Hanoi need to know guide

Hanoi - getting there and away

21 Jun 2012
Advice and information for travellers about arriving and departing Hanoi including visas, flights, rail, road and airport information.


Most international visitors to Vietnam require pre- arranged visas for entry. This includes citizens of Australia, Canada, Great Britain and the United States. For more information on visas for Vietnam, click here.

International Flights

Hanoi’s Noi Bai airport is the country’s second busiest after Saigon in the south. It serves direct flights from most major Asian cities as well as long haul points from Europe and Australia. There are loads of options for getting here. The national carrier Vietnam Airlines naturally offers the most services. Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Thai Airways also offer double daily services.

Jetstar, Air Asia and Tiger Airways all offer low-cost flights into Hanoi from various South East Asian points.

There are daily flights from Hanoi to neighbouring Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in Cambodia as well as Luang Prabang and Vientiane in Laos.

Fixed price taxis or a shuttle bus operate between Hanoi’s international terminal and the city centre.  Prices are rising quickly with rising fuel prices in Vietnam. Expect to pay around US$20.

Domestic flights

Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific operate multiple daily flights from Hanoi to major domestic points like Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Hue, Danang, Nha Trang, Dalat as well as Dien Bien Phu. Daily flights operate to most other population centres in the country as well.


Hanoi's French era railway station is right downtown. The unsightly Soviet style section in the middle was added after the original structure was damaged in the 1972 Christmas bombing by US B52s.  

Rail services operate south from Hanoi along the coast all the way to Saigon including major points Hue, Danang and Nha Trang.

The train from Hanoi is the most popular route for travel to Vietnam’s far northern mountains around Sapa. The journey to Lao Cai, the gateway to Sapa and the northern mountain country, is under 9 hours and there are many services operating - mainly in the evening.

A relatively small number of hardy travellers take the train from Hanoi to the Chinese city of Nanning. These connect to Beijing and other points in China. As schedules and details change, check this out when you’re on the ground and keep in mind you need a visa to enter China.


From Hanoi, road travel to Halong Bay, Ninh Binh, Hoa Lu and Mai Chau is common. If you’re travelling from the south on an express bus, you may also make the long journey from Hue in central Vietnam to Hanoi by road.
Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.

1 comment so far

I am travelling to Sapa in August - alighting off the train in Hanoi at 4.30 am. My flight to KL departs at 1300. Where can one go for a freshen up and change of clothes at that time of day

  • Christobel Spafford
  • Hanoi
  • Saturday, 02 May 2015 15:40