How to Get From Vietnam to Thailand & the Best Way to Travel from Thailand to Vietnam

One of the oldest cultures in Southeast Asia, Thailand, formerly known as Siam, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia, and lies in the area known as Indochina, with Cambodia to the southeast, Laos to the east and northeast, and Myanmar to the north and west. The south of the country lies on the Gulf of Thailand, with a long narrow peninsula stretching down to Malaysia.

One of the most visited countries in the world for tourism, Bangkok is rated as the most popular tourist destination in Thailand, and is well known for its “anything goes” culture. However, for majority of the people that visit Thailand, the beaches are undoubtedly the most popular destination after Bangkok, and Thailand has some of the best beaches in the world. Traveling to Thailand from Vietnam can be done by flight or overland, by bus or by using a combination of bus and train.

Get from Vietnam to Thailand by air

Thailand has three major international airports, in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket, the popular beach tourist location. From Vietnam, flights to Bangkok can be taken from Hanoi, Saigon, Da Nang, Da Lat, and Phu Quoc, while flights to Chiang Mai only originate in Hanoi and flights to Phuket can only be taken from Saigon. Flights from Saigon to Phuket cost around 80 US dollars per person for the 2 hour flight, while flights to Chiang Mai from Hanoi take just 90 minutes and cost as little as 54 US dollars per person.

get Thailand by air
get Thailand by air

Flights to Bangkok from Hanoi run daily, taking around 1 hour 50 minutes and costing as little as US$ 62 per person, while the flights from Saigon cost a measly 42 dollars for the 90-minute flight. From Da Nang, the flight costs around 87 dollars and takes about 90 minutes, from Da Lat, it is around 1 hour 45 minutes and costs from 90 dollars, and the single daily flight from Phu Quoc to Bangkok takes around 1 hour 45 minutes and costs a whopping US$ 297 per person.

Tickets are best booked through the third-party comparison sites, which can find the cheapest tickets available at short notice, and all accept card payments. While there are other options for traveling to Thailand from Vietnam, flights are the best option available, and with the cheap flights costing as little as forty dollars, it is not the expensive option.

Get from Vietnam to Thailand by land

By bus

There are no shared borders between Vietnam and Thailand, so traveling overland means taking a bus across Cambodia or Laos. Both routes are possible, and while they do take a long time, traveling overland is not as costly as you might think. However, the route from Saigon to Bangkok overland through Cambodia is actually more expensive than the flights, and does require you to obtain a visa to enter Cambodia, which is another additional expense. The same goes with traveling via Laos, which makes the trip much more expensive than most of the flights.

get Thailand by bus
get Thailand by bus

Bus tickets in Vietnam can be booked either online or at the local travel agents, and you can use a card to pay at most of the travel agents in the larger cities. The route to Bangkok from Vietnam through Cambodia costs around 40 US dollars for the entire trip, as well as 30 dollars for the Cambodian visa, and accommodation costs, as the bus is not direct. The bus from Saigon can take you direct to Phnom Penh, and takes around four hours, with the conductor aiding in the processing of visas at the Cambodian border.

There is one option that will make the trip easier. One bus company, Mekong Express, run direct buses from Saigon to Bangkok, which takes around 29 to 34 hours to make the entire journey across Cambodia into Thailand. The buses stop for breaks in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, and have conductors to aid with the paperwork for those requiring visas at the Cambodian and Thai borders. The cost ranges between 35 US dollars and 50 US dollars, which is not too expensive.

By train

A train from Vietnam to Thailand is not possible for the entire journey, and part of the trip will have to be by local bus. There are two ways to travel by train, through Cambodia or through Laos. For the trip through Cambodia, you will need to take a bus into Cambodia and up to the northern border with Thailand, crossing the border to the Thai town of Aranyaprathet. From there, you can get the train direct to Bangkok. Cambodia does not have train tracks, and there is no rail link from Saigon to Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital. From the capital, a bus runs up to Siem Reap, from where you can get a local cross-border bus to Aranyaprathet in Thailand.

get Thailand by train
get Thailand by train

For the trip across Laos from Vietnam to Thailand, there is also no train connection that runs all the way. From Hanoi, you can take an international bus that will take you across the border to Vientiane, the Laotian capital. From Vientiane, you can get a local bus to Thanaleng, where the new rail terminal provides an international cross-border train to Nong Khai in Thailand. From there, you can easily get the train to Bangkok. Bus tickets to Laos from Vietnam vary, depending on the time of year, and the train from Nong Khai costs around 4-5 dollars per person. The train from Thanaleng to Nong Khai, which crosses the border into Thailand costs from around 6 dollars.

