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Plan a trip Living in Vietnam

Getting Around Vietnam

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With its diverse terrain spanning over 1,650 km from north to south, Vietnam offers an array of transportation choices for domestic travel. Here are the major options and tips for navigating your way by air, train, bus, car, and more.

Air Travel

Key domestic airlines and routes

  • Vietnam Airlines – Extensive network to over 20 domestic airports

  • VietJet Air – Budget airline with routes to Hanoi, HCMC, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc

  • Jetstar Pacific – Low-cost carrier flying to over 10 destinations

Major airports

  • Noi Bai (Hanoi) & Tan Son Nhat (Ho Chi Minh City) – Largest international hubs

  • Da Nang (central coast), Phu Quoc (southern island), Cam Ranh near Nha Trang – Regional airports

Booking Tips

  • Book direct or via sites like Expedia, Skyscanner

  • Advance purchase for best fares, especially around Tet

  • Check baggage allowances by airline

  • Flights under 2 hours for most routes


The major international airports in Vietnam are Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi in the north, Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City in the south, and Da Nang International Airport in central Vietnam.

Train Travel

Major lines

  • North-South line – Connects Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City with stops like Hue, Danang

  • Hanoi to Lao Cai – For Sapa in northwest Vietnam

  • Thống Nhất line – Links HCMC and Nha Trang in south

Types of trains

  • Reunification Express – High-speed sleeper train Hanoi to Saigon

  • North-South Express – Vice versa from Saigon to Hanoi

  • SE series – Sleeper express trains on north-south and other routes

  • TN series – Fast daytime trains between cities

Booking Tips

  • Book tickets online via sites like Baolau or Vietnam Railways site

  • Select cabin type - soft sleeper, soft seat, hard sleeper, hard seat

  • Dining cars and food/drink for purchase onboard

  • Store valuables safely for overnight trips


For a more adventurous way to arrive in Vietnam, you can enter overland from neighboring Laos, Cambodia, or China.


Bus operators

  • Open tour buses – Hop-on-hop-off flexibility, sites like The SinhTourist

  • Public buses – Cheapest option for short distances

  • Limousine buses – Higher end with amenities like wifi, bathrooms

  • Sleeper buses – Lie-flat beds for overnight trips between cities

Booking Tips

  • Buy tickets in advance online or at station to secure seats

  • Prices vary based on bus class, distance, and amenities

  • Stops possible along routes at additional stations

  • Keep valuables safe on overnight buses


Some cruise ships stop at ports in Vietnam on larger Asian itineraries, especially lines like Viking Cruises, Princess Cruises, and Celebrity Cruises.

Cars, Taxis and Motorbikes


  • Metered taxis like Vinasun, Mai Linh available in cities

  • Agree on metered or flat rate for intercity rides in advance


  • Self-drive or car and driver from agencies like Saigon Tourist

  • International driving permit required

  • Motorbikes popular but require Vietnamese license

With planes, trains, buses, and automobiles, Vietnam offers diverse transportation modes to explore its sprawling landscape and vibrant cities. Choosing the right option for your budget and itinerary will get you where you need to go. Just sit back and enjoy the ride across this beautiful country.