CNN Travel has just listed six excellent luxurious train journeys in Asia, including Central Vietnam’s unique railway experience linking the historic town of Hoi An to the unhurried coastlines of Quy Nhon.
The Vietgate's train journey links the historic town of Hoi An to the unhurried coastlines of Quy Nhon. Photo: The Vietgate
According to the renowned broadcaster, the Covid-19 pandemic has derailed many family reunions, destination weddings, and long-awaited trips.
The 2021 Global Travel Trends surveyed 8,000 travelers, of whom 68% expressed interest in more sustainable travel; 78% said they were looking for travel experiences that relieve stress; and 61% said they wanted slower, longer trips than in the past.
Thus, “A train journey could be just the ticket for those who have their eyes on Asia for a 2022 trip,” CNN stated.
“From zig-zagging up the rugged mountains of central Taiwan to a Rajasthan rail journey fit for a maharaja, these scenic train routes showcase some of Asia's most beautiful landscapes and provide a much-needed opportunity to rest and reconnect with loved ones,” according to CNN.
Among these wonderful exclusive journeys, the railway between Hoi An ancient town in Quang Nam Province to the coastline city of Quy Nhon, Binh Dinh Province ranks 6th on the list.
“Travelers may have heard about the Reunification Express in Vietnam - a 1,000-mile link that connects Ho Chi Minh City in the south with Hanoi in the north,” CNN Travel’s staff writer Kate Springer wrote.
Travelers who join the train journey will be served a luxurious three-course French meal with wine. Photo: The Vietgate
What the 30-hour journey lacks in amenities and luxuries, it makes up for in scenery, passing through Hai Van Pass, the beaches of Lang Co, and near-ubiquitous rice paddy fields.
While The Vietgate has been created to provide luxurious cross-country transfers for guests traveling between Anantara Hoi An Resort and Anantara Quy Nhon Resort, the journey is open to all. It offers a stark contrast - and a price tag to match at $350 per person one-way.
Launched by Anantara Hotels in 2020, the six-hour train ride carries no more than 12 passengers through Central Vietnam between Da Nang and Quy Nhon, formerly the seat of the Cham Kingdom.
The train departs from Da Nang Railway Station near Hoi An in the morning and makes the return journey from Quy Nhon every evening.
Tickets also include a complimentary three-course French meal with Vietnamese influences, free-flow wine and beer, plus a head and shoulder massage.
Being recognized by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage, Hoi An is a charming city with ancient roots, distinct architecture, contagious energy, and arguably one of the best street food scenes on the planet.
The breathtaking scenery of Vietnam's central. Photo: The Vietgate
The ancient town is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a South-East Asian trading port from the 15th to the 19th century. Its buildings and street plan reflect the combined influences of both indigenous and foreign to produce this unique heritage site.
Meanwhile, Quy Nhon is a prosperous coastal city with a seemingly endless beach and a promenade-style walkway that’s perfect for a sunset stroll. Further inland, travelers will find a pastoral and beautiful landscape with much to discover on the back roads that crisscross the countryside.
Travelers are recommended to arrange a day trip to visit the ruins scattered through the area in Quy Nhon, travel through this coastal city taking in views of rice paddies, river valleys, and mountain towns along the way. It is also the home of Vovinam, or Viet Vo Dao, Vietnam’s national martial art.