• Getting from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (and back)

    Le CongMay 16, 2024

    Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is the business and financial hub of Vietnam, with a prominent history going back hundreds of years.

    Nowadays, this city is famously known for its exciting, vibrant metropolis made for food lovers and night owls. Getting from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City is surprisingly simple, with trains, flights, buses, and private transfers readily available. By road, the journey takes between 18 and 35 hours depending on the means of transport. Regular trains and buses (33-36 hours), private tour buses, and private transfers (18-20 hours). There are flights throughout the day, which take around one and a half hours between the two cities. Here are the best options for making the journey.

    Photo: Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi

    FLIGHTS from Hanoi To Ho Chi Minh City

    This is definitely the fastest and most convenient way to travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. Many fly domestic flights (Bamboo Airway, Vietjet Air, Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific Airlines) between these two cities. These flights begin at the Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, about 25km from the Old Quarter, and land at Tan Son Nhat Airport. It takes around one and a half hours, and passengers should be at the airport at least one hour before departure. There are flights once every one or two hours from Monday to Sunday. It costs about 800.000 VND ($35) per person per direction. Therefore, you should book the tickets about a week ahead in advance as the price will be much lower.

    Photo: Flight from Saigon to Hanoi

    Train From Hanoi To Ho Chi Minh City

    The public train departs from the Hanoi Gas Station and takes between 33-36 hours to reach the southern city of Ho Chi Minh City. Up to 3 daily departures on the route, which are spread between the day. It takes a much longer time to travel, but the roads are beautiful along the coast. The train schedule and price can be found here. An adult ticket is approx 1,100,000 VND (approx $50) each direction.

    Photo: Train FROM Hanoi TO Ho Chi Minh City

    Scooter rental From Hanoi To Ho Chi Minh City

    Many travelers have a better way to travel from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City. You can rent a scooter (or even buy one) from Hanoi and then visit the places between these two cities: Ninh Binh, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Da Lat, Nha Trang, My Son, Vung Tau. Once you get to Ho Chi Minh City, you can leave the scooter to the scooter rental shop (Or sell it to the shop).

    Things to do in Ho Chi Minh City

    This summer of 2024, our best hosts, Kien and Mina spent the whole week to discover the beauty of the Ho Chi Minh City. Here is the best local experiences they are happy to share with the world.

    It’s summer time, and the weather is Saigon is quite hot. It’s now 33 degree celcious.

    We booked the round ticket between Hanoi to HCMC for 2,800,000 VND from Vietjet Air. You can definately have more comfortable options with Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways.

    Here is our best recommendation.

    Saigon Food Tour

    As a team based in Hanoi with a passion for local cuisine, we always relish the opportunity to explore different food styles from around Vietnam, especially those from Saigon. One of the most memorable experiences we had was when we participated in the Saigon Eleven-Tastings Food Tour by Scooters.

    The best street food tour in Ho Chi Minh City

    This food tour is a gastronomic adventure that includes an impressive number of 11 street food stops, each with its unique culinary offering. The local guides and drivers who accompany you on this journey are not just friendly, but also extremely knowledgeable about Saigon’s food culture. They enrich the experience by sharing trivia and stories about the food you’re tasting, making the whole tour a learning experience as well as a feast for your taste buds.

    >>> Read more: Ho Chi Minh City guideline by Lonely Planet

    The food tour is incredibly versatile and caters to different schedules by offering Small-Group Tours that start at three different times: 8:00AM for the morning slot, 1:00PM for the afternoon slot, and three options for the evening slot – 5:30PM, 6:00PM, and 6:30PM. For those seeking a more personalized and intimate experience, there is also a PRIVATE OPTION where you can choose a different start time that suits your convenience.

    Discover VietNam’s Coffee Culture

    Coffee is not merely a beverage, but an integral part of the Vietnamese culture. The country’s coffee culture is deeply woven into the fabric of daily life. It’s truly astonishing to witness the love that the Vietnamese people harbor for coffee. They cherish their coffee breaks and can often be found spending hours at the coffee shops, engrossed in conversations or simply enjoying the ambience. In Hanoi, one can explore the rich tradition of coffee intertwined with the history and architecture of the French Quarter.

    >>> Check out: Top 7 coffee shop in Hanoi

    This is an experience that not only offers a taste of the local coffee but also an understanding of its historical significance. This time, we’ve expanded our horizons and delved deeper into the coffee culture in Ho Chi Minh city. The city, buzzing with energy and life, has its own unique coffee culture that we’re eager to learn and share with you.

    Thi is the best local coffee experience host in Saigon
    We learned so much about the coffee culture from the host.

    This unique Vietnamese coffee experience, running since 2017, consists of two main activities:

    1. “Coffee Cupping Session”: Learn to taste coffee like a pro. We’ll sample five different beans and discuss their qualities to deepen your understanding of Vietnamese coffee.
    2. “Make your own Cà Phê Sữa Đá”: Learn about Vietnam’s coffee history and how to make traditional Vietnamese coffee.

