Most forms of transport to Hoi An originate from the city of Da Nang. It’s the largest city in Central Vietnam and is widely known as Vietnam’s “most liveable city.” It’s well set up for the many tourists that converge here—the majority having the tourist town of Hoi An on their agenda.
Hoi An is only 30 kilometres from Da Nang, and depending on your chosen mode of transport, it can take anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes to get here. There are plenty of transport options to choose from, and fortunately for you, Hidden’s tried them all.
We’ve chosen two main arrival points, Da Nang Airport and Da Nang Train Station, with a variety of detailed transport options listed below to help you make the best choice for your journey.
Getting to Hoi An from Da Nang Airport
If you’re coming into Hoi An by plane, then you will land at Da Nang International Airport. It is a newly renovated airport of international standards. It has two terminals—Domestic and International and easily accessible free wifi is available throughout the airport.
There are several options for transportation from here depending on your needs and budget. Below, Hidden goes into the details of each option so you can get off the plane and start your holiday with ease.
Compared to other international destinations, private cars are remarkably affordable in Vietnam. For the majority of people, the cost difference between other more laborious ways of travel is negligible. It’s often much easier to pay a small amount more for the vast increase in service level and the stress-free nature. If you are travelling as a couple the price is quite comparable; and if you are a family or large group, this is probably the most convenient and cheapest option ahead of a taxi or shuttle. After a long haul flight never underestimate the relief of seeing a driver with a personalised sign and a trolley ready to greet you straight off your flight—keep your sanity!
There are numerous resources available for booking a private vehicle from Da Nang airport to Hoi An. They can be easily booked through most hotels or homestays, so after booking your stay in Hoi An, make sure to contact your accommodation to arrange a private vehicle. As a back-up or to compare rates, both Hoi An Express and Get Your Guide offer private cars and can be booked online through their website. You can book ahead of time online through Hoi An Express here, or through Get Your Guide here.
Prices can vary per hotel or booking agent and will also depend on the size of the vehicle. On average, a 4-seat sedan costs around 320,000 to 500,000 VND (16 to 25 USD), a 7-seat SUV costs around 385,000 to 600,000 VND (19.25 to 30 USD), and a 12-16-seat van costs around 500,000 to 1 million VND (25 to 50 USD).
If you are walking around the city of Da Nang, you will no doubt notice numerous signs advertising private transport options to Hoi An for around 250,000 to 300,000 VND (12.50 to 15 USD). This is the case going in the opposite direction as well, from Hoi An to Da Nang airport. Make sure that if you book with one of these advertised companies, you establish a pickup location, time, and price, and have them give you a booking receipt upon payment.
Hoi An Express Airport Shuttle
An even cheaper yet still convenient option is for a minibus to pick you up directly from the airport and bring you to Hoi An. A representative will meet you on arrival at the airport holding a sign with your name on it. This takes away any confusion of finding the bus outside and makes the process seamless. The cost per person is 110,000 VND (5.50 USD), and the shuttle runs every hour from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Again, this can be booked ahead of time online through Hoi An Express here, or through Get Your Guide here. It is also possible to book on the spot although a seat is not guaranteed. This option is available in the reverse direction as well, from Hoi An to Da Nang airport, whether you are staying near the beach or near the old town. They will pick you up directly from your hotel. The shuttle bus runs every hour from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. from Hoi An to Da Nang.
Hidden Hint: Unless you are travelling solo, the cost of a private car or taxi are not far off this price—remember when you use a shuttle you pay per person
Address: 19 Phan Chau Trinh St – Phone: +84 (0) 938 405 917
Taxis are everywhere outside the airport, and they will most likely be waving you down rather than vice-versa. If you take a taxi, make sure that they use their meter and it is working correctly upon entering the cab, or you agree upon a price before leaving. The average price is anywhere from 450,000 to 600,000 VND (21 to 28 USD), and if it is a larger vehicle, it could be even higher. The green Mai Linh taxis or Vinasun taxis are the most reputable and always use the meter in Hoi An and Da Nang. If you already have your hotel booked, then there is always the option to have them book a cab for you to pick you up from the airport. The price varies depending on where you are staying, but it’s possible they could get you a better deal than grabbing one yourself.
Hidden Hint: Mai Linh taxi also has a downloadable app for your smartphone where you can plug in your destination (right down to hotel name). There will be a number of taxis at the airport so you don’t necessarily need to book using this app, but it will give you an estimated fare which gives you more negotiating power. If you choose to book via the app take note of the license plate of the taxi on your booking so you can match it to the correct driver.
Mai Linh Taxi – Phone: +84 0236 3565 656
Vinasun Taxi – Phone: +84 (0) 236 3686 868
Grab (ride sharing app)
Today with smartphones, you can save yourself some cash with rideshare apps. In the Da Nang and Hoi An area this company is Grab, and it has a downloadable app for your smartphone. It offers options for a Grab motorbike (if you packed light) for around 117,000 VND (5.85 USD), a Grab taxi or 4-door sedan for 350,000 to 450,000 VND (14.50 to 19.50 USD), or Grab XL 360,000 to 480,000 VND (18 to 24 USD). The price varies depending on traffic and time of the day, but it is a set price upfront, so there isn’t room for any misinterpretation.
If you’re on a budget, this is the way to go, as it is the cheapest route of transport from Da Nang to Hoi An and vice-versa. There are a couple of different bus options, but the cheapest option is the local bus, albeit the most complicated. Da Nang has a local bus line (also known as the yellow bus) that takes you to Hoi An, with various stops along the way. This, of course, will take a little longer to get your destination.
