Hoi An to Hue Jeep Tour

The subtle churn and grumble of the jeep engine as we tour from Hoi An to Hue offsets the song of nature. From inside, locals share bemused looks. The vehicle is quite a rare sighting for those whose lives consist of simpler forms of transportation, such as motorbikes and bicycles. 

This guide takes you through the surrounding villages where farmers tend to their rice paddies. Water buffalo graze on open pastures of grass and dense foliage. As we pass by the water, the salty, sweet smell of the sea pours into the vehicle. Its cosy seats and spacious cabin are both comfortable and enabling. While the off-road trails are warm and dusty, it only adds to the singularity of the experience – a memorable trip well worth your time and expense.

If the idea of being cooped up inside a minibus or taxi for several hours doesn’t quite appeal to you, and motorbikes are a bit outside your comfort zone, then a jeep tour might be the perfect alternative. Starting in Hoi An and heading north towards Hue, or vice versa, there are so many stunning landscapes to experience. From the Marble Mountains to the Hai Van Pass, to Lang Co Bay, a jeep tour allows you the incredible opportunity to choose your own adventure on your onward travels. In the past few years, these retro-style jeeps have taken on a new meaning, gaining a cult following, and becoming quite a popular mode of transportation among locals and tourists alike.

Hidden’s Quick Guide for Hoi An to Hue by Jeep

Distance: Varies – anywhere from 130 to 160 kilometres, depending on the route chosen 

Duration: Varies – anywhere from 4 to12 hours, pick-up at 8 a.m. and drop off from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Price: 2,210,000 VND (96 USD) to 3,345,000 (149 USD)/person

The Jeep Tour Line-up from Hoi An to Hue

Also known as the ‘mutt’s,’ US jeeps were actively used by the American Military in Vietnam from the 1960s to the 1980s. The multi-use vehicle not only served as a communications and command centre, but as an ambulance, a material transport vehicle for goods and ammunition, and a personal transport vehicle for up to six troops. When the war ended in 1975, many of the jeeps left behind in Vietnam were sold or scrapped for metal. Luckily, in the 2000s, several jeeps were salvaged, and numerous jeep tour companies were born, proudly offering services across the whole of Vietnam. The most iconic route, however, is Hoi An to Hue, or vice versa. This itinerary includes over 130 kilometres of adventure, including the famous Hai Van Pass, which divides the North and South of Vietnam.

The tour jeeps have been fully refurbished and are of the highest quality rating. With an inconspicuous, unique forest-green exterior, authentic, Army-grade embellishments, and comfortable, grey fabric bucket seats, few have experienced such an adventure. The road from Hoi An to Hue is smooth with well-kept passes. That fact, along with the rugged, off-roading tires of the jeep, combines to create a rather tranquil experience.

The Jeep Tour Guides

Guides keep a timely pace, with guest safety and satisfaction at the forefront of their minds. Along the way, they make plenty of stops, encouraging participants to customise the trip to their liking.  If at any point you want to take a detour or stop to take a photograph, you simply need to ask. Guides are also willing to serve as your personal photographer, so don’t be shy! Inside the jeep, there is a functioning air-conditioner, though the mild breeze from the open-air compartment is perfectly satisfactory.

With an abundance of options, Hidden understands the stress that can come from wanting to choose the perfect tour. So, we have experienced it all – the good and the not-so-good, the rainy season and eternal sunshine, the warm breeze and the dust storms. Read below for Hidden’s insight into the best jeep tour companies in Vietnam.

The Best Hoi An to Hue Jeep Tour Companies

aerial shot of an expansive rice paddy
A view of an expansive rice paddy from above. Can you spot the Jeep? Photo: Maggie Kennedy

Hue Adventures

What: Family-friendly, sightseeing

Time: ½ or full day (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), custom options available

Price: 3,350,000 VND (145 USD)/person

Includes: Retro-style jeep or air-conditioned 4WD SUV, English-speaking guide, licensed jeep driver, hotel pick-up and drop-off, drinks, and lunch

Excludes: Optional gratuity

Website: https://hueadventures.com/

First up in our review is Hue Adventures, a company offering a wide range of flexible tour packages, including the infamous 1-day Top Gear Tour from Hue to Hoi An where you get the chance to see the natural beauty of the Hai Van Pass from the back of an original US Army Jeep. The three-passenger vehicle comes fully equipped with removable coverings, high-quality furnishings, outstanding passenger safety ratings, and an English-speaking driver. Along the way, the guide takes you to visit several local gems, including Elephant Falls.  A waterfall in the Central Highlands featuring a natural rock path that takes guests right up to the foot of the giant. Guests have the option to cool off with an energising swim, surrounded by natural, and human-made landscapes. 

For lunch, guests climb aboard a traditional beachside hut, where a local fisherman prepares his daily catch along with fresh vegetables and herbs. Take a moment to appreciate the tranquil landscape – a short walk up the coast is an excellent way to stretch your legs and be surrounded by nature.

The Hai Van Pass by Jeep

Finally, the jeep begins the ascent towards the Hai Van Pass, the highlight of the drive featuring the ruins of the Hai Van Gate – an old brick structure from the Tran Dynasty (1470), and which overlooks Da Nang city. The final stop before Hoi An are the Marble Mountains – a cluster of five towering limestone mountains just south of Da Nang, which are home to many Buddhist temples and grottoes. If you’re keen on hiking, feel free to ascend the 156 steps to the top of Thuy Son, the only mountain open to visitors. From the top, you will experience breathtaking, 360-views of the city and surrounding countryside.

