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How to get around Vietnam

Written in December 2020

Under the light of globalization, getting around Vietnam is now has been much easier compare to how it was in the past. Now travelers can easily choose their preferable ways to explore Vietnam with multiple choices from big cities to the remote areas in highland region. You can either choose to try the windblown motorcycle, take flights from place to place, travel by bus or train, boarding on unique boats or even do cycling. Below is a brief overview of Vietnam transportation for those who would like to experience Vietnam to the fullest.

1. Motorcycle

As a matter of fact, the most common type of transportation being used in Vietnam is surely motorbike. This is indeed considered as the most convenient method for travelling in short distance. Unlike most of the Western countries Vietnamese people prefer having their own private transfer rather than taking public transports. The use of motorcycle can be divided into two types: for travelling around the city and traveling in a long distance for independent travelers.

Motorbike in Vietnam
Riding motorbike is an ideal method for adrenaline hunters

Nowadays, with the rapid development of technology, the traditional motorbike ride which has been used for a very long period of time has been replaced by the technology motorbike taxi. On coming to Vietnam, travelers can now easily book a motorbike with clear route and price stated to the place they want to go within big cities through reliable apps such as Grab, Gojek or Be.

For adrenaline hunters who want to try driving on their own this is also an ideal method. You can easily find many motorbike rental shops in most of the cities especially big cities like Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh city. In order to process on the bike rental, you will be required to leave your passport or an amount of deposit if you are going to rent it for around one week or more.  

2. Bus

Just like motorbike, bus is also a popular as well the most affordable options especially for budget travelers travelling for a long distance. There are 2 main kinds of bus in Vietnam which are city bus and local bus running between provinces. City bus run daily from 5:30AM – 9:00PM within the city boundaries.

City bus in Hanoi

For the local buses, now every province in Vietnam all have buses run daily connecting people from all parts of the country especially between big cities such as Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Danang, Ho Chi Minh or Can Tho. One of the most significant benefits that travelling by bus bring about is saving budget and travelers also can stop in any destinations they want for as long as they want. To travel for long distance most of the buses will be sleeper buses. In order to find the best bus to the destination you want just simply search it on Google, there will be several high recommended and trust-worthy bus companies 

The common type of sleeper bus in Vietnam

3. Flight

Of all types of transportation, flying is the most convenient method that can save time when travelling from one to another place and make it less tiresome for travelers. In total, Vietnam has 22 airports with 15 domestic airports and 7 international airports in which Noi Bai International airport in Hanoi and Tan Son Nhat airport in Ho Chi Minh serve as the main gateway for international travelers coming to Vietnam.

For the domestic flights, there are daily flights connecting all top destinations in Vietnam at a reasonable price. Furthermore, most of the airlines accept booking on international credit and debit cards.

Vietnam Airlines is considered as the nation carrier of Vietnam

There are several reliable flight companies that provides both domestic and international flights including Vietnam Airlines considered as the national carrier of Vietnam and has the biggest number of flights daily, Bamboo Airways the first 5-star airline in Vietnam with affordable deals or Vietjet Airs the low cost airline with the best deals. Aside from the aforementioned airlines Pacific Airlines is also a highly recommended option.

4. Train

Travelling by train is without doubt a fascinating option for adventure seekers, backpackers and travelers who want to enjoy the beauty of Vietnam at a slow pace. Vietnam railway network is now managed by Vietnam Railways. The track expands from the North to the South connecting 35 provinces in total and passing through the most attracting destinations of the country. You can either choose to travel on soft seat or four-berth cabins with air conditioner.

Vietnam railway network is now managed by Vietnam Railways
Train tickets can be bought directly at counters in Vietnam’s train stations in advance days or even months before your travel date, online tickets are available for better convenience and you can buy ticket through travel agencies.

5. Other types of transportation

Bicycle: For those who are not pressed by fixed travel time and would like to enjoy the charm of Vietnam rural area can choose bicycle as the best choice. Although it is possible to cycle in big city, it is much enjoyable and relaxing cycling in small towns or places with beautiful beaches. In some areas guided cycling tours are highly recommended including the Northern Highland of Vietnam, Central Vietnam and Mekong Delta region.

Guided cycling tour in Vietnam

Cyclo: On visiting the Old Quarter of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city center and Hoian ancient town you will have chance to experience the unique transfer. Sitting on the small cart with the driver on the back of the vehicle, they will take you around the city and visiting the most attractive sites of the area. This used to be a common type of transport being used in the big cities of Vietnam but due to the development of technology it is now being used as an experiential transportation for foreign tourists.

Cyclo tour around Hanoi Old Quarter
You can see here the video of Greg Norman – Vietnam Tourism Ambassador taking part in a cyclo tour in the Old Quarter of Hanoi.

Cruise: This special transportation is usually being used in the South of Vietnam mainly to approach offshore islands. Amongst these destinations, the most well-known are Mekong Delta and Halong Bay. These type of cruise will provide travelers private rooms on board and you can relax on the sun desk while cruising. For Mekong Delta Cruise now we have connecting cruise between Vietnam and Cambodia. And in Halong Bay you can either choose the daily cruise or sleep on the cruise for 1 to 2 nights on the bay to witness the pristine beauty of the one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

Cruise in Halong bay
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