Written either Da’Nang or Danang, this city on the central coast of Vietnam is key transport hub and popular beachside resort at the same.
And just down the road, less than 30 km away, is another hugely popular Vietnam destination – the charming city of Hoi An with its historic centre and beautiful-lantern lit streets.
Given their proximity together, as well as the value they provide for travellers, it’s no coincidence that both Da’Nang and Hoi An make popular stops on any Vietnam itinerary, and yes, they were part of mine too!
As such, knowing how to get between these 2 destinations is a key question for many independent travellers and, having made the journey myself, I’m pleased to say I can bring you the full lowdown from a solo female traveller whose been there and done it.
Covering bus, taxi, rideshare and shuttle, here’s my full guide on how to travel from Da’Nang to Hoi An…
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Arriving into Da’Nanag
As I mentioned, it’s less than 30 km between the 2 great travel must-see’s of Da’Nang and Hoi An, meaning many people visit at least one or both of these spots during their time in Vietnam.
Regardless of whether they are spending the night in both locations however, almost every traveller will arrive into Da’Nang first.
This is because Hoi An lacks both an airport and a railway station, meaning that for those of us arriving into Central Vietnam from other spots around the country, as I did, you’re likely to touch down in Da’Nang.
If you’re travelling from farther away, such as cities like Hanoi of Ho Chi Minh City, you might want to take a short flight to Da’Nang, especially if you’re on a tight timeframe.
As always, I use Skyscanner to find the best flight deals on domestic flights in Vietnam.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to save some money, you may want to opt for a train to Da’Nang.
Much cheaper, but taker longer too, trains in Vietnam are very well organised and comfortable. They also often run overnight, which can help save time and money too.
If you ever want to book long distance trains (or buses) in Vietnam, then I highly recommend the site 12Go, which makes comparing and booking services in English secure and easy.
Once you get to Da’Nang (and perhaps enjoy a few days here), you’ll then want to make your way to Hoi An and here’s how…
#1 By Public Bus
So the first way to travel between Da’Nang and Hoi An is by public bus.
This is the cheapest option for moving between the 2 cities, and is used by many locals, however it does require a bit more hassle.
For starters, you’ll have to get from the airport or railway station to the bus station – easy enough, but it is something to think about.
The good news is that, if you’re arriving by railway into Da’Nang, the station where the bus to Hoi An departs from, is just 1km away.
Otherwise, if you’re already staying in Da’Nang, the public bus might be a good option for you too.
Once you arrive into Hoi An, you’ll then have to find the right bus. Again, this is easy enough to do by asking around, but is something else to bear in mind.
You” want to look out for the bus marked #1 – this is the bus to Hoi An.
The journey takes around 45 mins and is very cheap – little over a dollar – you’ll need cash to pay the bus driver.
Also worth bearing in mind is the fact that this bus can only accommodate small bags so, if you have large suitcases, the bus is probably not for you!
Once you arrive in Hoi An, you’ll then have to also get from this bus station to your accommodation.
This extra hassle, and the likelihood of paying for a taxi, kind of negates the advantages of getting the public bus from Da’Nang to Hoi An and therefore I wouldn’t pick it as a top option unless you’re on a super tight budget and travelling with very little luggage.
#2 By Taxi
The second option when it comes to travelling from Da’Nang to Hoi An is by taxi.
This is the most expensive option, but doesn’t have to be arranged in advance and is therefore hassle-free.
It is also private and, in general, secure.
This is a great option if you’re arriving into Da’Nang airport as taxis hang around outside the arrivals terminal and are therefore super easy to find and catch.
Getting a taxi is also a quick option – you’ll be taken straight from Da’Nang to Hoi An without making any stops – and in general taxi drivers picking up tourists will usually speak a good level of English.
Again you’ll need cash to pay the driver and just ensure they understand exactly where you want to go and are from a reputable company, such as the recognisable yellow taxis of Faifoo, which are common in Central Vietnam.
Also ensure that taxi drivers use a meter or you agree a price in advance. A good price from Da’Nang to Hoi An is around $20 USD.
This can be made more affordable if you can find other people to share a taxi with you.
#3 By Rideshare
The third option for travelling from Da’Nang to Hoi An is by rideshare.
Rideshares are very popular in Southeast Asia, including in Vietnam, and essentially compromise of companies like Uber that bring together independent drivers through their app technology.
The most popular rideshare option in Vietnam is Grab, which offers incredibly affordable rides in both cars and motorbikes.
Unless you’re travelling with almost no luggage, you’ll probably want to get a Grab car.
You can order a Grab there and then in Da’Nang and it will come and pick you up from wherever you are.
Always check with the driver they are happy to take you as far as Hoi An and also that you clearly mark your accommodation option as the drop-off point.
