Bangkok to Vietnam: How to Travel from Thailand to Vietnam?

Bangkok to Vietnam

Bangkok, the vibrant capital of Thailand, and Vietnam, a land of breathtaking landscapes and rich culture, are two of Southeast Asia’s most popular travel destinations. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline-fueled adventure or a relaxing escape, these neighboring countries offer something for everyone. Traveling between Bangkok and Vietnam is a journey in itself, offering various transportation options to suit every budget and preference. This comprehensive guide will delve into the different ways to travel, outlining the pros and cons of each option, helping you choose the best route for your needs.

Flight Options from Bangkok to Vietnam

Flying is the fastest and most convenient way to travel between Bangkok and Vietnam. Numerous airlines operate direct flights between the two countries, ensuring a smooth and comfortable journey. Here’s a breakdown of the different flight options:

Direct Flights

The most popular choice for those seeking a quick and stress-free travel experience. Several airlines offer direct flights from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) to Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport (SGN) and Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport (HAN). Some of the major airlines operating these routes include:

  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Thai Airways
  • VietJet Air
  • Bamboo Airways
  • Jetstar Pacific
  • AirAsia

Connecting Flights

If direct flights aren’t available or fall outside your budget, consider connecting flights through other Southeast Asian hubs like Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, or Hong Kong. This option may involve a longer travel time, but it can be more cost-effective.

Pros of Flying

  1. Speed: Flying is the fastest means of transportation, making it ideal for time-conscious travelers.
  2. Comfort: Modern aircrafts offer comfortable seating and amenities for a pleasant journey.
  3. Convenience: Airports provide seamless connections with baggage handling and immigration services.

Cons of Flying

  1. Cost: Flights can be expensive, especially during peak season.
  2. Environmental impact: Air travel contributes significantly to carbon emissions.
  3. Security checks: You must undergo strict security checks at airports.

Taking the Train from Bangkok to Vietnam

While not a direct route, traveling by train from Bangkok to Vietnam offers a unique and scenic journey through Southeast Asia. It’s a fascinating alternative for those wanting to experience the region’s diverse landscapes and cultures. Here’s how to travel by train:

Bangkok to Laos

You can board a train from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station to the Thai-Lao border town of Nong Khai. From there, you can switch to a Laotian train to Vientiane, the capital city of Laos.

Laos to Vietnam

You can travel from Vientiane to Hanoi by train through a combination of local trains and bus journeys. This route takes several days and may involve some overnight stays.

Pros of Train Travel

  1. Scenic Views: Train windows offer stunning landscapes, from lush rice paddies to rugged mountains.
  2. Cultural Immersion: Train travel allows you to interact with locals and absorb the culture of the region.
  3. Cost-effectiveness: Train travel can be more affordable than flying, especially for longer journeys.

Cons of Train Travel

  1. Time-consuming: Train travel takes much longer than flying.
  2. Limited Comfort: Train conditions can vary, and some journeys may involve cramped seating or outdated facilities.
  3. Frequent Transfers: You might need to change trains several times along the route.

Bus Travel from Bangkok to Vietnam

Bus travel is a budget-friendly option for those willing to sacrifice speed for affordability. Several bus companies operate routes between Bangkok and Vietnam, offering a more local experience. Here’s how the bus journey works:

Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City

Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City by Bus

Many bus companies offer direct services from Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh City, often with multiple overnight stops along the way. The journey can take around 24 to 30 hours, depending on the route and the number of stops.

Pros of Bus Travel

  1. Cost-effectiveness: Buses generally offer the most affordable way to travel between Bangkok and Vietnam.
  2. Flexibility: Bus schedules are more frequent and flexible than trains, allowing for more spontaneous travel.
  3. Cultural Immersion: Traveling by bus allows you to interact with local people and observe their daily lives.

Cons of Bus Travel

  1. Longer Journey Time: Bus travel can take significantly longer than flying or taking the train.
  2. Comfort Level: Bus conditions can vary, and you may encounter cramped seating or limited amenities.
  3. Border Crossings: Navigating the border crossings between Thailand and Vietnam can be more complex by bus.

Road Trip from Bangkok to Vietnam

For the adventurous travelers, a road trip from Bangkok to Vietnam can be an unforgettable experience. This option allows you to explore the scenic landscapes and small towns along the way, with the freedom to stop and explore at your own pace.

Planning the Route

The most popular road trip route from Bangkok to Vietnam typically involves crossing the border into Laos, then continuing through the mountainous northern regions of Vietnam. Some key stops along the way include Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and Sapa.

Renting a Vehicle

You’ll need to arrange for a rental car or a private driver to undertake a road trip from Bangkok to Vietnam. Several car rental companies in Bangkok offer one-way rentals to Vietnam, or you can hire a private driver for the entire journey.