In existence for over a decade, Hue Adventures is the original, family-owned jeep tour company in Vietnam. Their fleet consists of six authentic American jeeps, with refurbished, all-original parts and features. Keep in mind that the US Jeeps fit only three passengers and two standard-sized luggage bags. Also, be sure to do your research and discuss with your guide your route ahead of time. This way you will get the most out of your experience. After all, the guest is the most important person, and Hue Adventures strives to make an outstanding impression every time.

Hidden’s Insider Scoop

Hue Adventures offers private tours only, which is ideal for families and groups. The itinerary hits on all of the major landmarks between Hue and Hoi An, but if you are looking for stand-out exclusive spots, that will have to be discussed with your guide ahead of time.

Hoi An Jeep Adventures

What: Family-friendly, sightseeing

Time: ½ or full day (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), custom options available

Price: 3,350,000 VND (145 USD)/person

Includes: Retro-style jeep or air-conditioned 4WD SUV, English-speaking guide, licensed jeep driver, hotel pick-up and drop-off, and drinks

Excludes: Entrance fee into Marble Mountains 55,000 VND (2.35 USD) and optional gratuity

Website: https://vietnamjeeps.com/

Next on our list is Hoi An Jeep Adventures, a company that prides itself on their outstanding customer service. With a diverse assortment of packages, transportation options, and add-ons, you are free to customise and create the trip of your dreams. Drivers and guides are expert-trained. They have a plethora of knowledge about each landmark.  Along with a willingness to share insight into their culture, cuisine, and customs. Come prepared with questions and take advantage of the opportunity to converse with a local, English-speaking tour guide. Drivers boast incredible safety ratings, and cruise along at a comfortable pace, leaving plenty of time for impromptu stops and photographs.

Join-In Basis Jeep Tours

The general tours at Hoi An Jeep Adventures are on a join-in basis.  Meaning this is the perfect opportunity to meet other travellers on their journey north (or south). Keep in mind, that the guest to guide/driver ratio is never more than 2-to 3-to-1, which creates an intimate feel amongst participants. You can relax and enjoy the ride knowing that you are amongst friends old and new. 

Private tours are available for a small upcharge. Hoi An Jeep Adventures does an excellent job at taking participants off-the-beaten-track, opting for local, countryside laneways, versus major highways. The general tour includes the same stops as above.  There are exclusive stops at a desolate rice field and the mysterious, famed City of Ghosts.  A cemetery with brilliant, multicoloured tombs, white-sand trails, and ornate statues.

Hidden Hint: For those more adventurous souls, Hoi An Jeep Tours also offers a motorbike tour with sidecar options along the same route. For more information, check out Hidden’s motorbike tours article.

Hidden’s Insider Scoop

Hoi An Jeep Adventures are group tours on a join-in basis.  Meaning that this is the ideal choice for solo travellers, or those looking to make new friends. In addition the operator is able to include the cost of lunch, and reduce the overall price of the tour.  Helpful for those on a budget.

Hue Motorbike Tour

What: Family-friendly, sightseeing

Time: ½ or full day (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) options available

Price: 3,350,000 VND (145 USD)/person

Includes: Retro-style jeep or air-conditioned 4WD SUV, English-speaking guide, licensed jeep driver, hotel pick-up and drop-off, and drinks

Excludes: Lunch, entrance fees into Elephant Springs 17,000 VND (.75 USD) and Marble Mountains 55,000 VND (2.35 USD), and optional gratuity

Website: https://huemotorbiketour.com

Last, but certainly not least, on our list of jeep tour adventures is Hue Motorbike Tour Company. Originating as a guided motorbike tour for travellers headed south from Hue to Hoi An, Hue Motorbike Tour now offers several customisable route options with transport in an old US Army Jeep. The communication and customer service, from the first contact to drop-off at your hotel, is second-to-none. Guides are friendly, attentive, and do their best to ensure your safety, comfort, and satisfaction. 

Hue Motorbike Tours Jeep option is a private tour. This allows for maximum customisation.  So if you are interested in visiting a specific landmark along the way, be sure to let your guide know. Guides/drivers are there to serve you and ensure the best possible experience. From choice of music to snacks and drinks, to insight on Vietnamese culture and customs, the trip all about you. So don’t be shy, take advantage of the opportunity to engage with a kind-hearted local.

Hidden Hint: If you’re keen on getting an up-close look at the infamous Dragon Bridge, opt to have your guide take you downtown to Da Nang city versus stopping at Marble Mountains.

Hidden’s Insider Scoop

For those wanting a private tour with a completely open-air cabin, this is the perfect option. Hue Motorbike Tour Jeeps are safe but minimal. While their simple design and basic seating arrangement is a bit less luxurious than the other options on the list.  However this makes for an immersive experience into the surrounding natural landscapes.

Hidden’s Thoughts

A jeep tour is a fantastic way to make your travels from Hoi An to Hue (or vice versa) fun and interactive. Rather than being herded into a large (or small) indoor bus, jeep tours allow you the unique opportunity to explore the natural surroundings.  In other words, stop where you please, and experience the best of Central Vietnam. 

Keep in mind that all of the operators will tailor the tour to the needs or interests of your group. So it’s worth doing some research before booking. Also, for our sunburn-prone friends, remember to bring a hat and sunscreen. In addition, the road may also be a bit warm and dusty. So pack a windbreaker or face mask if you are sensitive to particulate matter. Other than that, settle in, relax, and enjoy the scenic road ahead!

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