Transportation in Vietnam

What means of transportation is available for traveling Vietnam?

Travel in Vietnam is easier than it used to be. Means of transportation are usually very comfortable. Routine travel in Vietnam between major cities and tour destinations is generally comfortable and hassle free as well. Independent travelers will sometimes be required local knowledge for a decent level of comfort.

By air: You can get almost anywhere while visiting Vietnam, but scheduled flights to some Vietnam travel destinations are few and late changes in aircraft type can impact travel plans.

By train: Rail is still slow. The rail network is limited. Lines run between Hanoi – Saigon, Hanoi – Lao Cai – Hekou (China) – Kunming (China), Hanoi – Langson – Beijing (China). The train to China departs from Hanoi train station. You can join the train to Kunming at the Lao Cai station, but you can only join the train to Beijing from Hanoi. The train stations for some Vietnam travel destinations can be literally in the middle of nowhere. The rolling-stock is generally serviceable, but old and spartan by western standards.

By local bus: Bus travel used to be available only packed sardine-style into hot and stuffy, smoke belching reject Russian 40-seaters with bicycles, motorbikes and maybe the odd pig strapped to the roof. For the true adventurer only! These buses are still around and popular with the locals (tickets are dirt cheap).
However, there is now a system of privately owned buses, open-tour buses, minivans (usually 12, 15 or 16-seaters) connecting most sizeable population centers with neighboring towns and cities. Ask your travel consultants at Origin how to get to your next travel destination by minivan.
In most of the cities you can find cyclo or xe om for transferring around, negotiation for prices before you jump on is a must in Vietnamese Dong.

Bicycle or motorbike rentals can be found in major cities of interest, like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh or Hue, Hoi An, but make sure that you understand the traffic rules before riding.
On Foot: You may need to learn how to cross city streets, especially in Saigon and Hanoi. City traffic in Vietnam is like “water on wheels”, It is constantly moving on and flowing around everything in its path. The daytime traffic never stops. People are always on the move.

How is train travel in Vietnam?

Traveling by train is a good option to see the whole of Vietnam. There is a direct rail from North (Hanoi) to South (HCM). We can not compare trains here in Vietnam with trains in Europe, but the trains are good condition, with the newer trains equipped with modern air-conditioned coaches and sleeper seats for the popular overnight routes. Running not faster than bus but much safer, Origin suggests, whenever there are options with train, taking it for your travel in Vietnam.
The major routes are the North – South train that links Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, serving most popular destinations along the way, and trains North from Hanoi to t(Sapa) and beyond to Beijing and China. The Northwest and Northeast, including Lao Cai

Travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and vise-versa

Vietnam ’s Reunification Express (Thong Nhat) is the main train line running between North and South, connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and stopping at many destinations along the coast, including Hue, Danang, and Nha Trang. The train trip from Hanoi to HCMC is 1,726 km (1,070 miles), taking more than 30 hours, although few people do it in one long journey without stops along the way.
The two major types of trains are the: SE (SE1-SE6) and TN (TN3-TN10). In general, the SE trains are the better trains with modern air-conditioned coaches and larger windows, as well as a restaurant car.

Travel between Hanoi and Lao Cai (Sapa)

From Hanoi, there are also trains that run northwest or northeast with border crossings into China (please click here for more information on trains to and from China).
A popular route is between Hanoi and Lao Cai, which is the closest train station to the tourist destination of Sapa. The trip from Hanoi to Lao Cai takes about 10 hours, with most choosing to do an overnight trip. There is a number of tourist trains that run daily from Hanoi to Lao Cai and back, including Viet Royal, Tulico, Ratraco, all with air-conditioned soft sleeper cabins which are comfortable, although not luxurious. For a luxury option, the Victoria Sapa has its own luxury cabins on the train for those that will stay at their hotel.

Which are the international airports in Vietnam? Airport taxes in Vietnam?

Noi Bai International Airport, Hanoi (in the North), Vietnam
Location: The airport is situated 28 miles (45km) north of Hanoi.
Time: GMT +7.
Transfer to the city: Airport minibuses and metered taxis are available outside arrivals for transport to the city centre. Make sure the taxi driver is wearing an official name badge and that the meter is on. Cost of a taxi is about $10 USD.
Departure tax: US$14 for foreign adults, $7 for foreign children under 12, payable in dollars or dong.

Tan Son Nhat International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City / Saigon (in the South), Vietnam
Location: The airport is situated four miles (7km) from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
Time: GMT +7.
Transfer to the city: Minibuses and metered taxis are available for transport to the city centre. Make sure the driver is wearing an official name badge and that the metre is on. Most hotels can arrange transport for arriving passengers, but visitors should organize this in advance. Cost is usually about $10 USD.
Departure tax: US$14 for foreign adults, $7 for foreign children under 12, payable in dollars or dong.

Danang > Danang (Center)

Cat Bi > Hai Phong (North, near Halong Bay)

Can we travel by local bus?

If you plan to get more of a local experience then you can travel by local bus. There are public bus stations in all Vietnam cities and towns, but we do not recommend traveling on these buses.
There are many reasons for this. The safety is not to a standard that we feel is sufficient for our guests, and the standard of the bus alone is one that is dire need of attention. Finally, the safe driving sense is one that is not practiced by the drivers of these buses.

How about the Open bus?

Same as the train from North to South and vise versa, the open bus is often a good choice for budget travelers. The open-tour buses cover most of the popular destinations between the North and South, and travelers can stop whenever they want for as long as they want in each destination along the way.

How many domestic airports are there in Vietnam?

Here are the list of all the domestic airports in Vietnam:

- Ban Me Thuot Airport- Da Nang Airport- Haiphong Airport- Hanoi – Noi-Bai Airport- Ho Chi Minh City – Tan Son Nhat Airport
- Hue Airport
- Nha-Trang Airport
- Phuquoc Airport
- Pleiku Airport- Quynhon Airport- Rachgia Airport- Son-La Airport
- Tuyhoa Airport
- Vinh City Airport
- Dien Bien Airport ( Dien Bien Phu)