Lonely Planet Writer

Explore China and Vietnam by train on this epic adventure

Have you ever wanted to tour across Asia, taking in the sights and scenery but in an authentic way as locals do? A new tour by online boutique travel agency Backyard Travel aims to do just this giving budding travellers an opportunity to take to the tracks and travel from China to Vietnam by rail.

Tourists will be whisked off on a 12-day, 11-night epic journey, beginning in China where they will visit the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Summer Palace – before heading to Luoyang for a historic visit to the Unesco-listed Yungnang and Longmen Grottoes.

Buffalo Farmer at Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China
While the Guilin region is known for being a hot tourist destination for travelers from around the world, it is also well-known for the agriculture of the region. Image by Istvan Kadar Photography/GettyImages

The journey by train continues to Guilin in China where travellers will spend two nights soaking in the beauty of the area’s limestone formations before it’s off to the spectacular Detian Falls on the border of Vietnam. An overnight cruise on the stunning Halong Bay is next on the itinerary before the tour winds up with a city tour of Hanoi’s rich historic sites.

Ban Gioc - Detian waterfall
Detian Waterfall on the border of China and Vietnam is a most impressive natural sight. Image by Ho Ngoc Binh/GettyImages

“Obviously, it’s the train travel aspect itself that really makes this tour stand out” Maeve Nolan, General Manager of Backyard Travel told Lonely Planet. “It gets people out of the familiar bubble of their private car and into the ‘real world’, riding regional trains as local residents do, thereby giving them more of an authentic and exciting travel experience.

“So even though it’s a private tour with everything planned, riding on the train keeps that sense of independent travel alive – not to mention giving travellers the chance to see different scenery than they’d see from a big highway, or stuck in urban gridlock”.

“For long-haul travellers, this type of multi-country tour is nice because they get to see more – and different – countryside in a shorter period of time, especially saving time by crossing the border into Vietnam overland”.

The tour, priced at US$2998 (GB£2165) per person on a twin share basis, is valid until 31 December 2018. You can find out more here.