Intercity buses in Vietnam
Intercity buses in Vietnam are a very convenient way to travel between cities. At the same time usual, sedentary, buses, as well as sleeper buses equipped with shelves, where one can quite comfortably recline, run the roads of the country. These buses are used for long distance routes.
Bus companies and transportation destinations in Vietnam
In Vietnam, there are many companies that are engaged in the transport of passengers by buses. Prices of competitors vary slightly, but usually the difference in price is not significant. As a rule, you can get a bus in the city center. Quite often, buses pick up passengers directly from their hotels.
In Ho Chi Minh City bus companies are located on Pham Ngu Lao, the most famous tourist street.
Here are the most popular companies engaged in passenger transportation in Vietnam and their websites (in English):
The buses of these companies run on the highway from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, running through all Vietnam along the coast. The most popular destinations are Nha Trang-Mui Ne-Ho Chi Minh City and back, Nha Trang-Hoi An-Da Nang and back.
You can find out, how much do the tickets cost in any travel agency (they add a very small commission, so you can safely buy tickets at any travel agency), or check directly with the bus company.
Buying tickets on holidays
Please note that on Catholic Christmas, Vietnamese New Year Tet and other important holidays ticket prices may rise almost twice, besides these dates all the tickets may be sold out for the next 1-2 days. That’s why it is better to take care of the tickets in advance during the holidays. Most Vietnamese travel by bus during the celebration of the Vietnamese New Year – Tet, as well as on Victory Day (this holiday is celebrated by residents of the country on April, 30).
He tourists are usually asked to come to departure point of the bus 15-30 minutes before the scheduled departure time. The driver checks your tickets, and, loaded the baggage, you can take your place. The seat number is either indicated in the ticket, or the driver or the conductor will show it to you. You should take off your shoes after you board the bus. You can put them in a plastic bag provided by the driver. The buses are air-conditioned. Often, air conditioning is working in full force, so you should definitely take warm clothes with you on the bus. All passengers get a blanket, a bottle of drinking water and a wet wipe. It’s free.
Many buses are equipped with TVs. They usually broadcast comedy shows, videos or movies, popular in Vietnam. At night, the TVs turn off. At the moment, almost all the buses are equipped with Wi-Fi network. The password is usually posted on the wall at the door of the bus.
On the way, sleeper buses stop at roadside cafes. You can visit the restrooms or get some food there. At the stop, the drivers always announce in Vietnamese and English how long does the stop last.
Open Tour ticket allowing to get off in any city of the route and continue the trip whenever you want
It’s also often possible get an Open Tour ticket for the intercity buses. It means you can buy a ticket, let’s say, from Ho Chi Minh City to Da Nang, but you can get off at any stop and then continue the trip using one of the following buses. You just have to notify the bus company about the date and time when you plan to continue your trip, for example, by calling the phone indicated in your ticket. All bus companies always have English speaking staff.
Bus or train?
We also want to note that traveling by bus is somewhat cheaper than travelling by train. And if we consider that you may have to use a taxi to get to the city center from the railway station at additional cost.
Both tourists and locals travel by buses. Like any public transport in every country, buses have their drawbacks: noisy passengers, unpleasant odors and so on. If you want to travel with maximum comfort, you can book a private transfer from the airport to the hotel door (or to any place you want to go). The driver will meet you with a sign with your name and will get you to your destination as quickly as possible and with comfort.
Have a nice trip, friends!