Hidden Hint: The local bus does not have air-conditioning which might be all just a little too much for you after a long flight.
The Da Nang bus station is located about 4 kilometres away from the airport, and you need to take the #1 bus to get from Da Nang to Hoi An. Unless you want a really good sweat, walking 4 kilometres is not ideal with backpacks and suitcases. You can take a Grab or taxi for about 20,000 VND (1 USD) from the airport to the bus station.
The closest bus stop to the airport is located at 411 Dien Bien Phu. If you take the bus from this stop ensure you are on the #1 bus from Da Nang to Hoi An because multiple buses stop here going to different destinations. The bus will drop you off in Hoi An at a bus station at 67 Nguyen Tat Thanh. This is about 1.5 kilometres outside of the town, but Hoi An is small, and it is easy to walk 15 minutes into the town centre or grab a taxi depending on where you are staying and the size of your luggage.
The price on the Da Nang Bus website and the sign above the bus driver, state the fare is 16,000 VND (.80c USD) per person. Unfortunately, this bus route often overcharges tourists insisting you pay 50,000 VND (2.50 USD). You basically have two options: pay the tourist price, considering you’re indeed not a local, and it is only about an extra dollar; or give exact change as per what the website states—20,000 VND (1 USD) and accept your 4,000 VND loss (0.20c USD). If you decide to take option 2, then point out the sign and give them the exact amount.
The #1 bus runs from Da Nang to Hoi An every 20 minutes from 5:30 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. daily.
If you decide to spend some time in Da Nang before going to Hoi An, you’ll quickly notice the abundance of travel agencies and guesthouses offering multiple bus options. There are open-tour buses (hop-on, hop-off style) that run up and down the coast daily, including other cities such as Hue, Nha Trang, Da Lat, as well as Hoi An. If you just want to take a tourist bus direct to Hoi An, two reputable bus companies offer two buses each per day.
The Sinh Tourist bus runs at 10:30 a.m.and 3:30 p.m. from Da Nang to Hoi An, and costs around 80,000 to 100,000 VND (4 to 5 USD), depending on where you book it. Hanh Cafe offers a bus at 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. for about 100,000 to 120,000 VND (5 to 6 USD). These buses tend to be nicer than the local buses and are air-conditioned. If you book a tourist bus, either online or at a travel agency, they will direct you to where their pick up and drop off points are located.
Address Da Nang: 16 3 Thang 2, Thuan Phuoc – Phone: +84 236 3843 259
A motorbike is hands down the most thrilling option and gives you the most flexibility. If you packed light and have previous experience, then we suggest renting a motorbike. It is the preferred transportation of all Vietnamese locals and enables you to go wherever you like, whenever you like. The route from Da Nang to Hoi An is one straight, flat road and is very easy to navigate. Traffic isn’t quite as crazy as the major cities of Hanoi or Saigon, although driving rules are different if you’re used to Western standards. Prepare yourself for lots of honking and dodging various vehicles, pedestrians, or chickens.
Motorbike prices vary anywhere from 90,000 to 150,000 VND (4.50 to 7.50 USD) on average per day. If you are renting for a week or longer, then the price will be discounted. Motorbikes are available for rent almost anywhere you look; you can also call or rent ahead and have motorbikes delivered to you at the airport or train station. Listed below are two well-known, reputable companies.
Getting to Hoi An from Da Nang Train Station
Any of the above methods of transport are again viable options from Da Nang Train Station to Hoi An. The train station is located at 791 Hai Phong and is slightly further east of the airport (about three kilometres/a five-minute ride away). Here, we will cover the few slight differences when arriving at the train station.
Hoi An Express Shuttle
It is possible for the Hoi An Express Shuttle Service to provide pickups from the train station, but this must be arranged ahead of time and is under the discretion of the booking agency.
When it comes to taking a taxi from the train station, again it’s the same story, look for Mai Linh or Vinasun taxis and make sure the meter is working before you depart, or agree on a rate. Taxi prices from Da Nang train station should be around 300,000 to 400,000 VND (15 to 20 USD); and once again, make sure they use the meter or agree upon a price before leaving.
Using the local bus is actually easier from the train station than it is from the airport. There is a public bus stop that services the #1 bus route to Hoi An, located only a short 10-minute walk away. When you exit the railway station, follow “Hai Phong Rd” until you reach “Ong Ich Khiem Rd,” turn left, and the bus stop is located at 162 Ong Ich Khiem. If you have the luxury of using Google Maps, this would be the time to do so.
When it comes to taking a taxi from the train station, again it’s the same story, look for Mai Linh or Vinasun taxis and make sure the meter is working before you depart or agree on a rate. Taxi prices from the Da Nang train station should be about 300,000 to 400,000 VND (15 to 20 USD); and once again, make sure they use the metre or agree upon the price before leaving.
Private Car, Grab, Tourist Bus, Motorbike
The process is the same, and the prices for all these options are very similar to those departing from Da Nang International Airport.
Travelling can be exhausting, and the last thing you need is complications when you finally arrive at your destination. Given that the cost of private transport is comparably low in Vietnam we would recommend that you opt for a private car to complete your journey to Hoi An—it’s what we choose for all our guests. The next best thing is a shuttle if you’re travelling on your own and on a budget.
We say, let the guy with the personalised sign help with your luggage, and get you stress-free from Da Nang to the charming town of Hoi An. This way, before you know it, you’ll be strolling the lantern-lit streets of the old town, tucking into some local food or better yet, relaxing by the beach with a coconut in hand.