Public Transport in Vietnam, how to use

Public transportation in Vietnam

What kind of public transportation is popular in Vietnam?

Public transport in Vietnam is represented by all major types – railroads and bus routes run through the country, there are domestic flights between major cities, in some areas it is convenient to use sea and river water transport. Intra-city transportation is provided by buses, cabs, and cycling rickshaws (saiklo).

Air Transportation in Vietnam

The fastest means of public transportation for traveling long distances are airplanes. Domestic flights within Vietnam are provided by the national carrier Vietnam Airlines and low-cost carriers:

  • VietJet Air,
  • Bamboo Airways,
  • Jetstar Pacific Airlines.

Aircraft operators direct flights to 25 cities in Vietnam, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Dalat, Da Nang, Phu Quoc, etc. Phu Quoc and others. The average flight time within the country – 1-2 hours.

USEFUL! Low-cost airlines charge $18-40 (1350-2950 rubles) for a one-way ticket at the lowest fare. It’s easy to compare prices of different operators here.


Vietnam railway network can not be called branched out: the main line North – South stretches for 1726 km from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and connects all major cities along this line, the railway transport from the Vietnamese capital goes to the north to Laocai and Dong Dang.

The largest rail carrier is the state-owned Vietnamese Railway Corporation (VNR). Also in Vietnam there are private operators Livitrans and Violette Train, which have several sleeping cars of superior comfort in trains, following the main tourist routes: from Hanoi – to Lao Cai, Halong, Da Nang, from Ho Chi Minh City – to Nha Trang and Qui Nong.

Types of carriages

Standard types of carriages in rail transport in Vietnam:

  • Air-conditioned soft seats – seated soft cars with air conditioning.
  • Hard seats – seated cars with hard wooden seats, can be with air conditioning (air-conditioned) or without (ordinary). Such carriages are often overcrowded – local people prefer to ride in them.
  • Soft sleeper (room 4/6 beds) – soft sleeper cars with air-conditioning, with four- or six-seater (the shelves are arranged in three tiers) compartments.
  • Deluxe – luxury sleeper cars of Livitrans, Violette Train operators. Consists of four-berth compartments; each compartment has individual lighting, outlets.

BENEFITS! The air conditioners in trains work at full capacity, so even in the hot season (especially on night flights) it is worth to dress warmly.

Timetable and tickets

You can find out the train schedule and buy tickets at the train stations or on the website of the Vietnam Railway Corporation. Select a departure and arrival station, travel date and the search system will offer you the best options to overcome the route.

You can buy train tickets 30-90 days before your travel date. Be sure to take care of buying passes in advance for January through February, when the country celebrates Tet New Year.

The average cost of rail tickets for popular tourist destinations in 2021 (specified for conventional sleeper cars):

  • Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (travel time 38 hours) from $45 (3,300 ₽);
  • Ho Chi Minh City – Nha Trang (8 hours) – from 20 $ (1500 ₽);
  • Hanoi – Da Nang (17.5 hours) – from $30 (₽2,200).

Round-trip tickets are discounted by 10% for all passenger categories. Additional discount on tickets is available for persons 6-9 years old: in the sleeping car – 25%, in the seating car – 50%. Children under 6 years old without a separate seat travel free of charge.

USEFUL! At railway stations in Vietnam you can get on the platform for trains only after scanning the ticket on the turnstile.


Buses run between towns and cities in Vietnam, even to remote places in the south of the country where there are no railroads. Tickets for buses are cheaper than trains, for example, a trip along the route Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City will cost from $ 20 (1500 ₽).

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There are three types of buses in the country:

  • Normal Bus – comfortable, seated buses that travel between major cities. They are often equipped with toilets, air conditioning and power outlets.
  • Sleeping Bus – equipped with couch seats, used for long distance trips (usually night trips).
  • Minivans are minibuses that shuttle between small communities.

