VietnamTransportationA Step-by-Step Guide to Sending a Motorbike on the Train in Vietnam

A Step-by-Step Guide to Sending a Motorbike on the Train in Vietnam

Are you planning a cross-country motorbike trip in Vietnam or moving to other cities? Vietnam has a cross-country railway system that is not just for transporting passengers. You can also transport all kinds of goods via trains, including motorbikes. Here is our step-by-step guide to sending a motorbike on the train in Vietnam.

vietnam train view 4
Rice paddy view from the train
vietnam train view 5
vietnam train view 7
Coastal sea view from the train

Before You Send a Motorbike on the Train in Vietnam

Do your research and check online for train timetable references, so you have an idea of how long it takes and the passenger prices: https://dsvn.vn/#/

Will you travel on the train with your motorbike or ship it to the destination first? That depends on your departure and arrival destination. Read on.

Motorbike + You Together on the Train

Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) – Phan Thiet Train Routes 

  • 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)

Find train tickets from Saigon to Phan Thiet

If you are traveling 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 ends at Phan Thiet. Other routes include:

Hanoi – Lao Cai Train Routes

  • 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

Find train tickets from Hanoi to Lao Cai

Hanoi – Hai Phong Train Routes

  • 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

Find train tickets from Hanoi to Hai Phong

Note: Actual departure and arrival times will vary between 15-30 mins, depending on the travel dates.

You can buy your passenger and motorbike tickets at the train station for the above routes. 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.

vietnam train sleeping cabin
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 one hour before departure time, drive through the station gate, and be directed to push your motorbike to the appropriate cabin and park it on the side. The staff will request that you 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 remove the side mirrors for this route. When you arrive, you will need to walk to the cabin (usually at the end of the train) where you drop off your motorbike, present your receipt to retrieve it, and pay a VND 50,000 handling fee.

Quick summary of traveling together with your motorbike on the train

  • Petrol drainage: No
  • Side mirrors removed: No
  • Key left with the motorbike: Yes
  • Tickets: Motorbike freight ticket + passenger ticket purchased both at the train station

Ship the Motorbike First then You Arrive After 

For all other destinations within Vietnam, the motorbikes and passengers must 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! Buying your motorbike freight ticket from the train station will cost you a 30%-50% markup.

motorbike on train receipt 2
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)
motorbike on train receipt
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
Train prices of motorbikes shipment SG HN
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

1) motorbike

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 the above. Take a picture of it with your phone and 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’s petrol and remove the side mirrors before accepting your motorbike to pack for shipment. Plan your tank accordingly a few days before sending your motorbike on the train, 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.

sending motorbike on train
The motorbike was all wrapped up to prevent scratches and the side mirrors were 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.

Quick summary of shipping your motorbike on the train first and you arrive after

  • Petrol drainage: Yes
  • Side mirrors removed: Yes
  • Key left with the motorbike: No
  • Tickets: Motorbike freight ticket (purchased at the shipment company), passenger ticket (purchased at the train station)

Tips for Sending a Motorbike on the Train in Vietnam

  • If you are traveling with your motorbike, arrive 1 hour before the train departure time
  • Keep all of the receipts; plus, take photos of them in case you lose the receipts
  • Bring your passport as identification and motorbike registration
  • For train travel, bring your own toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, towel, etc.)
  • Do not leave any valuable objects and documents inside the compartment of your motorbikes, helmets included

Pros and Cons of Sending a Motorbike on the Train in Vietnam

Pros

  • Saves time driving
  • Competitive prices: it’s great for budget travel in Vietnam
  • City escape: This service prevents congestion when getting out of big cities like Hanoi or Saigon since trains run on separate routes. Just relax and enjoy the amazing scenery of Vietnam’s countryside.
  • Great local experience
vietnam train view
Spectacular view from the train
vietnam train view 2

Cons

  • Long-distance train routes don’t allow you to travel with your motorbike; they will be on a separate freight train. This may mean you must wait at the station for your motorbike’s arrival.
  • Peak times denial: During peak periods such as the Tet Holiday (Lunar New Year), it may be impossible to transport your motorbike by train due to overcrowding.

Conclusion on Sending a Motorbike on the Train in Vietnam

Sending your motorbike on the train in Vietnam is an excellent 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, please let us know in the comments below.

Or find private transportation in Vietnam here:

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