I'm flying to Bangkok and would like to know the best way of getting to Hanoi.
I have time to travel and wouldn't mind an overland trip, either by train or bus, stopping off at a few places along the way. Do you have any recommendations for things to see while in Hanoi? Thanks a lot. Kani
It's possible to travel from Bangkok to Hanoi overland providing you have plenty of time to spare. There is no train service from Bangkok to Vietnam but you can travel overland by bus or minivan through Laos. The route will take you through the wonderful countryside of central Laos.
From Bangkok, I would recommend you travel to Nakhon Phanom, which will serve as your departure point from Thailand. You may fly or travel by bus to Nakhon Phanom, explore the province for a day or two before crossing the bridge to Tha Kaek, a town by the Mekong River. From Tha Kaek, you can take a bus straight to Hanoi, which costs around 160,000 kip or Bt600. You will enter Vietnam through Boli Lhanxai province. The major town here is Lak Xao, 34 kilometres from the Nam Phao border checkpoint. After entering Vietnam, you will be only 100 kilometres away from Vinh. You may sit on the bus all the way to Hanoi, or try a railway experience from Vinh to Hanoi on the 319-kilometre journey. There are four trains - namely the SE 2, SE4, SE6 and SE8, all Reunification Express Trains - departing every day and the trip takes about six to seven hours. You can make an online booking easily via Vietnam-Railway.com
In Hanoi, you have many things to see such as Perfume Pagoda, water puppet performance and Ho Chi Minh’s tomb. Also, if you still have time, do not miss Ha Long Bay and Sapa.
I have a conference in Bangkok in August, which is being held at the Impact Muang Thong Thani. I realise this is quite far from central Bangkok and I know I can get a shuttle bus from Mo Chit BTS and am looking for somewhere to stay for the two nights of the conference rather than travel to and from the city centre every day. I have a budget of less than US$50 a night. I'd prefer a hotel either near Mo Chit station or in Muang Thong Thani. Thanks for your help. Anan
The nearest and the most convenient to Impact is Novotel Impact Bangkok Hotel, but the nightly room rate starts at $70, which exceeds your budget.
If you don't mind a basic room in a Muang Thong Thani apartment, there are many for rent, and these tend to be very popular among Thai people attending conferences at the exhibition centre. Prices are around Bt600-Bt1,200 a night, without breakfast or any other facilities. All you have is an air-conditioned bedroom with television and en-suite bathroom. Some also provide a microwave.
I'll give you a few names and suggest you check them out on the Net. Victoria Lake View (www.Lakeview.co.th) is a condominium that has rooms for rent on a daily basis. Kasemsan Home (www.KasemsanHome.com) and Muang Thong Room (www.MT-Room.com) are also worth looking at. They are located in blocks of flats on Muang Thong Popular Condominium. You check in at the reception, then get a key and are directed to your room in one of the buildings on the estate. It looks little sinister from the outside as the buildings are old but the rooms are newly decorated, clean and well kept. And you will not be short of food and drinks, as there are many small restaurants open until late at night.
If you want to stay near Mo Chit BTS, there are a few in the Pradipat area, which is about a 15-minute walk to the BTS. One is Lullaby Hotel (www.UrbanLullaby.com) in Pradipat Soi 23 and another is Mansion Sarasinee@Chatuchak in Pradipat Soi 25.
Have a pleasant stay!