Traveling in Laos by public transport

Traveling in Vietnam by buses

Vietnam is rather well served by buses, you can move easily from north to south and the connections are excellent and rather cheap.

Here I tried the famous ones for the first time sleeping bus that is, buses that instead of seats have sort of beds, where if not too tall and large you can sleep more or less comfortably.

Despite my not entirely positive initial impression, in the end I have to admit that a trip on a sleeping bus, even if it lasted 14 hours, tired me less than a trip on a bus with seats, so Long live the Sleeping Bus although sometimes it feels a little strange to have to lie down instead of sitting down and it’s nine in the morning and the journey will last 5 hours.

Furthermore, Vietnam, being extended in length, allows you to organize a trip to the country rather easily, in fact whether you fly or arrive Saigon (Ho Chi Minh) o ad Hanoi (so south or north) you just have to choose the stages you want to make and proceed in a certain direction: from Hanoi to Saigon or vice versa you practically follow a straight line.
One of the ideal options for those who intend to travel around the country and that travel agencies in Vietnam offer are the Open Bus Ticket that is, at a cost of around $40 you can purchase bus tickets that take you from Saigon to Hanoi (and the reverse route obviously). The most expensive ticket ranges from $35 to $50 (I don’t quite understand what the difference is due to) and the stops are: Hanoi-Hue-Hoi An-Nha Trang-Dalat, Mui Ne, Saigon, but the itineraries and therefore the prices are numerous, it depends on what you want to do and where you want to go.

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Read also: Documents to enter Vietnam: Passport?

Once you have bought the ticket, simply book your bed on the bus for the next destination one day in advance, this ticket is in fact called Open Bus Ticket because there are no dates and you can use it whenever you want.
With this ticket you saved money on the total that you would have spent if you had bought the tickets per route.
Il against of this ticket is that if, for example, as happened to me, I no longer want to go to a particular city, in my case the north because it is too cold, you will lose the money for the ticket and you will have to buy more to go somewhere else. I didn’t buy the Open Bus ticket, I saw that the Savings were about $8 although I was sure I wanted to get to Hanoi, then circumstances led me to return to the south so even if I spent more than $40 I at least did what I wanted to do.

24 hour bus ride

Both Open Bus Tickets and normal tickets can be purchased in the numerous travel agencies in Saigon and Hanoi, at the Guest Houses or at the bus station.
Regardless of the option you prefer (open bus ticket or normal tickets) since I believe the buses are actually all the same I recommend you sit in the bed downstairs and not in the one above, so if you have a backpack (I have a computer, camera, books) you can place it on the floor and instead don’t have to make room in a bed that is already small in itself. Also be prepared for buses where the smell once you enter is not the best, it always takes me a few minutes to get used to. But if you sleep you won’t notice anything… and you won’t think about it.
If you have a sleeping bag, use it, you will be given blankets with strange smells and used by who knows how many people, maybe if you sleep in something of your own your senses will have a moment of peace and you will certainly sleep better.

Finally, another thing I like about buses in Vientam is that generally when you book a bus an employee of the company comes to pick you up at the hotel and takes you on a scooter or with a tuktuk to the station so you save money on taxis which in some places is between $1 and $2.
So always remember the name of the hotel where you are staying, which is very complicated in Vietnam, and the room number when you buy a ticket because they will need this information to be able to find you the next day.

Read also: Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh City: Best Areas and Hotels

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