Hoi An is one of my favorite towns in Vietnam. I first visited in 2017, I returned in 2019 and I have another trip planned for 2021. There are no direct flights to Hoi An and the closest airport is in Da Nang (Danang). The closest train station is also in Da Nang, so it’s no surprise that the first thing most visitors to Hoi An need to figure out is how they will get from Da Nang to Hoi An. There are a number of options and choosing which one is right for you will depend on your time, patience and budget.
Travelling From Da Nang to Hoi An Overview
Hoi An doesn’t have an airport, a port or a train station so all visitors must arrive by road. It is possible to catch an intercity bus to Hoi An from elsewhere in Vietnam, but most people heading to Hoi An end up in nearby Da Nang which has the transport trifecta of an international airport, a train station and a port. Driving from Da Nang to Hoi An takes just under an hour depending on traffic and there are a number of options ranging from VND18,000 (~AUD$1) for the public bus to VND285,000 (~AUD$18) for a private transfer. There are no hire car facilities at Da Nang International airport so self-drive is not an option. I’m all about travelling in luxury for less and saving the pennies where it counts to splurge on the things that really matter, but I also place huge importance on convenience and I opted for private transfers for both my visits to Hoi An. While it might be the most expensive option, a private transfer still represents excellent value for money for an hour trip and it’s well worth spending the extra in my book.
#1 Private Da Nang to Hoi An Transfer
By far the easiest and most convenient method to get from the airport in Da Nang to Hoi An is by private airport transfer. The driver will meet you in the arrivals hall and take you by private car straight to your hotel. They will even load your luggage for you. The down side is that this is the most expensive option, but it is still very cost effective especially if you have a few people in your group. Expect to pay VND285,000 (~AUD$18) for a standard car that will comfortably seat 3 people, VND360,000 (~AUD$23) for a 7 seater which comfortably fit 5 with luggage or VND460,000 (~AUD$29) for a 16 seat van that will comfortably seat 10 with luggage between 5am and 11pm. Night transfers from Da Nang International Airport to Hoi An will cost a little more. If you are not travelling from the airport and need to be picked up elsewhere in Da Nang, including the train station or port, book a private Da Nang City to Hoi An transfer. The first time I landed at Da Nang International Airport I flew in from Hanoi with Vietjet. I ordered a private transfer to whisk The Hubs and I to the Sincerity Hotel where we stayed. It was just the two of us so we opted for a standard car. On my second trip to Hoi An in 2019 I was travelling with a group of 10 other women and we flew in from Bangkok on Bangkok Airways. We had a lot of luggage and prefer not to be cramped so we booked 2 x 16 seater vans to take the eleven of us to the TTC Premium Hotel. Both times we booked through Klook as I find they have the best prices around and our transfers were fuss free and efficient. If you have never used Klook before sign up here and get a HKD$25 (~AUD$5) credit towards your first booking.
#2 Shared Da Nang Airport Transfer
If you are a solo traveller and still want a point to point transfer without the expense of a private transfer you may want to consider a shared airport transfer from Da Nang to Hoi An. A single seat on the Da Nang Airport Shuttle is just VND130,000 (~AUD$8) when you book through Klook so with anymore that two people you might as well go for a private transfer. Luggage is restricted to one piece and one personal item per person and unless you get lucky and score the bus all to yourself, you will likely to have to make a couple of stops along the way to your hotel. The shuttle operates between Hoi An and Da Nang from 4am – 10pm and from Da Nang to Hoi An between 5am – 11pm. As an added bonus WiFi is available on the shuttle.
#3 Grab From Da Nang to Hoi An
Grab does operate in Vietnam so you could in theory use the app to book a ride. I say in theory because I ordered about six Grab’s while I was in Hoi An and none of them turned up. Worse, I got harassing messages from the drivers to cancel the ride. I stuck to my guns and made them cancel it, but it wasn’t without drama. Give it a go if you like, but I don’t fancy your chances.
#4 Da Nang To Hoi An Taxi
There are no shortage of taxis operating in both Da Nang and Hoi An, but they are a bit hit and miss. I’ve taken quite a few taxis in and around Hoi An. My general rule of thumb is to insist they turn the meter on. Sometimes they will and other times they will try to negotiate an inflated price or refuse your fare. Be prepared to walk away. I found the best way to get a relaible taxi was to have the hotel call one, but that is not going to help you get from the airport in Da Nang to Hoi An when you have just landed. There is a taxi rank at Da Nang International Airport and if you intent to use it look out for Mai Linh or Vinasun which are considered the most reliable. The flagfall is VND12,000 (~AUD$0.75) and the total fare into Hoi An should run at around VND200,000 (~AUD$13) depending on traffic.
#5 Da Nang to Hoi An Bus
DanaBus runs a public bus (#1) from Da Nang Central Bus Station to Hoi An Bus station between 5.30am and 5.50pm. There are 76 services a day from Da Nang to Hoi An, but the route does not stop at Da Nang International Airport. If you are super keen to save some pennies you could walk to the nearest bus station on the route which will take about 30 minutes. The fare is VND18,000 (~AUD$1), however I have heard stories of tourists being charged up to VND50,000 (~AUD$3) with little recourse to complain. If you do intend to give the public bus a whirl, I suggest downloading the free DanaBus app which will help you plan your trip.
#6 Hop On Hop Off Bus from Da Nang to Hoi An
This option could work well if you arrive early and plan to do some sightseeing on the same day as your arrival. There are three routes on the Hop On Hop Off Bus; yellow, pink and purple. Both the yellow and pink routes stop at Da Nang International Airport, but neither go to Hoi An. The quickest way would be to jump on the yellow bus from the airport and switch to the purple. A 24 hour ticket from Klook will set you back VND147,500 (~AUD$9) per person and allows you to access all 50 stops on all three routes. Hours are limited (various between 8am – 7.15pm) so check the schedules before you commit.
Final Word On Getting From Da Nang To Hoi An
Like most visitors to Hoi An, I flew into Da Nang International airport and had to make my way from Da Nang to Hoi An by road. I chose a private transfer which is the most expensive option of the six I have featured, but for the convenience it was worth every penny. The public bus is the cheapest option, but it will add at least an hour to your trip and it involves a long walk to the closest bus stop. In the heat. With luggage. Yeah Nah, I think I’ll spend the few extra dollars thank you very much.
Have you travelled between Da Nang and Hoi An? Which option did you choose? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Until Next Time …
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Disclosure Statement: This review is not sponsored and I paid for my transfers in full. The information in my contributions in this article are based on my own personal experiences and have not been influenced in any way by the brand(s) featured. The contributions included from other writers has been accepted in good faith that the information is accurate. This post may contain affiliate links which if clicked may earn me a small commission on purchases at no extra cost to you.