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World Travel Guide > Guides > Asia > Vietnam

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Travel to Vietnam

Flying to Vietnam

The national airline is Vietnam Airlines (www.vietnamairlines.com), which runs direct flights from London to Hanoi. Vietnam is also served by many airlines via nearby hubs, including Cathay Pacific (www.cathaypacific.com) and Thai (www.thaiairways.com). Flights to Vietnam are at their most expensive around Christmas, New Year and Tet (January/February).

Major airports are: Tan Son Nhat International Airport and Noi Bai International Airport.

Flight times

Long Thanh International Airport, a new airport 40km (25 miles) south of Ho Chi Minh City, is expected to be open by 2020.

Airport Guides

Tan Son Nhat International Airport

Code

SGN

Location

The airport is located within the Hồ Chí Minh city limits, about 8km (5 miles) north of the central business district.

Tel

+84 8 3848 5383.

Address

Find out more >

Flight times

From London - 12 hours 10 minutes; New York - 20 hours (including stopover).

Departure tax

Included in the price of the ticket.

Travelling to Vietnam by Rail

It is possible to cross into Vietnam from China by rail from Beijing-Dong Dang-Hanoi and back. Contact Vietnam Railways (tel: +84 4 3942 5972; www.vr.com.vn) for details. A useful number in Vietnam is 1080, where English-speaking operators can give information on timetables.

Driving to Vietnam

There are routes to China through Lang Son, Mong Cai and Lao Cai, to Cambodia through Moc Bai and Xaxia and also to Laos through Lao Bao, Nam Can, Na Meo, Tay Trang and Cau Trieu. There is a regular bus service from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, operated by the Saigon Passenger Transport Company (tel: +84 8 3854 6110; www.saigonbus.com.vn).

There are bus services from Vientiane, Laos to Hanoi and Savannakhet, Laos to Hue; you need to buy tickets for these in person from the bus station and neither journey is the most comfortable of rides. There are no buses travelling from China that cross into Vietnam. Passengers have to change buses at the border.

Getting to Vietnam by boat

The only international arrival point into Vietnam with a regular ferry service is Chau Doc in the Mekong Delta. There are daily speedboat ferries from Phnom Penh along the Mekong River taking 4.5 to 5 hours. Cruise ships call at Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Danang and Haiphong.

Blue Cruiser (tel: +84 8 3926 0253; www.bluecruiser.com) operates a daily speedboat service between Chau Doc in the Mekong Delta and Phnom Penh.

River Routes

Travelling along the mighty Mekong River from Phnom Penh to Chau Doc is a very special way to arrive.

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Teeming with culture, history and fantastic street food stalls spilling out across the street, Hanoi offers an eye-popping introduction to Vietnam