How to travel from Phong Nha to Hoi An
Phong Nha is overflowing with natural splendor, a combination of intricate cave networks, home to Son Dong Cave - the largest cave in the world ancient mountains, meandering lakes as well as verdant rainforests. As Hoi An is a classic tourist destination, many travelers prefer to add Phong Nha to their itinerary and discover a new hidden gem. In this article, we will set apart the two most common ways to travel from Phong Nha to Hoi An which you can also use the other way around.
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Phong Nha to Hoi An is 340km away from each other, the journey to travel between these cities is long yet it is manageable. You can either travel by train which takes about 7 hours or by 8-hour bus. For a short overview, travelling by bus can take you from the main street in Phong Nha and take you directly to Hoi An yet it takes an alternative route through a tunnel, thus the picturesque highlight will be missed and you can not really enjoy the view along the way. While taking the train may not really inconvenient for you yet it offers spectacular views of Hai Van Pass and the central coastline of Vietnam.
Phong Nha to Hoi An by Train
Both Phong Nha and Hoi An do not have their own railway station but it doesn’t mean there is no way to travel between these cities by train, it is just a little bit more complicated than other modes of transportation or other destinations. Taking the train from Phong Nha to Hoi An by train, you will need to break the trip down into stages and combine it with other transferring options.
Stage 1: Phong Nha to Dong Hoi Railway Station
Firstly, you have to get from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi train station, which is the nearest railway station to Phong Nha National Park, located 45km away from each other. You may take a local bus from Phong Nha's main street to Dong Hoi city. You can check with your hotel to see if the bus timetable has changed and for the specific location of the pick-up.
The bus ride is around one hour to one hour and a half for the price of 60,000 VND ($2.6) per person. Departure times from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi range from 05:30 AM to 05:00 PM and the bus departs every hour.
The bus will drop you off at Dong Hoi Bus Station, situated very close to Dong Hoi train station which you can walk for 15 minutes or take a short taxi ride for 25,000 VND ($1.2). Likewise, you can alternatively take a taxi that takes you directly to Dong Hoi train station for around 500,000 VND ($21.7).
Stage 2: Dong Hoi Railway Station to Da Nang by train
Secondly, when you get to Dong Hoi station, hop on the train and travel to Da Nang city which takes approximately 6 hours. You can easily either purchase the ticket at the station or online on some third-party website. Following is the schedule and the ticket fare for each type of seat it provides.
|Train code||Departure Time||Arrival Time||Price|
|Soft seater with AC||6-sleeper cabin with AC||4-sleeper cabin with AC|
|SE3||06:13 AM||12:24 PM||275,000 VND ($12)||339,000 VND ($14.7) ||378,000 VND ($16.4)|
|SE7||05:11 PM||11:27 PM||230,000 VND ($10)||377,000 VND ($16.4)||410,000 VND ($17.8)|
Stage 3: Da Nang Railway Station to Hoi An
Once you arrive at Da Nang train station, you will have many transportation choices to choose from. The available options are the local bus, shuttle bus, taxi, private car, or motorbike.
The most common way to get to Hoi An from Da Nang train station is by taking the local public bus. For 20,000 VND ($0.9), you can ride the bus to Hoi An, but with a couple of bucks more, you can also book a shuttle bus to get you closer to Hoi An’s center or even to your accommodation in Hoi An. The travel duration is about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, depending on the traffic situation.
In addition, taxis are also a very popular option to travel from Da Nang train station to Hoi An. As it’s quick, safe, and readily available just outside the train station, you can easily get on the taxi, tell the driver your hotel address in Hoi An and you are good to go. The taxi companies such as Mai Linh taxi, VinaSun taxi, Tien Sa taxi, or Song Han taxi are reputable brands in Da Nang. The taxi fare costs around 350,000 VND ($15) to 650,000 VND ($23), depending on the car size and the location of your accommodation.
If you are traveling with kids, families or with a big group of friends, then booking a private car beforehand is the most perfect choice. Especially if you have many big pieces of baggage.
On the other hand, if you travel light and want to add some adventure to your journey, driving a motorbike is a thrilling choice to make. This will also include an amazing ride along the beaches and the flexibility to stop at any tourist attractions on the way.
Phong Nha to Hoi An by Bus
Getting to Phong Nha from Hoi An is easiest via bus. Since there is no direct bus, you will need to stop at Hue and change the vehicle (if needed as this also depends on each operator). There is only one kind of bus that serves the route from Phong Nha to Hoi An which is a sleeper bus. This type of bus is a double-deck coach with fixed berths that can accommodate 40–46 passengers. These are really comfortable, so you can sleep and relax for the majority of the trip.
Queen Cafe Bus
Queen Cafe Bus is available to book online. They depart from Phong Nha's Central Backpackers Hostel and arrive at the Queen Cafe Bus Stop in Hoi An, along Ton Duc Thang Street. Their tickets cost around 280,000 VND ($12.50) yet they offer fully equipped buses and they have received a lot of good feedback.
Hung Thanh Bus
Hung Thanh Bus is another reputable bus to travel with, which you can book via a travel agent or through your hotel in Phong Nha. The bus departs from Capture Cafe on Phong Nha's main street and leaves early in the morning. After a four-hour drive, they will make a brief stop in Hue at 49 Chu Van An Street for about one hour before continuing their journey. From here, it takes another 3-4 hours to go to Hoi An. You can buy the ticket for a full journey from Phong Nha to Hoi An with a price of 180,000 VND ($7.8)
Below are the schedule and travel time from Phong Nha to Hoi An by bus
|Bus Operators||Timetable||Travel duration|
|Queen Cafe||04:30 AM - 12:30 PM||8 hours|
|Hung Thanh||04:00 AM - 01:00 PM||9 hours|
|07:00 AM - 05:00 PM||10 hours|
The bus is by far the most cost-effective mode of transportation. If you're in a rush or on a budget, this still stands as the most convenient method to get to Hoi An from Phong Nha.
Tips for choosing the best transportation options to get to Hoi An
Which travel option you choose to get from Hoi An to Phong Nha is totally dependent on your time and budget restrictions. We have listed some tips and recommendations for travelling below for your convenience on your plan.
- The cost of a bus ticket is based on the kind of selected vehicle. Bear in mind that on weekends and national holidays, several bus companies in Vietnam will raise their prices.
- Most buses depart from the representative offices of the bus companies in Phong Nha, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province. So please arrive 30-60 minutes prior to the specified departure time at the place of departure.
- Remember that certain bus companies will arrange a shuttle bus for passengers to be transferred from the place of departure to the bus terminal, thus travelers should arrive early or risk missing the bus.
- Though we might know that the travel time depends on traffic conditions. However, Buses have recently been reported as refusing to depart unless they have enough passengers to make the trip worthwhile. So expect some delays as a result of this.
- If you would like to travel by train, we recommend taking any of the trains leaving around sunrise and traveling during the daytime. As a kindly reminder that you will need daylight to fully appreciate the magnificent landscape of Hai Van Pass.
- Bus and train are the most common, quick, and safe ways to travel from Phong Nha to Hoi An. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a thrilling new experience, the motorbike option is a fantastic way of seeing hidden parts of Vietnam
Regardless of how you travel from Phong Nha to Hoi An, you will not be disappointed with your visit to both of Vietnam's well-known yet magnificent jewels. Let's BestPrice guide you to the most spectacular destinations and makes your trip to Vietnam becomes unforgettable.
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