In Vietnam, bus transportation is offered by a large number of public and private companies. The largest carriers are Futa Bus Lines, Hoang Long, The Sinh Tourist. Few operators have their own websites, so most often you can buy tickets for this form of transportation at bus stations, company offices, travel agencies and hotels.

Water transport

Water public transport in the country is not very developed, but there are several popular destinations:

  • Ho Chi Minh City – Vung Tau river route: boats cover the way in 1.5 hours, tickets cost from $20 (₽ 1470);
  • Sea ferries in the north of the country: Hai Phong – Cat Ba Island (travel time – $30; ₽). Catba (travel time 1 hour, ticket costs $15 or ₽1,100), Halong-Mongcai (trip takes 4 hours, ticket costs $40 or ₽2,950);
  • Sea ferries in the south of Vietnam: Hacien to Phu Quoc Island. Phu Quoc (trip lasts 1.5 hours, ticket price – from $15).

Ferries are operated by private companies, it is best to buy tickets for water transport of Vietnam at the piers just before departure. Boats run 5-10 times a day (it depends on the route), often the schedule of ferries changes because of weather conditions.

Car rental

Since 2014. Vietnam signed the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, now in the country you can drive a car (moped) with an international driving license. To rent a car a tourist is required:

  • a passport;
  • driving license;
  • A credit card for a deposit (some rental agencies take a cash deposit).

Average daily rate for renting a car is 25-30 $ (1850-2200 ₽). You can compare prices from different rental companies here. A moped can be rented for $5-$12 (₽ 370-880) per day.

IMPORTANT: Many local traffic police officers refuse to recognize international licenses and require a local Vietnamese license. To avoid penalties, it is worth having with you form 48/2014 BGTVT of 15.10.2014 (on the signing of the Vienna Convention) and show it to the police.

Renting a vehicle in Vietnam, it is worth knowing that traffic in the country is poorly organized – the locals do not follow the rules of the traffic rules, due to the large number of vehicles on the roads speeds do not exceed 40 km / h, a lot of time is spent in traffic jams.

Urban transport

City buses run only in major Vietnamese cities, and their number is very limited – even in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi there are no more than a dozen routes. The buses run on schedule but are often late. Tickets can be purchased from the driver, starting at 5000 VND (17 ₽).

BENEFITS! To see bus schedules and timetables, ticket prices, visit the official Vietnamese public transport apps: for Hanoi – Tim Buyt, Da Nang – DanaBus.

The main modes of urban transport in Vietnam are cabs, motorcycle cabs and bicycle rickshaws. Cab fares are metered and range from $0.7 (50 ₽) for boarding and $0.2-0.4 (15-30 ₽) for each subsequent kilometer. Motorcycle cab and bicycle rickshaw drivers charge from $1 for a 15-minute ride.

IT’S INTERESTING! Subway in Vietnam appeared only in 2021 – in November the first branch of the subway was opened in Hanoi, the line length of 12.5 km, there are 12 stations. A ticket costs from $0.3 (22 ₽).

All about transportation in Vietnam, how to get around

Public and tourist transport in Vietnam is well developed, and allows independent access to any place in the country, and comfortable and inexpensive to move around the cities and resorts. In general, the cost of transport in Vietnam is lower than in Russia, but only if you know how to use it correctly. If you do not know a few nuances, it is very easy to overpay even for the simplest trips, because tourists here are often perceived as the rich, from which necessarily need to take more money than from the locals.

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Read more about all types of transportation in Vietnam for tourists, and how to use them:


Plane at Hanoi airport

Airplane at Hanoi Airport

Air travel in Vietnam is well developed, there are also low-cost carriers (low-cost). The largest state airline is Vietnam Airlines. This is an excellent company with excellent services, but also high compared to others operating in the country. It is much cheaper to fly within the country on “budget flights”:

Vietnam Airlines, Aeroflot, Nordwind Airlines, Orenburg Airlines, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad airlines, Turkish Airlines, China Southern and many more can fly from Russia to Vietnam. Read more about airlines in Vietnam here.

