Bus or Train Trip in Vietnam

Jun 30th, 2019, 04:26 PM
Original Poster
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Bus or Train Trip in Vietnam

I am planning to travel Vietnam from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City in this October (2019) with only one stopover at Hoi An due to time constraint. Without being able to speak the local language, would it be advisable/possible? I would like to see and experience the scenes from the bus/train. I know flying would be faster, but the cost is just about the same. It is my first trip to Vietnam.
tominrm is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 06:32 PM
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Let me suggest that you may want to reconsider that stop in Hoi An. October is monsoon season in central VN, and you can expect 20 inches of rain or more in October. We ran into the same issue when we visited VN in November. We chose to skip central VN, as the flooding is often severe, with loss of life.

Given that, I'd suggest that you fly between Hanoi and HCMC. Lack of local language will not be an issue. English is widely spoken.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 08:12 PM
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Normally I would recommend the train, with a stop in Hue instead of Hoi An, but not in the rainy season, as Kathie says.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jun 30th, 2019, 08:45 PM
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I agree with the above. The train our the preferred method of travel in Vietnam and we have done the trip from Hanoi to Saigon and vv, several times. During October there is a possibility you will be paddling through the streets of Hoi An. You don’t say how much time to actually have in the country but if >7days, I would just stick with the two cities. 10 days and you could take a couple of nights side trip, maybe the Mekong delta in the south or Ninh Binh from Hanoi. Some photos and detail of our travels in the county which may help you choose on our blog @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/vietnam/
crellston is offline  
Jul 1st, 2019, 02:26 PM
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Thank you all for very valuable weather information. 20 inches of rain in a month is a LOT! I will bypass (fly over) Hoi An this time and hope I will get another opportunity to visit the city in the future.
tominrm is offline  
Jul 1st, 2019, 03:02 PM
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Sounds like a good plan. Enjoy your time in VN.
Kathie is offline  
Jul 1st, 2019, 06:38 PM
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Agree with aboves - Oct/ Nov is not a good time to visit Central VN (Do it for another trip).
Train is safer than bus (Remember to avoid night bus)!
DinHo is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2019, 05:47 PM
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You can consider to skip central region of VN in Oct - Dec, since the heavy rainy season, and even it cause extreme flooding. About the means of transport, trains could be the best choice, but it takes about 31- 35 hours depends on different train label. Moreover, English is widely spoken in Vietnam so local language not a big deal.
iamthuyduong is offline  
Jul 7th, 2019, 12:47 AM
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Was in Da Nang a few September ago. Perfect weather during the day, with a long deluge every night during the early hours.

Then moved on by train to Hue for 5 nights. Got caught in a Tropical Depression for much of that time, and spent far too much time in a bar watching the great spectacle of how the locals just take these inclement weather patterns in their stride.

Spent the following week in Hoi An....perfect weather throughout.

Pay your money and take your chance.
LancasterLad is offline  
Jul 8th, 2019, 07:15 AM
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Thank you for your suggestion, LancasterLad, but my time in Vietnam is very limited. I think I will spend the time I originally allocated for Hoi An in Mecong Delta.
tominrm is offline  
Jul 8th, 2019, 06:25 PM
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If you travel from the North to the South, I would recommend the train is preferrable. Because it's safe and more experienced to sightsee. Of course, bus is suitable for short distance in the city. Don't worry about the language. The touristy attractions all have English speakers.
Noted, October is rainy month in Vietnam but the weather is cool and easing.
Hope you enjoy your trip in Vietnam!
nhungdang9494 is offline  
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