Vietnam's two major cities, Ho Chi Minh City in the south and Hanoi in the north, are about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) apart. The easiest way to get to Hanoi is a direct two-hour flight, and there are multiple flights out of Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Son Nhat International Airport each day.
However, if you have a particular interest in learning more about Vietnam's history and seeing the countryside, you may wish to consider booking a scenic and culturally symbolic 34-hour train journey with views of towering mountains, banana trees, and ancient temples.
If you're interested in further exploring northern Vietnam's pagodas, terraced rice paddies, and the famous Halong Bay, then check out our 7-day itinerary.
Duration: 2 hours
The Tan Son Nhat International Airport is conveniently located just four miles outside of the center of Ho Chi Minh City, but it's prime location also makes it the busiest airport in Vietnam with an estimated 32 million travelers per year, so make sure you budget enough time to navigate your way through the lines in order to catch your two-hour flight to Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport.
Duration: 34 hours, more with stops
History buffs may want to book a 34-hour train ride to Hanoi on Vietnam's national railway system known as the Reunification Express.
This celebratory train line was named the Reunification Express in 1976 because it unified the formerly divided north and south after the long conflict in Vietnam came to a close. This historically significant ride will take you along the coast, through miles of jungle, and even directly through the middle of small villages.
Four trains depart from Ho Chi Minh City's central station each day. Consider booking first-class tickets (Soft Berth) for extra comfort and room in your sleeping cabin, and be aware that you can break up the trip by getting off at stops to explore sites like the Van Long Nature Reserve or the former capital city of Hue, which has grand imperial monuments and palaces.