Bus Tickets in Vietnam. Bus transportation in Vietnam?
In Vietnam, the bus is the cheapest and most convenient means of transport for tourists as the bus system is well developed and can be used to reach almost all parts of the country. If you are stuck at the very first steps, such as how to find a bus or which route to take, read this guide on the best way to travel by bus in Vietnam.
If you want to book a bus ticket in Vietnam, you can either do so online or at a travel agency, hotel, or bus station. Keep in mind that during holidays in Vietnam, especially during the Tet New Year, you need to book tickets well in advance due to the lack of available seats.
There are several reliable websites where you can book bus tickets to Vietnam online.
Tips for online booking:
Research well where you are heading. Some destinations don't have a (big) bus station, which means you have to travel to a big city nearby and take a taxi or local bus from there. For example, you often have to take a bus from Hoi An to Da Nang and a bus from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi.
Check the correct name of the location. Sometimes when you use the search engines of these bus companies, you can't find the destination because you spell it wrong. For example, Dalat or Da Lat, Danang or Da Nang, Halong Bay, Ha Long or Halong City.
If you can't find availability on one website, check one of the other websites. It is possible that each website may list the availability of a different bus company. So if one bus company doesn't have availability, another may still have availability.
You can book a bus ticket at almost any Vietnamese travel agency, and most hotels and hostels can also book it for you. In most cases, they have a small commission, but sometimes they will add a small fee. You can get the cheapest tickets at the bus station itself, but it's often not conveniently located outside the city center.
Bus transport options.
The national bus network is slowly being modernized, with old rickety buses being replaced by air-conditioned models, especially on the more popular routes. Travel can be slow as buses often stop to pick up passengers or take breaks.
Sleeper bus (night bus).
Modern air-conditioned buses run between the most important cities. You are assured of an allocated seat and plenty of space. Most have comfortable reclining seats, others have recliners for long journeys. These sleeper buses can be a good alternative to trains and the cost is comparable. The advantage of a sleeper bus is that it doesn't cost you a day of travel and a night in a hotel.
Overnight bus in Vietnam
VIP bus in Vietnam
VIP buses run between some destinations. Their number is very limited, so if you want to use these buses, it is advisable to book them in advance. In these buses, you have much more space, more comfort, and also have WiFi.
An alternative to traveling by bus in Vietnam is the minibusses. These vary in quality, but limousines are the most popular. One difference is that these limousine minibusses mostly run during the day, while regular long-distance buses are mostly night (sleeper) buses.
VIP Bus in Vietnam
Public Bus Service.
Local buses run shorter distances and are much less luxurious. Therefore, it is much less comfortable. These buses only run during the day. Local buses are often busy and drivers sometimes charge tourists higher prices. Therefore, they are not very popular with travelers.
Ticket for an open bus.
In backpacker spots around Vietnam, you will see many signs advertising an "open tour" or "open ticket". These open bus tickets are mainly for foreign travelers. Air-conditioned buses run between Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi (and other routes), and passengers can get on and off the bus in any major city along the route. If you want to break the journey and then re-board, just call the organization one day before departure.
In general, open tour buses are a fairly comfortable way to travel around Vietnam: they have air conditioning, limited seating, and a fixed schedule. In addition, because they don't stop as often to pick people up, they are faster and competition is so strong that prices are almost as low as the national bus network. Buses are usually pretty decent but don't expect too much legroom or toilets on board. Some of the more expensive bus lines have them, but the vast majority stop every few hours for a combined toilet and refreshment break.
For example: in Ho Chi Minh City, you buy an open bus ticket and reserve a seat on the bus to Dalat. You have now made 1 stop. After a few days in Dalat, you can call the bus company from your hotel and reserve a seat for the bus to Nha Trang.
Open bus ticket Vietnam.
Cost of an open bus ticket.
The buses are comfortable and very cheap. Depending on the carrier and the exact route, a ticket from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi costs between US$35 and US$70, and from HCMC to Hue costs around US$25. The more stops you add, the higher the price. Buses usually leave from central locations (often from hostels that are popular with travelers), so you don't have to make another trip to the bus station. Some open-route buses also stop at sights along the way.
Boarding points for an open-route bus ticket.
The most popular stops for an open bus ticket are:
Ho Chi Minh City
If you lose your bus ticket, your money cannot be refunded.
If you have chosen the wrong bus company, you will be saddled with it for the whole journey.
You must follow the bus company's daily schedule.
If you want to go somewhere else, for example to Sapa, you must buy a separate bus ticket for that.
Buying a separate ticket costs only slightly more (or nothing at all), but still gives you more freedom.
How to get to the bus station?
Cities may have different bus stations. It may be that one bus station does not have the same connection as another bus station in the same city. For this reason, always find out which bus station you are supposed to be at first. The type of service may also vary (local or long-distance, express or non-express) and some bus companies have their own stations. Bus stations can look chaotic, but many of them now have offices with official prices and departure times clearly listed.
Buses departing from smaller towns such as Dalat and Ninh Binh always include hotel pick-up. In this case, a minibus will pick you up and take you to the bus station.
On the bus.
You always have a fixed seat on the bus. You can find your seat number on your ticket. If you prefer a seat at the front of the bus and an upper or lower berth on the night bus, it is wise to communicate your preference when you book. The bus often stops midway at a special stop. Here you will find toilets, a restaurant and one or more shops where you can buy snacks and drinks.
Arrive at your destination.
When you arrive in a small or medium-sized town, then transfer to your hotel is included. You will arrive at the bus station and a minivan will take you to your accommodation. In big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, you have to take a taxi or walk (however, not all bus stations are right in the city center).
Bus accidents are not uncommon and regularly increase at night. Vehicles are often poorly maintained. Keep valuables with you and don't put them at the bottom of the bus. Some bus companies have a better reputation than others for the quality of their drivers and buses.
FAQ - Bus tickets in Vietnam? Traffic in Vietnam?
- Yes, our site offers direct booking of tickets for transport in Vietnam.
- Check the correct name of the location. Sometimes when you use the search engines of these bus companies, you can't find the destination because you spell it wrong.
- Bus accidents are not uncommon and regularly increase at night. Vehicles are often poorly maintained. Keep valuables with you and do not put them at the bottom of the bus. Some bus companies have a better reputation than others for the quality of their drivers and buses.
- These sleeper buses can be a good alternative to trains and the costs are comparable. The advantage of a sleeper bus is that it doesn't cost you a day of travel and a night in a hotel.
- Cities may have different bus stations. It may happen that one bus station does not have the same connection as another bus station in the same city.
- Buses departing from smaller towns such as Dalat and Ninh Binh always include a hotel pick-up. In this case, a minibus will pick you up and take you to the bus station.