HANOI to KUNMING — Train, Flight or Bus?

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How to get from Hanoi to Kunming in China? You can travel by train or take a flight.

 Train – Hanoi to Kunming
Flight – Hanoi to Kunming
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Kunming in the Yunnan province – a very attractive destination in China.

    • Kunming (Kūnmíng, 昆明) is the capital of Yunnan province in southwestern part of China. It is a really big city, has about 7 millions inhabitants (city prefecture) and it is very easy to reach this city by train from Hekou town (border town, 2 km from Lao Cai town in Vietnam). Kunming is the main political a economic center of the Yunnan province. Yunnan is a very attractive mainly mountain province. Kunming lies on a plain at an altitude of 1890 meters. Kunming has one of the most pleasant climates in China. It is characterized by a short, dry and cold winter, a long and warm summer, but not as hot as in the Chinese lowlands. Kunming has convenient transport links in and out of the city, which makes it easy to visit many other popular destinations. The city plays a significant role for connecting Southeast Asia and China, as it is southwest China’s transportation hub. Also, there are more than 100 bus lines covering almost every area in Kunming. There are 2 options how you can travel to Kunming from Hanoi – by plane or train of Vietnam Railway + China Railways via Lao Cai. The best option is to travel by plane.

From Hanoi to Kunming in China you can travel by train or plane.

    • Travel distance from Hanoi to Kunming in China is about 530 km by plane and about 720 km by train via Lao Cai. The fastest and comfortable option how to reach Kunming from Hanoi is to travel by plane. There are direct flights, but the schedule is limited or there are flights with stopover in another city of China. Travel by plane takes about 1.5 hour – direct flight from Hanoi Noi Bai Airport to Kunming Changshui International Airport. Another option is to travel by train via Lao Cai. You can travel by train from Hanoi to Lao Cai by Vietnam Railway, in Lao Cai you cross the border to Hekou and from Hekou North you can take another train of China Railways to Kunming. There are seat+sleeper trains to Lao Cai and seat trains to Kunming. Travel time by train to Kunming (via Lao Cai + Hekou) is about 14-22 hours. You can search and book train tickets or flights from Hanoi to Kunming in China online.

1. From Hanoi to Kunming by train (via Lao Cai)


A) Train from Hanoi to Lao Cai (border town)

    • Trains from Hanoi run to Lao Cai town (340 km from Hanoi), it is the end station and the border town (25 km from Sapa). Trains may be from Vietnam Railways with less comfort (ofic.vietnamese railways) or also trains for tourists (also 2-bed cabin in train), but also more expensive (Orient Express, King Express, Fansipan, Sapaly, Livitrans…). You can search and buy train tickets online. From Lao Cai Railway station you need to go or take a taxi to the border crossing, cross the border to Hekou (China), only about 2 km.
    • Book and buy train e-tickets from Hanoi to Lao Cai on Baolau icon-external-link-square or 12go.asia icon-external-link-square

Vietnam Railways trains – SP1, SP3, SP7, LC3 icon-angle-double-down

    • hard or soft seat – price for one-way ticket from 120 000 – 160 000 Viet.dongs / 1 person
    • hard bed (6-bed cabin) or soft bed (4-bed cabin) – price for one-way ticket from 270 000 – 400 000 Viet.dongs / 1 person
    • SP = new trains, LC3 = old train, carry-on baggage – 20 kg
    • seat selection available on Baolau

Tourist and private train operators (added to SP1 + SP3) icon-angle-double-down

    • Livitrans, Violette Train, Oriental Express, King Express, Sapaly, PV2, Fansipan Express, Victoria Express
    • price from 700 000 – 1 800 000 Viet.dongs / 1 person – soft bed (depend on the type of cabin)
    • better quality and service, 2 or 4-bed cabins, carry-on baggage – 20 kg
    • the most deluxe train – Victoria Express Train (price for ticket from 2 500 000 – 3 500 000 Viet.dongs)
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Trains in Vietnam are renovated, new and clean. Soft seats and 4-berth cabin (photo: Baolau)


icon-angle-double-right For bookings with Royal Railway and private railway companies
Victoria Express, Fanxipan Express, King Express, Orient Express, Sapaly Express, Chapa Express and Saigon Golden Train, you will be required to complete the payment before submitting your order. Your reservation will be processed and you will receive a voucher by email to collect the physical ticket at the station before boarding the train.

