Support 8:00 - 22:00 (GMT+7)

Travel to Vietnam from Hong Kong – Everything you need to know

January 04, 2024

Vietnam is an incredibly beautiful and culturally rich country located in Southeast Asia. Only a short flight away from Hong Kong, Vietnam offers a vacation full of stunning scenery, mouthwatering cuisine, fascinating history and incredibly friendly locals. If you’re considering a trip to Vietnam from Hong Kong, this guide will provide everything you need to know to plan the perfect vacation.

How far is Vietnam from HongKong? Is it worth visiting?

How far is Vietnam from Hong Kong?

Vietnam shares a border with China to the north, but the main area most visitors head to is either Hanoi in the north or Ho Chi Minh City in the south.

  • Hanoi is approximately 2,000 km from Hong Kong with a flight time of around 3 hours.
  • Ho Chi Minh City is around 2,400 km away, with a flight time of approx 3 and a half hours.

So it’s very easy to get to the main tourist regions of Vietnam from Hong Kong or any other regional Asian hub.

Is Vietnam worth visiting?

Absolutely! Vietnam has an incredible amount to offer visitors including:

  • Breathtaking natural scenery like Halong Bay with its emerald waters and towering limestone islands, the rice terraces of Sapa, the endless golden beaches of Nha Trang or the mystic mountains around Dalat.
  • Delicious and super affordable Vietnamese cuisine including pho noodle soup, banh mi sandwiches, spring rolls and some of the best coffee in the world.
  • Fascinating history and culture – from ancient temples, old ports and Imperial cities to insights into the Vietnam war. The big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Min city buzz with energy and chaos.
  • Adventure activities like trekking, kayaking, cycling and more. Or take an overnight cruise around magical Halong Bay.
  • Great value for money. Vietnam is very budget friendly for international travelers.

For the culture, landscapes, food and history – Vietnam has it all. A visit will create lasting memories to cherish for a lifetime.

How to travel to Vietnam from Hong Kong?

Travel to Vietnam from Hong Kong

Flight to Vietnam from Hong Kong

Flight options from Hong Kong to Vietnam

There are direct daily flights from Hong Kong International Airport to both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with airlines like Cathay Pacific, Vietnam Airlines and VietJet Air. Flight time is around 3-3.5 hours.

  • Hanoi flights depart from Hong Kong early afternoon and arrive early evening.
  • Ho Chi Minh City flights depart very late evening from Hong Kong, arriving very early morning the next day.

So it’s very convenient to take a direct flight to one of these two Vietnamese hubs from Hong Kong or any other regional airport.

Flight prices fluctuate but expect to pay around $250 USD each way. For budget options, check out VietJet Air or Scoot Airlines for cheaper airfares.

Other transportation options

Alternatively you can take a flight, bus or train to the Chinese border towns like Hanoi or Dongxing, cross the border and continue into Vietnam from there.

  • There’s a train service from Hong Kong via Guangzhou then Nanning which arrives at Hanoi. Total travel time is around 33 hours.
  • Buses also run from Hong Kong via Guangzhou to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, taking 48+ hours.

While overland options are more economical, the journey times are extremely long so most opt for a short direct flight instead.

Do Hong Kong passport holders need a Visa to Vietnam?

Yes, Hong Kong passport holders do need a visa to enter Vietnam. As of my knowledge cutoff in 2023, Hong Kong passport holders are not eligible for visa-free entry into Vietnam. Therefore, they would need to obtain a visa before traveling to Vietnam. However, visa policies can change over time, so it’s important to check the latest information from official sources or consult with the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in Hong Kong for the most up-to-date visa requirements.

Where and When to go Vietnam?

Best places to visit

With its narrow shape that spans over 1,600 km from north to south, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to must-see destinations. Here are some of the places you absolutely should visit:

Northern Vietnam:

  • Hanoi – Wander around the bustling Old Quarter and visit Ho Chi Minh’s mausoleum.
  • Ha Long Bay – Overnight on a cruise boat and soak up magical scenery.
  • Sapa – Trek amongst vibrant rice terraces and stay with ethnic minority villages.

Central Vietnam:

  • Hue – Explore the grand imperial citadel and majestic tombs.
  • Hoi An – Soak up the charm of this historic old town.
  • Phong Nha National Park – Go caving and trekking in lush jungle scenery.

Southern Vietnam:

  • Ho Chi Minh City – Dive into Vietnam’s liveliest city.
  • Mekong Delta – Float along lush waterways and discover river life.
  • Nha Trang – Relax on sweeping sandy beaches.

Best time to visit

Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate in the south and subtropical climate in the north. When planning your trip, the weather and average temperatures vary hugely between regions.

