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You want to travel to Vietnam, you want to see everything you possibly can, but you don’t want to spend a lot of money. It’s understandable!
After the initial airfare from your home country is taken care of, traveling through Vietnam does not have to be expensive. Accommodation options run all across the board, food is outrageously delicious and cheap, shopping is affordable and different modes of transport are readily available. But before you book your entire Vietnam vacation via bus, travelers should first realize that domestic flights within Vietnam are actually quite affordable. Budget air flights (Jetstar and VietJet) usually run around 50 USD (1 million VND) for Da Nang to HCMC/Hanoi, while a bus ride may run you between 20-30 dollars (and take 14 hours longer than the flight). Granted delays/cancellations are known to happen with both carriers, saving 14 hours of your vacation time may be worth it.
But perhaps you want to bus through the country! Here are a few things you might want to know…
*Buses in Vietnam can actually be quite comfortable. Unlike the stiff, worn our seats of other sleeper buses in SE Asia, Vietnam has a huge fleet of Open Tour Sleepers that are equipped with “lounge” style seats, where the passengers can actually lay down vertically. This makes sleep possible on the long 16-hour journeys, enabling you to be well rested for the morning of arrival.
*The highways can be a bit hectic. No traveler who has done a long haul on a sleeper bus can forget the seemingly lawless nature of driving on Vietnam’s highways. Overtaking, lots of beeping, sharp turns and close calls with oncoming traffic are common occurrences on Vietnam’s roads… and while Vietnam does have a terrible road safety record, the numbers generally aren’t referring to these Open Tour buses- it’s the surrounding motorbikes that usually take the brunt of the accidents.
*There will be at least one mandatory stop along the way for most buses, and they might not be the best stops in the country. Whether it’s for a bathroom break or a midnight snack, don’t be surprised if your bus pulls off in the middle of nowhere at a strange hour into a restaurant/service station. Drivers need breaks too, and the stop is a chance for passengers to eat, use the toilet or stretch their legs. Generally they only last for 30 minutes to an hour (maximum).
If you DO choose to take an overnight sleeping bus…
- Make sure you book through a reputable tour company (contact our offices, we’ll take good care of you!)
- Bring along a set of earplugs or headphones- you might need something to drown out the midnight beeping sessions
- Keep your eyes off the road! The drivers are professionals; they know what they’re doing. While the journey may appear to be your last (if you’re watching), the drivers are just doing what they do every day, every week, every month of the year.
- If you don’t book with the right company, don’t be surprised if your bus isn’t what you paid for. Ancient cruisers that are always breaking down, uncomfortable/overbooked rides or buses that pick up anyone along the way are common with less reputable carriers.
Bussing through the country may be the cheapest option, but it’s not always the most comfortable. Talk to our MinMax professionals about all the best transport across the country; we’ve got the best options and deals that can perfectly suit your budget… You may be surprised to find out a flight, train or even a rented car & driver is just as good as an overnight sleeper! If you do choose to take an overnight bus, we only work with the most reputable and safe carriers, so rest easy knowing you’re in good hands with us!
April 23, 2015
April 20, 2015
October 18, 2014
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August 28, 2014