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How to get to Vietnam

Direct flights from the UK to Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City in the south or Hanoi in the north) take 14 hours, and Vietnam is about GMT+7, so expect some jet-lag. You can also change/stop over in Moscow, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Tokyo, Taipei or Doha, or make your way to Paris and pick up a direct flight there. There's a third international airport at Da Nang in the centre.

It may not be eco-friendly, but flying is the fastest and safest way to travel within this long narrow country. Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City is about a two-hour 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 a bit nerve-wracking, 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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