Lack of rapid north-south route wearies Vietnam travel

By Gacib Oark   January 21, 2024 | 04:58 pm PT
Lack of rapid north-south route wearies Vietnam travel
Vehicles get stuck in a traffic jam on Hanoi's Ring Road No.3, Dec. 29, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Huy Manh
I am from northern Vietnam but now live in HCMC, and every trip back to my hometown is a miserable ordeal.

First I need to go to Tan Son Nhat Airport two hours before flight time, as recommended by airlines. I queue in line for check-in, go through security clearance for the flight to Hanoi, which takes two hours.

At Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi, I collect my bags and have to take a bus for three more hours to my hometown in Nam Dinh Province.

It's a half day wasted en route.

The trip back is even worse. Because of the regular traffic jams in Hanoi, especially on Ring Road 3, I often have to leave Nam Dinh many hours before my flight time. One time, it took me five hours, instead of the normal three, to reach Noi Bai Airport.

One consolidation point is that Noi Bai Airport has a lot of seats for passengers waiting for their flights. Tan Son Nhat Airport does not have so many seats and sometimes passengers are forced to buy food or drink from eateries to use their seats.

Arriving at Tan Son Nhat, I have to go through the trouble of fetching my bags from a crowded baggage claim area, and then jostle in the crowd again to pick up a taxi. Finally, I sit through heavy traffic to get home late.

Because of all the trouble I mention, I don't visit my hometown often.

I really wish we could have the high-speed north-south train we keep talking about, so people like me can just step on and sit comfortably all the (short) way home.

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