring it with you. It may take a few hours to get your ticket via e-mail.
Hidden recommends purchasing on these two sites. You can also purchase tickets online from Vietnam Railways directly at www.dsvn.vn (Note that VietnamRailways.com is an agency and not the official railway website.) In the past, however, travellers have reported difficulty purchasing tickets on Vietnam Railways website using their credit cards.
Most routes on Vietnam Railways open 30 to 60 days before departure. But if you’re travelling during Tet in Vietnam you may find tickets on sale several weeks earlier than usual. We strongly advise that you do purchase them well in advance if your journey takes you through the Tet period. We’ve dedicated an article on Tet in Vietnam to help manage visitors to Vietnam’s expectations during this busy time.
At the Station
It’s simple to get tickets at the station in Da Nang—just enter the ticket office to the left of the main station. There is a small ticket machine just inside the main door. Press the button and take a ticket with a number. When the attendant is ready for you, your number will be displayed above the counter.
You can book a train on the same day or in advance. At the counter, station staff can help you choose a departure time, train class, and seat that fit your travel needs and budget. If you want to book other legs of your trip, such as from Hue to Hanoi, you can do that at the Da Nang Station ticket counter, too.
Hidden Hint: Make sure to bring enough Vietnamese dong with you (or stock up from the ATM outside) to purchase your ticket as the station doesn’t accept credit cards.
Through an Agency or Hotel
Most travel agents and hotels will buy you a train ticket for a small commission. Choose this option if you don’t want the hassle of handling the booking logistics yourself.
What To Expect When Taking The Train:
Train travel in Vietnam is a great way to see the country’s incredible beauty. Be prepared that Vietnamese trains don’t offer the modern, sleek ride of European models, but they’re fairly comfortable (and in most cases, air-conditioned).
Boarding and Storing Luggage
Attendants may be there to collect your tickets on the platform, or they may not check them until you’re already in motion.
You can find storage space for your luggage near your seat or berth. There is an official weight limit of 20 kilograms per person, but you’ll often find people travelling with far more than that. Just make sure you can manage your luggage on your own, as there aren’t carts or staff to help you.
Bringing your Motorbike
Got a bike or motorcycle you want to bring along? Good news – you can. But since it will likely go on a separate freight train, make sure to check about when you can expect it to arrive at your destination. It may take an extra day (or up to five days) to arrive.
Bring your bike to the station’s luggage office, pay the fee, and collect your receipt. The attendant will put a luggage tag on your bike. Check with the attendant about when you can expect your bike to arrive, and pick it up at the luggage office at your destination.
Costs vary depending on destination but expect to pay around 530,000 VND (23 USD) if you’re sending it to Hanoi from Da Nang.
On-Board Facilities and Amenities
These will depend on the type of train, berth and seat you choose. The seat types include a hard seat (wooden seat), soft seat (aeroplane seat), a hard sleeper (6 berths, 3 tiers in a cabin), and a soft sleeper (4 berths, 2 tiers in a cabin).
Hidden Hint: Vietnamese trains don’t have Wi-Fi (at least not yet), so plan your tech usage accordingly!
On both hard and soft sleeper trains you’ll have power sockets, Western-style toilets, and luggage space. These cars also have water dispensers for both cold and boiling water, so that you can heat up powdered beverages or soups. Craving something more substantial? You can buy a meal ticket for around 35,000 VND ($1.50 USD) from a staff member during meal times. They’ll deliver a set meal to your compartment along with a bottle of water from the kitchen car about half an hour later. There’s also a regular trolley car that comes by selling drinks, water, and snacks.
If you’ve booked an air-conditioned soft seat, you can find power sockets in the wall on more modern trains (SE-numbered) and toilets (non-Western style) at each end. Make sure to bring your own toilet paper if you’ve chosen this seat!
Transportation To And From The Station To Hoi An:
Vietnam’s railway doesn’t pass through Hoi An, meaning that Da Nang’s Station is as close as you can get to it by train. But since Hoi An is just 30 km away, it’s a breeze to get there from the station. There are plenty of options to help you make that last leg of your journey as fast and easy as possible.
Hidden Hint: Vietnamese trains aren’t always on time, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time to make further connections when you arrive at your destination.
Hoi An Express Shuttle
It is possible for the Hoi An Express Shuttle Service to provide pickups from the train station, but this must be arranged ahead of time and is under the discretion of the booking agency. Again, refer to our Da Nang to Hoi An article for all the details.
To travel using this method, look just outside the main station for Mai Linh or Vinasun taxis – which are green and white, respectively. Make sure the meter is working before you depart, or agree on a rate. Taxi prices from Da Nang Railway Station should be around 300,000 to 400,000 VND (15 to 20 USD); once again, make sure they use the meter or agree upon a price before leaving.
Using the local bus is fairly easy. There is a public bus stop that services the #1 bus route to Hoi An, located only a short 10-minute walk away. When you exit the railway station, follow “Hai Phong Rd” until you reach “Ong Ich Khiem Rd,” turn left, and the bus stop is located at 162 Ong Ich Khiem. If you have the luxury of using Google Maps, this would be the time to do so.
Private Car, Grab, Tourist Bus, and Motorbike
The process for using these options and their prices are very similar to those departing from Da Nang International Airport. Again, refer to our article on How to Get from Da Nang to Hoi An for this information.
Many travellers assume that taking a bus or plane is the best way to reach Hoi An and other Central Vietnam hotspots. However, taking the train through Da Nang can be a better alternative. Multiple trains arrive into Da Nang Station every day, from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other stops along the North-South route, allowing for flexibility in your travel plans. The station is easy to navigate, and so is getting from the station to the popular hub of Hoi An. You’ll also be close to Hue and the Hai Van Pass if you decide to take the train into Da Nang.
Plus, what better way to see Vietnam’s beautiful scenery than by train? If you’re planning to stop in multiple cities on your trip, especially in Central Vietnam, we recommend taking the train for at least one leg of your journey. The Hue to Da Nang route is especially stunning!
All things considered, taking the train to Da Nang Station is a solid choice, and you now have all the information you need to make your experience as enjoyable as possible.