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Getting Around Vietnam: 5 Best Public Transport to Transfer

January 11, 2022 - 504 views

What attracts you to visit Vietnam? Her beauty, people, or food? If you are going to or plan to visit us, let me guide you to travel and get around Vietnam by 5 big public transport. It’s so eager to lead you through this “short tour”. The latest news said that the road system in Vietnam is about 200,000 km long, the railway system has about 2652 km, which means you are able to travel easily all over Vietnam by all possible means of transport such as bus, train, private car, motorbike or flight. Let’s check the details of how to get around Vietnam in my article.

Getting around Vietnam

There is nothing but “crazy and insane but safe” traffic to say about the case in Vietnam. You will see tons of people and vehicles in the rush hours, which looks like the moving rice cookers because wearing helmets is compulsory here. At first, you will be scared of the ways locals ride, however, you will see something which is very weird that there is no accident! Surely, it is not zero, but you will hardly see any case in the city. Why? This question will arise in your mind right now, won’t it? Because people are very skilful and there are some rules out of the laws.

After learning how to cross the street, you will be able to drive a car, motorbike in a local style in a short time. Do not wait to get around the city in the evening time, especially, after 23 pm, you will see a very lovely and tranquil city, and you will fall in love with “her” right at the first look. Let’s research how to get around with public transport in Vietnam.


Getting around Vietnam by flight – Fastest way

22 Vietnam airports around the country connect all the provinces and you can travel from the north to the central and the south of Vietnam. Noi Bai International Airport, Da Nang International Airport, Tan Son Nhat International Airport are centres and destinations for flights from all over the nation.

Popular Vietnam flight routes

Hanoi - Da Nang: This is the popular flight schedule to go from the north to the central of Vietnam, which connects the capital of history and culture to the city of beautiful beaches. It only costs you 1 hour on the way from Hanoi to Da Nang, which is the same time as you enjoy a cup of coffee in Hanoi Old Quarter.

Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City: It is almost 1600 km from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. It will cost at least a day (36 hours) by bus. A much better, more comfortable and faster flight way costs you 2 hours to travel between 2 biggest cities in Vietnam. Your feeling is like moving from a typical city of 4 seasons (spring, summer, fall, winter) to a modern city with only 2 seasons (hot and hotter). And 2 hours by plane is so swift that is the same as the way your ex-girlfriend turned her back on you.

Let’s look at the table to see where you can fly to and from the 3 biggest Vietnam international airports then I will discuss somehow the main airlines in Vietnam.

International Airport Destination for guests from Operating airlines
Tan Son Nhat (Ho Chi Minh) All domestic airports, except for Can Tho city, Dien Bien Phu

Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, Vietjet Air, Bamboo Airways, Vietravel Airlines

Noi Bai (Hanoi) All domestic airports, except for Hai Phong, Van Don
Da Nang Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city, Buon Ma Thuot, Pleiku, Da Lat, Hai Phong


Getting around Vietnam by flight

Getting around Vietnam by flight

Main Airlines in Vietnam

Vietnam Airlines: the most famous and the only 4-star airline (ranked by Skytrax). Vietnam Airlines was born in 1995, which is both the flag carrier of Vietnam and the major carrier in South East Asia, operating 94 routes to 22 domestic and 29 international destinations. This is the best option for getting around Vietnam.

Pacific airway: the first low-cost airline in Vietnam, it operates to provide cheap air tickets every day. Vietnam Airlines currently holds 98% stake in Pacific Airlines.

Bamboo Airways: Bamboo is a typical symbol of Vietnam - an agricultural country. Getting around Vietnam by Bamboo airways reminds me of something which is simple but strong. Bamboo Airways was officially found in 2017 and invested a lot to build a new and modern plane team. They signed with Airbus Group for 24 aircrafts A321 NEO and with aerospace manufacturers in the USA for 20 new aircrafts Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

VietJet Air: very famous as a low – cost airline in Vietnam. Their core values are Safety, Happiness, Affordable price and Punctuality and it is not too much to stay this is the best way to get around Vietnam with a limited budget.

Vietravel airlines: the youngest airline in Vietnam, which belongs to Vietravel Group – a tour operator company, Vietravel Airlines wish to take the guests to explore new destinations, experience fascinating culture and each journey is an unforgettable memory.


