Ho Chi Minh To Hoi An: Complete Transportation Guide
Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An is approximately 846 kilometres (526 miles) to 940 kilometres (594 miles) depending on which route you take. To most travellers’ surprise, the shortest route is not the fastest!
Whether travelling by motorbike, bus, train or plane, we’ve got you covered with our guide on how to get from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An (and vice versa). Our guide will help you roll into Hoi An with ease and a smile.
Ho Chi Minh City to Hoi An Travel
A lot of factors come into play when trying to get from point A to point B: transportation method, personal comfort, privacy preferences, budget, and time, to name a few. Keep in mind that the journey is expected to take around 20 hours straight through by land, and, no matter what method of transportation you choose, you will have to enter and exit Hoi An from Da Nang (read more on how to get to Hoi An from Da Nang in our article here).
Firstly, you will need to select a mode of transport. We’ve listed them in order from cheapest to most expensive, along with the duration of the ride straight through to Hoi An:
- Bus (20 hours 20 minutes, plus 1-hour bus ride to Da Nang)
- Train (17 hours, plus 1-hour bus ride to Da Nang)
- Plane (1 hour 20 minutes, plus 1-hour bus ride to Da Nang)
- Motorbike (17-18 hours; we don’t advise you ride directly there. Instead, allow for at least two to three overnight stops)
Now that you’ve chosen your mode of transport, it’s time to either book a ticket or plan a multi-stop trip and enjoy the ride. Hidden recommends using 12GoAsia for reliable timetables and ticket booking. The site lists any available options for buses and planes on any given date and has proven to be most reputable for company ratings. Be sure to search for rides to Da Nang rather than Hoi An, or the search may show zero results.
Bus from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An
Catching the bus from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An (drop-off at the bus station in Da Nang) is perhaps the easiest mode of transportation and definitely the cheapest. A straight-through bus will cost around 500,000 VND (21.50 USD) and can be made overnight or through the day. All buses from Ho Chi Minh to Da Nang will depart from Mien Dong station, located North of District 1at 292 Dinh Bo Linh, Phuong 26, in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City.
Depending on where you’re staying you may be able to request a pickup from your accommodation by one of the bus station’s shuttle cars. A taxi or Grab will also deliver you to the station for varying prices depending on your location and the time of day.
Our Sleeper Bus Can The Best Transporter For Your Journey
Due to the length of the journey, this is a sleeper bus, it has three rows of “bunk beds,” or reclining seats. The good news is you’ll have your own bed and be able to recline, but the bad news is that these seats are generally uncomfortable over long periods of time. A blanket and pillow are provided, as well as a water bottle. There are no toilets on the bus, but consider the discomfort of lingering odours before you start groaning! The bus makes frequent stops and it’s possible to request a stop if it’s urgent.
Hidden recommends the overnight bus option to travellers who find it difficult to entertain themselves in a vehicle for long hours and the day bus option to travellers who fear missing out on the scenery while travelling in the dark.
Hidden Hint: Be prepared to put the majority of your belongings under the bus. Riders have the option to bring their bag on the bus, but there are no overhead compartments or place to put your bag other than your lap.
Upon arrival in Da Nang bus station (201 Ton Duc Thang), travellers can catch a bus to Hoi An from the same bus station for 20,000 VND (1 USD), which takes about 45 minutes to one hour depending on passenger pick up. If you dread getting on a back-to-back bus, then note that the Da Nang bus station is located close to the heart of the city and is also worth exploring.
Train from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An
The train can be a more comfortable alternative if you’re planning on travelling the long distance straight through. It is faster but more expensive. The Saigon Train Station is located to the west of District 1 at 1 Nguyen Thong but is relatively close (around five kilometres). Download the Grab app or ask the front desk at your accommodation to book a taxi.
When booking a train ticket, it’s important to be clear on your seating options to ensure a comfortable ride. Options include a soft seat, hard sleeper, and soft sleeper, with prices increasing in respective order. Follow this link to our full guide to Vietnam’s railways, which has all the info on train tickets and booking options.
Soft seat is as it implies. It does not recline, but it is cushiony. The soft seats are lined along the train car, similar to an aeroplane with two seats on each side of the aisle. Prices are generally around 1,000,000 VND (44 USD) but are subject to change.
