Khiri Travel has added a luxury carriage to the Luang Prabang-Hanoi train service linking Laos and Vietnam. The carriage sleeps six in air-conditioned cabins and includes a lounge with food and beverage service and specially enlarged windows for viewing the dramatic mountain scenery between the UNESCO heritage town and the Vietnamese capital. Departures leave Luang Prabang on Tuesday and Saturday mornings. The reverse trip departs Hanoi Central Station on Thursdays and Mondays. All trips allow for a day of onboard sight seeing and an overnight sleep before mid morning arrival the next day.
The public train service was reinstated in June 2013 using a limited section of the former Indochinese colonial rail network. Khiri Travel CEO Willem Niemeijer said the service has already proven popular with budget travellers, but that there was demand from upper market clients who wanted to link the two popular heritage destinations in style. The electric train service, run by the Lao-Viet Friendship Rail, has been adapted to utilise the abundant hydro electricity generated in the Laotian mountains. The first luxury departure is 1 April and berths are fully booked until mid-May. “We have been very impressed by the demand from western European travellers seeking an authentic Mekong travel experience,” said Niemeijer.