Useful tips for getting around Vietnam by flight

  • Be ready at the airport 2 hours before your flight time. If the airline offers to do check-in online, let’s try it to save your time.
  • Book your ticket with a trusted travel agency, which is in charge of helping when you have to reroute, rebook or change your name of booking.
  • Checked carefully the weight of your luggage and, the permitted cabin baggage and checked baggage.
  • Prebook a Vietnam airport transfer, this will help save time to find a car and a safe option for your family to get away from the scam taxi. Reserve the car with your hotel or a trusted travel agency.


Getting around Vietnam by train - Local way

Vietnam's rail network extends to most destinations of interest to a first-time visitor and it's safe, comfortable, not too expensive, and allows you to see the countryside at a leisurely pace.

Popular Vietnam train routes

Vietnam's train system serves a large swathe of the country - only the Central Highlands and the Mekong Delta are left out.

  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh City

This is the northern – southern route and often called Reunification Express. There are over 100 stations located on the route, belonging to well-known tourist destinations: Hanoi, Vinh (Nghe An), Dong Hoi (Quang Binh), Dong Ha (Quang Tri), Hue, Da Nang (near Hoi An), Quang Ngai, Dieu Tri (near Quy Nhon), Nha Trang, Thap Cham, Muong Man (near Mui Ne, Phan Thiet) and Ho Chi Minh City. By getting around Vietnam by train, you will have a great chance to check and visit many beautiful places along the way.

  • Hanoi - Lao Cai (Sapa)

From Lao Cai train station, you will use the car to Sapa - one of the most beautiful destinations in Vietnam. Currently, Vietnam has Hanoi - Lao Cai Expressway to save travel time. However, the train is safer and more comfortable. You will go from Hanoi at 9 pm and arrive at Lao Cai around 5 am. A good night's sleep on the train will get you healthy enough for the trekking trip in Sapa. Some common brands for foreigners are Victoria, Sapaly, Livitrans, King Express, and Orient Express.

Getting around Vietnam by train

Getting around Vietnam by train


Classes on the Vietnam train

  • Hard seat: This means that you will sit on the wooden chair and 1 chair is for 2 people. This is the cheapest class. If you take short distances and want to maximize cost savings, this is the best choice.
  • Soft seat: It will be your own seat, more comfortable than hard seats for day trips. You can choose this class if travelling to Sapa, but the fact is, you can not have one good night's sleep while sitting, even the leg up is not easy at all.
  • Hard berth: A better option suits your budget and thanks Gods, you can lay your back down on a thin mattress. There are 6 berths in one cabin, and the fare will depend on the floor you choose: The most expensive price to the bottom floor, then to the middle floor, and the lowest rate for the top floor.
  • Soft berth: It is the most comfortable class for tourists. Only 4 - 6 berths in 1 cabin, or 2 berths even if you have a special request for an additional cost. All berths are marked at the same price.

Soft bed cabin on Vietnam train

Soft bed cabin on Vietnam train


Useful tips for getting around Vietnam by train

  • Never leave your cabin while you still keep important items there. Take all valuables with you and do not let others know what you have. Thefts or pickpockets on trains are entirely possible.
  • Close the cabin door (if any) during sleep.
  • Do not put valuable items next to the window when the train stopped. Someone could reach in and take away your items. Until you are out of the train, that person has gone so far.
  • Tie the bags together
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages to avoid losing control or distraction


Getting around Vietnam by bus - an economic way

The Vietnam bus is various options and always the saving – budget way for your travel trip. The bus system connects you and all provinces of Vietnam. As our old saying, the road was not made for granted, the bus moved to make the road for people.  The buses depart daily and start once or many times a day. Choose your option between local bus and tourist bus.


Vietnam local public bus

A local bus is a basic option and you will never complain about its ticket fee because it is so cheap. For a short trip, the bus used to be the seater bus while a long journey will require a sleeper bus.

Also, local buses are equipped with AC but it may not work well and in some cases, they will open the bus windows for natural wind. Besides, the local public bus is normally full of people at the weekend or holidays of the locals and you may go with 50 people on a 29 seater bus. Moreover, bus driver hardly speaks English, you should prepare Google to translate if you would like to talk with them

getting around Vietnam by local bus

Getting around Vietnam by local bus

Vietnam Tourist bus

A tourist bus is a much better option for you. Facilities on the bus are in good condition and it is clean enough. The seats are comfortable and the number of people on the bus is always less than the number of seats on the bus.

