Scenic train journey: Hue to Da Nang, Vietnam

Do you love riding trains?

I do!

It’s hard not to with the scenery moving past you, the train cars gently rocking you from side to side, the cabins reminding you of a cozy cocoon, and the look on your face when you flush the toilet to only see the moving ground below…

Ah! The romance of train travel is at its finest in third world countries.

So here we were in Vietnam, having traveled by all sorts of transport, minus the train. And knowing how beautiful the coast of Vietnam is, it seemed like a no brainer to get a ticket. The last leg of our 7-week journey took us from Hue to Da Nang and the 3-hour train ride only cost $10 in the sleeper cabin (that’s the only option we actually had when booking a day before our train journey).

Traveler’s notes: Don’t forget to bring your passport/identity card when booking a ticket.

Also, don’t be afraid of when buying your ticket in Hue, the man at information, who speaks English looks like he’s been through a few rounds of boxing, just let the man do his job 🙂

In the same token, they didn’t seem to mind when I was taking their lovely photograph.

The scenery leaving Hue wasn’t much to look at – mostly rural homes, empty streets, stray dogs, and the like. What I was eagerly waiting for was the idyllic section called ‘Hai Van Pass,’ which was in all the windows around 2-2:30 hours into our journey. Until then I read, being inspired by more train adventures from Paul Theroux’s “The Great Railway Bazaar” (not an affiliate link, just a google search to let you make your own purchasing decisions, you’re welcome!).

Swaying palm trees and sleepy villages eventually turned into lush, green mountains with occasional waterfalls. Sadly the windows in this car didn’t open, so shooting through windows, avoiding reflections was a small challenge.

And then came the coolest part, never in my train travels have I seen the ocean from my window. What a visual treat!

And if you can tell that my sensor needs a thorough cleaning, I know, I’ve been on the road for seven weeks.

Can you believe the view above?! and not a cloud or a boat in sight…choo-choo to that!

While the electric lines might rub some of you wrong, I think it adds to the grit and industrial feel of traveling on a train or being in Vietnam/Southeast Asia. One day, I imagine, the cable will be run underground, but until then I won’t waste time editing it out in Photoshop and just sit and enjoy my bowl of Pho instead.

With the city of Da Nang visible from a distance, we once again started seeing some semblance of life with small fishing boats, trash, and more blue, pristine waters.

So there you have it, a very scenic train trip from Hue to Da Nang, and boy, was my camera happy it came along for the ride! 🙂

While I take a few years to cull and edit 3,500+ images I’ve taken on this trip, check out my previous posts on Vietnam, its cray-cray food, itineraries, and memorable accommodations.


Tune in next Wednesday to see 7 exciting weeks of travel in three different countries compressed into only 2 minutes and eight seconds!

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