Sleeper trains

Listening to:
Bon Iver

The train has a rhythm. It rocks its way through the darkness – the carriage moves with it –  the wheels chug along the track and the air races past. A rushing roar, a constant motion. 

There are four beds per room in the upper middle class section. It is cramped but quaint, much better than expected. 

Most people have complained about the sleeper trains but I like them. I think it must be hearing my dad talk about how soothing they are and rocking him to sleep. Though I have yet to try and sleep. At the moment I just feel peaceful. 

* * *

We’re currently on our third sleeper train. Our compartment is tragically, hilariously small compared to the others. My highlight of this 14 hour journey will probably be my cold pizza and peanut butter Oreos. 

* * *

The sleeper train was bloody awful. We got a very shit, freezing room and for the life of me I just couldn’t sleep. 

* * *

As you can tell from the above diary entries, sleeper trains in Vietnam can be hit and miss. Sometimes you feel cosy and confident you’re getting a good travel experience.

A couple of hours later, whilst tucked up in a sleeping sheet and feeling like a human caterpillar being shaken up and down on a questionably stained mattress, you’re worrying for your sanity.

In my humble opinion, these are a few things to keep in mind before boarding your sleeper train:

  1. Bring your own snacks – you’ll be on the train for hours and you will get hungry. Snacks can be offered on the train but you’ll find cheaper (and better variety) in a local shop.
  2. Bring a sleeping sheet. Linen is provided on the trains but, depending when you get on the train, may not be freshly washed. You can buy one extremely cheaply in many of the markets.
  3. Bring a warm layer – you can’t control the aircon in the carriages and it gets very cold, especially when you’ve been used to the humid heat.
  4. Try to find a group to travel on the train with. You’ll have peace of mind if you know your fellow passengers in your compartment.

If you’ve previously been on a sleeper train in Vietnam, I’d love to know your experience on it. Would you have any tips for the sleeper train experience? Please share them in the comments below!

Feature imaged sourced from:


One thought on “Sleeper trains

  1. Pingback: Nha Trang | The Little Sail Boat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s