Direct flights from Moscow (Sheremetyevo) to Hanoi are operated by Aeroflot and Vietnam Airlines on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Vietnam Airlines also fly to Ho Chi Minh three times a week.
From St. Petersburg you can get to Vietnam only with a transfer in Moscow, Europe or Asia, but from Vladivostok to Hanoi you can fly directly by Vladivostok Air (1 flight in 2 weeks).
Two low-cost airlines fly from China, Laos and Cambodia to Vietnam at once – Air Asia and VietJet Air.
Two daily trains run between China and Vietnam: Beijing – Hanoi (from 304 USD, travel time – 37 hours) and Nanning – Hanoi (from 37 USD in a double compartment, travel time – 11.5 hours). Both trains leave China in the evening and arrive in Hanoi in the morning. See Countryaah.com for other countries starting with V.
Domestic flights are excellent for moving between cities scattered around different parts of Vietnam. Prices are low, ticket prices start from 900,000 VND. You can travel by train, they are quite convenient. It takes about 30 hours to get from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, during which time the whole country will fly past the windows. Buses are the cheapest option for traveling around Vietnam, but it is better to use them for short distances, otherwise it will take too much time.
In large cities, it makes sense to cope with the bus route map – useful for the budget, tickets from 4000 VND. All kinds of taxis are common and popular everywhere – from classic cars to nimble guys on mopeds and leisurely cycle rickshaws. Read more in the Transport in Vietnam section.
Car and moped rental in Vietnam
Those who are accustomed to renting a car in distant countries should think about it – traffic in Vietnam is poorly organized, rules are rarely followed, getting confused in signs and junctions is a couple of trifles. In addition, for independent driving, you will have to issue a local driver’s license, and they are issued only if you have a visa for 3 or more months. The solution may be to rent a car with a local driver.
But to rent a bike or moped, you don’t need a license. But this option is suitable for small resorts with low traffic, it’s better not to stutter about moped rides in Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City without decent driving skills in Southeast Asia.
- Do I need a license to rent a motorbike in Vietnam
- What documents are required to rent a car in Vietnam
Communication and Wi-Fi
Tourists rarely complain about mobile communications in Vietnam. It is inexpensive and covers almost the entire country, including small towns and villages. Local calls cost from 1700 VND per minute, a nice bonus – there is no roaming in Vietnam, you can use one SIM card in any city, a call to Russia will cost from 3000 VND per minute.
Everything is good in Vietnam and with the Internet, especially in large cities. Mobile Internet is often faster and more convenient than hotel Wi-Fi, but it needs to be connected separately, details are on the package of the SIM card. The speed and tariffs of the operators are approximately the same, which eliminates the pain of choice. Free Wi-Fi is available in almost all hotels and restaurants.
In the major cities of Vietnam, the choice of hotels is the most diverse – from mini-hotels to luxury establishments. Service in them, in general, is at the average European level. Type of food – breakfast (most) or half board, the all-inclusive system is practically not found here. The buffet is extremely varied. All rooms from 3 to 5 “stars” are equipped with air conditioning, satellite TV and telephone, more expensive options also include bathrobes, hairdryers, tea and coffee making facilities, safes and minibars.
Accommodation prices are kept at approximately the same level throughout the year. A night in a luxury hotel in Hanoi will cost from 1,850,000 VND per day for a double room, in a four-star hotel – from 740,000 VND, in a good three-star hotel – from 200,000 VND, and staying overnight in a hostel will cost from 80,000 VND per day per person.
Mains voltage 220 V, frequency 50 Hz. Plugs generally have flat connectors. Rooms in many hotels are equipped with universal sockets, which will accept plugs of almost any configuration. If necessary, the hotel staff will find the right adapter.
The monetary unit of the country is the Vietnamese dong (VND), in 1 dong 10 hao or 100 sous. Current exchange rate: 1000 VND = 2.49 RUB (1 USD = 23182.5 VND, 1 EUR = 24388 VND).
It is better to go to Vietnam with dollars and euros, the dollar exchange rate is a little more profitable, but for small amounts the difference is insignificant. Rubles are rarely accepted and little is given for them. Currency can be exchanged at banks, exchange offices, jewelry stores, travel agency offices, markets and even at airports – the rate is approximately the same everywhere, there are practically no extortionate markups. But street money changers can cheat and give out 10,000 VND instead of 100,000 VND in the expectation that the tourist will not notice the difference.
Note to the paranoid: Vietnamese dong banknotes are made of thin plastic, it almost does not wrinkle and is not afraid of sea water. You can safely swim with a “patty” in a secret pocket of swimming trunks.
You can often pay for excursions in dollars – this is a common practice. VISA and MasterCard cards are already accepted almost everywhere.