A Traveler’s Detailed Guide to Travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City

Travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City to experience Vietnam's diverse culture, stunning landscapes, and vibrant urban life. An adventure filled with history and excitement!

Vietnam, with its S-shaped terrain spanning different latitudes, offers a diverse and ever-changing natural landscape from North to South. Alongside its rich history and culture, this creates a range of captivating experiences that promise an unforgettable adventure for visitors. In this article, we invite you on a virtual tour, providing insights, highlights, and practical tips for your travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh.

3 Essential Things to Know Before Traveling from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City


Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are the two most populous cities in Vietnam, located in the northern and southern parts of the country, respectively. The distance separating these two cities spans a considerable length of 1,137km. When traveling from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, passengers can choose among different modes of transportation:

  • By road: The journey by road typically follows National Highway 1, the longest highway in Vietnam, with a distance from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City of approximately 1,594km. If you were to travel by motorbike, car, or sleeper bus continuously, the estimated travel time would be around 30 hours;
  • By railway: The railway distance between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is 1,730km. The travel time for this route is typically more than 30 hours, depending on the specific train service, stops, and the train's speed;
  • By air: The air route between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City is approximately 1,276km. The travel time for a direct flight is around 2 hours 15 minutes.

It is important to remember that these travel distances and times are approximate and may vary based on specific circumstances such as traffic conditions, train schedules, and flight availability. It is recommended to check with the respective transportation providers for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Weather and Climate

Hanoi, located in the north of Vietnam, experiences 4 distinct seasons with varying temperatures throughout the year. In spring, the weather is mild with occasional rain showers. Summer brings hot and humid conditions with frequent rainfall. Autumn is pleasant with cooler temperatures, while winter is cold and dry with occasional fog. 

The lowest temperatures typically occur during the winter months of December to February and range from 10 to 15 degrees Celsius (50-60°F). During the summer, from May to July, the average temperature is 35 degrees Celsius (95°F). Temperatures can even soar above 40 degrees Celsius (105°F). To ensure a comfortable and safe visit, it's advisable to check the weather forecast regularly and be prepared for peak hot days. 

Ha Noi

The weather in Hanoi has 4 distinct seasons with varying temperatures throughout the year

However, Ho Chi Minh City, located in the south, has a different climate. The city is warm and humid year-round, with two seasons. From December to April, the dry season is characterized by hot and dry weather and temperatures ranging from 35 to 38 degrees Celsius (95-100°F). The rainy season, from May to November, brings frequent showers, high humidity, and temperatures from 25 to 32 (77-90°F) degrees Celsius.

When planning your visit to Vietnam, it's important to be aware that from November to March, there is a distinct contrast in temperature between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. While Hanoi's temperature is cold, sometimes accompanied by frequent drizzles, Ho Chi Minh City's weather remains relatively hot. To ensure your comfort and health, it's recommended to pack appropriate clothing for both conditions.

Ho Chi Minh city

Ho Chi Minh City's weather has a generally hot climate and divided to 2 seasons (dry and monsoon)

International Driving Permit (IDP) 

If you plan to drive when traveling from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, it's important to be aware that an International Driving Permit (IDP) is necessary. An IDP is a translated version of your domestic driver's license and is widely recognized as a valid form of identification in many countries.

To obtain an IDP, you must visit the local automobile association or licensing authority in your home country. It's important to note that the requirements and procedures for obtaining an IDP may vary, so it's recommended to verify the specific details with the relevant authorities in advance.

In Vietnam, driving with an IDP, in addition to your original driver's license, is generally accepted. However, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the local traffic laws, road conditions, and driving customs before embarking on your journey. 

A Detailed Guide to Travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City 

By Plane

The fastest and most convenient option for traveling from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City is by air. Several direct flights are operated between Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi to Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, with multiple departures throughout the day. The flight duration is approximately two hours, making it a time-efficient choice for travelers. The average plane ticket price for the Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City route is appropriately USD 150.



Speed. Flying is the fastest mode of transportation for this route, allowing you to reach your destination quickly and save time compared to other modes of transportation.

Convenience. Air travel offers convenience and ease, especially for long distances. With multiple daily flights between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, you have flexibility in choosing departure times that best suit your schedule.

Comfort. Airlines provide comfortable seating, ample legroom, and in-flight services, making the journey more pleasant and relaxing.

Safety. Air travel is generally considered one of the safest modes of transportation. Airlines adhere to strict safety protocols, and pilots undergo rigorous training to ensure passenger safety.

Limited Scenic Views. Unlike other modes of transportation, such as train or road trips, flying deprives you of the opportunity to witness the landscapes and scenery along the way.

Vietnam Airlines

Let’s fly with Vietnam Airlines on your journey to explore our country from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. (Source: Vietnam Airlines).

