Transportation in Vietnam

The great majority of visitors to Vietnam arrive by air, though there are several crossings at the borders with Cambodia, Laos and China that are open to international travellers. Those crossing from China usually arrive by train, while those from Laos and Cambodia have only the option of bus.

There are three international airports in Vietnam; in order of popularity, they are Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang. Ho Chi Minh has direct flights not only to most major Asian cities, but also to the USA and Europe. Hanoi is connected to several Asian cities, while Da Nang at present has flights to Singapore, Guangzhou and Taipei.

 

Airports

Vietnam's long slender shape and the relative inaccessibility of certain mountainous parts means flying is often a good choice here and need not cost the earth if booked early...more

Rail

Vietnam has become synonymous with rail travel and the Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City route is one of the world's greatest train journeys across stuning Southeast Asian landscape...more

Taxis & Buses

Working out the local bus system in Vietnam can be difficult but tourist-friendly 'open tour' services and taxis are easy to fathom and good value considering the extra convenience...more

Ferries

Touring the Mekong Delta or Halong Bay is a must-see experience for most travellers in Vietnam so check out our ferry guide here with listings of the most popular services...more

Road & Rental

Although it is perfectly legal for foreigners to rent motorbikes and cruise the length of Vietnam, car rental must be accompanied by a driver but is still great value for groups...more

Hanoi Transport

Find out how to get into town and away again without being ripped off and how to tour all the historic landmarks of Vietnam's northern capital city in safety and comfort...more

Note: To find more the best rate Hotels in Vietnam. We recommend you look online at Agoda.com. They seem to be the most competitively priced of the hotels sites.

Getting Around Vietnam

New arrivals, especially first-time visitors, need to be on the alert at any of these airports as there are several scams operated by taxi drivers and other hustlers who hang out to catch unsuspecting victims. Try to arrange a pick up by your chosen hotel to avoid falling foul of the tricksters at the start of your holiday.

Travellers arriving from China have the option of crossing the border at Lao Cai, Dong Dang or Mong Cai; the first two crossings are served by train, though the third is rarely used. There are no train services connecting Vietnam with Laos or Cambodia so visitors crossing these borders must do so by bus.

Several new border posts have opened in recent years, including one at Xa Xia near Ha Tien in the Mekong Delta, which is particularly useful for sun worshippers moving from Phu Quoc Island to Sihanoukville in Cambodia. Another newish crossing is near Dien Bien Phu, where travellers can cross from Laos at Tay Trang directly into Vietnam’s mountainous northwest.

Vietnam has more options than most countries when it comes to getting around. Vietnam Airlines operates regular flights connecting most major towns in the country, and these domestic flights are particularly useful for anyone with limited time in the country. The Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City route is inevitably the busiest in the country.

Trains are convenient for moving north to south or vice versa, though passengers should be aware that they move slowly, so eat up precious holiday time. Buses, which run throughout the country, are generally quicker than trains, though they are not always very comfortable. Most foreign visitors choose to travel by open-tour bus, on which they get a guaranteed seat and the option of breaking their journey.

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