The network of routes is not very large, but covers all the major tourist destinations: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Da Nang, Phu Quoc Island and Con Dao, Dalat, Hue, Hai Phong. Some resorts are not accessible by plane directly, you have to fly to the nearest airport, and then travel by land by train or bus:

  • Sapa. Fly to Hanoi airport, and then take a bus or train (see how to get to Sapa).
  • Halong. Fly to Hanoi airport, and then take bus or train (see how to get to Halong).
  • Mui Ne and Phan Thiet. Fly to Ho Chi Minh Airport, and then take a cab, connecting bus in Ho Chi Minh City, or train (see how to get to Mui Ne and Phan Thiet).
  • Hoi An. Fly to Da Nang airport, and then take a cab or city bus to (see how to get to Hoi An from Da Nang).
  • о. Catba. Fly to Haiphong Airport, and then take a bus or ferry (see how to get to Catba).
  • Vungtau. Fly to Ho Chi Minh Airport, and then take a bus (see how to get to Vung Tau).

Use the search form to find and book air tickets to Vietnam, including the best routes with connections:


Da Nang Railway Station

Train station in Da Nang

The railway network in Vietnam is not very well developed. There is a railway line connecting the north with the south (Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City), and passing through all the major cities and resorts in the center of the country: Nha Trang, Da Nang, Hue, Vinh. From Hanoi there are branches to Laocai (to get to Sapa) and Hai Phong (to get to Catba Island or Halong Bay). Also from Hanoi, the railroad goes to China and on to even Russia and Europe all the way to London.

Nevertheless, traveling by train is one of the most comfortable ways to travel around the country. Tickets for trains are cheaper than for airplanes, but almost twice as expensive as buses in the same destinations. During the Vietnamese New Year Tet, which is January and February, train fares go up by up to 4 times.

Tickets for trains in Vietnam can be purchased at the railway station (cheapest), via the Internet (a little more expensive), or in tourist areas in travel agencies (with a large surcharge).

For tourists, the most relevant purchase is via the Internet, because it is best to buy tickets for long-distance trains in advance. Unfortunately, buy official e-tickets on the railroad site tourists so far impossible, because the payment only works for plastic cards of Vietnamese banks, but you can try your card. It’s much easier and more convenient for foreigners to buy tickets through the site This site has a Russian-speaking interface, the purchase is paid with a plastic card, and as a result you’ll get an electronic ticket by mail, which can be printed out, and with it quietly go on a trip.

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Intercity and international buses

International bus in Da Nang

International bus from Laos

The bus network is very well developed, and it is the most “popular” and inexpensive mode of transport to move between cities. It is also excellent for tourists, especially since there are even special tourist buses. There are, including international flights to Laos, Cambodia and China.

The bus fare is about half as much as the train, but it’s not as comfortable. Fortunately, for long distances between cities in Vietnam there are special “Sleeping buses”, equipped with lie-flat seats specifically for long journeys up to a day. For example, voyages to Laos or Cambodia take more than a day. In such buses you travel in a fully reclining position. Usually they are equipped with three rows of such “beds” in two levels (lower and upper). If possible we recommend to take the top rows, they are more comfortable. Some buses have a toilet on board, and those that do not, make frequent stops along the way for trips to the toilet and meals.

There are buses of small private companies and large state carriers. They depart and arrive from bus stations, or sometimes use their offices as departure and arrival points, depending on the destination and company. You can buy tickets at bus stations, company offices and travel agencies on the street or in hotels. And if you buy tickets at the travel agencies or hotels, the cost is slightly higher, but it includes delivery of you from the hotel to the place of departure, which is much more convenient. Also now you can buy and book tickets for buses to Vietnam online through the service You can check schedules and prices through the search form:

Set search terms

Pay for your ticket online

✉ Get your itinerary receipt by email

Arrive at your departure point

ⓘ When searching for bus and train tickets on, pay attention to the ticket/carrier ratings (marked with stars on a five-point scale) and reviews of real users who have traveled on that route. By choosing carriers with high ratings according to user reviews you will protect yourself from potential travel problems.

