Vietnam Transportation Guide
There are many options to get around Vietnam: airplane, bus, train, motorbike, private transport, bike. I indicate the different alternatives along with relevant links (bus companies, official train web, maps). This way, you can check timetables, prices and then choose your best alternative. In the last section of the table, I suggest you other three webs, one of them is very useful to know how to go anywhere by various means of transport.
Getting Around Vietnam
Domestic flights in Vietnam
It’s the fastest option, comfortable and not expensive. The price of internal flight is around 35/60 euro one way (at April 2017). Here there is a map where you can find all the Airports of Vietnam; it includes both domestic and international airports (maps belongs to Northern Vietnam). However, this map differs from the official site: Airports Corporation of Vietnam. On this page, there is another map which has fewer airports. The most important and used ones are those located in Hanoi, Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh, Hue and Danang.
The main companies are Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Airways and VietJet Air. The first one is the most reliable (supposedly) but is more expensive. I suggest you the post Tips to plan your trip to Vietnam – Domestic flights or international from Vietnam to avoid annoyances (the cancellation and modification of flights). Another advice: the best price is usually on the airlines’ webs.
Train in Vietnam
There is a railway which goes along Vietnam, from south to north, and it stops at the main cities. You can check the official map here. Many travelers travel during the night by train because the tickets are cheaper than flights and it’s also a curious experience.
Official Website of Vietnam’s Trains. Through this web, you can book tickets for the public train (take a look to know the timetables, prices -only if you indicate where to go-, type of seat…). It might happen that the payment system doesn’t work with a foreign card (although you can try it). In that case you can ask your hotel to buy the tickets in your place if you want them in advance (this was what we did after two purchase attempts; our hotel bought the tickets, and they charged us 10000 VND of commission for each ticket, in total less than 1 euro).
There are more private train companies in Vietnam for tourists. You can find them if you make a search on the webs I recommend at the end of this post. These trains are more expensive than the public train.
Vietnam by Bus
There are several bus companies which go all over Vietnam too. Some of them only work in a specific area (north, south) but the next companies run in all Vietnam:
– TheSinhTourist: check the prices and timetables. It’s important to know where are the offices to buy the tickets (also you can buy them online). Be careful because there are fake offices with the same name!
– Hoang Long Asia all you need to know is on the website, prices and timetables.
– Mai Linh Express: the web is only in Vietnamese but it’s possible to translate using the browser tools. Then, check the information about routes and prices. Here is the map route.
Besides, in the cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh, you can use the public transport to go all over the center. In the post Tips to plan your trip to Vietnam, I explain how to use the public bus and the official webs.
Private Transport / Motorbike / Bike
These are the only types of transport without schedule constraints. You can go by your own if you rent a car with a driver, a motorbike or, even, a bike. Obviously, the price is very different between the options. The most expensive is renting a private car; for example, the short way from Hue to Hoi An (stop by Hai Van Pass, French Fort and Marble Mountains) costed us 55$. The best and easiest way to get this type of transport is via your hotel.
Renting a motorbike cost 7-20$ per day, it depends on the type. The most economic motorbike costs 10$ at the most. You can ask for a guide if you need one (this is paid separately). If you decide to rent a motorbike, you should read Renting a Motorbike to know what you need and if you can do it. And finally, the cheapest but tougher, and maybe most dangerous transport: the bike. It costs 3$ per day and it’s possible to carry it in some buses and trains.
➜ The prices indicated above are from April 2017.
Others interesting links for transport
These are known webs for transport along Asia although the prices are higher than official sites. Booking bus or train tickets is possible. They are useful to know how to get to a place, but I wouldn’t buy the tickets through those webs because of the high prices. I would rather try on an official site or in the agencies I’ve mentioned before (online or physically there).
Do you know any transport information web which has helped you?
You can share it with me and I will add it to the list! 😉
And, if you have questions, please write a comment! 🙂