Lack of fast north-south routes makes Vietnam travel weary


By Gacib Oak January 21, 2024 | 04:58 PM PT

On December 29, 2023, vehicles were stuck in traffic jam on the Third Ring Road in Hanoi.

I am from the north of Vietnam and now live in Ho Chi Minh City. Every time I go back to my hometown, it is a painful ordeal.

First, as recommended by the airline, I needed to go to Tan Son Nhut Airport two hours before my flight. I stood in line to check in, go through security, and catch my flight to Hanoi, which took two hours.

After collecting my luggage at Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, I had to take a three-hour bus ride back to my hometown in Nam Dinh Province.

Half a day was wasted on the road.

The way back was worse. Due to the frequent traffic jams in Hanoi, especially on Ring Road 3, I often had to leave Nam Dinh a few hours before my flight. Once, it took me five hours (instead of the usual three) to get to Noi Bai Airport.

One highlight is that Noi Bai Airport has plenty of seats for passengers waiting for their flights. Tan Son Nhut Airport does not have that many seats and sometimes passengers are forced to buy food or drinks from restaurants to use their seats.

Once I arrived in Tan Son Nhat, I had to fetch my luggage from the crowded baggage claim area and then have to fight through the crowds again to catch a taxi. In the end, I braved the traffic and got home very late.

Because of all the troubles I mentioned, I don’t go back to my hometown very often.

I really wish we could have that north-south high-speed rail we’ve been talking about so people like me can sit comfortably on the way home.

The views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily correspond to those of VnExpress. Send your comments here.


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