Getting to Vietnam

Vietnam can easily be entered by plane or bus. Vietnam Airlines are recommended. Airports are near Nha Trang and Halong Bay and within Hanoi, Danang, Phu Quoc and Ho Chi Minh City. If travelling throughout Southeast Asia, travellers usually arrive via Cambodia, Laos and China by air and bus.  

Getting Around Vietnam


There are excellent, numerous, budget-friendly domestic flights in Vietnam. Be aware that cancellations do happen though. Travel a day early if your intention is to get a connecting international flight.


For the adventurers out there, there is only one way to see Vietnam; by motorcycle! Many travellers choose to start their journey in the north in Hanoi or down south in Ho Chi Minh and work their way across the country. Journeys can last from 10 days to 6 weeks depending on which route is chosen. Whatever route is taken however, avoid Highway 1 at all costs. It is dangerous and certainly not the nicest route aesthetically.


Do what the locals do and hop on a bicycle. It is a very cheap form of transport here and if the energy is there, long distances cross-country can certainly be achieved by pedaling. If one becomes tired, the bike can always be put on top of a bus to your next destination. There are repair and service ‘centres’ everywhere in Vietnam for motorcycles and bicycles. It feels that almost every local knows how to fix one for a small price and they will be on the side of the road waiting.

State of the roads

The roads within Vietnamese cities and leading in and out of them are good enough. Do be aware as a pedestrian that motorbikes are everywhere; be careful when walking the streets and crossing roads. As a rule of thumb when crossing the road, keep walking once you do step out, so motorists can judge accordingly and ride around you. As locations become more rural and mountainous, the state of the roads decline. Be careful if riding your bike at night. There are potholes and very few streetlights.


There is a vast network of buses in Vietnam, from local rickety uncomfortable rides to the absolute deluxe, luxury services. Expect journeys to be slow due to the traffic on the roads and the fact that buses stop often to pick up passengers.


It is also possible to travel across Vietnam via train. Tickets can be bought 60-90 days in advance via Bao Lau, which also has schedules on its website. Or, you can arrange travel on trains via your hotel. There are all levels of comfort. Expect a ‘fast’ train between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to take between 32 to 36 hours.


One of the biggest highlights in Vietnam is Halong Bay and the only way it can be seen is via boat. One can also go island hopping in the south from Nha Trang and Hoi-An in Central Vietnam.  
Added by teacaketravels
Last updated on the 25 October 2017

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