After a few days exploring the sparkling Ho Chi Minh City, make your way to Hanoi - the heart of Vietnam - to experience a distinctly different beauty of another metropolitan of this country. Hanoi is 1,750km from Ho Chi Minh via 1A highway, and as both are the two largest cities in Vietnam, there are many ways to travel from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi to enjoy every inch of the country from South to North.
Airplanes are one of the most popular means of transport between Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. The flight time from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi is quite short, only about 1h30 - 2h per flight, so traveling by plane is easily the fastest and most convenient option. Flights from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi are frequently available with prices ranging depending on the airline's service but rest assured that most are reasonable and there is always an affordable option to choose.
Domestic terminal at Tan Son Nhat Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)
One of the trustworthy domestic airlines is Vietnam Airlines. This is the national airline of Vietnam and a traditional airline with mid-to-high prices. A flight from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi of Vietnam Airlines (one way) has the lowest price of VND 1,500,000 (USD 65), and the price will increase gradually depending on the choice of seating class and flight time of travelers. Vietnam Airlines has recognized service, fewer delays or cancellations.
Some other famous low-cost airlines in Vietnam are Vietjet Air, Jetstar and more recently, Bamboo Airways. The price for a flight of Vietjet Air, Jetstar, and Bamboo Airways ranges from VND 1,000,000 for one-way travel, lower or higher depending on the flight time. However, the disadvantages of these airlines are the frequent delays or cancellations, the quality of seats and aircraft space itself is not as good as Vietnam Airlines.
Besides airplanes, trains are also a viable option when traveling from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. The train is somewhat more economical than airliners (for seats and hard beds) and especially suitable for those who want to do sightseeing. There is stunning scenery on the journey from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi, especially the Hai Van Pass area. However, the apparent downside of traveling by train is that it takes an average of 30 hours - which is much longer compared to flying. Therefore, choosing the South-North train is not suitable for people who cannot endure the long journey.
Taking trains in Vietnam offers tickets for hard seats, soft seats or hard beds, soft beds; each type has a different price. For long journeys from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, a bed ticket will make the trip more comfortable, although the ticket price is not significantly lower than going by airplanes.
Traveling by train is perfect for sightseeing
One small tip is that you should only get off when the train stops at the big station. The longer stop at these stations will give the chance to use the toilet or buy some snacks. There is also a kitchen on the train where you can order some fast food, or prepare your food in advance to save money.
As for tickets, buying an early ticket will save more money than usual. Additionally, buying tickets early also helps to avoid unwanted situations like failing to find a satisfactory seat or tickets being sold out.
Just like trains, the advantage of traveling by coach bus is that they are a low-cost type of travel and also suitable for sightseeing. However, traveling by car usually takes a considerable amount of time, which is 35 - 40 hours on average and therefore, does not sound very inviting for people who have car sick or back problems.
A coach bus is another cheap type of travel and suitable for sightseeing
A sleeper coach bus is usually more favorable to travel the long distance from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. Some recommended brands are:
Mai Linh Coach Bus: Mien Dong Station - Nuoc Ngam Station
Time: 15:00 - 17:30 - 19:00
Price: VND 860,000 / person
Hoang Long Coach Bus: Mien Dong Station - Nuoc Ngam Station
Time: 07:00 - 17:30 - 21:30
Price: VND 750,000
Phuong Hoang Coach Bus: Mien Dong Station - Nuoc Ngam Station
Price: VND 890,000
Traveling by motorbike is for those passionate about adventures and exploring every part of Vietnam. It is worth mentioning that the distance from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi is very long, about 2100km, and the road will not always be smooth. Therefore, traveling by motorbike requires high-level driving skills, good health condition, and would be best if there is a Vietnamese friend accompany you.
Read more: Can Tourists Drive in Vietnam?
Preparation is vital when traveling from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi by motorbike. Besides the essential luggage, take into account motorbike repair kit, protection outfits, phones with 3G / 4G and GPS, raincoats, dry food, and water. It is also essential to prepare some cash in hand, about VND 1,000,000 / day (if you'd like to stop by some famous tourist destinations), and keep the rest in ATM card for safety.
Traveling by motorbike is dangerous, but the delightful experience is worth it.
It depends on your time and budget to choose an appropriate route, but to save traveling time, the optimal choice would be Ho Chi Minh - Hoi An - Da Nang - Hue - Hanoi.
Or find your ticket from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi on 12GoAsia
Traveling from Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi has been much accessible than before with many types of travel widely available. Each has its pros and cons, but they all guarantee a memorable journey to explore the two largest cities of Vietnam.
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© Written by Emily Le for itourvn.com