If you are planning a trip to Vietnam, there are two places that should really be included in your itinerary: Da Nang and Hoi An. Da Nang, with its mix of old and new architecture and the history of the French colonial port, boasts magnificent white sand beaches and clear blue waters if you need a few days rest.
Hoi An has beautifully preserved historical monuments. The commercial port of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dates from the 15th to the 19th century and is very well preserved. Be sure to visit the Japanese covered bridge and stroll through the surrounding streets. The cities are close to each other, so it's easy to visit both, even if you have very little time.
Travel options from Da Nang to Hoi An
Getting from Da Nang to Hoi An is quick and easy because the two cities are separated by a distance of only about 30 kilometers (19 miles). Hoi An is just south of Da Nang, and you can take the scenic coastal road there or choose one of the roads that goes a little farther from the coast.
You can take public transportation or a cab, which is represented by private taxi companies that operate vans, minivans, and sedans. You can also rent a car or motorcycle and drive yourself.
Renting a car may be a good idea if you plan to drive slowly and may be thinking of going elsewhere, but compared to the reasonable cost of a private cab, renting a car may not be worth the extra cost. Renting a motorcycle is much more reasonable in price and can be a fun adventure, but is not recommended if you have never ridden alone and are not familiar with Vietnamese roads.
Public bus from Da Nang to Hoi An
The vast majority of travelers choose public transportation, and there are several reasons for this.
- First, the bus is by far the cheapest way to travel, so if you travel on a budget and count every penny you spend, the bus is definitely your best option!
- The second reason to take the bus is cultural. Public buses are for the people, not just tourists, so if you want to meet the locals and immerse yourself a little more in their culture, you'll love this option.
- The third reason to take the bus is that they depart frequently, so you never have to wait very long for the next bus. In fact, you rarely see this level of convenience on public transportation in Asia!
So, which bus are you taking? Well, it will depend on where you are starting from. Maybe you arrive at Da Nang airport and plan to go directly to Hoi An; in that case, the bus is not the best option because the nearest stop is about 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) from the airport, so you need to take a cab to the bus stop. You can't save money that way.
From Da Nang itself, however, it's a different story. There are many bus stops here. It's very easy to remember which bus number you want, because it's the number 1! The buses are easy to spot because they are bright yellow and they leave every 20 minutes between 5:30 am and 6 pm.
Taking a bus from Da Nang to Hoi An will take longer than taking a cab - it should be about 70 to 80 minutes - but given the low ticket price, the extra time spent on the bus may well pay off!
A tour company bus from Da Nang to Hoi An
A little more money and you can travel with air conditioning and comfortable seats if you choose a tour company bus that departs from the bus station in Da Nang. This is the Singh tourist bus. The trip takes about 90 minutes.
Private or public cab to Hoi An from Da Nang
If you prefer to travel more comfortably, a private cab might be just what you need! Cabs are certainly more expensive than public buses, but when you share a cab with several other passengers, they really are very affordable.
With cabs, you also have a lot of flexibility in terms of your schedule. And if you have to travel directly from Da Nang Airport, cabs can be a much better option than public buses, since you'll be picked up right outside the terminal and won't have to make your way to the bus stop.
One of the Tiim Charter minibuses operating on the Danang-Hanoi route.
Private taxi companies are Dichung Taxi and Tiim Charter. Both of these companies offer shuttle service from the airport and from downtown Da Nang, so they can come directly to your hotel if you are staying in Da Nang for a few days before heading to Hoi An. Campaign prices are about the same, so there's not much difference between them.
One of the differences is that Dichung Taxi provides the service of three different types of vehicles: A 9-passenger minibus, a minivan that can take four passengers, and a sedan that will accommodate two to three passengers. Tiim Charter also has large buses and minibuses, but not sedans.
The travel time is one hour, although you may well see yourself getting to Hoi An faster, depending on whether the cab makes any stops along the way, and depending on exactly where in Da Nang you get in. Since this is a public cab, you will be sharing it with strangers, so if you don't want to do that, you can always catch a standard cab from the airport or from downtown Da Nang to Hoi An.
Minibus from Da Nang Airport
Finally, there are several options if you are getting directly from Da Nang airport and these are Hoi An Express, Dichung Taxi and Tiim Charter. These private companies operate large, modern minibuses that you will share with other passengers, or you can choose one of the smaller vehicles if you want to travel on your own. They are reputed to be very affordable and safe, so they can be another good travel option.