To secure cheaper prices for plane tickets from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, consider the following tips:

  • Book in Advance. It is recommended to book Vietnam Airlines, a national airline with a reputation for safety, reliability, and excellent service. Vietnam Airlines typically releases a limited number of discounted seats, and early bookers have a better chance of securing these cheaper tickets. Moreover, by booking early, you can enjoy lower prices and have a better chance of securing the desired seat. This approach is particularly beneficial during peak occasions in Vietnam when there is high flight demand, such as holidays or special events. You increase your chances of securing tickets at more affordable rates and avoid last-minute price surges;
  • Become Lotusmiles. As a Frequent Flyer Program member, you can enjoy a 5% discount on ticket prices, which is one of the benefits offered by Vietnam Airlines. This discount applies to the base fare of the ticket and can provide significant savings on your overall travel expenses;
  • Follow mobile app, website, and Facebook fanpage; Subscribe to Vietnam Airlines' enews. These are excellent strategies to save your money. These platforms often feature exclusive offers and announce flash sales. Stay updated and keep an eye out for any enticing offers that may help you secure good deals. Moreover, by signing up, you can gain early access to sales and exclusive discounts only available to subscribers. 

To purchase Vietnam Airlines tickets, customers can choose among three convenient ways available:

  • Via Vietnam Airlines’ official website: our official website offers a convenient option for customers to purchase tickets. Through our website, travelers can easily browse flight options, choose their preferred itinerary, and make secure online payments;
  • Via the Vietnam Airlines' mobile app: with its user-friendly interface, the mobile app enables travelers to conveniently purchase tickets while on the go, providing flexibility and ease of use;
  • Direct through the box office or official agent: for customers who prefer offline transactions, tickets can be purchased in person at Vietnam Airlines' box office or through authorized agents. Staff members can offer assistance in selecting the best flight options tailored to individual travel needs.

Vietnam Airlines offers multiple channels, including online purchases through the website or app with competitive prices and no additional fees, as well as buying tickets through physical locations. These options ensure a smooth and hassle-free ticket-buying experience. 

Please note the journey from the city center of Hanoi to Noi Bai International Airport, as well as from Tan Son Nhat International Airport to the city center of Ho Chi Minh City. Noi Bai International Airport is located around 45km from Hanoi's city center while Tan Son Nhat International Airport is located around 8km from Ho Chi Minh City's city center. Transportation options include taxis, airport shuttle buses, and ride-sharing services.

By Train

Taking the train from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City offers a well-known and budget-friendly choice for travel. The prices for train tickets from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City can vary depending on the class of travel and the specific train you choose. 

Generally, soft sleeper and hard sleeper tickets are more expensive than soft seat and hard seat tickets. The prices can range from approximately USD 45 to USD 90 or more for a one-way journey. 



Scenic Journey. Traveling by train allows you to enjoy the picturesque views of Vietnam's countryside, landscapes, and coastal areas. It offers a unique and immersive experience.

Cost-Effective. Train travel is generally more affordable compared to flying, especially if you opt for lower-class seats or sleepers. This makes it a budget-friendly option for those looking to save money on transportation.

Comfortable Sleeper Options. Trains offer sleeper berths, including soft sleepers and hard sleepers, which provide relatively comfortable and private space for overnight journeys. This allows you to rest and sleep during the long trip.

Authentic Cultural Experience. Passengers can engage in conversations, observe daily activities, and gain insights into the culture and traditions of different regions along the route.

Longer Travel Time. Train travel takes significantly longer compared to flying, which may be better for travelers with limited time or those who prefer faster modes of transportation.

Train rides across Vietnam

Trains ride across Vietnam departing from Hanoi and arriving at Ho Chi Minh City.

To embark on a train journey from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, you can adhere to the reference instructions:

  • Plan your journey and book tickets. Start by booking your train ticket from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. The Official website of Vietnam Railways is the primary online platform for booking train tickets and accessing information about train services in Vietnam. It is the most reliable and recommended source for booking train tickets and planning your rail travel within the country. Select the desired class and date of travel, and book your ticket in advance to secure your seat;
  • Book sleeper class ticket. During the long journey from Hanoi to Hue, a sleeper class provides a comfortable and private option with beds for sleeping. While seats are less comfortable, offer limited privacy, and present challenges in resting throughout the journey, sleeper class is well-suited for a lengthy trip, offering bedding and potential amenities like power outlets;
  • During the journey. It is important to follow the instructions provided by the train staff and be considerate of other passengers' comfort. Trains generally provide basic amenities such as restrooms, food and beverage services, and occasionally even Wi-Fi. However, it is worth noting that the availability and quality of amenities may vary depending on the class of travel you have chosen. It's important to note that there are often stops along the way where passengers can get off the train for a short period, typically around 30 minutes. These stops provide an opportunity for customers to use the restroom, stretch their bodies, or purchase food or basic items directly at the station;
  • Arrival in Ho Chi Minh. Once you exit the train, proceed through the station and follow the signs to exit the Saigon Railway Station. Look for transportation options such as taxis, ride-sharing services, or public transportation to reach your final destination in Ho Chi Minh City.

