The easiest way to city-hop through Vietnam is by bus. Flying is not only more expensive, but the airports can be chaotic and there’s a higher change of delays than taking a bus. When I planned my trip, I read a lot about public buses. The repeating words mentioned in reviews included unreliable, uncomfortable and broke down on the way which didn’t sound too promising.
More research suggested taking a “private VIP” bus which was advertised as comfy, timely yet quite cheap. Yolo. I booked three buses for two people between Ho Chi Minh and Mui Ne, Mui Ne and Da Lat, and finally Da Lat and Ho Chi Minh for less than $45 total. There were many companies to chose from, but I went with Vietnam Bus Tickets.
I remember being confused by the term “sleeper berth” because I didn’t actually know what sleeper buses were. I pictured comfy seats that reclined a little for comfortable sleeping. What I wasn’t expecting was two floors of horizontal seats that recline into seats! Or being asked to take my shoes off before getting on the bus…
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The meeting point was described as a “cafe” but it was more of a sitting area with a much needed fan blowing down on the seats. We got there very early and managed to catch an earlier bus to Mui Ne! The bus came on time and we were loaded on quickly in a friendly manner that didn’t make us feel like cattle.
Fast forward to comfortable seats (I got the top floor by a window, which offered a great view.) There was free water, a clean blanket, functional lights, a fan on the wall panel and curtains in case the view got in the way of snoozing. Everything was perfect and the four hour bus ride extremely comfortable. We even got to see some great views from the window as we approached Mui Ne.
We were so happy with this experience and were glad that our next two rides would be the same. Or so we thought… but I’ll get into those painful details another time.
You can see our experience for yourself by watching my YouTube video of our bus journeys.