    Ben Duoc ‘Less-Crowed’ Cu Chi Tunnels Half-Day Tour

    One of the most enriching and enlightening ways to learn about the complex history and experiences of the Vietnam War is through the first-hand narratives of the local people who have lived through it. When you find yourself in the vibrant city of Hanoi, we highly recommend that you take the time to participate in our unique ‘Stories from the Vietnam War‘ experience, especially in areas that are less frequented by tourists.

    Cu Chi tunnel

    Our journey also brought us to the intriguing Cu Chi tunnels, a network of underground pathways that were used during the war. We found this location to be absolutely fascinating, offering a rare opportunity to learn about the strategies employed, the harsh conditions endured, and the resilience demonstrated on the real battlefields of the Vietnam War.

    The Cu Chi tunnel

    CUCHI TUNNELS TOUR. MAX 10 PEOPLE. (Private option available)

    • Hotel pick-up, drive to Cu Chi. Stop at handicrafts for break. Watch documentary upon arrival.
    • Explore living areas within Cu Chi tunnels, with kitchens, bedrooms, weapon factories, hospitals, and command centers.
    • Learn about trap doors, traps, handmade weapons used during the Vietnam War. Witness bomb craters and damage from the war.
    • Optional shooting range experience with various guns (extra charge).
    • Crawl through Cu Chi Tunnels to experience the underground town. Option to view from above for those with claustrophobia.
    • Taste pandan tea and tapioca, guerilla’s war food. Return to Saigon around 2:30 PM for morning trip, 7:00 PM for afternoon.

    War Remnants Museum (Bảo tàng Chứng tích Chiến tranh)

    The War Remnants Museum is a must-visit place for anyone interested in Vietnam’s history. This museum is located in District 3, Ho Chi Minh City. Here, you can learn about the Vietnam War from the Vietnamese perspective. The museum houses a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that tell the story of the war and its impact on the Vietnamese people. Please note that some of the exhibits are graphic and can be quite moving. The museum also has a section dedicated to the effects of Agent Orange and other chemical defoliants used during the war. While the museum offers a somber reflection on war, it is an important part of understanding Vietnam’s past.

    Address: Phường 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City

    Independence Palace (Dinh Độc Lập)

    The Independence Palace, also known as the Reunification Palace, is a historic landmark in Ho Chi Minh City. It was the home and workplace of the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. On April 30, 1975, a North Vietnamese Army tank crashed through its gates, a moment that effectively marked the end of the war. Today, it’s a museum where visitors can explore the palace’s many rooms, including the war command room with its huge maps and old communication equipment, and the basement, filled with vintage 1960s vehicles. It’s a fascinating place to learn about Vietnam’s recent history.

    The Independence Palace, also known as the Reunification Palace

    Muay Thai experience in central Ho Chi Minh City

    In this unique opportunity, you will have the chance to train personally with an experienced Muay Thai trainer. The trainer will be dedicated solely to you throughout the training session. If you wish to make the experience more enjoyable, you are also welcome to bring along your own group of friends – up to a maximum of six people. This group training option will not only make the experience more fun, but it will also build a sense of camaraderie and mutual support. The timing of these sessions will be pre-arranged with the trainer, ensuring that it fits well within your schedule and daily routine.

    Each of these training sessions will last for a full 60 minutes, providing you ample time to learn and practice. The sessions are designed to be comprehensive and will include training in various aspects of Muay Thai. You can expect to learn Muay Thai techniques, engage in sparring sessions, participate in cardio exercises that will enhance your endurance, and also participate in strength and reflex-enhancing activities. Each of these elements is crucial for becoming proficient in Muay Thai, and they will all be customized to your own goals and needs. Whether you are training to compete, to improve your fitness, or simply to learn a new skill, the training program will be tailored to meet your objectives.


    Enjoy the best of Saigon. Have a great time.

    If you’re a food lover visiting Hanoi for the first time, we recommend taking the Hanoi food walking tour and The Hidden Hanoi Old Quarter Experience. For vegans and vegetarians, the Vegetarian Street Food & Stories of Hanoi is an excellent choice. If you’re a history buff or looking for a unique experience in Hanoi, consider the Stories from Vietnam War at not-to-go-alone areas tour. Note that 20% of the proceeds go to charity organizations.

    For those who love coffee and history, the Coffee, History, and Architecture of the French Quarter tour is a must. Lastly, if you’re visiting Hanoi on a hot or rainy day, the Escape the Heat of Hanoi – Museum Experience is a great option.

    What is the best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City?

    The best time to visit Ho Chi Minh City is during the dry season, from December to April. During this time, the city experiences less rainfall and the weather is generally sunny and warm.

    Is it safe to travel around Ho Chi Minh City?

    Yes, it is generally safe to travel around Ho Chi Minh City. Like any big city, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas or at night. Always keep your belongings secure and avoid displaying expensive items in public.

    What is the best way to get around Ho Chi Minh City?

    Ho Chi Minh City has a variety of public transportation options, including buses, taxis, and motorbike taxis. However, traffic can be intense, so many locals and tourists choose to get around on foot or by bicycle when possible.

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