The train line linking Hanoi and Da Nang, operated by Vietnam’s Reunification Express, has recently been listed among the 10 best train journeys in the world by the Conde Nast Traveller – a prestigious travel magazine.
The Reunification Express runs the length of the country right down to Ho Chi Minh City in the south (Photo: cntraveller.com)
The list was made by British journalist and travel writer Monisha Rajesh based on her book ‘Around the World in 80 Trains: A 45,000-Mile Adventure’.
According to the author, starting in Hanoi, the Reunification Express runs the length of the country right down to Ho Chi Minh City in the south, of which the finest segment is the first half of the journey to Da Nang.
Threading deep into the capital city, the train offers voyeuristic views into the backs of houses as families unwind for the night, before emerging into glorious sunshine the following morning, she wrote.
Climbing for miles through the jungle, banana leaves flapping against the windows, the train comes within inches of villagers’ walls and gardens, so close that you can make eye contact and wave.
At the final stretch, the train curls around the clifftops overlooking the sea where a finger of golden sand runs along the edge of the water in Lang Co Bay, before finally pulling into Da Nang Station.
Other train journeys in Asia are also named in the list, including Tokyo to Osaka, Japan, by Tokaido Shinkansen; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, to Beijing, China, by the Trans-Mongolian Express; Bangkok to Nam Tok by Thailand’s Death Railway; Xining to Lhasa, China, by Qinghai-Tibet Railway; and Mumbai to Madgaon, India, by the Mondovi Express.