Operated by national carrier Vietnam Railways.Travelling in an air-con sleeping berth and of course, there’s some spectacular scenery to lap up too. There are four main ticket classes: hard seat, soft seat, hard sleeper and soft sleeper. These are also split into air-con and non air-con options. Presently, air-con is only available on the faster express trains. Hard-seat class is usually packed and tolerable for day travel, but expect plenty of cigarette smoke. Ticket prices vary depending on the train; the fastest trains are more expensive. Aside from the main HCMC–Hanoi run, three rail-spur lines link Hanoi with the other parts of northern Vietnam. A third runs northwest to Lao Cai (Sapa).