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Vietnam Bus/Train

Travel Forums Asia Vietnam Bus/Train

1. Posted by regan89 (Budding Member, 3 posts) 17 Nov '09 17:07

Hi,
I'm looking at spending 8 days in Vietnam in February. I really want to see as much of the country as possible, and therefore would ideally like to take overnight trains or buses to save on time and accomodation.

My rough itinerary is:
Hanoi - 3 days
Hoi An - 2 days
Saigon - 3 days

I know this isn't much time to spend in each city, but unfortunately I don't have a lot of time to travel. Is this doable? Are there overnight trains/buses to cater for my schedule? I was wanting to possibly spend a day in Hue as well.. is it worth spending a day there and spending one less day elsewhere?
I could add 1 or 2 extra days to Vietnam, but this would mean spending less time in Cambodia and Thailand, which I'm also visiting. Would anyone recommend this?

Back to the buses/trains.. I've had a look at the websites, but they're not entirely clear. I understand it's about $45 for the open bus pass. What's the costs like for the train? Is there a similar open pass for the train? And/or does it even stop in all the cities, or is it express?
Most importantly, are there definately overnight options? Some websites I've looked at don't really indicate an overnight option.

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated!
Regan

2. Posted by good_life (Budding Member, 12 posts) 17 Nov '09 18:19

Hi Regan,

Your itinerary is ok but i think spending Hanoi for 3 days is too much and you can take a night train from Ha Noi to Hoi An. So this is my following advice for you:

- Hanoi: you fly to HaNoi early, check in hotel and do a city tour fullday. Next day for a full day trip of Ha Long Bay. Then take a night train to Hue ( approx USD 30/ticket/way). over night in train and early morning next day you will be in Hue.

- Hue & Hoi An: take a full-day city tour in Hue ( many sites will be a pity if you miss them). Then take an Express Bus from Hue to Hoi An. Check in and overnight in Hoi An. ( you can try staying at a local house in Hoi An also). In the morning, you will do a Hoi An city tour. It will not take you long time to visit all Ancient Hoi An. then take a short bus ( approx USD 10/person) or taxi to reach Da Nang for a flight or a train to SGN because there is no train station or airport in Hoi An.

I think you should fly from Da Nang to SGN, should not use train because it will take you 15 hrs in train from Da Nang to SGN.

- SGN: first day for city tour and Cu Chi Tunnels ( you can book a army jeep tour to Cu Chi Tunnels, so kool!). Next day is Mekong Delta tour ( Vinh Long - Cai Be floating Market).

Hope my advise can help you clear some points.

Thu -snip-

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

3. Posted by regan89 (Budding Member, 3 posts) 17 Nov '09 21:37

Hi,
Thanks for your reply.
I should have put my itinerary in order. I'm actually planning on starting in south Vietnam. I will be travelling from Phnom Penh to Saigon. I was thinking the bus, as it leaves early and only takes 7 hours or so, but my boyfriend seems keen on the boat option - this way we will be able to see the delta?

How long does this boat option take? We were hoping for probably a day trip on the boat from Phnom Penh to Saigon, then checking into a place in Saigon that night. Or, would it be better to do an overnight boat trip and visit Cu Chi Tunnels on the way to Saigon?

We're interested in getting tailored clothes in Hoi An - how many days would we need to spend there to organise this?

Also, what is the cheapest airline for flights within Vietnam?

Thanks again!

4. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru, 3491 posts) 18 Nov '09 00:13

Quoting regan89

Hi,
Thanks for your reply.
I should have put my itinerary in order. I'm actually planning on starting in south Vietnam. I will be travelling from Phnom Penh to Saigon. I was thinking the bus, as it leaves early and only takes 7 hours or so, but my boyfriend seems keen on the boat option - this way we will be able to see the delta?

You basically see the Mekong River and its branches.

How long does this boat option take? We were hoping for probably a day trip on the boat from Phnom Penh to Saigon, then checking into a place in Saigon that night. Or, would it be better to do an overnight boat trip and visit Cu Chi Tunnels on the way to Saigon?

Fast boat, 4-5 hours from PP to Chau Doc. Slow boat is around 10 hours. Now another 5-7 hours to SGN via bus or minivan.

We're interested in getting tailored clothes in Hoi An - how many days would we need to spend there to organise this?

Figure about 24 hours. Measurements on your first day in Hoi An, clothes are ready by noon the next day. The problem comes if you are not happy with the quality and the fit. Alterations are needed and can add another 1-2 hours. Several TP members have posted their problems with the quality/service of Hoi An tailors.

Also, what is the cheapest airline for flights within Vietnam?

Most cities and best prices are on Jetstar Airlines.

Thanks again!

5. Posted by good_life (Budding Member, 12 posts) 18 Nov '09 19:34

If you take a boat from PP to Chau Doc, so you should hire a mini van from Chau Doc to Vinh Long and over night in Vinh Long - Cai Be. The in early morning next day, you can enjoy a mekong delta tour with floating market and many things interesting. Then afternoon, leave Cai Be to SGN, on the way, you can visit Cu Chi Tunnels.

My advise for the domestic flight in Vietnam is " never use Jetstar Airway of Vietnam" because they always postpone, delay or change the flight time without early notice for ya! If you have not much time for traveling, it's the best for ya to use vietnam airlines although they are a little bit expensive than Jetstar Airway of Vietnam.

About Hoi An tailored clothes, i recommend you not get tailored clothes if you not stay in Hoi An or Hue at least 03 days! However, you should search and check the Hoi Ai tailored clothes problems which were mentioned in many posts here!

Best regards,

Thu -snip-

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

6. Posted by Tic (Budding Member, 2 posts) 6 Dec '09 03:10

Hi Regan

We did similar trip earlier this year. To start 3 days in Hanoi is plenty of time to do a trip to Halong Bay staying overnight on a Junk Boat, we stayed at a small hotel in the Old Quarter that also ran a small travel agency, they organised the trip for us at a very reasonable rate, of course this was arranged prior to arriving by emailing details to the hotel. It takes around 3 hours by bus to Halong Bay then overnight on the junk touring Halong Bay returning the next day, leaving you the evening hours to spend in Hanoi before catching the train for overnight journey to Danang.

The train we caught departed Hanoi at 11pm, we stayed in a 4 berth cabin arriving in Danang around 1pm the following day. The cost of a 4 berth cabin is around $200 US Dollars for 4 people or around $50 US Dollars per person. We booked our tickets through a travel agent in Veitnam again prior to arriving and the train tickets were delivered to our hotel.

Hoi An is around 20 minutes by taxi from Danang. 2 days is a quick trip to this area but a half day trip to My Son temples and trip to Marble Mountain is acheivable.

Train departs Danang around 1:15pm heading south but it is a long journey to Saigon, I am sure you can fly from Danang to Saigon. We caught the train south from Danang to Nha Trang and then flew to saigon from there.

Regards
Tic

Post 7 was removed by a moderator