by Karen Quinn, Feb 13 2020
The UNESCO town of Hoi An in central Vietnam is high on most people’s South East Asia bucket list but getting there takes a little bit of planning. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Hoi An doesn’t have an airport or station so you’ll likely arrive into Da Nang either to the airport or main train station. Here I’ll explain exactly how to get from Da Nang to Hoi An.
If you’re not heading straight to Hoi An, there are loads of fun things to do in Da Nang so make sure to spend some time in the city before you leave.
How far is the trip from Da Nang to Hoi An
Hoi An is located further South than Da Nang, also on the coast overlooking the South China Sea. It’s really not far from Da Nang to Hoi An, in total you’ll need to cover under 20 miles which can take anything from under an hour to over two depending on route and choice of travel.
Ways to get to Hoi An from Da Nang
Order a Grab car or taxi
If you haven’t heard of Grab and are planning a trip to Vietnam then I highly recommend you download the Grab app now. It’s the Asia equivalent of Uber and is a totally safe, low cost way to get around. Fares are fixed up front when you order so you don’t have to worry about carrying extra cash. It’s super helpful to fill in your destination on the app, that way your driver knows exactly where to take you without having to worry about the language. I love that you can track where your driver is and make sure you don’t get in the wrong car. A Grab car from Da Nang to Hoi An should cost no more than £15 (500,000 Dong).
Remember, to order a Grab, you’ll need internet access, we managed by logging into wifi at various hotels and cafes or you could order a sim card to collect from Da Nang airport meaning you can access data as you travel around.
You could also jump in a taxi at Da Nang airport or find one at a taxi rank in the city, this will be a little bit more expensive and you may have to cajole the driver into switching on the meter – don’t let them drive off until it’s switched on! Remember, if you do take a taxi you’ll need some Dong, the currency of Vietnam on you. I recommend having at least 600,000 Dong (£20) to cover the cost.
Rent a car or bike and self drive
Driving in Vietnam isn’t as scary as you might think but it definitely isn’t for everyone. Da Nang is a busy city so it will take you a while to navigate away from the congested streets, there are also motor bikes and scooters everywhere – they know what they’re doing but it might feel slightly unnerving as they whizz past you. Traveling by motorbike is actually the most popular way for locals to get around in Vietnam so there are loads of places to rent a bike. I wouldn’t recommend this if you’re traveling with kids, it’s quite a long journey so if you want to drive yourself, stick with a car. Cost of hiring a decent motorbike should be around £7 per day and they may ask you to leave your ID or passport. Make sure you thoroughly check the bike and take pictures before you leave the shop.
If you do feel confident enough to self-drive then once you’re out of the city, the roads aren’t too bad. There are two options for the route from Da Nang to Hoi An – inland or the coastal road.
I recommend the coastal route for the prettiest drive. Cross the Dragon bridge out of town, heading towards My Khe Beach. Turn right when you hit the coast then drive 20km until you reach Hoi An.
Take the bus to Hoi An
The bright yellow public bus that will take you from Da Nang to Hoi An is the cheapest option. The buses depart from near Da Nang train station – head straight out of the train station until you hit the T section, you’ll find the stop at 162 Ong Ich Khiem. It will only take 10 minutes to walk there. You’re looking for the number 1 bus. The bus journey will take you less than an hour and costs around £1 (30,000 Dong). Any kids or bags that take up a seat will need to be paid for too. The bus will drop you off at Hoi An bus station, from there it will take you around half an hour to walk to the ancient town. If you have bags or kids with you then there are plenty of taxis waiting to drop you in town.
The bus service starts at 5.30am and runs until 6pm so if your flight or train arrives later in the evening, you’ll need to arrange a different way to get to Hoi An.
If you arrive into Da Nang airport and want to get to Hoi An by bus then I recommend getting a taxi from the airport to the bus station as there isn’t a direct bus available. It will be quick and easy and really isn’t very expensive.
Pre arrange a transfer
Probably the most luxurious way to travel is to pre book a private transfer through a company like Holiday Transfers. They will collect you from the airport and take you straight into Hoi An, with no worries about having to explain your destination to the driver. This isn’t expensive either. I found a private transfer in a small mini bus for around £5 per person. This means it would cost a family of 4 just over £20 to travel from Da Nang to Hoi An in style! I highly recommend taking this option if it’s your first time in Vietnam, it’s guaranteed to take some stress out of the trip and makes traveling with kids and luggage a lot easier than keeping everyone happy on the bus.
You can also prebook a shuttle bus from Da Nang Airport to Hoi An with tour operators like Klook. This is currently £4.40 per passenger (children under 10 are only £2.20) and they will drop you off in Hoi An. These are shared bus journeys but the shuttle buses are clean, air conditioned and more comfortable than the buses from the train station.
In summary, the best way to get from Da Nang to Hoi An in my opinion is by downloading the grab app and letting someone else take the pressure out of driving. That way you can take in the beautiful scenery as you go and not have to worry about parking or having a drink when you’re there. I’m all for keeping costs down on our travels but when Grabs and private transfers are so cheap, I say let someone else do the hard work!
If you haven’t sorted out your accommodation in Da Nang, check out where to stay in Da Nang to suit every traveller here.
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