From China to Hanoi, you can follow these routes:
1. Kunming - Hekou - Lao Cai - Hanoi (by bus/train)
2. Nanning - PingXiang - Huu Nghi Quan / Frienship Pass (17km from Lang Son) - Hanoi (by train/bus)
3. Nanning - DongXing - Mong Cai - Hanoi (by express boat Mong Cai - Ha Long, then by bus Ha Long - Hanoi, OR by bus Nanning - Ha Long - Hanoi)
1. Kunming - Hekou - Lao Cai - Hanoi:
No train on Chinese side. From Kunming to Hekou border gate, if you travel by bus, the distance is 490km. It took us almost 10 hours to travel by bus, including time for lunch. From Hekou to Lao Cai town, it takes 10 minutes by motorbike. You go to Lao Cai railway station and buy a train ticket to Hanoi (overnight train).
So, the total distance from Kunming to Hanoi: 490km by bus and over 300km by train.
For more info about how to travel overland between Kunming and Hanoi, pls read posts #111 and #112 in this thread.
2. Nanning - PingXiang - Lang Son - Hanoi:
By bus: Huu Nghi Quan / Frienship Pass is located 17km from Lang Son town. It is recommended that you arrive at Friendship Pass (customs and immigration) before 4:30 PM, because they do not stamp foreign passports after that time.
By train: If you travel from Beijing - Nanning - Hanoi, the trip would take about 40 hours. You will change the train at Dong Dang border town. The rail width in China is 1.4m, while in Vietnam it's only 1m.
For more info about how to travel overland between Nanning and Hanoi, pls read posts #105 and #106 in this thread.
Please refer to Travelmaven's report "Hong Kong to Hanoi overland" posted some years ago. In fact, now it's easy to travel directly by bus between Nanning and Hanoi without finding other local means of transport:
. Express train from Hong Kong train station to Guangzhou - 230 HKD
. Taxi from Guangzhou East train station to the main Guangzhou train station. - 16 RMB
. Overnight soft sleeper to Nanning - 548 RMB.
. Train from Nanning to PingXiang - 30 RMB.
. Tuk tuk to customs and immigration - 24 RMB.
. Taxi to Lang Son - $3.
. Minibus to Hanoi - $3 (Depending on the number of people in the minivan, and the price agreed upon). It takes about 3.5 hours to get Hanoi from Lang Son.
3. Nanning - DongXing - Mong Cai - Ha Long - Hanoi:
This info was posted on Asia North East Asia Branch about the bus from Nanning to Ha Long:
"There are direct bus from Nanning to Halong Bay, departs 8:00am in the morning, from River South Bus Centre (Jiang Nan Ke Yun Zhong Xing). The bus crosses the border at DongXing border town instead of Gate of Friendship. Total bus travel time from Nanning to Halong bay is 9 hours. Cost 100 yuan."
You can also go by express boat from Mong Cai to Ha Long then by bus to Hanoi.
1. Red Dragon
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2. Prince Cruise Halong Bay Vietnam: 4 cabin cruise on Halong Bay
3. Jayavarman Cruise on Mekong River Vietnam Cambodia: luxury cruise on the Mekong River
4. Hanoi Airlines: book flight tickets to Hanoi
5. Halong Bay Cruise: list all cruise boats on Halong Bay & Bai Tu Long Bay
6. Hotel Vietnam, Vietnam Hotels: book hotels and resorts in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia
7. Laos Travel Guide: book tours in Laos with the New Road Tour
8. Cambodia Travel: useful guides, hotels, flights, tours in Cambodia
9. Phu Quoc Travel Guide: useful information on Phu Quoc Island Vietnam
10. Travel Sapa Vietnam: tours, hotels, maps to Sapa Vietnam
11. Mekong Delta Tours: cruise, hotels, tours in Mekong, Saigon
Other new travel sites
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2. Hue Travel Guide: guide, maps, tours in Hue Vietnam
3. Sapa Travel Tips: Sapa guides, tourist information
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7. Hoi An Travel Guide: Tours, maps to Hoi An