Getting Around Vietnam

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Getting around Vietnam by train

Air

With more limited time, flights present the best option to hop between the further apart destinations in the north, south and central areas of Vietnam.

Vietnam Airlines (VN) has daily flights between Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, Hue, and Nha Trang. Regular flights are also provided between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Dalat, Buon Ma Thuot, Hai Phong, Na San, Phu Quoc, Quy Nhon, Pleiku, and Vinh.

Pacific Airlines offers domestic flights between major cities as well as travel routes to Bangkok and Taipei at a generally lower rate than Vietnam Airlines.

Sea/River

A local area network operates between ports. Cruise services are available. Contact the Embassy for information prior to departure.

Simple water-means of transportation are widely used among Southern Provinces, while canoes are used to travel within bays and islands along the coast.

Road

Trains are also quite popular, especially overnight trains in a soft sleeper.  Vietnam’s Reunification Express runs the entire coast between Hanoi and HCMC, with stops along the way in Hue, Danang and Nha Trang. In addition, the train is the main way to get between Hanoi and Sapa in the north.

Traffic drives on the right. There is a reasonable road network. However, roads are often in poor condition and may be inaccessible during the rainy season. Driving in Vietnam can be a harrowing experience as the normal rules of highway discipline are not followed by most drivers.

Taxis

When taking a Taxi use one of the main companies such as Vinataxi (bright yellow) or Mai Linh (white and green), and you shouldn’t have a problem. Make sure you have the address written down, as most drivers won’t speak English and Vietnamese is notoriously hard to pronounce. Don’t use smaller, unmarked taxis, this is where you encounter difficulties.

Cyclos

Agree on the price before you depart. Cyclo journeys should cost around 20,000 VND an hour.

Driving on your own:

Chauffeur-driven cars are available for hire. Motorbikes are for rent in major cities such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Dalat. You can buy one at very low price in any of these cities.

Documentation: An International Driving Permit and a test (taken in Vietnam) are mandatory before driving. However, foreigners’ motorbike- licenses are hardly checked by the police.

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