Pros of a Road Trip

  1. Flexibility: Traveling by car allows you to stop and explore at your own pace, without being bound to fixed schedules.
  2. Scenic Routes: A road trip enables you to witness the stunning landscapes and small towns along the way.
  3. Cultural Immersion: Driving through the countryside provides opportunities to interact with local communities.

Cons of a Road Trip

  1. Time-consuming: The journey can take several days, depending on your route and the number of stops.
  2. Border Crossings: Navigating the border crossings between Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam can be challenging.
  3. Vehicle Rental: Renting a car or hiring a private driver can be more expensive than other transportation options.

Cruising from Bangkok to Vietnam

For a unique and luxurious travel experience, consider taking a cruise from Bangkok to Vietnam. Several cruise lines offer itineraries that include stops in both countries, allowing you to explore the region in style.

Cruise Routes

The most common cruise route from Bangkok to Vietnam involves sailing through the Gulf of Thailand, stopping at various destinations in Vietnam, such as Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, and Halong Bay.

Cruise Line Options

Some of the leading cruise lines that offer Bangkok to Vietnam itineraries include:

  • Silversea Cruises
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises
  • Oceania Cruises
  • Seabourn Cruise Line

Pros of Cruising

  1. Comfort and Amenities: Cruise ships offer a wide range of amenities, including luxurious accommodations, fine dining, and entertainment.
  2. Hassle-free Travel: Cruises handle all the logistics, allowing you to relax and enjoy the journey.
  3. Scenic Views: Sailing between Bangkok and Vietnam offers stunning coastal vistas and the opportunity to explore remote islands.

Cons of Cruising

  1. Cost: Cruises can be a more expensive option compared to other modes of transportation.
  2. Limited Flexibility: Cruise itineraries are fixed, limiting your ability to explore destinations at your own pace.
  3. Motion Sickness: Some travelers may experience seasickness, especially during rough weather conditions.

Best Transportation Methods from Bangkok to Vietnam

The best transportation method from Bangkok to Vietnam ultimately depends on your travel preferences, budget, and time constraints. Here’s a summary of the pros and cons of each option:

  • Flights: The fastest and most convenient option, but can be more expensive.
  • Trains: A scenic and cultural experience, but a longer journey and less comfortable.
  • Buses: The most budget-friendly option, but with longer travel times and less comfort.
  • Road Trips: Offer flexibility and the ability to explore along the way, but can be more time-consuming and complex.
  • Cruises: Provide a luxurious and hassle-free experience, but are generally the most expensive choice.

Cost of Traveling from Bangkok to Vietnam

The cost of traveling from Bangkok to Vietnam can vary significantly depending on the transportation method, time of year, and your travel preferences.

  • Flights: Typically range from $100 to $500 for a one-way ticket, depending on the airline, class of service, and travel dates.
  • Trains: Can cost between $50 to $150 for a one-way journey, with the price depending on the class of service and the number of transfers.
  • Buses: Offer the most budget-friendly option, with one-way tickets typically costing $20 to $80.
  • Road Trips: The cost can vary widely based on the rental car or private driver fees, fuel expenses, and the number of stops along the way.
  • Cruises: Prices start from around $1,000 per person for a basic cabin and can go up to several thousand dollars for more luxurious suites.

Visa Requirements for Traveling from Bangkok to Vietnam

Most travelers will need to obtain a visa before entering Vietnam, regardless of the transportation method they choose. The visa requirements and application process can vary depending on your nationality and the duration of your stay.

  • Visa Options: Common visa options for traveling from Bangkok to Vietnam include e-visas, tourist visas, and business visas.
  • Application Process: Travelers can apply for a Vietnamese visa online, through a travel agency, or at the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in their home country.
  • Processing Time: The visa application process can take several days to a few weeks, depending on the type of visa and the method of application.

Top Attractions to Visit in Vietnam after Arriving from Bangkok

Once you’ve arrived in Vietnam from Bangkok, there are numerous exciting destinations and attractions to explore. Some of the top spots include:

  • Ho Chi Minh City: Formerly known as Saigon, this vibrant city offers a blend of French colonial architecture, bustling markets, and a thriving food scene.
  • Hanoi: The capital of Vietnam, known for its historic Old Quarter, the iconic Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and the picturesque Hoan Kiem Lake.
  • Halong Bay: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, famous for its stunning limestone karsts and serene turquoise waters.
  • Hoi An: A charming ancient town with well-preserved buildings, colorful lanterns, and a picturesque riverfront.
  • Sapa: A mountainous region in northern Vietnam, renowned for its terraced rice fields, ethnic minority villages, and breathtaking scenery.


Traveling from Bangkok to Vietnam offers a diverse range of transportation options, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Whether you choose to fly, take the train, embark on a road trip, or enjoy a luxurious cruise, the journey itself can be a rewarding and memorable experience. By considering your travel preferences, budget, and the time available, you can select the best route that suits your needs and maximize your enjoyment of the journey. With this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to plan your seamless and unforgettable trip from Bangkok to Vietnam.