The train between Hà Nội and Hạ Long in the northern province of Quảng Ninh often leaves the station without any passengers. — Photo kenh14
The train between Hà Nội and Hạ Long in the northern province of Quảng Ninh often leaves the station without any passengers.
The trip lasts eight hours and stops at 13 stations in five provinces: Hà Nội, Bắc Ninh, Bắc Giang, Hải Dương and Quảng Ninh, with an average speed of 25 km/hour.
With tickets priced at VNĐ80,000 (nearly $4), and departure time of 5am every day, it seems suitable for passengers travelling to Hạ Long City. However, this train is almost always empty.
For many years, the train carried just a dozen passengers on each journey, and every week this number dwindled further.
Because of the low numbers, the management board removed one of the passenger carriages and two of the cargo carriages.
This train mainly serves local traders of vegetable and poultry. They choose it because of the safety and large space for cargo.
Others prefer taking the bus, which takes just three hours.
The train trip was originally for the purpose of developing public transport services and reducing overloading on Highway 18.
If you like to experience the life of local vendors, this train trip may be one of the most interesting in Việt Nam.
The carriages are still decked in a 1980s-style, with wooden chairs and ceiling fans. VNS