Vietnam has been deemed as the next “it” destination in Southeast Asia. Nonstop flights are available to and from a number of international destinations. For those entering Vietnam overland, there are border gates for travellers to enter from China, Cambodia, and Laos via train, bus and other passenger vehicles. There is also a growing number of cruises servicing Vietnam’s many ports and inland riverways.
There are 22 airports in Vietnam, 11 of which are domestic and 11 of which are international. The three main gateways are Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi (HAN), Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) and Da Nang International Airport in Danang (DAD).
Most Asian countries have direct flights to and from Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. Budget airlines, like AirAsia, Jetstar, Tiger Airways, and Cebu Pacific, are becoming increasingly popular alternatives for those flying to/from Vietnam within the region.
Overland travel from the neighbouring countries of China, Laos, and Cambodia is becoming an increasingly popular travel option.
There are direct train services between Hanoi (the only port of embarkment in Vietnam) and Beijing via the Dong Dang border. From Hanoi, the train departs every Tuesday and Friday at 6:30 pm with a total traveling time of 42 hours.
While local bus companies in Laos tout cheaper fares, opt for an international bus service running from either Savannakhet or Vientiane directly to Hanoi, Dong Ha, Vinh, or Da Nang. These direct lines will help you evade difficulties that may arise when using local bus agents.
A number of buses operate out of Phnom Penh every day straight to Ho Chi Minh City, via the Moc Bai border crossing. Choose a bus outfitted with air-conditioning units as some buses are quite outdated, making for an uncomfortable 6-7 hour journey. Immigration at this crossing is relatively easy so long as you have a valid visa for Vietnam.
For those looking for a fun route into Vietnam, make your way into Vietnam from Cambodia by way of the Mekong Delta. Most tour agencies in Phnom Penh can help arrange this mode of transport, which will take you through one of two crossings: Vinh Xuong or Tinh Bien.