Water transport

Cruise boat in Halong

Cruise Boat in Halong

Water transport is not very common in Vietnam, but in some places you can’t do without it. For example, do not get to the island of Catba, or do not make a tour of the Mekong Delta in the south. Boat tours in Halong Bay are also very popular.

However, it is not very convenient for tourists in Vietnam to use boats and ferries on their own, that is, as a separate form of transport. Usually it is easier and cheaper to use ready-made solutions in the form of excursions or a comprehensive transfer bus + ferry to get somewhere. If you decide to use it yourself, you have to deal with the problem of first getting to the right pier, get the schedule (where everything is only in Vietnamese), and then somehow get from the pier of arrival to the right place.

Tourist transfers

Tourist shuttle in a slipstream bus, Vietnam

Tourist transfer in a slipstream

In popular Vietnamese resorts in travel agencies and hotels can be found on sale ready-made tourist slip-and-slip transfers, and it is one of the most convenient and inexpensive ways to get to the right place. They pick up tourists right from the hotel door. Sometimes it can even be a one-way transfer-excursions. For example, you can get from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh (Cambodia) by boat and bus in 2 days, and during that time visit several interesting places in a group with a guide.

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Transfers can include moving by private minivans, shuttle buses, ferries, trains and planes with a small surcharge, but can actually end up being cheaper than a solo trip since you don’t have to spend money on individual transfers by cab or minivan to the departure point, on transfers, etc.

Urban transport

City bus in Hanoi

City Bus in Hanoi

Major cities in Vietnam have a system of city buses. The most developed networks are in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, in other cities they are limited to a dozen routes, or even less. In smaller cities there are no buses at all. Sometimes city routes are also suburban, such as bus number 1 in Danang, which for only 17,000 VND (898.18 rubles, see the currency in Vietnam and its exchange rate) you can get from Danang to Hoi An. The city fare starts at 4,000 VND ( 10.26 rubles).

City buses have regular timetables (not always) and stop at bus stops or places with signs indicating route numbers. The ticket is paid to the conductor in dongs, a ticket is issued. In major cities it is best to install official applications to use them, for example in Hanoi Tim Buyt, in Danang DanaBus.

There is no subway in cities in Vietnam yet, but it is currently under construction in Hanoi. It is planned to be launched in 2019.

Cabs and motorcycle taxis

City cab in Hanoi

City Taxi in Hanoi

Cabs in Vietnam are a very common form of transportation, especially in large cities and tourist destinations. A meter ride for short distances (1-2 kilometers) costs on average from 25,000 VND ( 64.16 rubles). All official cab cars have a price list on the side door or window, for example: boarding and the first 500 meters – VND12,000, then for each kilometer – VND9,000.

All official cabs are equipped with meters, but tourists have problems with its use: cab drivers want to get the full amount of money from foreigners, and not always agree to travel on the meter, and instead offer a trip at a fixed price, which can be many times higher. It is better to refuse such offers, and if there is no way out, then at least haggle. Sometimes there are “tweaked” meters that work faster than they should.

One of the largest cab companies in all of Vietnam is Mai Linh Taxi (Mai Linh), and for many years it was thought that this is one of the most reliable companies, which never cheated. But now there are clones of it with a similar name and even fake cars with similar logos, so this is no guarantee.

Grab motorcycle cab in Vietnam

Grab in Vietnam.

