Vietnam Transportation Guide

Vietnam is a popular destination to visit in South East Asia. However, transportation in Vietnam, especially traffic, can be troublesome and difficult to understand.

This article is a comprehensive guide to getting around Vietnam by bus, train, plane, motorbike, etc.

Transportation in Vietnam

Transportation in Vietnam can be dangerous but exciting at the same time.

Everyone drives a bit crazy, especially when it’s rush hour.

You can see motorbikes going on the sidewalk or the pavement. Also, it’s very common to see a whole family on a motorbike: parents and two kids. 

Is it safe to drive in Vietnam?

Not really, but you will be fine most of the time if you practice basic common sense.

Please note that if you don’t have a license for motorbikes or cars, you may not receive insurance in case of accidents. So, taking a train, bus or flight may be a better alternative than driving on your own.

Vietnam transportation

Traveling in Vietnam by Train

Traveling by train in Vietnam is one of the best options to enjoy the beauty of Vietnam.

As a train in Vietnam goes through some of the most scenic routes, you will get a close and personal view of the scenery.

Although traveling by train can be more expensive than a bus, the experience is worth it. Especially you can take private trains to experience luxurious service.

Vietnam Railways operates daily trains from the North to the South of Vietnam. However, if you travel during the holiday season, like Tet holiday, you should book your tickets in advance.

Vietnam train travel

Seat selection

While booking train tickets online with 12go and Baolau, you can select:

  • Hard seat
  • Soft seat
  • Hard-berth (6 berths per cabin)
  • Soft berth (4 berths per cabin)

While traveling by train, passengers can purchase food and drinks on board. Each passenger can bring up to 20 kg per person.

Read more: Please check my Vietnam Train Travel Guide for more information.

Traveling in Vietnam by Bus

Taking a bus to explore Vietnam is one of the most common options, although it might be uncomfortable for a long ride.

You can buy Open bus tickets or separate tickets for each destination. Besides sleeper buses, you can choose a limousine or van to travel in Vietnam.

The most popular bus/limousine providers in Vietnam are Hanh Cafe and Phuong Trang (Futa bus).

You can learn more about Vietnam bus travel in this article. I also wrote a separate guide for Vietnam sleeper buses here.

Traveling in Vietnam by Airplane

Flying is the fastest way to get around in Vietnam. It takes about 2 hours by plane to go from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh and vice versa, while it may take up to 30 hours by train.

The main cities in Vietnam are well-connected by airports.

Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, and Bamboo Airways offer daily flights from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh to other cities such as Nha Trang and Da Nang.

I usually use Skyscanner to compare prices and get the best deal.

Traveling in Vietnam by motorbike

Traveling from the North to the South of Vietnam by motorbike is one of the best experiences on your trip to Vietnam.

The best part of traveling in Vietnam by motorbike is enjoying the breathtaking view and exploring each destination at your own pace.

Also, you can meet many travelers taking the same routes or discover off-the-beaten-path areas that trains or buses cannot reach.

Tips: You should learn some basic Vietnamese phrases and words when traveling in rural areas.

How long does it take to get around Vietnam?

To plan your trip easier, check this distance and timetable chart to travel from A to B.

RouteDistance (km)Air (hrs)Bus (hrs)Rail (hrs)
Hanoi – Sapa355N/A66
Hanoi – Ha Long Bay160N/A47
Hanoi – Ninh Binh94N/A1: 271
Hanoi – Hue6691:101213
Hanoi – Da Nang7701:2014-1716-19
Hanoi – Nha Trang13001:503030-35
Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City17302:1033-3735
Hanoi – Da Lat14181:5029N/A
Hanoi – Phu Quoc Island20872:05N/AN/A
Ho Chi Minh City – Da Nang9581:202017
Ho Chi Minh City – Nha Trang4301:0589
Ho Chi Minh City – Da Lat3070:506N/A
Ho Chi Minh City – Can Tho1602:154N/A
Ho Chi Minh City – Phu Quoc Island4501N/AN/A
Ho Chi Minh City – Vung Tau90N/A1N/A
Hue – Da Nang10042:302:30
Da Nang – Nha Trang5001:0511-1410
Da Nang – Hoi An30N/A1N/A
Distance and travel hours in Vietnam.

Most popular travel routes in Vietnam:

From Hanoi

From Lao Cai

From Sapa

From Hai Phong

From Cat Ba

From Ninh Binh

From Hue

From Da Nang

From Hoi An

From Phan Thiet

From Nha Trang

From Phan Rang

From Da Lat

From Ho Chi Minh

From Vung Tau

From Ha Tien

From Rach Gia

How to book trains and buses in Vietnam?

You can book train and bus tickets online easily with Baolau and 12go.

After entering your desired day of departure and arrival, you will find a fully detailed schedule from all providers.

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