Saturday, November 26, 2011

Train de Hara Express

Train de Hara Express est non seulement le transport de bois mais doux dormeur transport, ayant 4 couchettes en cabine avec AC et deux toilettes aux deux extrémités. Chaque couchette est équipée de lampes de lecture individuelles de stockage des bagages, et coffre spacieux pour le cas de bains et les bagages à main. Le train est aussi fourni également de l‘eau et de serviette. Hara Express Train s‘écarte chaque nuit. Vous pouvez nous contactez à pour obtenir le meilleur prix.

* Note :
- Gratuit pour les enfants de moins de 5 ans en partageant la couchette avec les parents pour toutes les voitures de tourisme.
- Le ramassage gratuit de Hanoi à la Gare au condition où vous réserviez le tour à Sapa.
- Un billet aller simple est disponible.
- Le prix du billet ne comprend pas les repas à bord du train, mais comprennent snacks et des boissons.
- WC ne sont pas dans la cabine.

Is Vietnam travel by train a good idea?

Is Vietnam travel by train a good idea?-ontario-passenger-train_705.jpgLocal trains

The local trains are slow (around 20 km/h) and stop at every station along the way. Since they don't have priority on the track they also spend a lot of time waiting for the express trains to come through. Seat options are hard, half, and soft seat.

Express trains

The Express train is ‘faster’ (50 km/h) and covers the railway from the north (Hanoi) to the south (HCMC).

There are different classes of ticket you can buy:

- Hard-seat or soft-seat.
- Hard sleeper berth (each cabin has 6 beds) or soft sleeper berth (each cabin has 4 beds), both with or without AC.

Booking in advance is preferable.


We didn't take the soft sleeper from Hue to Hanoi, but comments we heard were universally positive. The trip is comfortable and costs about 55 $ (don't book through your hotel, they sometimes ask steep commissions). Important note however: only book the fast express train! Someone else we met booked the slow sleeper from Hue to Hanoi (15 hours for 30 $), and they had an awful night in a dirty compartment).

Also the night trip from Nha Trang to Danang is an excellent alternative to the horrible bus ride. From Danang railway station, it's a 1 hour trip to Hoi An by taxi.

We took the hard sleeper from Hanoi to Lao Cai (no soft sleepers available), and this was reasonable. We were with 6 in our compartment and slept reasonably well. Some points to remember however:
- Go for the lower berths: they are cooler then the top berths, and the luggage can be stored underneath the bed, so stealing is impossible.
- The train from Lao Cai to Hanoi arrives in Hanoi before 5 am, which is unreasonably early.
- Some travelcafés (like Kim) provide small mattresses which make the trip a little bit more comfortable (15 $ deposit is asked for).

Prices (info as provided in 9/99) 
- Hanoi- Lao Cai: 16 to 18 US$ (hard sleeper)
- Hanoi-Hai Phong: 5 US$ (hard seat)
- Hanoi-Vinh: 28 US$ (soft sleeper)
- Hanoi – Hue : 58 USD per person (soft sleeper)
- Hanoi-Nha Trang: 120 US$ (soft sleeper)
- Hanoi- HCMC: 130 US$ (soft sleeper)
- Hue-Nha Trang: 63 US$ (soft sleeper)
- Hue-Nha Trang: 63 US$ (soft sleeper)
- Hue-HCMC: 70 US$ (soft sleeper)
- Nha Trang-HCMC: 23 US$ (soft sleeper)

Tho ethnic group

Customs and habits
Formerly, the Tho lived in houses built on stilts. Now they prefer houses built on the ground. Close relationships and a desire to help each other have existed for a very long time in Tho society. Young Tho boys and girls have enjoyed considerable freedom through a custom known as "Ngu Mai". They are allowed to lie together and have heart-to-heart talks with each other. In the course of these nocturnal parties, each boy and girl will eventually find their sweetheart. As for marriage, a boy's family must spend a lot of money in preparation for the celebration of the wedding. Therefore, a boy must work many days for his future in-laws. The Tho worship innumerable genies and spirits. They also have great respect for pioneers who have made contributions to the clearing of the land and the building of the village, and for the numerous war heroes. All families also worship their ancestors. Each year, the most important ceremony called "Going to the Field" is held.

CultureThe Tho language belongs to the Viet-Muong Group.
CostumesTho attire resembles the farmers’ dress of the Kinh in the early half of 20th century. Tho women buy skirts from the Thai and wear a square white cloth around their heads which serves as a female head dress. The morning ribbon is a long white piece of cloth.
EconomyThe Tho cultivate rice and hemp. With rice cultivation, they often use ploughs and harrows to till the soil. Hemp is grown primarily for producing items for daily use. The forest provides various kinds of vegetable for Tho daily life.

Chut ethnic group

Customs and habits
Though most Chut live a sedentary life, their villages are quite separated and their houses are temporary. Each lineage has its leader and an altar to worship their common ancestors. Among the leaders of the lineages, those who can win the highest prestige will be proclaimed village chief. Matrimony is still practiced. The Chut have very simple funerals.

The Chut language belongs to the Viet-Muong Group. The Chut have inherited a rich folk art and culture. The folk songs are called Ka-tum and Ka-lenh, and are very popular among many people. The ancient tales of the Chut are diverse and have various themes. The Chut play pan-pipes and six-hole flutes.

EconomyThe Chut are primarily involved in agriculture and they practice slash and burn cultivation. They also practice hunting, gathering, fishing, and animal husbandry. Carpentry and basketry are another means of income generation.

Guide for package trip

Guide for package trip-travel.jpg

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Queen Doan

People of Vietnam

In 1998, Vietnam had a population of over 76,000,000 and of these most of them lived around the Red and Mekong deltas, where the population density is around 1000 people per sq km. The population is made up of mainly ethnic Vietnamese people (those whose ancestors moved to the area thousands of years before) who have settled in the lowlands, while the largest minority group consists of ethnic Chinese. The Chinese immigrants (those whose families settled in the area within the last few hundred years) have settled for the most part in cities and provincial towns and consist of around 2,000,000 total population. 
In addition to the ethnic Chinese, there are other minorities that live in Vietnam namely the Khmer and the Cham, descendents of inhabitants who lived in central and southern Vietnam before the area was conquered by the Vietnamese. Another portion of the population is made up of tribal groups, who as a whole represent about 7% of Vietnam's entire population. Their ancestors came into Vietnam from other Asian countries. These tribes make up about 50 different language and ethnic groups and live mainly in the mountainous area around the Red River Delta and in the Central Highlands.
Although the different ethics groups get along for the most part, the Vietnamese tend to show antipathy towards the dominance ethnic Chinese have in the national economy. To further aggravate the situation, Vietnamese tend to be wary of China for their past domination in various parts of the country and take it out occasionally on the Chinese citizens of Vietnam.