The best way to reach Vietnam from India is by taking a flight from Bangalore. The distance between India and Vietnam is roughly 3194 kilometres (1,985 miles) and your flight time is about 4 hours. With more than 300 flights a week connecting the two nations, you will find it most convenient to head over to Vietnam from Bangalore. However, you can also fly from other major cities, like Delhi, Cochin, Hyderabad, Amritsar and Thiruvananthapuram. There are three international airports in Vietnam and you can choose your port of arrival depending on which part of the country interests you the most. You can fly in either to Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi to the north, Tan Son Nhat International Airport at Ho Chi Minh City to the south or Da Nang International Airport at Da Nang in the centre.
The airport at Hanoi is about 40 minutes from the city centre, while the ones at Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang are 20 and 10 minutes from the city centre. The airports are small when compared to other international airports, but they all offer basic amenities like food, money exchange stalls and ATMs. The good thing about smaller airports is that it gets easier to move around without getting lost or missing your connecting flight. Vietnam has excellent domestic connectivity as well, and you can fly out to whichever part of the country you wish to from any of these airports.
There are several international carriers that can bring you to Vietnam, some of the more familiar names being Air India, Singapore Airlines, Jet Airways, Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Air France, Silkair, Turkish Airlines, Thai Airways, Malaysia Airlines, China Southern, etc. If you know your travel dates, we advise you to book early so that you can get cheaper tickets.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel the way our ancestors did? If you have the time and are keen on spending a few days doing nothing but relaxing, then a sea voyage to Vietnam might be up your alley. Nothing beats the sheer nothingness of relaxing aboard a luxurious ship, every need taken care of.
While there are no direct cruises from India, you have several options from Singapore. Pick any cruise from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City and spend a leisurely few days making your way through the deep sea, stopping at different ports along the way to finally arrive at your destination to continue the rest of your vacation. The cruise from Singapore to Ho Chi Minh City usually takes about 9-10 days.
As we’ve already mentioned earlier, there are three airports that you can land at, depending on which part of Vietnam you wish to see. (Or perhaps you just got an excellent deal on a flight to that airport). Either way, once you land, it is quite easy to get to the main city centre. You can take a pre-booked taxi at the taxi counter at the airport itself. You will receive a confirmation token with the destination and fare written on it. Simply get on the taxi and head off on your journey into the city.
If you are flying on further, you can immediately take a connecting flight to your destination from either of these airports. Vietnam Airline is the preferred flight for most tourists, although you can look for cheaper deals on some of the other domestic airlines, some of which are privately-run.
You will have plenty of options to choose your flight from. However, the only disadvantage of smaller and busy airlines is a possible delay in departure. If you are not on time, you could also lose your seat. The one way to avoid that is to arrive well in time before your flight’s departure.
You can also take a taxi and travel by road to your next destination from the airport directly.
Vietnam’s road system goes back to the French colonisation when it was used to ferry raw material to the main ports for export. The same system has now been expanded from the district level to the national level, creating a network of roads that criss-cross the nation and facilitate commute for the locals as well as for visiting tourists. Here are some ways that you can move about in Vietnam:
A cyclo is simply a bicycle rickshaw. While this cheap mode of transport is slowly dying out in major cities, you might still find it in some of the smaller Vietnamese towns. You will easily spot groups of cyclo drivers around major hotels and market places. This vehicle seats two persons and you must negotiate your fare before climbing up to avoid any confusion later. It should cost you not more than 12,000d to 25,0000d for a short ride, and between 25,000d and 40,000d for a longer or night ride.
Some cyclo operators are syndicated by tour operators and hotels and you can hire them for small sightseeing rides around the city.
Moving up the transport ladder is the xe om (zay-ohm). This motorbike taxi makes it faster and easier to move around the city as long as you don’t have a lot of luggage with you. As with the cyclo, negotiate the price before you begin the ride. Don’t pay more than 15,000d for a short hop. How do you know who is a xe om driver and not just another local? Don’t worry, they will find you before you look for them.
Every city in the world has taxis and Vietnam is no different. Look for taxis with meters since those are official and safe to travel with, especially if it’s your first trip to Vietnam. There will always be dishonest taxi operators; hence it is advisable to only travel with reputable or recommended operators, such as Mai Linh (www.mailinh.vn) and Vinasun (www.vinasuntaxi.com).
Of course, there are always app-based taxis (car and motorbike), like Uber and Grab, in most major Vietnamese cities.
You might think hopping aboard a local bus with scant to zero knowledge of the local language might be a terrible idea. You’d be surprised to know how easy it actually is. Arm yourself with a bus map and get ready to explore Vietnam the way the locals do.
Of course, one of the best ways to get around Vietnam is by hiring your own two-wheeler or motorcycle. This gives you the flexibility to go where you want and when you want. Cars always come with a driver, but if you are comfortable then you have the option of riding the motorbike yourself.
Are you eager to get started on your trip to Vietnam? Please do check out our Vietnam Holiday Packages where you can get details on all your flights, tickets, visa and even forex formalities information. At Thomas Cook, we are standing by to help you with all your travel-related needs.