How to Get to and Travel Around Vietnam?

Category: Vietnam, Travel Tips & Guides, Senior Travel

Vietnam is a popular destination, a blend of the mysterious culture of the East and the romantic influence of France. Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is a serene and leisurely city with unique characteristics; Ho Chi Minh City is a commercial center boasting a lot of french style architecture and many historical war remains; Halong Bay is an ideal place to appreciate natural beauty and relax while Nha Trang is the paradise for diving and island hopping.

Furthermore, Vietnam borders Laos and Cambodia in the west, and China in the north. When planning to travel to Vietnam, most travelers also will include these beautiful nearby countries in their itineraries. Well, how to get to Vietnam and travel to other Asian countries in better ways? Let's see.

Halong Bay in VietnamHalong Bay in Vietnam


Get to Vietnam

Now Vietnam is an open country and has many international airlines direct or transfer to other countries. Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi (HAN), Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and Danang International Airport in Danang (DAD) are three main gateways to Vietnam. The first two international airports are most frequently used by tourists, and Da Nang International Airport offers a small number of international flights to other Asian countries.

14-Day Vietnam Cultural Adventure Hanoi - Halong Bay - Dong Hoi - Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An - My Son - Ho Chi Minh City
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North America to Vietnam: At present, there are no direct flights from North America to Vietnam. A one-stop flight transiting through China (Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei), Japan (Tokyo) or South Korea (Seoul) would be the best option for tourists flying from the United States or Canada. For example, try flying Los Angeles–Taipei–Ho Chi Minh City or New York–Hong Kong–Hanoi. Usually, it takes about 20–22 hours for a whole journey and USD 1,000–1,500 for a round trip, economy class (The price varies by season so check online for the current price). Check out China Airlines, Emirates, Korean Airline, China Southern, Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Qatar Airlines, Jin Air, Asiana Airline etc for flight schedules.

Europe to Vietnam: European tourists can inquire with Vietnam Airlines and Air France which will fly direct from London, Paris and Frankfurt to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. It takes about 12–15 hours for a whole journey and USD 700–1,200 for a round trip (The price varies by season so check online for the current price). For non-direct flights, inquire with Thai Airlines, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Turkish Airlines, Emirates, British Airlines, or Aeroflot for the shortest stopover time and best connections for flights heading to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.

Australia to Vietnam: Tourists can take direct flights to Ho Chi Minh City from Sydney or Melbourne with Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar, and to Hanoi from Sydney. The whole journey will take about 10–12 hours and USD 500–700 (The price varies by season so check online for the current price). You can have a stopover in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok or Hong Kong for non-direct flights. Generally, you may get a cheaper ticket with Air Asia, Scoot or Jetstar but do be aware that your luggage may not be included in the price quoted.

Get to Vietnam by airGet to Vietnam by air

Tips: If you can't get a favorable price for direct flights, a connecting flight transferring at Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul or Singapore may be much cheaper. It is advisable to leave no less than 3 hours for catching your connected flight in case your first carrier is delayed.

Other Asian Destinations to Vietnam

You can find many direct flights from other Asian countries to Vietnam, such as Thailand, Cambodia, China, Laos, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines through Vietnam Airlines, Scoot, Air Asia, Viet Jet and Jet star. It takes several hours and around USD 50–200 one way (The price varies by season so check online for the current price).

Apart from flying, you can get to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City through land borders with Cambodia, Laos and China. You can take a bus from Vientiane (Laos) to Hanoi, or the thrice-weekly train from China along the Nanning–Hanoi route. There are two main train crossings, Dong Dang (160 km from Hanoi) and Lao Cai (near Sapa).

Getting to Vietnam from Cambodia can be done in three ways: by air, by road and by boat. Flights run from the two main airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi by Qatar Airways, VietJet Air, Vietnam Airlines, Angkor Air etc. There are flights run by Cambodia Angkor Air that fly from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City daily. It takes around 1 hour and 10 minutes to HCMC and 1 hour 45 minutes to Hanoi. Flights from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City take around 45 minutes, and approx 3.5 hours to Hanoi. Besides, you can take a bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City, or get to Chau Doc by boat via the Mekong River. But Both take a long time.

14-Day Highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia Vietnam: Hanoi - Halong Bay - Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An, Cambodia: Siem Reap, Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh City - Mekong Delta - Ho Chi Minh City
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Fly to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City?

Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) is the busiest airport in Vietnam and handles the majority of international flights. Most foreign tourists fly in and out of Vietnam from here. Besides, because of the large volume of flights, you can have a more flexible schedule to arrange the convergence time between sightseeing and transfer, and sometimes its tickets are cheaper than that flying to Hanoi. Also, as SGN airport is located in the city and cannot be expanded, now a new international airport (Long Thanh International Airport) is already underway and expected to open in 2025.

Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi (HAN) is the second-busiest airport in Vietnam but handles far fewer passengers. For some certain international flights from or to Vietnam, you may not have so many good choices than flying from or to Ho Chi Minh City.


Get Around Vietnam

There are many effective ways to get around Vietnam. With limited time, transferring from north to south by air is the fastest way and leave more time for sightseeing. For a long-distance trip or heading to some remote destinations like Sapa, most travelers choose to take a sleeper berth of trains or private cars. If you have enough time and want to take an in-depth tour without regular schedule, the privately operated buses, usually referred to as open tour buses, are your best option to get on and off along the Hanoi–Ho Chi Minh City route; For those who want to try local transportation, you can try a cyclo, xe ôm (motorcycle taxi), bike or motorcycle for a half-day tour.

You'll find it's easy to reach Vietnam and travel around through the country's ever-improving network of transportation services and international flights. If you have any questions about the flights, transportation or Vietnam tours, feel free to contact our travel specialists. Alternatively, let us customize a Vietnam tour for you and you will get a perfect and free itinerary within 24 hours.

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