Vietnam — Transportation
Vietnam Taxis and Car Rental
Taxis are a great way to make short trips around Vietnam cities and are easy to flag down. The normal rate per kilometer is around 12,000 dong, but some drivers may insist on charging a flat fee. Cabs have been known to lock passengers in until they pay a hefty fee, while others may try to talk you on a sightseeing tour for a high price. It is best to stick with reputable companies such as Hanoi Taxi (+84-4-3853-5353) or Saigon Taxi (+84-8-823-2323) in Ho Chi Minh City to avoid getting ripped off.
Car rental is a great way for groups of people to travel the country, but driving downtown can be exhausting. Cars range from cheap beaters to new international brands, and can come with or without a driver. Roads are in reasonable condition, but traffic is heavy in urban areas, with Tan Son Nhat and Nội Bài International Airports offering a wide range of rental options.
Vietnam Water Taxis
Boats are a must for seeing Vietnam’s attractions, stunning landscapes and for getting around the Mekong Delta. Scenic tours are the only way to see the amazing Ha Long Bay and to visit the floating markets in the Mekong Delta and the Cham Islands. Many destinations offer river boat cruises, fishing trips and snorkeling tours.
Vietnam Trains and Buses
The Reunification Express train connects Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, but you can get off at any stop in between. The journey takes between 30 and 40 hours, so it is best made by air-conditioned sleeper. There is an additional train line that runs from Hanoi northwest to Sapa, with prices varying according to time of year and seat class.
Most cites in Vietnam are connected by long-distance bus and operate tour buses. These generally run between Hanoi and Ho Chi Ming City, and passengers can get off anywhere along the way. They are cheap, but can be slow and uncomfortable. There are also local buses that reach all corners of the country, but they are not the most practical way to get around. Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang have good inner-city systems that go to all the main tourists attractions.