Intercity Transportations in Vietnam

Intercity Transportations in Vietnam


Intercity transportation options in Vietnam are essential, especially there are plenty of things to see and experience in each city.

Travel by Air

The country has outstanding local airlines. And if you have the budget, it is the best among intercity transportations in Vietnam. Traveling by air can get you fast to your destination and travel can only take at least 2 hours, however, it can be an expensive option.

Most airlines offer affordable flights to major destinations in Vietnam and several flights internationally. And expands their destination routes each year allowing more travel options for travellers.

Airlines in Vietnam accept credit and debit cards however, there are several instances wherein some of these airlines cancel a flight or sometimes, delayed.

The most reliable one among the airline companies is Vietnam Airlines. It is considered the largest and well, most expensive domestic carrier in the country. Other budget but safe airlines to fly with are Vietjet Air, Jetstar, Bamboo Airways and VASCO.

Vietnam houses 20 airports wherein 8 airports support international flights. These international airports are located in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Da Nang, Nha Trang, Hai Phong, Phu Quoc Island, Can Tho and Da Lat.

One important tip to get a cheaper rate than usual is to book in advance!

Intercity Transportation - Vietnam Airlines

Travel by Water


Due to Vietnam’s natural features, the country has plenty of rivers that connect one place to another. The most essential is in Mekong and its nearby towns.

With this in mind, one of the most effective intercity transportations in Vietnam is through boats. Should you wish to experience traveling by Vietnam waters, a notable route is from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc – traversing Cambodia to Vietnam.

However, for luxury travellers, there are several private cruises for the Mekong River and Halong Bay which are highly recommended. Whereas in the southern parts, the most notable trips are going to Phu Quoc and Nha Trang islands.

Note that each cruising company differs from offers and routes – it is best advised to do some research and check the weather condition of your preferred dates.

Intercity Transportation - Boat

Travel by Land


Another fast transportation option for when travelling intercity in Vietnam is by train. The trains in the country have long-time been operated by Vietnam Railways.

It serves as one of the most reliable transportation by land and offers a smooth experience while enjoying the scenery of the country.

The train rides are classified into categories known as SE, which are speedy trains equipped with air conditioning to make your trip extra comfy. While TN is composed of those slow and classic trains.

Train tickets are classified into hard seats, soft seats, hard sleeper and soft sleeper. These are mainly grouped following air-conditioned and non-air conditioned.

Air-conditioned trains are currently only available on SE trains.

There are some trains who are also equipped with wi-fi albeit, it is still unstable and is being developed.

If it’s your first time, avoid hard seat class as this is most of them congested and suffocating due to the open-smoking feature.

The cost of each ticket depends on the train type wherein the SE trains are more comfortable but also comes with a designated price.

Children below two years old can ride for free while ages 9 pay half of the adult fare. Note that for the Hanoi-Lao Cai route, fares stay the same with no discount offers.

The most common train route is from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi. However, there are also three other rail paths that connect Hanoi to the northern parts of the country.

One path goes east reaching the port of Haiphong. The second one leads northeast from Lang Son and reaches the border to Nanning, China. And the third path travels northwest to Lao Cai.

Did you know? It takes 32 – 35 hours to travel from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi through the country’s fastest train.

Intercity Transportation - Train

Intercity Bus

Another common intercity transportation in Vietnam is through a bus. If you are heading to a far destination and don’t care much about the discomfort of long land travels, then traveling by bus is one great option for you!

Almost every city in the country is accessible by bus however, there are some long and winding roads that you will encounter.

On top of this, traveling by bus in Vietnam requires ample research and somehow learning the local’s dialect.

The most popular buses for tourists are called sleeper buses. Typical buses in Vietnam don’t provide much space and may feel discomforting especially for significant tall foreigners as these are mostly designed to carry petite Asians.

Expect a test of patience when riding a bus as there will be multiple bus stops to unload passengers and of course, pick them up along the way. Make sure to let the driver know where your destination is as the road doesn’t hold much signboards.

For long distance travels, most tourists opt in hopping on open tour buses. These offer air-conditioning, follows a strict schedule and only picks up minimal passengers.

Intercity Bus Transportation

Deluxe Buses

Deluxe buses can be found mainly in major cities in Vietnam. These offer extra comfort with wider space for their passengers and are equipped with air-conditioning for a cool ride.

These buses also provide reclining seats while some other deluxe buses offer fully padded flatbeds for longer travels.

Expect some kung fu videos flashing on these buses TV screens while others feature karaoke machines. It is best to have earplugs and eye masks handy in case you encounter some of these during your travel.

Deluxe Bus Transportation

Car & Motorcycle

It would be ideal to have your own means of transportation when in Vietnam. You can skip the long waits and of course, skip dealing with random strangers. This also allows you to visit your preferred destination and stop when you want to.

In Vietnam, hiring a car or a motorcycle can also be a conducive travel option. Car hires include a driver whereas hiring a motorcycle can be self-drive or opt to be driven around your destination.

Foreigners with International Driving Permit are now allowed to drive in the country. Take note that this needs to be accompanied by a local insurance. However, note that most car agencies in Vietnam would only allow people to rent their car provided it includes the agency’s own driver.

Estimatedly cost of renting a standard car with a driver starts at $80 USD to $120 USD while 4WD vehicles are priced at $120 USD to $135 USD.

Should you fancy travelling by motorbikes, this costs betweens $5 USD to $8 USD for moped motorbikes and approximately $20 USD for trail and road bikes.

Finding a petrol station isn’t a hard task while on the road as even small remote towns sell petrol along the road!

Intercity Transportation - Car and Motorcycle

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