icon-angle-double-right For bookings with Vietnam Railways and private railway companies Livitrans Express and Violette Train, you will be required to complete the payment before submitting your order. Your reservation will be processed and you will receive your e-ticket by email, ready to print or carry in your mobile phone or tablet and present when boarding the train.

icon-angle-double-right If you buy bus tickets online on Baolau or 12go.asia, you will receive your e-ticket by email, ready to print or carry in your mobile phone or tablet and present at the ticket counter of the station before boarding the bus

B) From Hekou (China) to Kunming by train (400 km)

    • Hekou North Railway Station (or Hekou Bei Train Station) is about 4 km from the center of Hekou town (border town), so the best way how to get there is go by taxi
    • from Hekou North Railway Station you can go by train to Kunming
    • train ticket from Hekou North to Kunming costs about $8-31/pp
    • there are seat trains – first class seat, second class seat or hard seat (C+K trains)
    • C-trains are the fastest trains, K-train is the slowest train on this travel route
    • there are about 5 trains every day from Hekou North to Kunming
    • travel time by train from Hekou to Kunming takes about 3.5-7 hours
    • trains arrive to Kunming South and Kuming Railway Station
    • Book and buy train e-tickets from Hekou North to Kunming on Baolau icon-external-link-square or 12go.asia icon-external-link-square
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From Hekou North to Kunming you can travel by train of China Railways.


2. FLIGHT from Hanoi to Kunming 

    • this is the most comfortable and fastest way how to get to Kunming from Hanoi
    • there are some direct flights from Hanoi to Kunming by China Eastern
    • there are about 3 direct flights per week from Hanoi to Kunming
    • direct flight from Hanoi to Kunming takes about 1.5 hour
    • direct flight from Hanoi to Kunming costs about $120-180/pp
    • if you do not find your flight – try to change a date (flights are limited)
    • there are also various flights to Kunming with stopover in another cities
    • Book and buy your flight from Hanoi to Kunming on 12go.asia icon-external-link-square
    • flights from Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi
    • airport in Kunming: Kunming Changshui International Airport
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Direct flight from Hanoi to Kunming is the most fastest way of transport.

Baolau – search, book, buy tickets + flights

– Baolau company sells the train, bus, ferry tickets mainly for Vietnam (also a tickets to Cambodia, Laos)
– Baolau offers also a tickets of big bus companies (Mai Linh, Hoang Long, Futabus, InterBus Lines, Sapa express…)
– flights of Vietnamese Airlines, VietJet Air, JetStar as well as flights to neighbouring countries
– ferry tickets for Vietnam, Cambodia, eg. ferry to Cat Ba, ferry to Quan Lan, ferry to Phu Quoc, Nam Du, ferry to Phnom Penh
– tickets for various routes in Vietnam, eg. Nha Trang to Hoi An, Hue to Ninh Binh, Phong Nha to Hanoi
– the price of tickets or flights is from the official price of transport company or airlines
– you can have online train e-ticket in mobile phone in Vietnam (I recommend to print a ticket)
– read also frequently asked questions on Baolau, you can select a seat or berth in the train

12go.asia – search, book, buy tickets + flights

– a specialist for train, bus, ferry tickets mainly to Thailand (also Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia)
– from 2018 you can book train tickets for China online (Beijing to Shanghai, Beijing to Xian, Shanghai to Hangzhou..)
– tickets for the main routes in Thailand, eg: Bangkok to Krabi, Bangkok to PhuketBangkok to Chiang Mai
– boat/ferry tickets for Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, eg. ferry to Vung Tau, Koh Phangan, Koh Rong, Koh Kood, Koh Lanta
– you can use an online train e-ticket in Vietnam in your phone (not in Thailand)
– if you buy an train ticket for tourist trains in Vietnam to Lao Cai (Orient Express, Sapaly, Chapa …), you must pick it up at the station
– you can not use an online train ticket in your mobile phone in Thailand, you have to print it (12go can deliver these train tickets)
– information about 12go.asia read in article about transportation in Vietnam
– if you buy train tickets in Thailand on 12go.asia, you have to pick them in the office: Bangkok (DOB building) or Chiang Mai (Bossotel)
– more information about train tickets and trains in Thailand