Some bus travel companies offer an open bus ticket, which means you pay for the whole bus trip, for example, from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. Then the bus will stop on the way to their offices (for example, Hue, Da Nang), you can leave the bus and start your exploration. Informing the bus company about your day of departure and coming back to the bus office, you continue your trip to the next stop. So, in this kind of way, you are active to plan your trip for hop on and hop off. Besides, the tourist bus is with an English - speaking tour guide, who can help you with any questions.

Last but not least, there are luxury tourist buses which can help you be comfortable on your trip. They are more expensive but it is worth the money because this kind of bus will limit the people, the seat/ bed is very soft and the driver is very well trained and skilful.

Vietnam tourist bus

Vietnam tourist bus


Useful tips for getting around Vietnam by bus

  • Book the tickets in advance in case it is sold out
  • Do not carry too much luggage because you have to move a lot, your big one will make you tired and angry.
  • Double-check before leaving in case you forget your belongings.
  • Go to the bus station 15 minutes before departure time in case you miss the bus. Use google translate if your driver can not speak English or your language.
  • Try to book an overnight bus, which saves your day time and you are less tired when you are sleeping while the bus is going.
  • Keep your money in a safe place and remember not to bring so much money. Credit cards are ready to charge in Vietnam.


Getting around Vietnam by car - comfortable way

If you do not mind spending your money for your comfort and you are a group of friends, let’s try the car option. In this way, you are totally free to enjoy and choose when and where to stop. Car hire normally includes a driver, therefore, you do not have to worry about how to get used to driving a car in Vietnam.

If you would like to drive the car by yourself, it requires your IDP (International Driving Permit) and local insurance for its validation, and the main driver has to sit next to you in case of emergency because the road rules in Vietnam are different from the other countries. It normally costs from 85 USD/ day for a 4 seater car. The price differs for its brands and seaters.


Useful tips for getting around by car

  • Let the driver drive the car if you are not confident to drive the car in Vietnam
  • Try to book the car from the trusted company so that you will get a professional and skilful driver and you get a better car condition
  • Do not bring a lot of money, the ATM is always ready on the way.
  • Ask locals for good stop point and good food Take care of the driver with your smile and some tips so that he will serve you with all his energy. Do not throw the trash through the window, which may hit the people on motorbikes or passengers. Our old saying is that Never “your steps pass, your trash stays”

Getting around Vietnam by car

Getting around Vietnam by car


Getting around Vietnam by motorbike – adventure way

My friends are car sick and they always choose a riding Vietnam motorbike to get around. The motorbike option is always flexible and you have many options to choose from. The same as the car hire, you are active in this way, you are free to go and stop. Do not mind going further and stop at places the car can not get in.

Besides, the motorbike is easier to control and you will get familiar with the road rules in Vietnam much faster by riding your motorbike. IDP and insurance are also required to ride a motorbike in Vietnam. Prepare them well if you do not want to says “hello” to the police.

Travelling along Vietnam is fantastic and you can do it by renting a motorbike, moreover, do not worry if you do not come back in the first place, you may leave the motorbike at their office on your way, check the office places before you go. They will require your passport as the deposit and you can deposit an amount of money instead if you would like to go straight ahead and not come back.

Motorbike hire table:

Motorbike type Price for renting per day (24 hours) Price for selling
Manual 80 000 VND ~ 3.4 USD From 5000000 VND ~ 215 USD
Automatic 120 000 VND ~ 5 USD From 5500000 VND ~ 236 USD


Getting around Vietnam by motorbike

Getting around Vietnam by motorbike

Road rules and useful tips when you ride a motorbike

  • Wear your helmet, which is compulsory in Vietnam
  • Make a good choice between a manual or automatic motorbike
  • Stop in front of red traffic lights and set your signal before your turn
  • Move ahead if the police ask you to do that (they use police sticks to guide), even the traffic lights are not green.
  • Watch the sign for a lane of motorbike and car Do not panic in rush hour, just follow the local people and go slowly.
  • Do not use your phone while driving in case of robbery or fine tickets by the police.
  • Stop when it rains, the road is so slippery in that condition.
  • Buy a motorbike then sell it back when you finish your trip, which you can save a lot of money for your next trip.

Above are some useful guides and the best ways to get around Vietnam for your next trip. Set a plan and consider among the options which you suit. Do not hesitate to contact BestPrice Travel for a great plan and we are always offering a good deal for you guys. Cheers!

Booking a complete package tour to Vietnam is the best way to get around without worrying about buying a transfer and price and experiencing a wonderful vacation.


Mr. River

Image source: Internet

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