Ha Noi’s NOI BAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (tel 04-886-5047) is 35km north of the city, a 45-minute drive. All taxis will go to the airport – not all for honest prices.

Shuttles go to the airport at least every 30 minutes during the day from the AIRPORT TAXI/MINIBUS STAND (Quang Trung St, south of Trang Thi St) for US$2. These go the opposite way from outside the domestic arrival terminal. A taxi should be US$10 to US$12.

City bus #17 goes from the airport to Long Bien station, at the north edge of the Old Quarter (about US$0.35); this takes up to two hours one way.

AEROFLOT (tel 04-771-8742; 360 Kim Ma St)
AIR FRANCE (tel 04-825-3484; 1 Ba Trieu St)
ASIANA AIRLINES (tel 04-831-5141; 360 Kim Ma St, 9th Fl)
BRITISH AIRWAYS (tel 04-934-7239; 25 Ly Thuong Kiet St)
CATHAY PACIFIC (tel 04-826-7298; 49 Hai Ba Trung St, Somerset Grand Hanoi)
CHINA AIRLINES (tel 04-824-2688; 18 Tran Hung Dao St)
JAPAN AIR LINES (tel 04-826-6693; 63 Ly Thai Tho St)
LAO AVIATION (tel 04-822-9951; 68 Tran Quoc Toan St)
MALAYSIA AIRLINES (tel 04-826-8820; 49 Hai Ba Trung St, Somerset Grand Hanoi)
PACIFIC AIRWAYS (tel 04-826-7298; 49 Hai Ba Trung St, Somerset Grand Hanoi)
QANTAS AIRWAYS (tel 04-993-3026; 4 Pham Ngu Lao St)
SINGAPORE AIRLINES (tel 04-826-8888; 17 Ngo Quyen St)
VIETNAM AIRLINES (tel 04-823-0320; 25 Trang Thi St)

Sample economy prices follow for Vietnam Airlines. Note that Pacific Airlines ( offers seven budget flights daily to Saigon. Roundtrip fares are double the one-way fare.

  • Danang US$57
  • Dien Bien Phu US$37
  • Hue US$57
  • Nha Trang US$89
  • Saigon US$105/US$65 Vietnam Airlines/Pacific Airlines

Here are some sample one-way fares from Hanoi agents. Roundtrip fares are generally less than double the one-way fare.

  • Bangkok US$183
  • Chiang Mai US$201
  • Hong Kong US$215
  • Luang Prabang US$163
  • Phnom Penh US$228
  • Siem Reap US$205
  • Singapore US$290
  • Taipei US$395
  • Tokyo US$550
  • Vientienne US$163


The ‘open bus’ network starts/stops in Hanoi, with mind-numbing choices from agencies all over town. One-way tickets include picking you up at your hotel, which is often a stuffed minivan that will transfer you at another location to the big bus. Most buses are nice enough and air-conditioned. There’s no precise way to guarantee a ‘more comfortable’ bus – sometimes you buy a ticket with X company and end up on Y’s bus (depending on availability and pick-up routes).

Open buses for the following destination leave in the evening only.

  • Hoi An US$13; 18hr
  • Hue US$10; 13hr
  • Nha Trang US$20; 31hr
  • Ninh Binh US$5-6; 2/5hr
  • Saigon US$25; 42hr

Hanoi has several bus stations serving different regions of Vietnam. Few visitors ever consider going to anything but the following.

South-bound buses – most useful for frequent service to Ninh Binh – go regularly from GIAP BAT BUS STATION (Giai Phong & Truong Dinh Sts), several kilometers south of the train station.

If you’re heading to Haiphong or Halong Bay, most buses go from GIA LAM BUS STATION, a couple kilometers east of the Red River via the Chuong Duong Bridge. Much more convenient, however, is LUONG YEN BUS STATION (tel 04-972-0477), a kilometer south of the French Quarter. From here HOANG LONG (tel 04-928-2828) runs a convenient bus/boat/bus service to Cat Ba island four times daily including at 5.40am and 7.20am.


Hanoi taxis have a bad rap. Ask a restaurant or hotel to call one for you to insure you don’t get a con artist. All should have working meters – and, when working, a quick ride across the center should be as cheap as a motorbike taxi (and a lot safer). The following have good reputations:

Airport Taxi (tel 04-873-333)
Hanoi Taxi (tel 04-853-5353)
Mai Linh Taxi (tel 04-822-2666)

Be particularly wary of taxi drivers taking you from the airport – agree on a price and don’t let them tell you your hotel is ‘closed.’


The TRAIN STATION (tel 04-942-3949 for south-bound trains, tel 04-747-0308 for north-bound trains;; 120 Le Duan St), about 1km southwest of Hoan Kiem Lake, has a booking office, but nearly everyone lets their hotel or a travel agent arrange the tickets around Vietnam or into China. In summer or New Year’s, when locals travel in masses, book at least several days’ ahead of time. Always check your tickets – a few agents (like some fake ‘Sinh Cafes’) sometimes sell a cheaper hard-seat ticket for soft-sleeper prices. Check the website above for train times.

The best south-bound trains are the SE1 (leaving at 7pm) and the slightly faster SE2 (at 11pm), both air-conditioned. Hard/soft-sleeper fares (ie with six/four bunks per compartment) and duration times on the SE1/SE2 include:

  • Hue (US$32/35; 13.5/11.5hr)
  • Danang (US$35/38; 16.5/13hr)
  • Nha Trang (US$58/56; 27/22.5hr)
  • Saigon (US$63/69; 34.5/30.5hr)

A few night north-bound trains leave for Lao Cai (near Sapa and the China border). The best are the SP1 (leaving at 9.15pm; US$24 soft sleeper only; 8hr) and SP3 (leaving at 9.55pm; US$19/24 hard/soft sleeper; 8hr).

Some agents book special, wood-wall carriages to Lao Cai for a little extra. ET-PUMPKIN (tel 04-829-5571;; 89 May May St) books these for US$25 one way.

The train to Beijing leaves at 1.38pm on Tuesday and Friday.