Getting around Vietnam
With an integrated transportation system, Vietnam is now able to offer many methods for tourists to travel around the country. Whether you sign a full contract with your travel agency or book the tickets by yourselves, make sure you can find the most appropriate option.
There are not so many concerns about the quality and comfort of traveling by air, especially longer hops along Vietnam length like from Hanoi to Da Nang or Hanoi to HCMC. Besides the best alternative you may get by going with the national flag Vietnam Airline, tourists may also consider low-budgeted airlines such as JetStar Pacific or VietJet Air for domestic routes.
Vietnam has a large railways network along the country. Hanoi is the headquarter of the system from where you can reach the famous mountainous province of Sapa in the North, the borderland Lang Son or the coastal city of Hai Phong. Coastal cities to the South are also served by The Reunification Express Train with several classes, from third-class hard seat to air-conditioned cushioned seats and beds. If you are really fond of this distinct traveling experience, recommendation is to book for train tickets in advance, especially during holidays or festival times.
This kind of transportation offers the greatest flexibility and safeness if your wallet may afford. However, you are recommended not to drive by yourselves due to the chaotic transportation system, the different laws and also right-lane driving that might be unfamiliar to tourists coming from the UK or Australia. A private driver only costs you as little as US$10 per day, while a car for rent at around US$100 or higher depending on the model of the car you like. With cars, you’ll get the right to schedule your whole trip, start your trip later in the morning or stop at a beautiful spot just to take some pictures.
Read more about private car rental in Vietnam
Buses depart very frequently at local bus stations. Although this is not a bad idea since you may sit appreciating beautiful scenery of Vietnam along the way and save a lot of money, don’t put too much expectation on the quality of buses in Vietnam. Some buses only start when they are full and sometimes, full means when everyone is sitting uncomfortable due to the overload of passengers (normally more than the number of seats available). Not only that, those cramped buses can only travel at a very low speed as they navigate the chaotic traffic of Vietnam’s bumpy road.
A wise alternative is to buy ticket for higher quality buses from credible names at ticket selling booth inside the stations.
This may be a little bit crazy when you hear about it for the first time, but the fact is trekking throughout Vietnam by motorbike is really wild and exciting. Passing golden paddy fields, stop on the half way of Hai Van Pass or sleep in tents in a forest or valley is really adventurous and exciting.