Hi all, I'm trying to decide a good way to travel:
Hanoi (& Halong)
to Hoi An
to Nha Trang
to Mui Ne
We've got about 18 days to do all that, and I'm thinking about doing one flight leg (maybe Hanoi to Da Nang then train to bus to Hoi An?) and the rest either train or bus or hire motorbikes/ scooters.
I've read the most picturesque train journey is to Hue, but I'm not planning on going there.
Any other beautiful train rides/ best leg to fly/ opinions?
#1 jessia has been a member since 17/3/2010. Posts: 6
I did Vietnam in 18 days and I rode the train the whole way. Except for Danang to Hoi An and Hoi An to Hue where i took the bus. In my opinion and what I have seen, some buses especially the newer ones are more comfortable than the trains. The only airport in your route is in Danang so the most logical thing to do if you are flying is Hanoi -> Danang. The rest of the way I suggest you just stick with bus as it is probably the most convenient form of transport. Just don't mind the horn and the kamikaze driving attitudes.
As for the picturesque train ride to Hue, I wouldn't know because I took the night train.
I too would vote for flying from Ha Noi to Da Nang . From there, catch a bus, taxi, whatever, over to Hoi An (not a long ride). After visiting Hoi An (which has neither train station nor airport), go back to Da Nang and catch an SE train down to Nha Trang (check out the website www.seat61.com for loads of information about train travel in Viet Nam). From that point onward, the bus will likely be your best option.
Thanks guys, precise and helpful advice as usual!
#5 jessia has been a member since 17/3/2010. Posts: 6
Hi, you are right the Hue to Danang stretch is supposedly the most beautiful rail section, there are pictures on the website mentioned by Archmichael. However, if you strike a wet or misty day, or you can't get a day train, the views are not so fantastic. It is also very hard to get a booking on a day train doing this stretch - mostly the local trains not the express. Also, as I posted on another part of this forum, beware of relying too heavily on the trains. Always have a Plan B up your sleeve as they can be notoriously unrelilable. we met some travellers who had not experienced major delays with trains and others who had never had a train run on time. The locals seem to have an instinct for when there is a major problem so if they are looking for travel alternatives, I would follow their example unless you want to waste a lot of time sitting around stations. We had problems with line closures and indefinite train 'delays' but found the buses always on time and in some respects, more comfortable than the trains. You get used to the lunacy of the traffic after a while. Also, if you catch a taxi from Danang to HoiAn - organise for them to stop at Marble Mountain. We were going to skip it but in the end we were glad we stopped - it is worth checking out, especially the Buddha in the cave and the view from the pagoda. Enjoy your time.
#6 tayloroz has been a member since 23/3/2010. Posts: 4
Hi, it will be more comfortable for flight from Hanoi to Hue / or Hanoi to Danang (normally, the same price at 50 USD). And then flight from Hue/Danang to Nhatrang and then from Nhatrang to Ho Chi Minh. All air fare are arr 50-60 USD. And sure you can spend more time for your wonderful trip. Cheer !!
#7 Junie has been a member since 23/3/2010. Posts: 3