Nowadays, Vietnam has become one of the most popular expat destinations in Asia. Foreigners who go to Vietnam will be surprised by low- cost living, cultural diversity, idyllic beaches and other beautiful attractions. As a first-time travellers going to Vietnam, you may wonder how to get to Vietnam and how to travel around Vietnam. This article will show you detail information about transportation in Vietnam.
Getting to Vietnam
There are three main ways to go to Vietnam:
>>> By Air
>>> By Road
>>> By Boat
There are currently many airlines operating flights to Vietnam (Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific Airlines, Vietjet Air…). The main ports of entry for international air travel are Tan Son Nhat airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City, Noi Bai Airport (HAN) in Hanoi and Da Nang airport (DAD).
Many Asia countries now have direct routes to Vietnam. However, the number of direct routes from Australia, Europe and North America to Vietnam are still very limited and most flights departing from these regions to Vietnam involve a transit in Hongkong, Bangkok, Seoul, Tokyo or Singapore.
From Europe, it is possible to fly to Vietnam direct from several countries including France, Germany and UK. It takes about 12 hours for flying from Europe to Vietnam. Other flights from Europe and USA have to have an air transit at Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo or Taipei to reach either HCMC or Hanoi. Flight time from the USA (via Taipei or Tokyo) to Hanoi or HCMC is around 19 hours. According to Vietnamese Ministry of Transport , the first direct flights between Vietnam and US are scheduled for inauguration in 2018.
From Australia, there are nonstop flights from Sydney and Melbourne to either Hanoi or HCMC. Flight time from Sydney to HCMC is approximately 8 hours.
Travelling by air (Source: Instagram meankrub)
There are routes from China through Lang Son, Mong Cai and Lao Cai border crossing, from Cambodia through Moc Bai and Xaxia (Prek Chak in Cambodia) border crossing, from Laos through Lao Bao, Nam Can, Na Meo, Tay Trang (Sop Hun in Laos) and Cau Treo border crossing.
Bus service is available for the route from Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh city, operated by the Saigon Passenger Transport Company (tel: +84 8 3854 6110) , Vientiane (Laos) to Hanoi and from Savannakhet (Laos) to Hue. There are no buses travelling from China that cross to Vietnam. Passengers have to change the buses at the borders.
Bus from Phnom Penh to Vietnam (Source: Instagram mueq69)
There is the only a arrival point into Vietnam with a regular ferry service is Chau Doc in Mekong Delta. It is operated by Blue Cruiser (tel: +84 83926 0253, http://www.bluecruiser.com). There are daily speedboat ferries from Phnom Penh along the Mekong Delta taking around 5 hours. Cruise ships call at Ho Chi Minh city, Nha Trang, Da Nang and Hai Phong.
Travelling along Mekong Delta between Phnom Penh and Chau Doc is a great experience that you need to try.
Mekong Delta (Source: Pixabay)
Getting around Vienam
There are four popular ways to travel around Vietnam:
>>> By Air
>>> By Rail
>>> By Bus
>>> By Motorbike
Travelling by plane is fast and convenient way to go around Vietnam. Vietnam now have 21 airports available for domestic travellers. Some popular airports in Vietnam are Tan Son Nhat (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh city, Noi Bai (HAN) in Hanoi, Da Nang airport (DAD) in Da Nang, Cam Ranh airport (CXR) in Cam Ranh, Lien Khuong airport (DLI) in Da Lat, Phu Bai airport (HUI) in Hue…
Before going, you need to check the map to find the airport as well as the flight that is suitable for you and close to your destination. For example, if you want to come to Nha Trang from Ho Chi Minh city, you need to choose Cam Ranh airport.
The price is quite low. A Vietnam Airline flight from Ho Chi Minh to Ha Noi costs about $150 for return trip. The four main operators are Vietnam Airlines (www.vietnamairlines.com), Vietjet Air (http://www.vietjetair.com), Jetstar (www.jetstar.com) and VASCO Airlines (www.vasco.com).
Vietnam Airlines (Source: Instagram giabao.pham)
Train in Vietnam, operated by Vietnam Railways (http://www.vr.com), is really safe and comfortable. This is an ideal way for traveller to get around and see many beautiful view in Vietnam: sandy beaches, rice fields, palm trees… If you have to go somewhere fast, train is not suitable. However, if you want to soak up the Vietnamese countryside, train is the best option for you.
Train is available for most routes in Vietnam. The fastest express train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh city (called the Reunification Express), the SE4, covers 1,730km (1,073 miles) in 29 hours, with the slower ones (like the TBN) taking up to 41 hours because of the numerous stops they make. Train from Da Nang to Hue takes around 2 hours 30 minutes, train from Ho Chi Minh city to Phan Thiet (Mui Ne) takes over 4 hours.
There are five classes of train travel in Vietnam: hard seat, soft seat, hard sleeper, soft sleeper and soft sleeper with air conditioning – this last option available only on certain trains. Passengers have to pay at least US$90 for a berth in a four-person compartment on the fastest express train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh (or vice versa).
Railway in Vietnam (Source: Internet)
Interprovincial bus is a popular mean of transport in Vietnam. The price of this bus is nearly the same to that of train. Local people prefer using bus because it has many trips per day. Each province in Vietnam has its own major terminal, especially in big cities like Hanoi (My Dinh Bus station, Giap Bat Bus station), Ho Chi Minh City (Mien Tay, Mien Dong Bus station). You can easily find buses to go to every tourism destination as well as other province in Vietnam.
The price depends on the distance of the route and type of seats chosen. Tourists can ask their travel agencies to purchase ticket in advance, or even book ticket via phone or Internet by themselves. Internet booking bus ticket is not available for many transportation companies, except some large companies like Phuong Trang (Futa), Hoang Long . If you depart from minor provinces and there is no direct route to your intend destinations, it is advisable to catch a bus to major cities (Hanoi for northern provinces, Hue or Da Nang for central area, and Ho Chi Minh City for southern provinces) and then change the bus there.
My Dinh Bus Station (Source: Instagram lasiro0312)
In big cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other major tourism destinations, there is public bus service for both local and foreigners.
Passengers can catch bus at bus stops scattering around the province and buy ticket directly from the conductor.
The price of ticket is very cheap (under VND 10000), the service is not very high (you may have to stand if the bus is too crowded or the conductor cannot speak English). However, local bus is one interesting way to understand more or make friends with local people.
Bus Station in Ho Chi Minh city (Source: Instagram mcduff33)
Motorbike is the most popular mean of transport in Vietnam. This is so cheap and convenient. If you are backpacker, youth traveller, like freedom and gain some great experience in Vietnam, you can rent a motorbike and get around Vietnam. Renting- motorbike service is available in most cities and tourists destinations in Vietnam. The price is quite low and the service is good.
However, before driving motorbike, you need to have a good preparation including driving skills and Vietnamese traffic rules.
Motorbike in Vietnam (Source: Pixabay)
Finally, DichungTaxi wish you would have good experience in Vietnam. If you want to go somewhere to explore beautiful place and Vietnamese culture, you can book our service at dichungtaxi.com/en.
Founded in 2013, DichungTaxi is an online booking service across Vietnam.
We provide two types of transport service:
1) A private car or taxi
2) A shared taxi
In 2017, DichungTaxi is available in 20 Airports & 40 cities across all Vietnam.