If you’re traveling Vietnam on a budget, buses are the go-to choice. They offer great flexibility and are far more economical than private cars or even motorbikes. Whether you’re staying in the city or traveling out to more rural areas, there are plenty of options for getting to your destination.
How to Get To/From in Vietnam
While these routes aren’t just for buses, getting to know how to get from one region to another in Vietnam will make it easier to plan your next adventure. While buses are usually among the cheapest, sometimes a shuttle, train or motorbike is a viable option.
Guide to Buses in Vietnam
If the words “bus ride in Asia” conjures up ideas of spending hour after hour on bumpy, hot, and cramped bus bench seats, then you don’t need to worry. Vietnam’s bus and road network has come a long way over the last decades! These days, the main intercity routes are smoothly-paved highways, and the tourist buses are almost always kitted out with reclining seats or beds, instead of chairs.
Of course, they aren’t the last word in luxury, but it’s certainly possible to get some sleep en route to your next stop.
However, it’s a different story if you’re taking an inner-city or rural route. Once you get off the main tourist bus network, the old image of Asian buses does start to re-emerge! These vehicles are often crowded and are far less well-equipped. In the cities, buses have to compete with hundreds of other road users. In the countryside, the roads are often badly paved, making for a bone-shaking ride.
Depending on where you’re traveling, you might also get an uncomfortably close view over a cliff edge as the bus swings slowly around tight mountain passes! That said, don’t be put off the local buses entirely! They are perfectly ok for short journeys and a great way to get a flavor of the average Vietnamese person’s life.
The Vietnamese are incredibly warm, welcoming people, and there’s a good chance that you will finish the journey with a few new friends! With an understanding of what to expect and a little advance planning, it’s absolutely possible to negotiate Vietnam’s bus network with a minimum of hassle. For anyone who is budget conscious, buses can be the key to seeing the whole country.