Photo: Terraces, Yuanyang.

China forum

Vietnam/Hanoi to Kunming

Posted by jocschneider on 31/8/2013 at 00:51

I am meeting a friend in Kunming after a month of traveling through Vietnam and was wondering if anyone can give me advice on the best way to do this. I have found some flights at approx. $300, and obviously this will be the most comfortable mode of travel, but if anyone has had good experiences of traveling overland please let me know!
Thanks in advance!

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Posted by caseyprich on 31/8/2013 at 01:53

I haven't gone into Vietnam there, but have traveled by bus along the China/Vietnam/Lao border. If you cross at Hekou you can stop at Yuanyang for a night to check out the rice terraces there. Once you're in Yuanyang it'll take the better part of a day to get up to Kunming - so you could do this in 2 days from the border, though there isn't really reason to rush.

Reminder that you have to get your visa setup before arrival to China.

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Posted by svendj on 3/9/2013 at 08:33

I had to do this a few years ago cause I was on overdue on my Vietnamese visa. Though wouldn't recommend if you hate long bus rides.
I took the bus from Hanoi to Vientiane (Laos) which was quite a ride but had a lot of fun in the minibus (also had my Chinese visa done in Vientiane).
stayed the night in Vientiane en took the bus to Oudomxay (north of Laos). stayed the night and took the bus to Mengla (China, just across the border with Laos), stayed the night here as well and the next day moved on towards JunJinghong. A few hours of the bus to have a look around and get some dinner before taking the bus to Kunming.

So this way it took me about 4-5 days to get to Kunming but was well worth the trip to see a lot more places then I had planned.
Wouldn't suggest if you're on a time schedule as you never know if buses will be on time or not.

fun trip so I'd consider doing it again and even splitting it up with extra nights at Luang Prabang and eastern Laos if you have the time (just get of the bus and stay with the locals and wait for the next bus the next day or hitch hike).

a well $300 ain't that much for a flight to Kunming :p.

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Posted by jocschneider on 3/9/2013 at 14:11

Thank you for the replies! This is all so helpful, however for a first time traveller..very daunting aswell. I will most probably fly so I get more time in Hanoi/North Vietnam to explore.
Thanks again!

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Posted by rosemarielaca on 24/11/2013 at 21:48

Posted from within Vietnam.

Hi. if you plan go to Kunming from Hanoi , you need to go from Hanoi to Lao Cai by train first. and then go the border by public bus. After going the border, you need to get another bus to Kunming. However, going by this way is very tired. As you will go to Kunming for the first time, the besst way for you is going there by airway. It is also much safer than going by land.

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