In general the best time is mid October – December when monsoons have ended. It’s less humid up north and rain chances are low nationwide. January to late March is peak season with comfortable temperatures nationwide. April gets very hot nationwide and May to September brings higher chances of rain, storms and humidity.

Do research on regional climates if wanting to visit a certain area. The weather varies greatly across the narrow country.

Accommodation – Where to stay in Vietnam?


Vietnam offers a wide range of accommodation from basic backpacker dorms and guesthouses through to international 5 star resorts.

In the major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City you’ll find everything from budget hotels under $30 USD a night through to extravagant colonial era hotels or modern high rises with rooftop bars and infinity pools from $150 USD and upwards per night.

Mid range hotels generally start from $50 USD and provide very comfortable stays. Look out for nice boutique hotels that capture Vietnamese style for a unique experience.

Beach destinations

Coastal destinations like Nha Trang feature high rise hotels and apartments lining wide sandy beaches, perfect for relaxing by the seaside. Mui Ne Beach or Phu Quoc Island are other popular tropical getaways with resort style accommodation. Prices vary greatly but expect around $50+ per night.

Halong Bay cruises

To properly experience the majestic scenery of Halong Bay, spend at least one night aboard a cruise boat, with prices starting around $100 USD. Most boats feature comfortable en-suite cabins and excellent viewing decks to gaze out at surreal seascape surroundings.

What to eat in Vietnam?


Without doubt one of the best parts of visiting Vietnam is trying authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Each region has its own specialities featuring fresh, healthy ingredients prepared with care and packed with flavor.

Here’s a quick overview of dishes you must try:

Northern cuisine tends to feature simpler, subtler flavors using plenty of herbs and dipping sauces. Signature dishes include:

  • Phở bò – fragrant beef noodle soup
  • Bánh cuốn – steamed rice rolls with pork and mushrooms
  • Bún chả Hà Nội – charcoal grilled pork with noodles

Central cuisine has imperial influences and uses more seasoning. Favorites include:

  • Bánh xèo – crispy Vietnamese pancakes with pork and shrimp
  • Bánh bột lọc – translucent shrimp and pork dumplings
  • Cơm hến – clam rice

Southern cuisine is hotter, spicier and sourer. Must try dishes:

  • Bánh mì thịt nướng – crusty baguettes filled with grilled meats
  • Bò lúc lắc – shredded spicy beef salad
  • Hủ tiếu – pork and seafood noodle soup

Plus there’s an abundance of fresh tropical fruit, shrimp, seafood and herbs used across Vietnamese cooking. Try new things and explore the intense flavors.

Street food

For the most authentic, inexpensive food – head straight to the bustling street food stalls you’ll find across every town and city. Pull up a plastic stool at makeshift tables to try tasty dishes like pho noodle soup, banh mi sandwiches, crispy spring rolls and strong Vietnamese coffee.

Best places to find street food markets are in Hanoi’s Old Quarter or around Bùi Viện Street in Ho Chi Minh City. Look for vendors with plenty of locals eating there too for guaranteed freshness and flavor.

Cooking classes

Taking a Vietnamese cooking class is a fantastic way to dive further into the local cuisine. Learn professional techniques for making staples like pho and spring rolls from expert chefs before sitting down to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Classes are offered across Vietnam from Hoi An to Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.

Getting around in Vietnam

Vietnam offers very good domestic transport infrastructure making it easy to get around this long, thin country. Here are the main options for traveling between destinations:

Internal flights

Vietnam has modern airports in all major cities served by efficient local carriers like VietJet Air, Bamboo Airways and Vietnam Airlines.

Internal flights connect places like Hanoi to Da Nang, Danang to Ho Chi Minh City or HCMC to Phu Quoc Island in just a couple of hours. Flights offer the fastest way to cover large distances across Vietnam.

Overnight trains

Vietnam’s railway spans the entire coastal length of the country. Overnight trains with soft sleeper cabins provide a comfortable way to travel between main cities and tourist destinations. All train routes either start or stop at Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.


An extensive network of modern buses run regularly between all main towns. Open bus tour tickets allow flexible travel with hop-on, hop-off convenience ideal for backpackers. Buses go almost everywhere and are the cheapest form of transport.

Taxis and Grab

Registered taxis with meters offer affordable rates for everyday travel within cities. Grab is the local version of Uber with private drivers offering cost effective, safe rides. Both are preferable to regular unregistered taxis which often overcharge foreigners.


Cycling through Vietnam’s captivating landscapes is a popular activity. Many choose to cycle the entire length of the country over a number of weeks. Otherwise bikes can easily be rented to explore scenic areas for a few days.

So with efficient regional flights, comfortable overnight trains, buses going almost everywhere and inexpensive taxis and motorcycle taxis –internal travel around Vietnam is very straightforward.

What should I buy as souvenirs in Vietnam?

