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Trains, Planes, and Automobiles

16 Jun

Outbound and return flights are selected and our travel agent is busy finding in-country options for our big trip this fall. But with one minor snag. They won’t book rail travel based on their Vietnamese travel partners who also refuse in saying that rail travel is far too unreliable, so they instead only book in country flights.

This article from the Telegraph a few years ago and other photos and video I’ve seen online have me excited to see the country this way. But if it is truly super unreliable – and I don’t mean late by 15 to even 60 minutes – then of course we don’t want our two weeks botched by erratic train schedules. Most of the train schedules I found would have us traveling at night, which can be great, but could also be disastrous if a route is super duper delayed or canceled altogether.

Prices seem to be generally comparable from what I can see on Vietnam Airlines, at least. Flights between Saigon -> Nha Trang -> Da Nang (Hoi An) -> Hanoi are each about an hour. So significant time savings, for sure.

So who’s been to Vietnam or currently lives there? What advice can you offer a first-timer to make the most of her time?

Here are all the places we want to visit in our two weeks, with Hue being the only tentative depending on timing. The starred attractions are obviously not exhaustive, just a couple I had the energy to save thus far.

Help!

Map of Vietnam

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