The journey by train from Hanoi to Lao Cai in northern Vietnam can be done by a sleeper train, which has very good conditions. We did the trip in 4 carriages with very comfortable beds (they are called soft sleepers). The linen and pillows are always very clean. A bottle of mineral water awaits you on the bedside table and there is a small single lamp for you to read comfortably. At the station you can find some small restaurants (modest).