Aside from being, well, hard, they are stacked in threes, making a total of six beds in a single cabin. Great if you are travelling in a big group and can secure the whole cabin to yourselves. Also great if you prefer less fluff in your mattress. Prices are generally around 980,000 to 1,240,000 VND (49 to 62 USD) depending on the time of the train and whether you choose to be on the top, middle, or bottom bunk.
As the name suggests, these are said to be softer and are limited to four beds per cabin and are the most expensive of the options. Prices are generally around 67 USD depending on the time of the day the train departs Ho Chi Minh.
Similar to the bus, the train also departs in the morning and at night, giving you the option of Vietnamese scenery or proper sleeping. This depends on your travel preferences, but take note of the time your train arrives in Da Nang. The morning trains arrive late at night, while the night trains will arrive mid-day.
Once you arrive at Da Nang’s train station, 791 Hai Phong, it’s just a matter of getting to Hoi An. The bus station is a 10-minute walk away and the bus takes approximately 45 minutes to one hour to get to Hoi An.
NB: The bus only runs from 5:30 AM to 5:30 PM, so if you arrive late at night, then you may want to book a hotel or hostel for the night in Da Nang and let them know in advance that you will arrive late. You can also book a private shuttle or taxi, but these should both be done in advance either through the train company, a taxi company or your hotel.
Flying from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An
Travelling by plane is the quick, no-hassle option for travellers wanting to get from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An. The flight time is only 1 hour and 20 mins. Prices will vary depending on how far in advance you book them, the airline, the day of the week and the season (March through August is prime tourist season).
12GoAsia does a great job putting all flight options in one list so travellers can browse price options and times easily. Make sure to search Ho Chi Minh to Da Nang, as that is the closest airport to Hoi An. Prices range between 650,000 VND (32.30 USD) and 3,000,000 VND (150 USD) so try a few variations to get the best fare.
Hidden Hint: Flights tend to be cheaper if you plan to fly out on a Tuesday or Wednesday and book on a weekday.
Easy To Reach
The airport in Ho Chi Minh is easy and cheap to reach by Grab or taxi (approximately 100,000 VND from District 1) or simply ask your hotel or hostel to book a shuttle for you. Lines and waiting times are completely dependent on the flight time and season, but the general rule of thumb is to arrive two hours before the plane begins boarding.
This will ensure time to check bags, print tickets, and maybe grab a bite to eat after waiting in those unpredictable airport lines. Also, take into consideration rush hour when booking a flight, the traffic in Ho Chi Minh can turn your quick, hassle-free flight into a stressful race against the clock.
At Da Nang Airport, there are various inexpensive options to get to Hoi An. You can read more about options and prices in our article here.
Motorbike from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An
For adventure seekers with a less-restrictive budget and timeline, we’d highly recommend a motorbike ride from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An. A few years ago, this option wouldn’t have been possible without purchasing a motorbike, dealing with the mechanical issues and then trying to sell the bike at the end of the trip. Now, thanks to hire companies like Tigit and Style Motorbikes, it is possible to rent a bike for a one-way trip from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An.
The rental company made the process extremely easy for travellers: simply select a bike, select a payment plan, and select point A and point B. Some bikes are cheaper in price than others, but they all come with insurance plans, luggage racks and helmets. Prices range from 5,000,000 VND (250 USD) for one month or 200,000 VND (10 USD) per day (minimum of four days) to 15,000,000 VND (750 USD) for one month or 700,000 VND (35 USD) per day. NB: This does not include the costs of gas.
With the freedom of a bike, you get to choose a route with your own desired destinations and you won’t be held to other peoples’ schedules. Although it’s possible to do the ride directly, you would have to be mad to attempt the 84 kilometresrs in one day.
Hidden recommends taking two or three days (at least) to enjoy some other Vietnamese cities. Bikers can choose a coastal route, stopping in Mui Ne, Nha Trang and Qui Nhon; an inland route through mountains, stopping in Da Lat and maybe heading west to Buon Ma Thuot; or do a zig-zagging mixture of the two.
Being one of the most-visited SE Asian countries, Vietnam has gradually become easier and more affordable to manoeuvre around. After exploring all the options, we think that if you’ve got some time up your sleeve and are confident on a motorbike, then it’s a great road trip from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An—just allow for a few nights along the way to break up the long journey.
A bus is undoubtedly the best budget option, so you could try the novel approach of a sleeper train for the experience—but it could be the same price as a cheap flight. So, if you need to just get here, then grab a plane—you’ll be here in under one and a half hours. All that’s left to do now is determine the best route for you and your travel companion(s) and enjoy the ride.