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Forget Ha Long Bay and Sapa – Hoi An is the quintessential must-visit destination in Vietnam. This magical little town lies just 18 miles south of Da Nang and is often voted the top destination in the country.
While beautiful, Hoi An is a small town and there is no airport. The nearest is Da Nang International Airport (approximately a 50-minute drive away), so the easiest way to get there is to fly into Da Nang. If you’re a backpacker traversing the country from one end to the other, you could take the notorious sleeping buses for a budget-friendly yet less comfortable ride. However if you are strapped for time, Culture Trip certainly recommends you fly in to Da Nang and then make your way from there to Hoi An. Here’s how to travel between the two.
The number one option to get from Da Nang to Hoi An is to rent a private car. It’s comfortable, fast, convenient and you can stop anywhere on the way. If you book your accommodation in Hoi An, you can ask the hotel to arrange a car to pick you up at a premium. The total can range from VND $300,000 – $400,000 (USD $15.00 to $20.00) depending on whether the car is a 4-seater or a 7-seater, making this the most expensive option of all. However, sharing the cost makes renting a private car worth it.
Grab is a competitor of Uber, offering similar services in the Southeast Asian market and has recently acquired Uber, creating a monopoly. To be able to hail yourself a GrabCar, all you need is a mobile phone, internet and their app. Plug in your pick up location and destination, choose the type of vehicle you want (motorbike, 4-seater car, 7-seater car, or shared car), and book.
For solo travelers with a single backpack, the motorbike option (GrabBike) is extremely cheap and convenient.
Taxis are (generally) readily available at Da Nang airport during the day. No prior arrangements are required – just hand over your destination address to the driver who will take you there. The only downside is that some drivers aren’t aware of all the roads in the region and may have trouble finding your location. There are also scams you should be wary of, and to avoid them these companies are often recommended:
Mai Linh Taxi: +84 511 352 5252
Vinasun Taxi: +84 511 368 6868
Dichungtaxi is a recently launched service available at the airport offering the option to book a shared (or even private) taxi to your destination. Booking must be done on their website, and the details will be forwarded to the drivers that will pick you up.
Both these options will cost you around VND $300,000 – $400,000 (USD $15.00 to $20.00).
There is a direct bus line between Hoi An and Da Nang. For just VND $25,000 (USD $1.00), bus number 1 will commute you between the two cities. Buses depart every 20 minutes, starting from 5:30 a.m. and ending at 6:00 p.m., and the journey will last about an hour-and-a-half. Apart from time, another downside is that the bus stop is about two miles from the airport, so you will need to cab there anyway.
Save the best and most exciting for last. Motorbike rentals are cheap, allow for flexibility and you can use them to get around the city. Expect to pay around VND $30,000 (USD $6.00) per day, with discounts for longer-term rental.
Bear in mind, renting a motorbike for a long period of time requires some form of ID to be left behind, which you will get back once the motorbike is returned safely. A copy of your passport should suffice.
Opt for this only if you have experience driving a motorbike. The traffic in Vietnam may overwhelm you, so do not take this risk if you are not an experienced driver.
Truong Dat motorbike rental: +84 969 722 744, +84 969 822 844
Lê Trường motorbike rental: +84 981 331 331