Since road travel is still the most popular means of transportation in Vietnam, the highway system plays a crucial role. It is estimated that Vietnam’s highway system now contains 90 roads with the approximate length of 15,360km, connecting the North to the South.
Some of the most important highways are Highway 1A from Lang Son- the top North- to Ca Mau- the end South, Highway 5A from Hanoi to Hai Phong- a major Northern seaport, Highway 2 from Hanoi to Ha Giang and Highway 1B-the Ho Chi Minh road.
Unfortunately, the number of vehicles using the roads everyday often exceeds their capacity. Along with careless drivers and residents living nearby, the degrading highway infrastructure is often jokingly called the Hell Highway due to considerable number of accidents occurring everyday.
However, travelling on highway is still essential if you want to visit off-the-city destinations. As a tourist, you still have many options to travel to further points, especially by renting a vehicle. All you are required are your drivers’ licenses, your passports and some deposit money.
You can also hire a driver from the car rental agency. This could be the best way if you prefer to go without a pre-arranged tour. That is because traffic in Vietnam is quite messy and Vietnamese tend to breach the rules when joining traffic, even on the highway.
While driving on highway, a good and careful driving habit seems not be enough. You will need to keep your eyes constantly open to watch the road, especially at intersections where many non-helmet motor riders are ready to cross. The maximum speed on most highways in Vietnam is 100 kmph.