Are you planning a cross-country motorbike trip in Vietnam or are you moving cities? Vietnam has a cross-country railway system that is not just for the mere transportation of passengers. You can also transport all kinds of goods via trains, including your motorbike. Here is our step-by-step guide to sending a motorbike on the train in Vietnam.
Rice paddy view from the train
Coastal sea view from the train
Do your research and check online for train timetable reference, so you have an idea of how long it takes and the passenger prices: https://dsvn.vn/#/
Will you be traveling on the train together with your motorbike or ship it to the destination first? That depends on your departure and arrival destination. Read on.
Saigon - Phan Thiet: Train SPT2: Daily departure: 6:40 AM - arrival at 10:33 AM (non-stop)
Phan Thiet - Saigon: Train SPT1: Daily departure: 1:20 PM - arrival at 5:52 PM (non-stop)
If you are traveling the route from Ho Chi Minh - Phan Thiet (eventually off to Mui Ne), or vice versa, you can travel on the train with your motorbike. This is because the route actually ends at Phan Thiet. Other routes include:
Hanoi - Lao Cai: Train SP1: Daily departure: 9:35 PM - arrival at 5:30 AM
Hanoi - Lao Cai: Train SP3: Daily departure: 10 PM - arrival at 6:05 AM
Lao Cai - Hanoi: Train SP2: Daily departure: 8:55 PM - arrival at 4:32 AM
Lao Cai - Hanoi: Train SP4: Daily departure: 9:40 PM - arrival at 5:30 AM
Hanoi - Hai Phong: Train HP1: Daily departure: 6 AM - arrival at 8:25 AM
Hanoi - Hai Phong: Train LP3: Daily departure: 9:17 AM - arrival at 12 PM (noon)
Hanoi - Hai Phong: Train LP5: Daily departure: 3:20 PM - arrival at 6 PM
Hanoi - Hai Phong: Train LP7: Daily departure: 6:15 PM - arrival at 8:55 PM
Hai Phong - Hanoi: Train LP2: Daily departure: 6:10 AM - arrival at 8:46 AM
Hai Phong - Hanoi: Train LP6: Daily departure: 9:05 AM - arrival at 11:40 AM
Hai Phong - Hanoi: Train LP8: Daily departure: 3 PM - arrival at 5:38 PM
Hai Phong - Hanoi: Train HP2: Daily departure: 6:40 PM - arrival at 9:06 PM
Note: Actual departure and arrival times will vary between 15-30 mins, depending on the travel dates.
You can also check the train timetable in the form below:
For these routes above, you can buy your passenger ticket and motorbike ticket at the train station. To guarantee availability, we recommend you visit the train station a few days before the desired departure date to buy tickets in person. You should buy this motorbike and passenger combo ticket in person because the motorbike freight ticket isn't sold online. For the passenger ticket, choose the soft seats or sleeping berths (4 or 6 to a cabin) for comfort. The prices will be higher than the hard seats, but it will be worth it.
Bunk bed train cabin - the price will be higher than the seating cabin, but it will be worth it for long-distance travel
You will need to bring your motorbike to the station at least 1 hour prior to departure time, drive through the station gate, and you will be directed to push your motorbike to the appropriate cabin and park your motorbike on the side. The staff will request you to leave your key so that they can drive the motorbike up the ramp onto the train.
Note: you do not need to empty your petrol tank or take off the side mirrors for this route. When you arrive, you will need to walk to that cabin (usually at the end of the train) where you drop off your motorbike, present your receipt to retrieve your motorbike, and pay a VND 50,000 handling fee.
For all other destinations within Vietnam, the motorbikes and passengers will need to travel separately.
The shipping company we recommend to use is called "Door to Door". What is the difference between using a shipping company and the service directly at the train station? Price! When you buy your motorbike freight ticket from the train station, it will cost you a 30%-50% markup.
We shipped our automatic motorbike at the train station from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi and the price was VND 1,060,000 (one-way)
But when we shipped the automatic motorbike from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh with "Door to Door", the price was VND 630,000 (one-way)
From our experience, we recommend shipping from these addresses:
Door to Door in Hanoi: Ga Ha Noi B, 1 Tran Quy Cap (when you enter the station gate, Door to Door is to your left. If you need help, ask the security guard at the gate). There are 2 station gates in Hanoi. Use the Tran Quy Cap entrance.
Door to Door in Ho Chi Minh (Saigon): A1, A2, 1 Nguyen Thong, District 3 (this is located outside of the train station, before you enter the gate)
Door to Door in Da Nang: 204 Hai Phong, Da Nang
Door to Door hotline: 090 22 99 777
Motorbike prices from Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) to Hanoi with Door to Door services
If you are shipping your motorbike, visit the addresses (mentioned above) directly in person and bring your
2) the motorbike registration card (blue card)
3) passport or driving license for identification
4) money in Vietnamese Dong
Note: The staff will make photocopies of your motorbike registration and passport/driving license for reference and ask you to provide your phone number. After paying, you are given a pink receipt like above, take a picture of it with your phone, keep it. You will need to present this pink receipt to pick up your motorbike. If you have an expensive helmet, don't ship it with the motorbike!
The staff will drain the motorbike petrol and remove the side mirrors before accepting your motorbike to pack for shipment. A few days before sending your motorbike on the train, plan your tank accordingly as they will not pay you back for the lost petrol. They will leave a little petrol with the motorbike, enough for you to drive to the nearest petrol station when you pick it up. If you use the services from Door to Door, you do not need to leave your motorbike key with them.
The motorbike all wrapped up to prevent from scratches and side mirrors removed for the train shipment
Apart from the initial price of the motorbike transport cost, when you get a call to pick up your motorbike, you’ll need to pay an additional VND 50,000 handling fee for the workers at the station. Remember to ask them to help you screw the side mirrors back on the motorbikes before you drive off, if you don't the have tools.
Spectacular view from the train
Sending your motorbike on the train in Vietnam is a good way to travel Vietnam if you wish to see off-the-beaten-path places and wander off from big cities. Plan accordingly. If you need ideas on routes or additional information on how to send a motorbike on the train in Vietnam, feel free to let us know in the comments below.
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© Written by Dũng Trần and Alexis for itourvn.com