If you are in Yangon, you can get to Hanoi by plane or by using overland transportation including buses and taxis.
A direct flight takes no longer than 2 hours. Direct flights can sometimes be found at rather affordable prices, going down to even MMK100,000/USD70, if you book a few months in advance.
If you plan to visit more cities during your trip, you can choose a flight with a layover. The overall duration of the trip will increase in this case to at least 6 hours and so will the price which can double or triple compared with the costs of a direct flight.
Power explorers or backpackers could enjoy travelling by bus, although it could be exhausting. The distance between Yangon and Hanoi is approximately 1100 km. You'll get to Hanoi combining several bus routes and crossing Thailand and Laos. This trip will set you back up to USD70 and USD120 and last 5-6 days (including stops) depending on the chosen route. The advantage is that you can explore in depth the places where you stop.
Direct flights from Yangon to Hanoi
Several airlines operate direct flights on Yangon-Hanoi route. Among others, you can book your flight with Vietjet Air, Asia Airlines or Vietnam Airlines. The prices vary depending on the airline and on how much time in advance you book the flight ticket.
If you book a few days in advance only, one ticket for a round trip Yangon-Hanoi will cost you between MMK200,000/USD140 and MYR400,000/USD280. But if you are an organized traveller and you like to book some 3-4 months in advance, you can cut costs significantly to MMK120,000/USD75. AirAsia have their Big Sales periods, when promotional tickets are sold. If you are happy to grab one of these, you can expect to pay as little as MMK80,000/USD60 but you usually have to plan between half a year up to 9 month in advance.
A direct flight between Yangon and Hanoi lasts about 2 hours. You will land at Noi Bai International Airport, the largest in the Northern Vietnam. Noi Bai International Airport is located outside Hanoi, 45 km away from the city centre.
To reach the city from the airport, you have several options: to take a taxi, an airport minibus or a public bus. A taxi ride to the city centre will cost you around VND320,000/USD10.
The minibus operated by the airport can take you to your personal destination (hotel or other). It will cost you around VND32,000/USD1 to get to the city centre. Make sure you check the fare before embarking.
The public bus lines 7 and 17 connect the airport to the city centre. The ticket costs VND5,000/less than half a dollar and the ride will last about one hour. The end station of the bus line 7 is Kim Ma and the one of the line bus 17 is Long Bien.
Connecting flights from Yangon to Hanoi
Hanoi can be reached via connecting flights from Yangon, too. These come handy if you want to make a stopover in one of the destinations below or simply if there are no reasonably priced direct options on your dates. The most convenient airports for a layover include Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh or Kuala Lumpur.
The most convenient connecting flights are the ones stopping in Bangkok because of the shortest distance, shortest layover time and most often, lowest prices.
Travel time will depend on the flights you opt for and can be anywhere from 6 hours and up. Bangkok has two airports – Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi – and both serve flights to/from Yangon and Hanoi.
Note The airport shuttle between Don Mueang and Suvarnabhumi is free, but you will need to show a valid onward ticket from the airport you are heading to. Other options include taking a taxi for approximately THB350 or bus 554 for THB23. Travel time between the airports by the airport shuttle bus is about one hour, so factor this. In general, we recommend you to book flights arriving and departing from the same airport in Bangkok.
Starting from 2012, Don Mueang airport is reserved to low-cost flights and charters, while Suvarnabhumi serves mostly international flights, is bigger and more modern. As a general rule, airlines flying from Suvarnabhumi, cost more than those that use Don Mueang as their hub.
You can reach the city centre easily from the both airports. From Don Mueang to Bangkok's centre, you can take the taxi for THB200, on an average, or bus 29 for THB18. Recently a new shuttle bus route from Don Mueang to Khao San Road was introduced, immediately becoming the greatest hit among the travellers.
If you have landed in Suvarnabhumi airport and want to head to the city centre, take a taxi from the ground floor. The costs depend on the destination. A fee of THB50 adds up to the overall cost. You can also take a shuttle bus from the several ones available in the Bus Terminal or one of the public van lines that will take you to Bangkok for between THB25 and THB50, depending on the route.
