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Vietnam- Hanoi to Saigon

Travel Forums Asia Vietnam- Hanoi to Saigon

1. Posted by dstewart_o (Budding Member 33 posts) 10y

Can anyone let us know what travels people have done on this?

Is it best to go by bus or train? any experiences people have done? I hear they have hop on hop off buses? Im not too sure can you do that with the trains as well.

Any recommendations of travel from the nth to the sth of vietnam would be appreciated. We are planning on doing this in September this year and hoping to stop at some places on the way.


2. Posted by Laura_B (Respected Member 352 posts) 10y

Hi, you can travel from Hanoi to Saigon, by "open tour" buses. This is the cheapest way to travel in Vietnam. But it is also the longest way of traveling, coaches take ages to pick up & drop off people, the roads are quite bad & the condition of coaches are variable. The good thing about these types of tickets are that just confirm a day in advance when you want to take the next leg of your journey.

I did not use the trains in Vietnam, but I think they are more expensive & theft is quite common.

If you have a larger budget, domestic flights are also worth considering. Vietnam airlines & pacific airlines I think are the main carriers.

Hope this helps.

3. Posted by mdancy (Full Member 104 posts) 10y

We just made that trip from Hanoi to Saigon. Hanoi-Hue-Hoian-Danang-Nha Trang-Saigon. Most of the way was by train & we advise you to do the same. They are not that expensive and will save you the hassle of the many unscheduled tourist stops. Via road is an adventure in seeing your life flash before your eyes, like every minute for several hours. Stressful. Then again, the trains are notoriously late. It's a toss up. Bring plenty of reading material or catch up on your journal while waiting for the train.

Be wary in Vietnam. No dangling bags (I had mine swiped from 2 guys on a motorcycle in Nha Trang). Keep your valuables separated in case you do get something snatched. The motorcycles will drive you nuts, but just take a zen approach in crossing streets and keep your eye out for idle guys, watch your traveling partner's flank.

Though we had some bad times there, we also had good ones. I'd say Vietnam is the Wild, Wild East of SE Asia. Just be careful and you'll have a great time. The accommodation in the cities was great - fairly cheap, clean, and the hotel staffs were wonderful. Food was excellent too. Lots of pestering sales people, beggars, but again a zen approach is necessary.

Have fun,

4. Posted by dstewart_o (Budding Member 33 posts) 10y

Thanks for the information...

how much was your train ticket? and what class dd you travel in if there are any?

How long did your trip take too?

Will have to be cautious with the odd dodgy person around. i suppose they are in every city too.

5. Posted by Laura_B (Respected Member 352 posts) 10y

Yes do be very careful in Vietnam, loads of scammers, thievies, hawkers etc. But also very very cheap for travel, food beers & hotels. You can also barter for anything, just keep that smile & you can charm anyone.

6. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 10y

I took the 'open tour' bus last month; Hanoi-Saigon. It is the cheapest and most convenient way to bump around the country. At least 4 companies do the open tour. Sinh Cafe is the largest and most expensive, $35. They do have better buses on the long hauls; Hanoi-Hue; Hoi An-Nha Trang, same buses on the rest of the routes as the other companies. An Phu Travel is the cheapest and many VN travelers used An Phu open tour during Tet 06. Was $19. I took Hanh Cafe, OK buses, $23. I would take them again. I stayed at several of the hotels they stop at; Hoi An & DaLat. In Nha Trang and Hue I knew I could do better than hotels where Hanh Cafe stops.

The problem with trains are several fold;
Price: I talked to a guy who paid $25 to go from Hanoi to Hue on the train. I paid $23 Hanoi-Saigon. Both bus/train take overnight: Hanoi-Hue.
You cannot go to the train station and get the seat you want for the next day. You do have to make reservations beforehand if you want a/c or 'soft class'. More expensive and not as convenient means I take the 'open tour' buses.

7. Posted by cautiousc (Budding Member 16 posts) 10y

Two tips
1 get the open bus and

2 And with the money you saved from not getting the train make a trip to the sailing club in Nha Trang.

8. Posted by bdcotter (Budding Member 18 posts) 10y

These all sound great to me. I can't wait to travel VN when I get there.

My gf says that she will never board a train in VN, and she's lived there all her life. That might tell you something.

9. Posted by dstewart_o (Budding Member 33 posts) 10y

Thanks to all for this information... has helped out allot!!!

i cant wait... i think we have decided on the busses. But you never know... plans change all the time.

if there is any information/places on vietnam please let us know.