The main Hanoi train station ticket office is at the western end of Pho Tran Hung Dao; trains from here go to destinations south. The ticket office is open from 7.30am-12.30pm & 1.30-7.30pm. Foreigners can buy tickets for southbound trains at counter 2, where the staff speaks English. It’s often best to buy tickets at least one day before departure to ensure a seat or sleeper. To the right of the main entrance of the train station is a separate ticket office for northbound trains to Lao Cai (for Sapa) and China. Tickets for China must be bought at a separate, specified counter.
Check with Vietnam Rail (Duong Sat Viet Nam; www.vr.com.vn ) for current timetables.