Yunnan-Stone-Forest-Kunming-China
Stone Forest geological park, about 50 km from Kunming.
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Yuantong Temple in Kunming.
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Dianchi Lake in Kunming.
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Green Lake (Cui Hu) park in Kunming City.
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Huating Temple in Kunming.
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Stone Forest geological park, about 50 km from Kunming.
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Railway station in Kunming.
best-cheap-hotels-kunming-china
Kunming Cloudland International Youth Hostel in Kunming (photo: Agoda). 15 best cheap hotels + hostels in Kunming.
best-luxury-hotels-kunming-china
Sofitel Kunming 5 star hotel (photo: Agoda). 15 best luxury hotels in Kunming.


icon-info-circle FAQ + TIPS – Travel route from Hanoi to Kunming:

How to book train tickets or flights from Hanoi to Kunming?

    • You can book train tickets or flights from Hanoi to Kunming online on Baolau or 12go.asia.

How long does it take to travel from Hanoi to Kunming?

    • Travel by train from Hanoi to Kunming (via Lao Cai + Hekou North) takes about 14-22 hours.
    • Travel by plane (direct flights) from Hanoi to Kunming takes about 1.5 hour.

How far is Kunming in China from Hanoi in Vietnam?

    • Travel distance from Hanoi to Kunming is about 530 km by plane and about 720 km by train.

How much does it cost to get from Hanoi to Kunming?

    • Travel by plane (direct flight) from Hanoi to Kunming costs about $120-180/pp.
    • Travel by train (via Lao Cai + Hekou North) from Hanoi to Kunming costs about $20-40/pp

What is the best way of transport from Hanoi to Kunming?

    • The best way of transport from Hanoi to Kunming is to travel by plane. You can search and book direct flights to Kunming on Baolau. There are also various flights with stopover.

What is the cheapest way of travel from Hanoi to Kunming?

    • The cheapest way of travel to Kunming from Hanoi is to travel by train via Lao Cai and Hekou.

How to travel by train from Hanoi to Kunming?

    • Travel by train from Hanoi in Vietnam to Kunming in China has 2 steps: 1.step – train from Hanoi Railway Station to Lao Cai (about 8 hours, seat or sleeper trains or tourist trains), in Lao Cai you cross the border to Hekou town, 2.step – train from Hekou North Railway Station to Kunming (3.5-7 hours, seat trains). Travel by train from Hanoi to Kunming via Lao Cai and Hekou North is totally about 14-22 hours.

Which train from Hekou North to Kunming you can use?

    • From Hekou North to Kunming Railway Station you can travel by C or K-trains of China Railways. C-train is the fastest train and K-train is the slowest. There are 1st + 2nd class seats in C-train and hard seat in K-train. It is better to avoid the hard seat, take 2nd class seat.

How to go from Hanoi City to Noi Bai Airport?

    • The best and fastest way how to reach Noi Bai Airport from the city centre of Hanoi is to take a taxi. Another option is to travel by Express Bus No.86, this bus departs from Hanoi Railway Station – 120 Le Duan street.

Which interesting places you can visit in Kunming (Yunnan)?

    • There are various interesting tourist places in Kunming, e.g.: The Stone Forest, Western Hills (Xishan), Yunnan Minority Village, Cuihu Park, Yuantong Temple, Dianchi Lake, The Golden Temple, The Yuanyang Rice Terraces, Black Dragon Pool, Kunming Museum, Jianshui Ancient Town, Jiaozi Snow Mountain, Jiuxiang Scenic Area…

icon-arrow-circle-right Book your tickets or flights from Hanoi to Kunming + Scheduleicon-angle-double-down

(You can change your departure or arrival place, eg. Hanoi > Kunming (for direct flights)…)

AirportsMaiChauNinh BinhChiang MaiChiang RaiShanghaiVung TauPhnomPenhSiemReapBac HaXianDien BienPhuQuocBangkokHue

Train tickets in Vietnam

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