How to Travel to Vietnam from India: Embark on an Unforgettable Journey

Ah, the lure of Vietnam! It’s a destination that whispers of bustling streets in Hanoi and serene rice paddies in Sapa. But how do you get from the diverse landscapes of India to the enchanting corners of Vietnam? Well, let’s look at how to travel to Vietnam from India and trust me, it’s easier than you think. 

How to Travel to Vietnam from India:

Flying High: The Skies as Your Gateway

For those preferring speed and convenience, flying is the primary choice. However, there are no direct flights from India to Vietnam, so travellers must opt for connecting flights with layovers.

Airlines and Routes:

  • Vietnam Airlines: Vietnam’s national carrier provides daily flights from major cities like Delhi to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
  • AirAsia: Known for its budget-friendly options, AirAsia operates flights from cities including Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Thai Airways: Offering flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, with a layover in Bangkok.
  • Singapore Airlines: Flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, with a layover in Singapore​.

Travel Time:

  • The journey typically ranges from 8 to 12 hours, depending on the layover durations and the specific routes chosen.

This air travel option, despite involving layovers, is the fastest way to reach Vietnam from India, making it ideal for those with limited time or preferring a more straightforward journey.

Leveraging Skyscanner for Budget-Friendly Flights from Vietnam to India

Budget-conscious travellers must find cost-effective flight options when planning a trip from Vietnam to India. That’s where Skyscanner comes into play, a tool many savvy travellers swear by for snagging the best airfare deals.

Why Skyscanner?

  • Comprehensive Search: Skyscanner is a global travel search site that compares flights from hundreds of airlines and travel agents. It means you can see many flight options in one place.
  • Flexibility: One of Skyscanner’s key features is the ability to search for the cheapest flights over a month or even a year. This flexibility allows you to identify the most cost-effective time to fly.
  • Price Alerts: You can set up alerts on Skyscanner for your desired route. You’ll be notified whenever a price drop or a good deal pops up, enabling you to book flights at the best possible prices.
  • User-Friendly Interface: The platform is known for its easy navigation and clear presentation of options, making it simple to compare flights based on price, duration, and layovers.

How to Use Skyscanner Effectively

  • Early Planning: Start your search early. Airfare tends to increase as the departure date approaches, so the earlier you start looking, the better your chances of finding a great deal.
  • Be Flexible with Dates: If possible, have flexible travel dates. Skyscanner’s “Whole Month” or “Cheapest Month” features can help you find the cheapest flying days.
  • Compare Multiple Airports: If you’re near multiple airports, compare prices for flights from different airports. Travelling farther to a different airport can save you a lot.
  • Mix and Match Airlines: Skyscanner allows you to book outbound and return flights with different airlines. It is sometimes cheaper than booking a round trip with the same airline.
  • Check for Hidden Costs: Low-cost airlines might seem cheaper initially, but check for additional costs like baggage fees.

By Land and Sea: For the Adventurous Soul

Land and sea options are available for travellers seeking a more adventurous and scenic route, though they require more time and planning.

Land Routes:

  • Via China: One can fly from India to Kunming in China and then proceed by bus or train to the Vietnam-China border, moving onwards to Hanoi or other Vietnamese destinations.
  • Via Myanmar: Another option is to travel through Myanmar, starting with a flight from New Delhi to Yangon, Myanmar, and then continuing the journey by land to the Vietnam-Myanmar border​.

Sea Travel:

  • Although there are no direct cruises from India to Vietnam, one can experience a unique journey by taking a cruise from the Mekong Delta countries like Cambodia or coastal cities in Singapore, Malaysia, or Thailand. These cruises offer stunning views of vast water landscapes and a leisurely travel pace.

While more time-consuming, these methods offer a different perspective on the journey. The land route allows one to witness the changing landscapes and cultures across borders, while sea travel offers a serene and picturesque experience.

Visa Essentials: Your Ticket to Vietnam 

Eligibility and Basic Requirements:

  • Indian nationals with a valid Indian passport.
  • Passport validity of at least 6 months after arrival in Vietnam.
  • Sufficient funds and proof of intent to return to India.
  • No criminal record and good health.

Documents Required:

  • Scanned colour copy of the first and last page of the passport.
  • Recent colour passport-size photograph as per Vietnam’s specifications.

Application Process through Akbar Travels:

  • Visit Akbar Travels’ website, submit documents, and pay the fee.
  • The visa is processed in 3 working days.
  • Receive your eVisa via email.

Application Process through Atlys :

Cost:

  • Approximately INR 2,999 (via Akbar Travels). The cost through Atlys might be similar, though it could vary slightly.

Visa Validity and Stay:

  • Valid for 30 days with a single entry permit.

Upon Arrival in Vietnam:

  • Present the printed eVisa and other required documents like hotel booking, return tickets, and proof of funds.

