Monday, October 16, 2006

Getting To Vietnam

Getting To Vietnam
By Adam Hurley

Map of VietnamWhether you're in Australia, America or China, if you're heading to Vietnam for a holiday, it's now as easy as ever to arrive by boat, road, rail or air. Here are your options:

Road
From Cambodia: There is a road crossing at Moc Bai (Tay Ninh province 80km from Saigon) connecting Phnom Penh in Cambodia with Saigon. Several companies now operate a direct bus service between the two cities, departing each city early morning.

There is also a crossing into Vietnam via Chau Doc (245 km from Saigon) that is passable boat. Boats leave Phnom Penh (daily) in the early afternoon arriving in Chau Doc (Vietnam) around 6pm. The return journey departs early the next morning. Buses connect Chau Doc to Ho Chi Minh City (7 hours).

From Laos: There is a road crossing at Lao Bao in Quang Tri Province, about 160km northwest of Hue, connecting Savannakhet with Central Vietnam. Another road into Vietnam is via Cau Treo, Ha Tinh Province. Numerous travel companies run bus services for travellers, times vary.

From China: There are three roads crossing at Ha Khau (Lao Cai Province), Dong Dang (Lang Son Province) and Mong Cai (Quang Ninh Province). These borders may close at time, with out warning.

Boat
There are no normal sea crossings into Vietnam although an increasing number of cruise liners sail into Vietnamese waters. The only other international connection by boat is the Mekong River crossing from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc (see above).

Train
There are international rail connections between China and Vietnam. One from Peking via Nanning, crossing at Lang Son and one from Kunming that travels via Lao Cai, both services terminate in Hanoi.

Air
Vietnam currently has three international airports:
• Noi Bai serving Hanoi and the north.
• Danang International Airport serving the central provinces.
• Tan Son Nhat in Ho Chi Minh City serving the south.

The national carrier, Vietnam Airlines, has services connecting the USA, UK, Australia, Europe and many Asia countries to Vietnam. An increasing number of international carriers also fly to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Low cost airline such as, Tiger Air and Air Asia, have flights from as low as USD $25 excluding taxes from Bangkok and Singapore to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. When departing Vietnam, all visitors must pay USD $14 for departure tax. This is payable at the airport, after check in.

NOTE: The above information can change at anytime, without warning. It is recommended that you seek up to date information regarding borders, travel, costs etc before you travel.

About the Author
Adam Hurley is an experienced tour guide and photographer with over 5 years experience in South East Asia. For more information and photos of Vietnam visit
Snapper Photography and Vietnam In Focus.

Picture
Map of Vietnam

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Other Resources
Ho Chi Minh City Hotel Guide
Ho Chi Minh City Bars & Clubs Guide