Most roads in Vietnam have neither divided traffic lane nor shoulder. Road condition varies from point to point. In between most travel destinations, roads are smooth only except all traffics mix together and form a heavy traffic. Motorcycles are presently the primary mode of transport in Vietnam. If it is a long-distance travel, most Vietnamese take bus or train, which are slow and low standards compared to those in developed countries. The number of cars is increasing everyday though.
Vietnamese cities are dominated by pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, three-wheeled pedaled taxis known as cyclos, and especially motor scooters and motorbikes (there a couple of million of them in Saigon alone).
Inland Water Transportation
Vietnam is a country with plenty source of water transportation. Rivers and ports network remain attractive for the transport of coal, rice, sand, stone, gravel, and other usually high weight low value goods. There are tens of thousands of small “country” boats and ferry boats forming the livelihoods and personal transport depending heavily and successfully on waterway transport in the delta regions of the Mekong and Red River. This is a good way to experience the culture and local life of Vietnamese.
The overall condition of railway infrastructure in Vietnam varies from poor to fair. The railway lane of Vietnam is narrow size which brings slow speed and shaking experience. Besides domestic trains, there are also international trains which connect Vietnam to the People's Republic of China: the western Yunnan–Vietnam Railway, from Haiphong to Kunming, and the eastern railway from Hanoi to Nanning. There are currently no railway connections between Vietnam and Cambodia or Laos.
There are 7 registered airlines in Vietnam: Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, Air Mekong, VASCO, Indochina Airlines, VietJet Air and Viet Star Airlines. Among them, Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, Air Mekong and VASCO are currently operating both domestic and international flights.
Two international air ports in Vietnam are Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. There are both direct and one-stop international flights from the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia. It will be wise to book your international flights in/out Vietnam with your local agent as there is possibility to get a better promotion price in your own departure city.
Vietnam Airlines is the main air transfer operator on most routes both within Vietnam and from Vietnam to other international destinations. The company operates flights on most cities in Vietnam and offer quite good services for its size.
Jetstar Pacific has frequent flights among Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. Jetstar is competitive in terms of price and service, while its frequently delayed departure time brings impact on its reputation.
Air Mekong is the latest addition to the small collection of airlines in Vietnam. Air Mekong is based in Phu Quoc and offers competitive ticket fare. Its operating routes are denser in the South and Central Highland of Vietnam. There are flights connecting Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with Phu Quoc and Con Dao Islands; and with Vietnam Central Highland area.
Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO) is a small airline that predominantly operates in the South of Vietnam from 2006. Although it is still a young firm in the domestic airlines market, it has its own advantage such as frequent flights to many popular tourism destinations in the area like Phu Quoc or Con Dao Island. This airline is only using small civil aircrafts such as ATR-72 or AN-38.
VietJet Air got permission to open its business and officially became the fourth airline in Vietnam in 2007, only until 25/12/2011 did it operate the very first flight. VietJet Air win its reputation of the cheapest airline in Vietnam by promotion campaigns like VND 10,000 for one way ticket from Hanoi to HCMC. As a budget airline, this company has been reviewed of good level for a budget airline.