Best souvenir ideas

Looking for the perfect memento to bring back from magical Vietnam? Here are some classic Vietnamese souvenir ideas to gift friends or keep and treasure yourself:

  • Ào Dài – This gorgeous national costume comes in endless varieties featuring a long slim tunic worn over pants. The elegant silk designs make beautiful keepsakes.
  • Non La – These iconic Vietnamese conical hats worn by farmers make quirky ornaments to display back home.
  • Lacquered art – Vietnam’s famous lacquerware comes in all shades and makes refined homewares like bowls, vases, trays and jewelry boxes.
  • Ceramics – Handmade Vietnamese ceramics, especially Celadon wares, are a refined choice for tea cups, crockery or decorative pieces.
  • Hill tribe handicrafts – Intricate textiles, bags and jewelry handcrafted by ethnic minority tribes in Sapa make thoughtful gifts.
  • Propaganda Posters – Vintage or reproduction propaganda art posters from Vietnam’s complex history are interesting collector’s items.
  • Vietnamese coffee – Rich tasting Vietnamese coffee makes the ultimate edible souvenir to enjoy long after leaving Vietnam. Beans, ground coffee or filters are all widely available.
  • Wood carvings – Beautiful hand carved wooden pieces like chopsticks, wall hangings, figures or ornaments can be found across Vietnam.
  • Nature crafts – Look out for locally made handicrafts fashioned from coconut shells, water hyacinth baskets, mother of pearl inlay pieces, shell artworks or sand paintings.
  • Textiles – Vietnamese silks, cottons and premium textiles like Vạn Phúc linen make exquisite souvenirs or fashion pieces to treasure.

So with this extensive list, you’re sure to find wonderful Vietnamese mementos to gift or keep for yourself. Support local artisans by buying authentic handmade wares.

Tips for traveling from Hong Kong to Vietnam

Here are final tips to help you plan smooth travels in Vietnam after the short flight across from Hong Kong:

  • Remember visas are free on arrival for HK passport holders traveling less than 30 days in Vietnam. But have an onward flight confirmation ready to show immigration.
  • Buy a local Vietnamese SIM card on arrival for reliable data/internet while traveling the country
  • Have small change (Dong currency) on hand for street food vendors and markets
  • Pre-book a reputable company for visa services, airport transfers, multi city tours etc to take hassle out of travel logistics
  • Respect local culture by dressing modestly when visiting temples (legs and shoulders covered)
  • Drink only bottled water and ask for no ice unless its purified water
  • Cross roads assertively and consistently as traffic is chaotic!
  • Get cash from ATMs in each new destination to avoid carrying lots of dong cash
  • Download useful Vietnam apps like Grab, Google Maps, Google Translate, Vietcetera and Foody to assist with travel

So just a few short flight hours from Hong Kong awaits magnificent Vietnam with friendly locals, vibrant cities, wondrous nature and sublime cuisine for you to discover and fall in love with. Have an amazing trip full of precious memories!


How much does it cost to travel Vietnam?
Vietnam is very affordable for tourists. Daily budgets for frugal travel including cheap guesthouses, street food and local transport are around $20-30 USD per day. If staying in hotels and eating out properly budget $50-100+ per day.

Do I need any vaccinations for Vietnam?
No vaccinations are mandatory but it’s recommended to be up to date with routine vaccines like Tetanus. Consider Hepatitis A and Typhoid for maximum protection when frequently eating street food. Speak to your doctor for personalized advice.

How should I get local currency?
Get cash from ATMs in each destination rather than carrying huge amounts of Vietnam Dong that can’t be converted back. All major cities have plenty of ATMs. Notify your bank before traveling to avoid suspended cards.

Is it safe for a solo female to travel in Vietnam?
Absolutely. Violent crime rates are extremely low in Vietnam and most locals are very hospitable towards foreign visitors. Obviously take regular safety precautions, especially late at night as per any destination.

How do I avoid scams in Vietnam?
A few common travel scams involve overcharging tourists for unmetered taxi rides, exchanging currency, tour prices or souvenirs. Agree on pricing beforehand and remember government regulated vendors won’t haggle above reasonable margins.


Vietnam is truly a traveler’s paradise that will steal your heart in endless ways with its rich culture, vibrant local life and stunning landscapes. This comprehensive guide has covered everything you need to know for getting there from Hong Kong and making the most of this alluring Southeast Asian destination that offers incredible value.

With daily direct flights, choices of places to stay at every budget plus helpful local apps – it’s very convenient to plan an exceptional trip.

Wander charming historic towns in the north before heading down south to relax on tropical beaches. Cruise amongst limestone peaks on Halong Bay and discover the flavors of pho noodle soup, banh mi sandwiches and Vietnamese coffee. Meet friendly locals and unwind completely immersed in the magic of Vietnam.