Getting Around Vietnam

In pace with the development and prosperous of tourism, the flight, train and bus services in Vietnam become more and more convenient, different routes has contrasting travel ways. Here are some suggestions on how to choose transportation ways for some popular routes.


Hanoi - Da Nang: Train vs Flight

This is one of the most popular routes in Vietnam, supported by all kinds of the public transportations. Due to the long distance and 18 hours’ travel time, most travelers choose to take flight or train rather than coach.

Distance: 470 miles (760 km)
Train Duration: About 16 hours
Flying Duration: 1h20m

Taking trains, both Reunification Express and Tourist Trains are available on this line. The most favored choice is the overnight trains SE3/4 and SE19/20. The price for soft sleeper on the Reunification Express is about USD60, and a little higher (USD70-80) on the tourist trains. This train journey gives you enough time to have a good view along the way, while not too long and boring to endure on a train without bathroom and good toilet. And you could also save one night hotel bill.

Flights are also quite important and used by many travelers for this route. There are dozens of flights operated between Hanoi and Danang from early morning to evening. The price for Vietnam Airlines is about USD120 one way, while budget airlines like Viet Jet and Bamboo Airways always offer discount tickets from USD40.

Da Dang Station
Entrance to the Platform

Hanoi - Sapa: Train vs Bus

There is no flight between Hanoi and Sapa, to visit Sapa, travelers could take train from Hanoi to Lao Cai, or take bust from Hanoi to Sapa.

Distance: 190 miles (310 km)
Overnight Train Duration: 8-9 hours
Bus Duration: About 5 hours

Most of the tourist trains in Vietnam are on the route of Hanoi - Lao Cai. Although there are only two departs every day, you have more than 10 options on different tourist carriages. The sleeper cabins are comfort and clean, taking train is definitely the best choice for your travel to Sapa. The price is from USD 33 to 145.

Buses are also available on this route, for budget travelers, bus would be the best option since it only costs USD11 to USD25.


Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon): Train vs Flight

As two most important cites in Vietnam, Hanoi and Saigon are connected by dense flights and trains. Since the distance is over 1000 miles, there is no direct bus, if you really would like to take bus, you need to buy at least 3 different tickets to connect the long trip. To save time and have good experience, taking flight is a better choice for this route.

Distance: 1060 miles (1700 km)
Train Duration: 30-40 hours
Flying Time: 2h15m

There are 20-30 flights during 05:00 and 23:00 each day between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, The economy ticket on Vietnam Airline is about USD190 one way while the price could be as low as USD40 on the budget airlines.

Four Reunification Express trains are available between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and no tourist train is operated. The price is USD50-92 one way. Spending 30-40 hours on the train, you will have a lot time to see the cities, countryside, mountains and coasts, and you will surely meat the local people. The entire facility, service and cleanness on the train is not very good.


Ho Chi Minh City - Phan Thiet (Mui Né): Train vs Bus

Basically, buses are a better choice for this short route since there are many departs each day. While if you are a train traveler lover, you could experience the only double-deck train in Vietnam.

Distance: 130 mile (210 km)
Train Duration: About 4 hours
Bus Duration: 4.5-6 hours

There are 1 -3 trains between Ho Chi Minh and Phan Thiet each day, the ticket price is USD 16-18. On most of the normal days, the only train SPT2 from Ho Chi Minh to Phan Thiet departs at 06:40. While on holidays, 1-2 trains will be added. Dozens of sleeper buses are running from 07:00 to 23:30. The bus ticket costs from USD 6 to USD 15.

- Last updated on Sep. 01, 2020 -
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