Getting around Vietnam on local transport

What transportation do you need to travel across Vietnam? Here is the most detailed information about popular travel vehicles in Vietnam for travelers.

getting around vietnam on local transport

1. Plane

The plane is suitable for international travel (from your country to Vietnam) and domestic travel (between 3 regions North, Central, and South in Vietnam). Currently, Vietnam has 4 main airlines:
  • Vietnam Airline: the largest national airline in Vietnam, with the best service and the highest cost. Guests are allowed to bring 12kg of hand luggage, 23kg of checked baggage and served with free meals and water on board.
  • Jetstar Pacific: the second-largest domestic airline in Vietnam, operating under the model of the cheap airline with lots of promotions. Guests are allowed to carry 7kg of hand luggage and have to pay extra for checked baggage (if any). It also does not serve free water and food.
  • Vietjet Air: a newly established low-cost airline a few years ago, with attractive competitive ticket fee. The airline also allows guests to carry 7kg of hand luggage and pay extra for checked baggage, and do not serve water and food for free. However, this airline still has many shortcomings such as frequent flight delays, flights transplant... making passengers uncomfortable.
  • Bamboo Airline: newly established airline in Vietnam in 2019, however, the quality of services is comparable to Vietnam Airline. Bamboo serves free meals to all passengers on every flight and has a variety of ticket options.

2. Train

If you want to take a scenic view along the way, you can choose a train. Vietnam does not have high-speed trains, but only traditional railway trains. Therefore, travel time by train will be quite long. For example, traveling from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh by air takes only 2 hours, while traveling by train takes 34 hours. Long-distance train prices in Vietnam are sometimes more expensive than air tickets. This means is not recommended if you travel far and away with children or the elderly.

3. Coach

Long-distance coaches are the ideal intercity transport for those who want to save costs. There are any coach company and day trips for travelers to choose from. With a coach, moving between provinces in short distances is also easy. For example, you will take about 3 hours from Hanoi to Ninh Binh, 6 hours from Hanoi to Sapa. In addition, there are many places where airplanes and trains cannot reach, but coaches will take you to the place you want. The price for each turn is relatively cheap and depends on the destination you come from, ranging from $2-15.

4. Motorbike

Motorbike is the most familiar means of transportation for people in Vietnam. The advantage of motorbikes is that it is cheap, long-term rental, and can reach anywhere. Most importantly, it is convenient and highly flexible in moving long distances as well as slopes. Motorbike rental services in Vietnam are very popular, and most hotels offer motorbike rentals with prices range from 100, 000 to 300, 000 VND per day depending on the type and the age of the vehicle.

5. Taxi

Taxis are also considered to be the safest means of traveling and still ensure convenience. The system of taxi firms in Vietnam's cities is very diverse. Although moving by taxi is quite expensive, but if traveling in large groups (from 4 to 7 people), the taxi will be a reasonable choice for tourists. The price is about $ 0.5 per kilometer (half the price compared to Cambodia's tuk-tuk), but you can negotiate the price with the driver if traveling long distances. Taxi is the ideal vehicle for families, people who do not have a driver's license, and those who do not want to be tired during the trip.

6. Grab/Go-Viet/Be

In addition to the traditional means, the online car call service is also quite popular in Vietnam because the service price is much lower than the traditional taxi. Users only need a smartphone with the application pre-installed on the device. Anytime, anywhere, just turn on Wi-Fi or 3G, then with a few simple steps, you can immediately call your taxi quickly and easily.
Currently, in Vietnam, there are 3 popular car calling applications: Grab, Go-Viet, and Be. In which, Grab has the largest market share with both motorbike taxi and taxi, and it also offers many services. Go-Viet is more popular in Ho Chi Minh City and only has motorbike taxis. Be is a new app that offers both motorbike taxis and taxis. However, this service is only popular in 3 big cities: Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City.

7. Bus

Bus is a good means of transportation in the city. The advantage of this means is a cheap price, only about 5000-1000 VND (0.3-0.5 USD) for one turn. However, the disadvantages are crowded and long travel time. The bus network is very developed in Hanoi, HCM and Danang, and less developed in the remaining provinces. Fares in the provinces may also be higher. The tip when traveling by bus is to avoid rush hour traffic because of the long waiting time, crowds and traffic jams.