Fortunately, there is now a good alternative – ordering a cab through the Grab app. It’s a counterpart to Uber for Asian countries, and Uber itself doesn’t work in Vietnam. Grab is better to install in advance at home and activate it with your phone or enter through your Facebok or Google account. After that, everything is about the same as in Uber: you indicate on the map the point of departure and destination, choose the type of cab, get the cost and make an order. Payment is made in cash at the end of the trip to the driver. Available as a regular car cab, as well as motorcycle cab, which is twice cheaper. Learn more about how to use Grab in Vietnam here.

Rent a Vehicle

Motorcycle for rent in Danang

Renting a motorcycle in Vietnam

Since 2014 it has been possible to legally drive rented vehicles in Vietnam with an International Driving Permit (IDP) that meets the requirements of the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (read more about renting a motorcycle and car in Vietnam). You can get such an MVU in the traffic police, their cost is 1,600 rubles (1,120 when registering through the website gosuslugi.rf in 2018). It is not required to pass the exams again.

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However, the price for renting a car in Vietnam is still quite high – from $50 per day. It is best to book cars via the Internet, you can here.

But it is much easier to rent motorcycles. Low-powered scooters, automatic or semi-automatic are offered everywhere at a price of 80,000 VND per day. To drive them you also need an international license and must have the category “A”, but in practice the tourists are touched very rarely, unless they do not violate the traffic rules. The only thing one needs for renting a car is a passport and sometimes a photocopy is sufficient. Learn more about renting a vehicle in Vietnam here…

But before renting a vehicle, especially a two-wheeler, look at the traffic and weigh your strength. Probably not everyone would like chaotic, almost no rules traffic on the roads of Vietnam. Also read our post about the peculiarities of traffic in Vietnam.

Buying a motorcycle

Motorcycle for sale in Vietnam

Selling a motorcycle in Vietnam

Despite the seeming difficulty, it is not difficult to buy a motorcycle and travel through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. The most important thing is to be able to operate a two-wheeled vehicle. Moreover, we are not talking about the usual scooters machines or semi-automatics, which can be rented at any resort in Southeast Asia. For long trips is better to buy a machine with a fully manual gearbox, because they are more reliable and easier to repair.

Buying a motorcycle in Vietnam by foreign tourists is quite common, and locals have long been selling and buying used motorcycles specifically for this purpose. Honda motorcycles are usually offered for sale. Especially popular is the Honda Win model, and it is better to buy it, because it is a very reliable and easily repairable machine that can be repaired even in the remotest wilderness. You should not chase other brands, and certainly not semi-automatic or automatic.

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Ho Chi Minh City 2023-03-29 2023-04-11 FIND FROM 33 680 ₽
Hanoi 2023-05-14 2023-05-25 FIND FROM 57,650 ₽
Da Nang 2023-05-12 2023-05-27 FIND FROM 58,960 ₽
Nha Trang 2023-03-29 2023-04-13 FIND FROM 61,204 ₽
Phu Quoc 2022-10-23 2022-11-21 FIND FROM 65,210 ₽
Dalat 2023-02-06 2023-02-20 FIND FROM 68,453 ₽

Транспорт во Вьентаме admin 9 Июнь, 2013 На сайте представлена следующая информация о транспорте:r>Аренда мотоцикла и автомобиля во Вьетнамеr>Аэропорт Ханоя: практическая информация для туристовr>Поезда Вьетнама и типы вагоновr>Вьетнамские изирайдеры (Easyriders) – опыт вдали от туристических маршрутовr>Авиакомпании Вьетнама. Какие авиакомпании летают во Вьетнамr>Как добраться из Москвы в Ханойr>Какие права нужны во Вьетнамеr>Поезда во Вьетнаме и как на них путешествоватьr>и еще много всего. r>В этой теме обсуждаем все вопросы касаемо транспорта и перемещений во Вьетнаме в целом. r>There is separate information about transportation and how to get to specific cities and separate topics in the forum, so for specific cities there. . uses cookies. “Cookies” are small files on your device that store information about previous visits to the website. If, by reading this message, you remain on our site, it means that you agree to our use of cookies. Read more.

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