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Bangkok to Hanoi Train? or Bus?

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Oct 1st, 2011, 07:38 AM
  #1
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Bangkok to Hanoi Train? or Bus?

Is anyone aware of a train that can be taken from Thailand to Vietnam? If not is there a recommended bus option? Any guestimates as to how long of a bus ride it is from BKK to Hanoi? Much appreciated!

Jeff
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Oct 1st, 2011, 08:21 AM
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There is no train from Bangkok to Hanoi, and I don't know of any direct bus. I think you would have to do a series of bus rides to get from Bangkok to Hanoi.

You might want to take a look at www.talesofasia.com and www.travelfish.org for more info on overland travel in SE Asia.
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Oct 1st, 2011, 09:11 PM
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If you have the time then making your way by surface transport is by far the more interesting option. But if there are time constraints Air Asia has cheap flights from BKK to Hanoi.

http://www.airasia.com/my/en/home.html

Also Thai it seems. Look here for budget airlines all over:

http://www.whichbudget.com/
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Oct 1st, 2011, 09:16 PM
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There are trains from Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) to Hanoi. It's supposed to be a beautiful ride. So you can likely get to Saigon by bus and train from there to Hanoi. I plan to do it myself the other way before long.

For train information everywhere look here: http://seat61.com/
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Oct 1st, 2011, 10:44 PM
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The long way round would be via Siem Reap and PP to Saigon and the train to Hanoi - talesofasia.com will have the current details for that route. But the more direct way would be to take the train to the Lao border and go by bus or car from there. I haven't done it, but I'm sure if you ask over at Lonely Planet's thorntree you'll find someone who has.
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Oct 2nd, 2011, 07:54 AM
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fly air asia or thai air or vietnam air
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Oct 2nd, 2011, 09:36 AM
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fly air asia for the cheapest ticket. There is no train from BKK to Hanoi anyway.
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Oct 2nd, 2011, 09:49 AM
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I always hesitate to recommend one specific solution if it's not part of the question. In this case the OP seems to be asking for surface transport options but since they've not come back to clarify we don't really know. If and when that happens we can then give more specific ideas. I mentioned Air Asia because I've used them and liked them but MY preference is always to go by surface transport when possible, train, bus, ferry, tuk tuk, whatever's available and adds, hopefully, to the whole experience, time permitting. Or sometimes I get tired and just want to be there, now, so fly. But right now, in this case, we don't know.
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Oct 2nd, 2011, 11:37 AM
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I'm with joannay - I always prefer surface unless I have a particular reason to hurry, or I'm connecting two really separate destinations. And the OP asked about trains and buses. Much more interesting to go via Laos than to fly.
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Oct 2nd, 2011, 12:08 PM
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The train journey from Saigon to Hanoi is an adventure in itself and, if you have the time, can be done in sections, much like a "hop on hop off bus". As has already been pointed out there is no straight through train but it is easy enough to link up by bus or car or boat via either Cambodia or Laos or indeed both. The train ride from BKK to the Lao border is a bit boring but doesn't take that long.

Border crossings between Cambodia and Vietnam and Cambodia/Laos are pretty straight forward but there are only a few legal crossings between Lao and Vietnam (or at least that used to be the case a few years ago.

Totally agree with thursdaysd and joannay. Time permitting, surface travel will provide a much better insight into the countries being visited than just jumping on a plane.
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Oct 3rd, 2011, 10:49 AM
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The 05:55 train from Bangkok Hualamphong goes to Aranyaprathet, fare 48 baht ($1). Take a tuk tuk thge few remaining miles to the Poiphet border, cross into Cambodia and take local buses or taxi to Siem Reap, arriving late afternoon/early evening. You may then want to see the famous templs at Angor Wat nearby.

Then take a bus to Phnom Penh, this takes a few hours and buses leave regularly.

Then bus from Phnom Penh to Saigon, the bus takes about 5 or 6 hours. Again there's a range of buses every day from 07:30 to 13:30, fare $12.

I've put details at www.seat61.com/Cambodia.htm - they'll be updated and improved in a month or two, as I'm going up that way myself, all being well, at the end of October.
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Oct 3rd, 2011, 09:05 PM
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Pooch
I have done BKK to Vietnam (Hue) by bus. Its a long and tiring trip. I found it easier coming from Vietnam to Lao as you can get a visa at the border in a few minutes but going from Lao to Vietnam you need to have a visa before crossing. You cross the border from Lao into Vietnam at Lao Bao and continue past the ex US military base of Khe Sanh to Hue. The only problem with this method is that Hue is smack in the middle of Vietnam and Vietnam is a very long country. There are other crossings. See the travel guides for latest details as the last time I did this was around 1 years ago and things change almost daily.
As to going via Cambodia this may be a good option if you have the time. You will get to see Angkor wat. As the man in the seat says you can catch the train from BKK, I prefer the bus from Bkk. the markets in Arunyaprathet are worth a visit if you have the time. The border crossing is a bit chaotic, best to get a visa online first. The border crossing is renowned for scams, extra fees etc however we have been lucky and never experienced it. The road to Siem Reap is great now it has been done up from the bad old days.

If you are travelling from Siem Reap to PP try taking the fast boat down the Tonle Sap to PP. Its a bit more than the bus but much more scenic . We took my 80 year old father in law with us and he loved the boat. You have to sit outside on the deck to see since the windows are that crazed.
While I have never done it but you can get buses in PP to HCMC as detailed in other posts. This would put you at one end of Vietnam and so you could then see the whole country.
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