A bit more ad-hoc, but in general very safe and easy to use (especially when it comes to navigating language barriers), Grab is great option for budget travellers and those who require flexibility.
Of course, to use Grab or Uber in Da’Nang you’ll need to have a Vietnamese SIM and data on your phone, so if you don’t have this, this might not be the option for you.
If you choose Grab or Uber bike, then ensure you wear a helmet – drivers are required to provide one and you should wear it!
Learn more about using rideshare apps when travelling here.
#4 By Shuttle
And finally, the last method of transport you can use to get between Da’Nang and Hoi An is a shuttle bus.
This is a great option for solo travellers who want to join forces with others to keep the costs of this journey down and also to ensure they are safe.
The other benefit is that shuttle buses will pick you up directly from the airport or railway station in Da’Nang and take you straight to the door of your accommodation in Hoi An.
This also provides peace of mind and is great if you’ve got a lot of luggage.
Shuttles also tend to be cheaper because they can be split between multiple travellers.
Often they take a bit longer (as you have to wait to gather all the relevant passengers and then do the rounds as everyone gets dropped off in Hoi An), but it’s often a small price to pay for an organised and well-priced direct service.
You can also book shuttles in advance, which can be handy if you want to organise your itinerary and map out your plans.
Book your shuttle from Da’Nang city to Hoi An at a great rate here.
Tours of Central Vietnam
And finally, the last option on this list, you can also take a multi-day tour in Vietnam that includes either the destinations of Da’Nang, Hoi An or both.
These tours will certainly include all transport across the country, not least between to Hoi An from Da’Nang or elsewhere in the country.
Travel Guide to Da’Nang and Hoi An
When to Visit?
The best time to visit Hoi An and Da’Nang is during the cooler drier season, which in this central part of Vietnam lasts from March to August.
Within this, March through May are perhaps the optimum months.
At this time the humidity is not too bad and the water conditions are good if you want to explore the coast and islands too.
Outside of these months, Hoi An and Da’Nang can experience monsoons and stifling humidity… you have been warned!
Where to Stay?
If you’re a budget traveller like me, then the best place to stay in Hoi An is definitely the Love.ly Hostel.
I totally loved this homely backpackers, where the communal dinners will have you feeling like part of the family in no time.
My private room even had a little balcony, which was lovely and the prices and location of this great spot were top notch.
Book your stay at Love.ly Hostel in Hoi An here.
When it comes to Da’Nang, The Memory Hostel is the best place for budget travellers with its central location and lovely friendly owners.
For something a bit more private and comfortable, check out the top-rated Square Villa in Hoi An and The Memory Hotel in Da’Nang, close to the beach.
How Long to Stay?
Hoi An is a small city you can easily explore in a day.
If you want to include day trips – which you should! – I would allow a time period of 3-5 nights to stay in Hoi An.
Although trust me, you’ll fall in love with it and want to spend longer!
Da’Nang is a larger city, but the main attraction here is the beach (plus the water and fire Dragon Bridge display!), so depending how much you like relaxing on the sand will largely dictate how long you want to spend in Da’Nang.
Most travellers spend 2-3 days here.
Continuing on Your Journey
From either Da’Nang or Hoi An you can head north to either Ninh Binh, the Phong Nha Caves, Halong Bay or Hanoi.
Alternatively, if you’re heading southwards, then you have the great destinations of Dalat and Ho Chi Minh all lying in store for you.
5 Essential Central Vietnam Packing Items
#1 Good Day Pack – I never travel anywhere without a good backpack, which is essential to ensure I have everything I need for the day with me. This might be beach stuff, a guidebook, camera, rain jacket, snacks and water. Whatever it is, the Marmot Kompressor is my go-to, thanks to its water-resistant and lightweight qualities and the fact it packs down to next to nothing.
#2 Walking Shoes – There’s likely to be a lot of walking in Vietnam especially around those temples and cities! As such, I advise packing a pair of good runners, like these New Balance trainers, which were perfect for my time here.
#3 European & British Power Adapters – Vietnam has a mix of power outlets, but generally opts for a mix of the European and British ones, so make sure you come prepared with a Skross world adapter.
#4 Camera and Lens – I love my Sony A6000 mirrorless, which was ideal for capturing the colour, chaos and cuisine and charm of Vietnam.
#5 Travel Scarf – A great multi-purpose travel item that can be used to safely store valuables, as well as cover your shoulders while you explore many of Vietnam’s top sights, a travel scarf is a must for me!
For more information about what to wear in Vietnam and pack for this country, check out this full post I wrote about it.
Travel Insurance for Vietnam
World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.
PIN IT TO PINTEREST!
So that’s my guide about how to travel from Da’Nang to Hoi An in Vietnam.
Hopefully you’ve found this information useful, but any other top tips you have to add, which could help a fellow traveller out, please drop them into the comments box below…