Feeling Lucky? 50-cent Train Tickets up For Grabs in Hanoi

Posted by SE Vietnam - Student Exchange Vietnam

Taking a train is a safe and rather romantic way to travel around, one can simple sit inside the fast-moving cart with a cup of hot tea, looking out into the scenery outside as you pass by fields, forests, rivers and mountains. However, a train ride in Vietnam is probably not going to live up to that imagination. With the decline in users due to cheap air travel options and declining railway quality, the Vietnam’s railway industry is trying its best to recover and improve its service to compete with other means of transportation like coaches, buses and plane. Recently, many companies seeked to revive the romance of rail travel, offering first-class trips, wood-lined cabins with restaurant car to destinations like Nha Trang or Sapa. 

Internship in Vietnam rail 2

Vietnam’s train. Source: VietnamNews

In another effort to boost travellers to take the classic train, the Hanoi Railway Company is offering 8,000 super-cheap tickets to various destinations including the popular tourist cities of Hue and Da Nang in central Vietnam, but getting your hands on them is simply a matter of luck.

People who arrived early at the company’s office on Wednesday morning were disappointed to find that the cheap tickets were not being allocated on a first come-first serve basis, instead they just had to hope that the stars were shining on them.

“You have to be lucky to win a ticket,” a customer was told.

A representative from the railway company said the special tickets are being issued randomly and customers will only find out if they’ve struck it lucky when they’ve received their boarding passes. This will entitle them to a refund from the cost of a standard ticket.

5-star train internship in Vietnam

A luxury cart in a 5-star train from Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang. Photo: VnExpress

The source said several lucky tickets were sold on Wednesday.

The VND10,000 tickets (less than half a dollar) will be on sale until this Sunday for trips between June 19 and August 30 to Hue, Da Nang, Dong Hoi and Vinh in central Vietnam, and Hai Phong, Hai Duong, Lao Cai and Lang Son in the north.

They are also available online between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., but several customers said the system was overloaded and they were unable to process payments.

Railways account for less than 2 percent of passenger transport in Vietnam and are losing out to rising air travel.

The tickets are part of the efforts being made to restore romance in train travel following the launch of luxury trains this year for popular trips such as Hanoi to Sa Pa and Ho Chi Minh City to Nha Trang.

Major stations across Vietnam also started offering free wi-fi last month.

Source: VnExpress International


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