Tickets for the train portion of the journey can be booked easily at the station in both Thanaleng and Nong Khai, at the time of your travel. The trains are rarely ever full, so seating is not usually a problem, even in the peak months for tourism in Thailand and Laos. Bus tickets from Hanoi or Saigon, and those in Cambodia, however, will need to be booked through a local travel agent.

The Best Way to Travel from Vietnam to Thailand

While it may not seem it for most people, the fastest and cheapest way to travel between Vietnam and Thailand is by flight. With flights from Saigon to Bangkok costing as little as 42 US dollars, and flights from Hanoi to Chiang Mai costing just 54 US dollars, there is no comparison on which is the best way to travel.

Overland travel from Vietnam to Thailand is more costly, longer, and with several connections, whether traveling by bus, train, or a combination of both, than the flights. And while you may have a wait at the airport to board the flight, usually around 2-3 hours from checking in to boarding, this is nothing compared to the 14 to 34 hours it can take to travel overland. The one mitigating factor to the overland travel is that there is one direct route between Saigon and Bangkok, which makes the overland trip easier. And while it is just 35 US dollars in the low season, in the peak months it reaches more than 50 US dollars per person, which is still more than the flight to Bangkok from Saigon.

Tips for the trip

If you are planning a trip from Vietnam to Thailand, then your best option is flying, as there is no requirement of additional visas. For those that are flying, you will need to get a visa for your entry into Thailand, if you are not in the visa exemption lists.

While there is a visa exemption for more than 50 nations around the globe, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and several European nations, there are many countries that are required to have a visa in order to enter Thailand. For 21 countries, including China, Taiwan, and India, a visa can be obtained on your arrival in Thailand, at either the major airports of the border entry points between Cambodia or Laos and Thailand. The standard Visa on Arrival requires a valid passport with at least six months validity remaining, two passport-sized photos, and a completed application form. Proof of onward travel is not required. The visa fee for entering Thailand using the Visa on Arrival service is currently 2,000 baht, or around 63 US dollars. However, until April 30, 2019, those 21 countries have the visa fee waived to boost tourist numbers.

Thailand visa
Thailand visa

For most of the African, Central American, and Middle Eastern countries, a visa is required to be obtained prior to traveling to Thailand, and can be obtained through any Embassy of the Kingdom of Thailand. The visa requires your valid passport, fee in US dollars or local currency, completed application form, and two passport-sized photos.

If your trip takes you through Cambodia, then you will also need to have a standard tourist visa for Cambodia in order to cross the country to Thailand. Transit visas are not available for Cambodia. Only nine Southeast Asian countries and the Seychelles are exempt from visas for periods of between 14 and 30 days.

Cambodia has a good Visa on Arrival system that is available to citizens of almost every other country in the world, with a few exceptions in central Africa and the Middle East. The visa can be applied for at the border crossings anywhere around Cambodia, and costs just 30 US dollars. Requirements include a valid passport with at least six months validity remaining, one passport-sized photo, a completed application form, and the fee.

There is also an E-visa for Cambodia, which is available for nationals of every country in the world except Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Syria. The E-visa can be applied for online from anywhere in the world, and costs 36 US dollars. The E-visa can be obtained online at the website of the Cambodian immigration at:

Most Popular Thailand and Vietnam Tour Packages

Have a Question? Ask below or email us at

Question Summary:

Details about your question:


Please fill in your contact information, we will send you the answer by email


  • all days
  • 3-8
  • 8-13
  • 13-18
  • 18-24
  • 25-33
  • Above 33
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Myanmar
  • Laos
  • Thailand
  • China

Pin It to Pinterest