New luxury train route in Vietnam offers stunning coastal views, afternoon tea

The Quy Nhon-Nha Trang route includes an afternoon tea set.
The Quy Nhon-Nha Trang route includes an afternoon tea set. Photo credit: Courtesy Anantara via CNN Newsource

There's nothing quite like settling back into your train seat, the urban skyline out the window fading into lush natural landscapes as you make your way to your next destination.

According to rail experts, an increasing number of luxury travellers are looking to experience this sensation, all part of a global shift towards slower and more sustainable tourism activities.

Anantara is among the hospitality giants now tapping into this demand, with the high-end hotel brand offering a new five-hour luxury train experience in southern Vietnam that connects the popular resort destinations of Na Trang and Quy Nhon - its second route in the country.

The first 'Vietage by Anantara' luxury train carriage launched in 2020 - a six-hour journey connecting Da Nang and Quy Nhon.

Ananatara's head of PR and marketing for Vietnam, Kate Jones tells CNN the new carriage heads in the opposite direction and aims to expose travelers to even more of Vietnam's beautiful views. Like the first Vietage carriage, it will be attached to Vietnam's state-run commercial railway that runs up and down the country.

"The main difference is that the new route connecting Nha Trang and Quy Nhon passes through many more coastal areas than the journey between Da Nang and Quy Nhon," says Jones.

"There is a selection of really quite stunning bays and some striking coastline facing the East Sea. There are some mountainous areas and still plenty of rice paddies and lotus ponds, but the coastal scenery is the biggest view 'pull' for this five-hour journey."

This is slow travel at its best - the trains hit an average speed of 51.9km/h according to Anantara.

That gives guests on the Quy Nhon-Nha Trang route plenty of time to enjoy their complimentary afternoon tea set, which includes local caviar, Vietnamese artisanal cheeses, a selection of cold cuts and premium Vietnamese teas.

For the six-hour journeys between Da Nang and Quy Nhon, passengers are served a pre-ordered three-course gourmet meal.

Guests on either route also get complimentary snacks, free-flow wine, cocktails, mocktails, teas, coffee and soft drinks, plus a 15-minute head and shoulder treatment.

The Vietage carriage is fitted out with a sit-up bar, restroom facilities and six private booths that seat two, each of which comes with power outlets, charging stations, free Wi-Fi and amenity baskets with pillows, blankets and other essentials.

Travelers can reserve their seats online at, while those wanting to combine their rail journeys with a stay at one of Anantara's properties - Anantara Hoi An Resort, Anantara Quy Nhon Villas or Avani Quy Nhon Resort - can book packages through those individual hotel websites.

The cost of a one-way Vietage journey is US$420 per person. The new route departs from Nha Trang Train Station at 2pm, arriving at Dieu Tri Station in Quy Nhon at 6:29pm. For those preferring to travel in the opposite direction, trains depart Dieu Tri Train Station at 2:15pm - arriving at Nha Trang Train Station at 6:36 p.m.

The original route departs from Da Nang Train Station at 8am, arriving at Quy Nhon's Dieu Tri Station at 2:03pm. There is also an evening option that departs Quy Nhon at 7pm, arriving in Da Nang at 12:53am the following day. This Vietage journey is slightly cheaper, costing US$315 per passenger.

As for demand, Jones says many are turning to rail travel rather than "rushing through airports to get from A to B."

"The domestic aviation industry in Vietnam right now is also facing some challenges with the disappearance of two airlines and a reduced fleet with the national carrier, so overall air travel is currently not popular, plus overly expensive," she says.

"The Vietage is the only experience of its kind in Vietnam and, of course, with the return of the Belmond train, the awareness of luxury rail travel is growing in Southeast Asia."

In addition to traveling slowly and more sustainably, Jones says rail travellers gain real visual insights into the country, taking in scenes like "rural villages, fishermen casting their nets, farmers in fields with the water buffaloes - things you definitely don't experience at 35,000 feet."