Getting The Hanoi To Ho Chi Minh Train Or Bus
Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City can be a long and arduous journey even though there are many interesting and intriguing places to see on the way, Nha Trang, Hue and Hoi An being three of them. All are popular destinations for those looking for a little beach time, culture and history and are well worth a stopover on the way to Ho Chi Minh.
If you’re doing this trip during one of the many holidays that occur in Vietnam, it’s very important to plan ahead especially for major holidays like Tet in January or February (Vietnam New Year) and the Chinese New Year as the roads can be absolute chaos.
Taking The Train From Hanoi To Ho Chi Minh
Rail travel in Vietnam is the best method to see the country as you move from one place to another. Although the air-conditioned trains have seen better days, they are nevertheless rather cosy. Meal kits are available for pick-up at a central location, or you can order them to be brought to your seat.
On a sleeper-style train, it takes about 33 hours to travel 1,056 miles from Saigon to Hanoi without any stops. Traveling from Da Nang to Hoi An requires getting off the train in Da Nang and taking a bus or a private vehicle the remaining 18 kilometres south.
The “hard” and “soft” versions of sleeper trains are available. The cheapest of the two alternatives, the hard-sleeper car, has six berths, which means that you may be squashed between others sleeping above and below you while travelling.
The cost of a soft-sleeper automobile is slightly more, but the number of passengers per compartment is limited to four. Luggage is kept with you for safety reasons. Bed linens and towels are provided.
A ‘soft seat’ is the cheapest train ticket, gets you no more than a reclining chair in a crowded vehicle for your money. Despite their lack of opulence, soft-sleeper trains are the best option for obtaining some shut-eye on a lengthy flight.
Meal tickets are available for purchase on trains that include a set meal that is delivered to your seat. On the other hand, you can buy drinks and snacks from mobile vending machines that circulate. To prepare your own tea, coffee, or instant noodles, there is free boiling water on tap.
It’s safest to buy train tickets at the station several days in advance rather than through a travel agency or hotel. Re-sellers of tickets take advantage of travellers’ proclivity for procrastination in making travel arrangements.
Tickets for sleeper trains have been sold for soft sleeper pricing by unscrupulous travel agencies in the past and as soon as you discover you’ve been duped, you won’t be able to confront them!
Rail travel in Vietnam is the most scenic way to visit the country’s rural areas that are generally out of reach to tourists but as a bonus, you’ll arrive better rested than if you went by bus.
Bus Travel From Hanoi To Ho Chi Minh
Long-distance buses, both day and night, choke the north-south roadway. Despite the fact that bus travel is far less expensive than taking the train, you’ll miss out on a lot of the landscape and sleep you’d receive on a train.
Slowest mode of transportation is a bus. In spite of the fact that many tour firms would pick you up immediately from your hotel, you’ll have to wait for hours in Vietnam’s traffic to gather other passengers and leave the city. To account for traffic and break stops, always add an hour or two to the planned arrival time.
If you don’t want to spend the night at a hotel, there are modest, horizontal bunk beds on overnight buses. You won’t be able to get much sleep because of the continual swerving of the driver and the horns’ constant blaring.
Many residents have motion nausea on buses due to the fact that passengers sit largely horizontally. If you are one of these people, consider taking Dramamine or ginger as a remedy. Bunk beds are compact, and most average-height people can’t stretch out in them comfortably.
There are numerous travel agencies in the Pham Ngu Lao district of Saigon where you may book tourist buses. You may be able to save money if you reserve your bus ticket straight at the bus station.
Overnight bus theft is a common occurrence so ensure that you don’t fall asleep with your mobile phone or MP3 player nearby.
Only use the bus if you’re on a tight budget or require the most convenience and freedom but don’t count on getting much shut sleep especially if you are taller with long legs as these buses are not blessed with comfortable leg room.