We left Hoi An by train on the overnight to Hanoi. Unlike our previous train we booked sleeper seats, in the same design as the Chinese overnight train we took. Four berths to a compartment, we had the bottom two bunks, and a guy got on for a few hours and got off at an early one of 8 stops on the way, then we had it to ourselves.
The train itself was clean, no rats mice or insects to report, and because it started at Danang it was a little quieter. Total journey time was around 19 hours.
The great part about this train is the route it takes for the first few hours. It winds itself around the bottom of the Hai Van pass which we saw from the motorbike a few days ago. It takes the route all along the coast and there are many sections where it is a shear drop down to the sea. Darkness then came along, so we had our noodles, vegetables and rice we bought with us, having seen the train food go past on the trolley on the previous train we wouldn’t be touching it, so we had come prepared with dinner and breakfast.
Both of us slept well, and our only bugbear was the air con which could not be altered, and was noisy. Occasionally the train rattled and shook very violently which was a little disturbing but the best solution was to sleep, which we did.
It arrived in Hanoi at 11.10am winding its way through the streets and numerous crossings. The houses and shacks go right up to the side of the train, so you get glimpses of people’s rooms and life as you go by.