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Vietnam:best ways to get around

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1. Posted by sarahjapan (Budding Member, 28 posts) 19 Jan '12 23:15

sarahjapan has indicated that this thread is about Vietnam

Headed to Vietnam for two weeks in May 2012.
Places I hope to visit:
Fly into Ho Chi Minh
Hoi An
Ha Long Bay
Sapa
Fly out of Ho Chi Minh

What's the easiest way to get around between those places?
For flights what's the most economical but safe airline?
Do we book trains when we get there or from abroad?

Cheers!

2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru, 3491 posts) 19 Jan '12 23:45

Sarah,
I think your best bet will be JetStar Air. I tried VietJet, but they do not fly to DaNang. Hoi An is close to DaNang and that will be your best bet IMO. Jetstar also flies up to HAN from DAD. You may need to use the bus over to HaLang Bay and either train or bus up to SaPa. I would book your ground transport once there. May is hardly high season and you should be able to book with one days notice. Good luck with your planning.

3. Posted by sfspa1 (Budding Member, 19 posts) 20 Jan '12 01:12

Hi Sarah,
I agree with Mike, you should use Jet Star, a flight from HCM city to Da Nang will be about 20-23 $USD, from there you can go by bus to Hoi An, the trip itself is an adventure and very nice. From Hoi An back to Da Nang and by air to Ha Noi, ticket will be about 50 $USD. From Ha Noi by bus to Ha Long then back to Ha Noi and by train to Sapa. Then back to Ha Noi and fly out from Ha Noi.
Bus and train, you can book when you are there. May isn't the peak season, all transport are not crowded and should be cheap as well.

Good luck and have fun.

4. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru, 1934 posts) 20 Jan '12 07:57

Aside from the cost, you run the risk of severe travel delays when you book Jetstar. Vietjet will be starting service to Danang very shortly - it's a brand new airline. I used Jetstar once, and that was enough for me - old planes and flight postponed by about 12 hours. Book online and in advance for the best prices - flights in the coming week are already booked 100% due to the Tet holiday.

Stay off the roads - very dangerous in Vietnam!

[ Edit: Edited on 20-Jan-2012, at 07:59 by Daawgon ]

5. Posted by sarahjapan (Budding Member, 28 posts) 27 Jan '12 22:26

Thanks for the great tips!

6. Posted by stoneman (Respected Member, 212 posts) 31 Jan '12 19:21

To avoid flight delays I would look at booking an overnight train from HCMC to Danang (for peace of mind). I'd risk any delays by taking a flight from Danang to Hanoi.

Halong Bay - most people visit via an organised tour.

Sapa - most people travel via overnight train there and back.

Post 7 was removed by a moderator
8. Posted by PandaSis (Budding Member, 7 posts) 2 Feb '12 07:24

Hiya!

When I went to Vietnam in the Summer of 2011 we stayed in the Backpackers hostel in Hanoi - which is where you do the Ha Long Bay trip from. The Backpackers Hostel organise a hop on hop off bus trip where you can stop at Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Ho Chi Minh city. You can stop at each place for as long as you like, all you have to do is book the next bus from each stop. We found it worked amazingly well, was easy to organise and wasn't very expensive as far as I remember. Also the Backpackers Hostel do the best Halong Bay trip that I know of if you are looking to party. You can do one night on a boat in Halong bay and a second night sleeping in huts by the beach on their island.

Be careful of your bag in Vietnam - I had mine stolen by someone on a moped - it wasn't a big deal, just a bit annoying! Ha! Make sure you wear it across your body.

Have a great time!

9. Posted by Anna_Nguyen (Budding Member, 14 posts) 12 Feb '12 23:53

Quoting sarahjapan

Headed to Vietnam for two weeks in May 2012.
Places I hope to visit:
Fly into Ho Chi Minh
Hoi An
Ha Long Bay
Sapa
Fly out of Ho Chi Minh

What's the easiest way to get around between those places?
For flights what's the most economical but safe airline?
Do we book trains when we get there or from abroad?

Cheers!

Hi,

Plane is the fastest way to save your time. There are many kinds of airline for you to choose suc as Jetstar,the cheapest one, Vietnam Airline, national airline but most expensive, Air Mekong, Viet Jet Air... are also good ones. It's depend on your budget.

From Hochiminh, you fly to Hanoi (2 hour flying)
From Hanoi, take a bus to Halong Bay (4 hours), there's no flight route from Hanoi to Halong.

Then come back to Hanoi. Take a night train to Sapa (8 hours)

After Sapa trip, come back Hanoi and fly to Danang airport at Danang city (1,5 hours)
From Danang, take a bus to Hoi An (30 minutes)
Come back Danang and fly to Hochiminh (1 hours)

Seem you have to use many kind of transportation but don't worry, all the destinations you are going to come is worth your coming. :)

May you have great time in Vietnam.

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Feb-2012, at 23:53 by Anna_Nguyen ]

10. Posted by Ranjankar1 (Budding Member, 45 posts) 13 Feb '12 04:48

We did the Saigon - Da Nang - Hoi An - Hue - Hanoi trip during Oct 2011. It was a very memorable trip.

Stayed in Saigon for 3 nights . Mekong Delta trip . Saigon river dinner cruise . Walk around the city .

Flew by Vietnam airways between Saigon and Da Nang , It was about $ 45 or so .

Hoi An is a day trip from Da Nang . May will be pretty warm in Hoi An.

From Da Nang it is worth visiting the cable car at Ba Na . The place is very beautiful and serene amidst rain forests .

Da Nang to Hanoi you can take the overnight train . There is a special train that does not cost much . They provide tea/ coffee and noodle soup. That way you save one night hotel cost also.

Hanoi is a lovely city with much to see and feel. You can take an overnight trip for Halong Bay , it is worth staying in the boat for the night . Cost from Hanoi hotel and back next day evening is about $ 90 that includes boat stay , bus travel, all food and everything. Staying at Halong Bay is an experience you will always cherish.

We took flight out of Hanoi instead of returning to Saigon. That did not cost us anything additional.

Hope this helps.