Vietnam is a long and skinny country. This means that it can take a long time to get from one part of the country to the other. Sure, you can fly, but if you are traveling on a budget, that can get a bit expensive. Vietnam has a good and comprehensive rail network too. But if you want to save money, sooner or later you'll end up on a Vietnamese sleeper (night bus). We took the sleeper bus from Hanoi to Hue. Here is our review:
We booked our tickets online a few days in advance through 12go.asia through Sinh Tourister, Vietnam's most reputable travel company. Warning: there are lots of fake Sinh Tourister and Sinh Cafe offices! Visit their website at https://www.thesinhtourist.vn to make sure you go to the right place!
We got to the office at 5:30pm and loaded our luggage beneath the bus. The company was very professional, and issued luggage tags with ID numbers for each piece of luggage. Then, we found our seats. The night bus has 41 beds, with pillows and blankets. There isn't much room inside the bus, so be sure to put your luggage underneath. You can bring a small bag with you as carry on, but there really isn't much space to put it. There are two levels of bunks, upper and lower. We ended up in upper bunks. Although they are a bit cramped, there is enough room to stretch out. You can raise your seat to read, or lower it into a bed to sleep. Actually, although it's a bit cramped, it is a lot better than a normal bus for long a long trip.
We left Hanoi right at 6:00pm, and stopped for toilet breaks at 9:00pm and around midnight. There is no toilet on board, but there is air conditioning and wifi. We arrived in Hue right on time around 7:00am the next morning.
There were two drivers who alternated driving throughout the night, and they drove slowly and safely. Overall, we had a very good experience! It was a lot better than we expected!
So, should you take a night bus in Vietnam? Honestly, yes! It's ok! Sure, maybe a train would be more comfortable, but if you are trying to save some money and don't need too much space, a night bus is not a bad way to travel!