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How to get to Vietnam

Vietnam has 3 international airports – Ho Chi Minh City in the south, Da Nang in the centre, and Hanoi in the north. You generally need to change/stop-over in Moscow, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Tokyo, Taipei or Doha, although Vietnam Airlines now runs flights from London Gatwick to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Alternatively, you might prefer to make your way to Paris and pick up a direct flight there.

Direct flights from the UK to Vietnam take 14hrs, and Vietnam is about GMT+7, so expect some jetlag.

It may not be eco-friendly, but flying is the fastest and safest way to travel within this long narrow country. Hanoi–Ho Chi Minh City is about a 2hr flight. International driving licences and car-hire are almost non-existent within Vietnam; you can hire a car with a driver, but even then, you’ll probably finding travelling on Vietnamese roads frightening, especially with kids. Buses aren’t comfortable – you may not even have an allocated seat and end up sitting a tarp on the floor at the back. Trains aren’t much better – even if there are only a few passengers, they’ll be hoarded onto one carriage (with sneaky ‘upgrades’ to the empty carriages sold on by opportunistic ticketing officers).

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