Understanding how to go to Vietnam is the very first step when planning a Vietnam travel. Whether you opt for the skies, traverse the highways, or sail the seas, grasping the array of options about how to travel to Vietnam is integral to weaving together a seamless and memorable journey through Vietnam's vibrant landscapes and rich cultural tapestry.
1. How to travel to Vietnam by airway?
When considering how to go to Vietnam, it is worth noting the extensive air travel network with 22 airports, including 11 domestic and 11 international ones. The key gateways are Noi Bai International Airport (HAN) in Hanoi, Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) in Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang International Airport (DAD) in Danang. Following the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Phu Quoc, Da Nang, Van Don (Quang Ninh), and Cam Ranh (Khanh Hoa) airports are gradually reestablishing their reception of international flights.
How to fly to Vietnam destinations that do not have an international airport? Presently, all flights to Vietnam must first arrive in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang, Nha Trang, or Phu Quoc airports before travelers can proceed to other parts of the country. Notably, Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi and Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City serve as primary hubs for flight activities.
Currently, international flights can enter the country through international airports in Vietnam and then connect to other regions via domestic terminals, facilitating seamless travel throughout the nation.
The best advice on how to get cheap flights to Vietnam is that tourists should plan their trip beforehand and book early-bird tickets to enjoy the nicest deals.
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2. How to go to Vietnam by railway?
International rail connections are exclusively available from China. Travelers have several options for going into Vietnam from China via train. Below are the details about how to go to Vietnam by train and how much to travel to Vietnam from China in this way.
- Nanning-Hanoi Route: Departing daily, the Nanning to Hanoi train takes around 11 hours, with a soft sleeper ticket priced at approximately $38.
- Beijing-Hanoi Route: Trains run biweekly, departing from Beijing on Thursdays and Sundays. A soft sleeper ticket costs $299.
- Kunming-Hanoi Route: How to go to Vietnam by train from Kunming in China? This less common option involves 2 to 4 daily train services connecting Kunming and Hanoi. The journey consists of two parts: Kunming to Hekou (Chinese border) and Lao Cai to Hanoi (Vietnamese border).
- Kunming-Hekou: A train journey lasts approximately 6 to 7 hours. After crossing the border, passengers must transfer to the Lao Cai-Hanoi night train, which takes around 8 hours. Ticket prices vary: $28 for a soft sleeper, $18 for a hard sleeper, $11 for a hard seat, and $11 for standing room.
- Lao Cai-Hanoi: How to travel to Vietnam Hanoi from Lao Cai? The route covers a distance of 350 kilometers and takes about 8 hours by train. Opting for the night train is recommended, as it offers a quicker passage while you sleep. This train operates daily. Additionally, privately run tourist sleeper trains are available for a more comfortable journey. The cost is around $30 for a quad room and between $70 and $80 for a double room.
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3. How to get to Vietnam by road?
New travel routes and services are facilitating access to Vietnam from neighboring Laos and Cambodia. Travelers choosing this route should ensure they secure their visas beforehand, as visas on arrival are not available for land crossings into Vietnam.
3.1. From Laos
How to go to Vietnam from Laos? While convenient flights connect Laos and Vietnam, many backpackers opt for border crossings. Vietnam offers six shared borders accessible with a visa or visa-free entry: Sop Hun-Tay Trang, Phoukeua-Bo Y, Cha Lo-Napao, Nam Phao-Cau Treo, Dansavanh-Lao Bao, and Nam Khan-Nam Can. Notably, bus companies and travel agencies mainly utilize Lao Bao, Tay Trang, Nam Khan, and Cau Treo for border crossings.
- Sop Hun-Tay Trang: This route connects Muang Khua in Laos to Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam. Traveling onward to Sapa from Dien Bien Phu is possible. Note that this crossing does not accept Vietnam e-visas; a pre-arranged visa is required.
- Phoukeua-Bo Y: Attapeu in Laos to Kontum in Vietnam can be accessed via this crossing. Buses from Attapeu to Ngoc Hoi via Bo Y take about three hours, including border checks. Ngoc Hoi connects to various Vietnamese destinations, with Kontum being the closest.
- Cha Lo-Napao: For those considering how to go to Vietnam from Thakhek in Laos to Vinh and Phong Nha in Vietnam, this border gate is the most convenient one.