Tip Even if you are not going to exit and have the next flight from the same airport, technically you should enter Thailand and then go through immigration again to exit it. It means that you have to have a valid Thai visa or be sure that your passport is among those nationalities who are granted a free stamp on arrival.
From Yangon to Hanoi overland
It is possible to travel from Yangon to Hanoi overland using only local buses. There are two main routes you can choose and both require crossing Thailand and Laos, so arrange your visas accordingly.
Yangon–Myawaddy–Mae Sot (Thailand)–Mukdahan–Savannakhet (Laos)–Hanoi (Vietnam)
From Yangon There are direct buses to the border town of Myawaddy. The distance between the two is 420 km and you will need about 12 hours to reach the border.
If you cannot or do not want to catch a direct bus for some reason, you can easily travel via Hpa An. Buses from Yangon to Hpa An cost between MMK6,000/USD5 and MMK8,000/USD7 and take around 6-7 hours to arrive with regular departures throughout the day from 8am and 8pm. Check Shwe Sin Setkyar and Mandalar Min Express for the most reliable service. From Hpa An there are buses to Myawaddy (5-6 hours; MMK6,000/USD5).
Tip It is a better idea to spend the night on the Thai side of the border as there is accommodation of higher standards there and generally at lower prices.
From Myawaddy, cross the border to Thailand to the town of Mae Sot. There are buses to a wide variety of destinations throughout Thailand from Mae Sot, including a direct bus from Mae Sot to Mukdahan. It takes about 13 hours to get to Mukdahan by bus. The majority of departures are evening ones (after 5pm). Book your bus ticket with Phet Prasert for approximately THB700/USD20.
Mukdahan is a quaint provincial capital on the banks of Mekong River with a very relaxed atmosphere and great coffee houses. You can stay there for a night or a day and get some rest, then continue your journey to Savannakhet, only 17 km away. There are international buses from Mukdahan bus station to Savannakhet bus station throughout the day for THB50/USD1.5 – buy tickets on the spot.
Tip Lao VOA is available at this border crossing for many nationalities. Have a photo to attach to your application.
From Savannakhet, take the direct bus to Hanoi, operated by HTX Van Tai company on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, at 10am. It's a long over-20-hour journey with tickets costing LAK250,000/USD40.
Alternatively, you can go to Hue or Danang from Savannakhet and connect in one of these towns with Hanoi. A Savannakhet-Hue ticket costs LAK90,000, and the bus leaves at 10 pm arriving to Hue the next day. Savannakhet-Danang route costs LAK110,000-LAK150,000 and buses leave on Thursday and Saturday at 10pm or on Monday-Wednesday and Saturday-Sunday at 7.30am.
Travelling from Yangon to Hanoi over this route by bus you will spend about USD75.
Yangon–Myawaddy–Mae Sot (Thailand)–Chiang Mai–Luang Prabang (Laos)–Hanoi (Vietnam
The second most popular route involves travelling via Chiang Mai in Thailand and Luang Prabang in Laos.
Follow the same itinerary for reaching Mae Sot as with the first route option. From Mae Sot go north to Chiang Mai by bus. Green Bus operate daily buses to Chiang Mai 6.15am and 10am. The ticket price is THB390/USD12 and travel time is 6 hours.
From Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang buses bring you in 16-20 hours – check with 999 company (THB1500/USD45).
Once you reach Luang Prabang, book a bus ticket to Hanoi with HTX Van Tai, for approximately THB1700/USD50. The journey takes devastating 24 hours, and the bus leaves Luang Prabang at 5pm.
This option is likely to cost you more than travelling via Mukdahan–Savannaket – be ready to spend on buses about USD120.
Onward travel from Hanoi
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is an amazing destination itself, but you can use it as a base to further explore other regions of Vietnam.
Sapa, located in northwest Vietnam, at 1,500 meters altitude is easily reachable from Hanoi by train. Take the train to Lao Cai (8 hours) and then cover the final stretch by bus or taxi. Buses are faster and cheaper on this route – 6 hours on an average for VND250,000.