Getting around in Vietnam is easy with so many options to choose from, whether you prefer the comfortable quick internal flight or the authentic train experience, there is something for everyone. Here is what to expect from the trains, planes and automobiles of Vietnam transportation.
Vietnam Transportation Guide
There are different classes and modes available onboard the trains, from just seats to sleeper cabins. We couldn’t visit Vietnam without experiencing the overnight sleeper starting in Hanoi to Da Nang. The 16-hour trip onboard the Reunification Express Train started in the evening, through the night stopping at several stations en-route. The smallest sleeper cabin is a 4 berth, with the most comfortable being the soft berth. The beds were clean with fresh white linen. We were trepidatious as we had heard the train wasn’t clean with mosquitos, cockroaches and linen unchanged if boarding the train in the middle of the journey. Pleasantly surprised we got comfortable for the journey ahead, stored our backpacks under one of the bottom beds and enjoyed some light conversation with our berth buddies from France in the adjacent bunk beds before trying to get some rest on the bumpy journey ahead.
Early next morning our breakfast order was delivered, we opted for just bananas and coffee having pre-purchased snacks and drinks to take on board (as we had heard the options on the breakfast menu were limited). After breakfast, we enjoyed the spectacular and dramatic scenery as the train sped its way along the seascape coast. There was a great atmosphere in the cabin with internationals travelling from around the world including Finland, Denmark and USA.
If the train journey is too long you could always take an internal flight with either Vietnam Airlines or budget airline VietJet Air. Later on our adventure, we got to experience VietJet Air travelling from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). It was delayed on taking off after a late arrival, but enjoyed the short in-flight experience.
The tour buses are all very modern, comfortable with air conditioning and on most tours, bottled water is provided. On the Ho Chi Minh City Bus Tour the seats were spacious, clean and most comfortable. This tour also provided headphones for the commentary. If you are travelling for an extensive amount of time you might like to take the overnight buses as your Vietnam transportation.
Bicycles are readily available for hire, though with the heavy traffic we felt steadier on our own two feet exploring. If staying longer the exception would have been Hoi An, as the ancient town is for bicycles and walking only. There is also a variety of bicycle tours.
From the airports and train station, we found it ideal to have a private taxi already booked for our first time visiting Vietnam. Especially after a long flight, you are tired and don’t want to worry or any hassle. We booked ours as part of a package with a tour company based in Vietnam, but the hotels can pre-arrange these for you, too.
There are some great boat tours from visiting Ha Long Bay to a short cruise along the Thu Bon River in Hoi An. Some of these can include lunch or could be for a number of nights. There are lots of different options for Ha Long Bay from the star rating of the boats to the number of nights you would like to stay onboard. We opted for just one night, as most of what you can experience can be offered in the short amount of time.
We thoroughly enjoyed sailing onboard a Majestic Cruise. The cabin was spacious with its own ensuite bathroom and the food was delicious! We even had a spring roll cooking class, which was a lot of fun. From Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) you might like to explore along the Mekong Delta River enjoying a visit to the floating market, step onboard one of the fruit sellers boats before visiting the Hai Van Rice Workshop.
I hope you enjoyed reading about Vietnam Transportation and are inspired to visit Vietnam. Happy Travels:) x