- Nam Phao-Cau Treo: This crossing is useful for those traveling from Lak Xao in Laos to Vinh in Vietnam.
- Dansavanh-Lao Bao: A popular route for those going from Savannakhet in Laos to Hue in Vietnam. Buses run from Savannakhet to Hue and Da Nang, taking around 10 to 11 hours.
- Nam Khan-Nam Can: This border crossing benefits travelers journeying from Phonsavan in Laos to Vinh in Vietnam.
Curious about how to travel to Vietnam from Laos by bus? Popular routes like Luang Prabang to Hanoi, Vientiane to Hanoi, and Vientiane to Vinh offer great options. You can rely on reputable bus operators such as The Sinh Tourist, HTX Van Tai, and Saysamon Transports to make your journey smooth and enjoyable.
3.2. From Cambodia
Considering how to travel to Vietnam from Cambodia by land? Numerous border crossings connect these two countries, providing travelers with a range of route options:
- Moc Bai-Bavet: This crossing links Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City with Cambodia's Phnom Penh. It ranks as one of the busiest, operating 24/7.
- Ha Tien-Kep: Connecting Ha Tien in Vietnam with Kep in Cambodia, this crossing is less congested than Moc Bai-Bavet but remains favored among travelers.
- Tinh Bien-Phnom Den: Linking Chau Doc in Vietnam with Takeo in Cambodia, this route is less frequented but serves well for journeys to/from the Mekong Delta.
The Bavet-Moc Bai crossing is the preferred choice for tourists heading to Ho Chi Minh City from Phnom Penh. Officially, these border crossings are open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The approximate 6-hour bus ride drops travelers off at Pham Ngu Lao Street in Ho Chi Minh City, ideally situated for exploration.
For overland border crossings, buses or private cars are options. Buses are more common and can be arranged at various travel agencies and bus stations in Cambodia and Vietnam. Sapaco, Sorya, Kumho, and Long Phuong are some reliable bus lines. Depending on route and traffic, travel times vary between 4 and 12 hours. Meanwhile, private cars provide enhanced comfort and flexibility, albeit at a higher cost.
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4. How to go to Vietnam by waterway?
If you are wondering how to go to Vietnam by boat, you will be treated to a scenic journey along the Mekong Delta. The Vinh Xuong border, conveniently situated close to Chau Doc, simplifies this travel choice, guaranteeing a seamless and trouble-free transition.
For an ideal itinerary, kickstart your adventure in Phnom Penh and board a ferry bound for Chau Doc, a mere 4-hour voyage away. From Chau Doc, proceed to Can Tho for an overnight stay. Embrace the following day by beginning early, allowing you to explore the vibrant Cai Rang Floating Market and soak in the ambiance of local villages nestled within the Mekong Delta. Then, continue your journey by heading to Ho Chi Minh City by bus and transferring to other destinations in Vietnam.
How to travel to Vietnam by boat from Laos or other cities in Cambodia? Luxury cruises are also available from Laos and Siem Reap. This option invites you to journey southward along the river, offering an extended 5- to 7-day experience immersed in the natural beauty and diverse cultures of the Mekong River region. This immersive journey grants you a deeper understanding and appreciation of the area's rich heritage and landscapes.
Vietnam beckons with a myriad of captivating destinations such as Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, Ha Long, each promising to offer unique experiences with breathtaking natural scenery and vibrant cuisine.
In addition to answering how to go to Vietnam and where to visit, considering where to stay is also an essential step in planning your journey. Tourists can enhance their Vietnam trip by staying at Vinpearl, a renowned hospitality brand that offers luxurious and unforgettable experiences. With a range of exquisite resorts and hotels across the country, Vinpearl ensures unparalleled comfort and service during your journey. Moreover, do not miss the chance to explore VinWonders, their exceptional amusement hubs, which promise excitement and entertainment for all ages.
When questioning how to go to Vietnam, a world of possibilities unfolds. Whether you prefer the convenience of air travel, the scenic charm of international trains, or the unique experiences offered by boat journeys, Vietnam is always ready to welcome you. The journey to Vietnam is just as exciting as the destination itself, offering a multitude of paths to experience this captivating country.