By Sleeper Bus

Passengers can consider a sleeper bus as an alternative mode of transportation for the journey from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.

The prices for sleeper bus tickets from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City can vary depending on several factors such as the bus company, the type of sleeper bus, and the time of year. On average, the prices for sleeper bus tickets range from around USD 17 to USD 34.



Cost-effective. Sleeper buses are generally more affordable compared to other transportation options such as flights or trains. This makes them a budget-friendly choice for travelers.

Comfortable Sleeping Arrangements. Sleeper buses provide individual reclining seats that can be adjusted to a near-horizontal position, allowing passengers to rest and sleep comfortably during the journey.

Scenic views. Traveling by sleeper bus allows you to see the countryside and experience the changing landscapes as you pass through different regions of Vietnam.

Longer Travel Time. The journey by sleeper bus from Hanoi to Hue takes approximately 12-14 hours, depending on the traffic and road conditions. This can be a disadvantage for travelers who prefer faster modes of transportation or have limited time.

Sleep bus

Inside a sleeper bus in Vietnam

To optimize your bus trip experience, it is advisable to divide it into smaller tours. By breaking down your itinerary and dedicating sufficient time to each destination, you can fully immerse yourself in the beauty, history, and culture of each place, creating an unforgettable journey through Vietnam.

  • Ninh Binh: explore Trang An, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its karst formations and river caves. Take a boat tour to admire the stunning scenery and visit ancient temples. Don't miss Tam Coc Bich Dong, where you can take a sampan boat ride through scenic rice fields and limestone caves;
  • Quang Binh: visit Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, home to the world's largest cave system, including the spectacular Son Doong Cave. Explore other caves like Paradise Cave, Phong Nha Cave, and Dark Cave, each offering unique experiences;
  • Hue - Da Nang - Hoi An: start in Hue and visit the UNESCO-listed Imperial City, Thien Mu Pagoda, and royal tombs. Travel to Da Nang to see attractions like the Marble Mountains, Dragon Bridge, and My Khe Beach. Finally, explore the charming ancient town of Hoi An with its well-preserved architecture, lantern-lit streets, and vibrant markets;
  • Nha Trang - Da Lat: enjoy Nha Trang's pristine beaches, indulge in snorkeling or scuba diving, and visit attractions like Vinpearl Land. Then, head to Da Lat, known as the "City of Eternal Spring," to explore picturesque landscapes, including the Valley of Love, Tuyen Lam Lake, and vibrant flower gardens;
  • Vung Tau: relax on beautiful beaches, visit the iconic Christ the King statue on Nho Mountain, explore the White Palace, and savor fresh seafood at local markets or restaurants.

To travel by sleeper bus from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, you can follow these instructions:

  • Buying tickets. Purchase your sleeper bus tickets at Nuoc Ngam bus station in Hanoi. This bus station is a major hub for long-distance buses, including those heading to Ho Chi Minh City. If possible, choose a seat closer to the front of the bus. These seats tend to have less movement and offer a smoother ride, which can help reduce motion sickness, especially if you are prone to it;
  • Check the Departure Point. To ensure a smooth departure, find out the exact location where the sleeper bus departs from in Hanoi. Double-check the departure time and arrive early to avoid any last-minute rush. Note that pets are typically not allowed on sleeper buses, and bringing food with strong odors may be prohibited;
  • During the journey. After boarding the sleeper bus, make yourself comfortable in your designated sleeper berth. These berths offer a private and cozy sleeping space with a reclining seat, pillow, and blanket provided for your comfort. It's important to respect the comfort and privacy of other passengers by keeping noise levels to a minimum and following any instructions from the bus staff. When traveling by sleeper bus in Vietnam, there will be occasional stops along the route that lasts for typically around 15 to 30 minutes. These stops allow passengers to quickly stretch their legs, use restrooms, and purchase snacks. It's important to be mindful of the departure time and return to the bus promptly to ensure a smooth continuation of the journey;
  • Security precautions. When traveling at crowded bus stations, keeping an eye on your luggage to avoid pickpockets is important. Store your valuables in a small bag that you can keep close to you. Avoid displaying expensive items or large amounts of cash, as this can attract unwanted attention.

In conclusion, air travel stands out as the superior choice among transportation options. It provides time-saving benefits that allow travelers to make the most of their time in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. What's more, flying often offers competitive or even cheaper prices compared to train or car travel. By choosing to fly, you can experience efficiency, safety, and potentially cost-effective options, making it the optimal choice for your journey. Don't miss out on the advantages of air travel and make your trip a truly exceptional one.

Vietnam Airlines is committed to continuously improving the travel experience for our valued passengers. Our dedicated and professional flight crew eagerly looks forward to warmly welcoming you on board and providing exceptional service during your upcoming trips.

Take the next step and book your flight with us now to embark on a memorable travel experience!