On the roads in Vietnam, you will see it all as you travel. I spent seven months testing all methods of transport, so let’s look at the options.

Train tracks in Hanoi, Vietnam
Photo of train tracks in central Hanoi, Vietnam.
Train tracks in Hanoi, Vietnam
Photo by Thijs Degenkamp on Unsplash

Usually, tourists begin in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, which is great because there’s no better way to understand transport in Vietnam than by being thrown into the deep end. For an idea of just how nuts it can be, watch this video for an example of Ho Chi Minh City rush hour. Crazy, right? Well, that’s just the way it is, so you need to get used to it fast.

Vietnam offers transport methods for any kind of traveller. The country has come a long way since the devastation brought by the Vietnam War, where much of the Vietnam was destroyed in the fight for a communist state. Today, Vietnam invites the world to enjoy their revived country with them. Whether you want to travel from A to B in a city or from North Vietnam to South Vietnam, there will be transport methods which suit your travel plans and budget.

Look below at my top 5 transport options I used most regularly while in Vietnam.

Travel Vietnam by Motorbike Rental

Travel Vietnam by hiring your own bike
Photo of motorcycle traffic in Vietnam.
Travel Vietnam by hiring your own bike
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

This is the cheapest transport option in Vietnam. In some places, you can rent a bike for the day for just $3! Since 2015 you must hold an international driving license to hire one, but apart from that, you’re ready. Just don’t be a fool, get yourself a helmet. I would always recommend having insurance for emergencies, but it’s not typical procedure.

Vietnam is notorious for chaotic roads and sporadic driving. There are no set rules when on the road, so expect the unexpected. This is the exhilarating way to travel through Vietnam, and an option to consider for the free-spirited.

Travel Vietnam by Bus

Bus routes are popular in Vietnam
Photo of Bus travel in Vietnam.
Bus routes are popular in Vietnam
Photo by Dylan Lu on Unsplash

Buses are a popular transport method in Vietnam, and for good reason. They’re cheap and well organised, but be sure to arrive early as drivers depart on their own schedule! They run almost everywhere in Vietnam, and the night buses are a good option if you’re travelling on a budget.

Most buses are comfortable and provide complimentary bottles of water, but some drivers will be hasty. Unfortunately, this is just part of being in Vietnam. I used buses often for convenience. They were great.

Travel Vietnam by Grab

The best way to travel in Vietnam
Photo of Grab travel in Vietnam.
The best way to travel in Vietnam
Photo by Afif Kusuma on Unsplash

I used Grab (taxi/motorbike taxi) all the time in Vietnam. It’s a fantastic way to travel, and I can’t imagine my time in Vietnam without it. You can get a ride for as little as a dollar. It’s Asia’s equivalent to Uber and offers both car and motorcycle taxis in Vietnam.

Type in your destination, wait for your driver and be on your way. Grab drivers are fully licensed and will always provide a helmet. They’re also super helpful and friendly. After your first trip, you’ll be using this transport method daily. Travel has never been so easy.

Travel Vietnam by Cyclo

Relax and travel to Vietnam by cyclo
Photo of cyclo travel in Vietnam.
Relax and travel to Vietnam by cyclo
Photo by Dylan Lu on Unsplash

Take a cyclo in Vietnam when you’re feeling like you want to relax and enjoy the view. Top places to hire these are in major cities, such in Hanoi and Hue, they’re everywhere. You usually pay by the hour and it makes a lovely afternoon activity.

They took me around Hue’s Imperial City by cyclo and at each famous site my driver would stop, allow me to explore, and be there when I returned with a welcoming smile. I did this with my Grandparents and we had a wonderful time, each in our own cyclo with the breeze drifting through our hair.

Travel Vietnam by Air

Flying is the fastest method of transport in Vietnam
Photo of plane travel.
Flying is the fastest method of transport in Vietnam
Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

If you want to travel to many locations in Vietnam but have little time, this is the transport method for you. It seems like a lavish transport option, but it will save you time and allow you to enjoy more of what Vietnam offers. Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Air offer domestic flights at great prices.

I flew with these companies in Vietnam, experiencing no problems. Just make sure you pay correctly for your luggage. There are cheaper airlines that offer ludicrously cheap tickets, but you pay for it down the line with delays and cancellations; not ideal while you travel.

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So there you have it, a brief insight into transport methods available in Vietnam. I wasn’t even aware of all the options until I arrived. It stunned me at how efficient and readily available all travel options were. There’s so much information online to help you plan any trip, particularly 12goasia where you can buy transport tickets and get the lowdown on all your options, no matter where you are. If you go, enjoy your trip… I’m so jealous!

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