Entry Points:

  • Designated international airports, land ports, and sea ports.

Advantages of Online Application:

  • Convenient, fast (typically 2-3 working days for processing), and can be done from anywhere.

When to Visit Vietnam: Timing Your Adventure for the Best Experience

Vietnam’s diverse climate is a vital consideration when planning your trip. The country experiences a tropical climate, broadly categorized into the dry and rainy seasons.

Dry Season (November to April):

  • This period is typically marked by sunny skies and comfortable weather, making it the ideal time for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
  • The dry season is perfect for visiting popular destinations like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Halong Bay, and the central highlands.
  • However, it’s also the peak tourist season. Consequently, you might encounter higher accommodation prices, flights, and tours during this time. Popular tourist spots can be crowded, so if you prefer a more serene experience, consider the less busy months.
  • The dry season also coincides with several festivals and events, offering a rich cultural experience.

Rainy Season (May to October):

  • The rainy season is characterized by higher humidity and frequent, albeit usually short, downpours.
  • Despite the rain, this season has its charm. The landscapes are lush and green, and the water levels in the Mekong Delta rise, offering a unique perspective of this region.
  • Travel costs tend to be lower during these months, and you’ll find fewer tourists, allowing for a more authentic and peaceful experience.
  • It’s important to note that while rain is common, it usually doesn’t last all day. Mornings often start sunny, with rain typically occurring in the afternoon or evening.

Regional Variations:

  • Vietnam’s long, narrow geography means that weather patterns vary significantly from north to south.
  • The north experiences cooler temperatures from December to February, which can be a pleasant change from the typical tropical heat.
  • From September to November, the central coast might experience typhoons and heavy rains, which could impact travel plans in regions like Hue, Da Nang, and Hoi An.

Currency and Communication: Dong and Dialogue

  • Currency: Swap your Rupees for Vietnamese Dong, preferably in banks or exchange offices in Vietnam.
  • Language: While English might not be widespread, a smile and basic Vietnamese phrases can go a long way!

Getting Around: From A to B in Vietnam

Getting around in Vietnam offers a variety of options tailored to different needs and preferences. The most popular and convenient method, especially in big cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, and Nha Trang, is ride-sharing services like Grab.

Grab in Vietnam:

Variety of Options: 

Grab provides several transportation choices. You can opt for GrabTaxi (traditional taxis via Grab), GrabCar (private cars registered with Grab), or the more adventurous and speedy GrabBike.

Ease of Use: 

The Grab app is user-friendly and similar to Uber, which many are familiar with. It features a review system, transparent pricing, route information, and a messaging platform for communication with your driver. This platform includes a Vietnamese-to-English Google translator, easing language barriers.

Payment: 

With Grab, you can pay by card in the app or with cash directly to the driver. This flexibility is convenient, especially for tourists without a Vietnamese bank account.

Safety and Reliability: 

For those concerned about safety, especially with motorbike rides, GrabBike drivers are reviewed in the app, giving you a sense of their driving skills.

Local Taxis and Motorbike Taxis:

  • Motorbike Taxis are a common mode of transport in Vietnam, providing a faster alternative during rush hours. However, due to space constraints, they’re more suitable for solo travellers without much luggage.
  • Local Taxis: Local taxis are a better choice for group travel or when you have a lot of luggage. Most taxi drivers may not speak English, making it a bit challenging to communicate your destination.

Tips for Using Grab and Taxis:

  • Sim Card for Connectivity: It’s recommended to have a Vietnamese 3G/4G SIM card for easier use of apps like Grab.
  • Booking Process: Setting your pickup and drop-off locations in the app simplifies and avoids language issues.
  • Recognizing Your Ride: The app provides details like the driver’s license plate, type of car, and sometimes the colour, making it easier to identify your ride.

Alternatives to Grab:

  • Other ride-hailing apps like GoViet, FastGo, and Mailinh (Vietnam’s largest taxi company) offer similar services.

Whether opting for the thrill of a motorbike ride or the comfort of a car, Vietnam’s transport options cater to a diverse range of travel styles and needs. Choosing based on your comfort level, group size, and luggage requirements is advisable. 

The key is to embrace the local modes of transportation for a more authentic experience of Vietnam’s vibrant cities and scenic landscapes.​

Conclusion 

From the sprawling urban landscapes to the tranquil countryside, Vietnam is a canvas of experiences waiting for you to paint your memories. With some planning and a spirit of adventure, your trip from India to Vietnam can be extraordinary.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are some must-visit places in Vietnam?

Don’t miss Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Halong Bay, and the UNESCO-listed beauty of Sapa.

How safe is it to travel solo in Vietnam?

Generally safe, but usual precautions are advised. Keep your valuables secure and stay vigilant, especially at night.

Is vegetarian food readily available in Vietnam?

Yes, many restaurants offer vegetarian options. Just communicate your dietary preferences clearly.