Photo: Canals of Ca Mau, Mekong Delta.

Vietnam forum

Travel in Vietnam

Posted by drutherford on 5/1/2007 at 10:44

Hi everyone,

We are planning on visiting Vietnam in June for approximately 1-2 weeks. We are on a backpackers budget but would like to see as much as possible of course.

We are flying into Hanoi and will be making our way down Vietnam and then over to Cambodia.

Some countries have hop-on/hop-off trains or buses for tourists. Does Vietnam have anythign like this? Does Vietnam have tourist travel passes for transport? If not, what is the best and cheapest way of travelling?

Thanks in advance
Debbie

#1 drutherford has been a member since 2/1/2007. Posts: 22

Posted by somtam2000 on 6/1/2007 at 09:23 admin

Hi Debbie,

Vietnam has what is known as the "Open Tour" system. This is a tourist minibus service which plies the length of the country and stops at predetermined stops throughout the country. The main pit stops (north to south) are: Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Dalat, Mui Ne and Saigon. There's also a variety of side trips into the Mekong Delta etc

The ticket price varies depending on how many spots you plan on jumping off at, but can be as low as US$30 (or thereabouts depending on the operator) for the entire trip.

While convenient, the buses can be overcrowded and it's a pretty touristic experience, but many swear by it.

Otherwise the train system is excellent, though there's no pass system in place.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,498
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Posted by drutherford on 6/1/2007 at 15:44

Thanks heaps for this information. Is there anywhere on travelfish that I can find out more about this Open Tour system and it's side trips?

If we choose to train it, do you think we will have any problems if we just turn up or do you need to prebook? Given our short stay I would like to get the most out of the trip as possible.

Thanks again :-)
Cheers
Debbie

#3 drutherford has been a member since 2/1/2007. Posts: 22

Posted by davesaunders on 18/1/2007 at 14:09

I also have a Q on transport. I usually just turn up somewhere and make arrangements on the spot, it usually works out quite well for me. Will this work OK in Vietnam? Since I have a limited amount of time, I'm gonna do a bit of planning....
Planning on flying directly to Phu Quoc, then travelling through the Mekong via Rach Gia etc back through to Saigon. I have read about these tourist mini-buses and public buses, how does one book transport on one of these? Is this done on arrival at the town your at, or does one advise to book ahead from a travel agent, if so where are the best places to organise transport, at the bus station, travel agent, from the hotel at Phu Quoc?
cheers in advance

#4 davesaunders has been a member since 18/1/2007. Posts: 4

Posted by somtam2000 on 19/1/2007 at 16:53 admin

Hi Dave,

Welcome to Travelfish!

Probably the only thing you'd need to consider booking in Vietnam is the flight to/from Phu Quoc as the flights fill up fast - especially in high season.

The Open Tours things can be booked through travel agents and many guesthouses will also be able to assist -- no need to book in advance as they just keep cramming people in.

#5 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,498
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