5 Cheap And Easy Ways To Travel Around Vietnam

Nga Do
Once you arrive in Vietnam, getting around is an important thing to consider — and the easier and cheaper the better, right? Vietnam is not too wide, but travelling here is not easy because the population is quite crowded and the traffic jams can make you insane. You can choose many vehicles for your wonderful trip.

Most tourists do want to see the different things Vietnam has to offer, so with a bit of planning, you can cover a great deal of ground for an unbelievable price. Now, you have no excuse to stay in just one city! Every Vietnamese city has something special and unique to offer. Before you decide where you’re going, consider these cheap and easy ways to travel around Vietnam — you’ll be so glad you did!

1. “Xich lo” – Cyclo

Cycle rickshaws are known as xích lô (pronounced sick-low, from the French cyclo) in Vietnam. When traveling to our country, most travelers wil have occasions to experience the cyclo touring. They are quite small, with one or two persons can be sat. The driver will take you around the city and see the view in the closest way.

2. Tramcar/ Electronic car

Besides the reasonable price, when using trams, visitors are free to watch the streets of Hanoi clearer. The car does not have glass doors so visitors seem to be feeling better, being closer to the old town and morever, electric cars use no gasoline and very environmentally friendly. When you get on the trams, the driver will play a CD of the Vietnamese history and culture. Therefore, after each trip, tourists will better understand the streets and places of where they passed by. Each electric car is capable of carrying 5-12 people at a fare of 15,000 VND / person / round and does not carry bulky cargo.

3. Bus/Taxi

A normal bus or BRT bus ( one type of speedy buses) is a good choice for your trip if you want to have different experience. Buses have many routes and run around Hanoi. They only stop  at certain points so visitors must find the right place to be picked up and drop off the bus. The BRT cars run faster and have their own lanes, with shuttle shelters, but not many routes.

A taxi is more comfortable and convenient if you do not like the crowd like buses.

4. Ship or boat

From dragonboats to cruises on a junk, Vietnam offers a range of ways to see this beautiful country on the water. Dragonboats can take you for a leisurely cruise on the Perfume River, or they can transport you to one of many of Vietnam’s attractions and tourist spots, including tombs of past kings and markets.

Taking a cruise on a junk isn’t cheap, and it’s best to avoid the cheaper junk cruises, because your safety matters. However it is an unforgettable experience climbing aboard a junk and spending a night or two cruising the stunning and magical Halong Bay. It’s one of those things you need to have on your bucket list — if you don’t do it on your next visit, make sure it’s definitely on the one after.

5. Train

Train travel is another quick and cheap way to get around Vietnam. Train services run to Sapa tours from Hanoi, Lao Cai — and you can even get to Ho Chi Minh! It’s quicker than a bus, so better for those longer journeys.

Travelling overnight is a great way to save money on accommodation and travel long distances at the same time. However, always try and purchase the more comfortable 4-berth soft sleeper cabins. That way, your family can have a whole cabin to yourself. If you only need 3 beds, buy the fourth, it’s cheap and will give you more room to stow your bags. Having a soft sleeper means you’ll get a thicker mattress than a hard sleeper cabin. A hard sleeper cabin is 6-berth.

If you must get hard sleeper tickets, you’d want to buy all 6 seats. We travelled during a peak period and all we could get was hard sleeper tickets. The bottom two beds were taken up by two vietnamese women and numerous kids, with little room for all our luggage. So we had the four beds above them (3 levels a side). It was a very rough night, especially since my toddler decided she wanted the whole bed to herself, and it took me a week for my stiff neck to stop giving me bad headaches.

Unlike the bus, overnight train travel is much safer and recommended.

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