Hoi An is a historic city located on the central coast of Vietnam. This ancient town used to be a commercial trading port from the 15th to the 19th centuries. These days, travellers flock to Hoi An for its slower-paced lifestyle and well-preserved Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and French architecture. Here you will find colourful streets lined with shops, lush rice fields, quirky markets, and beautiful beaches.
Pakse is the capital of Champasak Province in Southern Laos. Its literal translation is “mouth of the river” as it is situated at the confluence of Mekong and Xe Don rivers. There are not a lot of attractions in Pakse but it is an ideal spot for backpackers to relax and enjoy laid back Laotian culture before heading to other parts of Laos.
The fastest option to travel the 400 km journey from Hoi An to Pakse is by taking a flight from Da Nang airport ($320) with stopovers in Hanoi and Bangkok. This will take you 8 hours and 20 minutes while taking 2 separate bus trips ($16) has a total travel time of 11 hours.
As there are no direct flights between Da Nang and Pakse, your journey will take at least 8 hours. The flights will include a layover of at different airports. It’s not really the most practical option since it takes almost the same time as the bus and is more expensive.
Keep in mind that tickets for this route can be quite expensive. Booking a few weeks in advance will be to your advantage as tickets get more expensive closer to the travel date.
A one-way ticket starts at $320 and it takes about 8 hours and 20 minutes for the entire trip.
Trips for this route are scarce and not very well-advertised. The easiest way to book a bus from Hoi An to Pakse is to ask your hotel’s staff or go to a reputable local travel agency in Hoi An.
As there are no direct buses you will have to arrange 1 or 2 transfers: One from Hoi An to Ngoc Hoi or Kon Tum and then another from Ngoc Hoi or Kon Tum to Pakse.
It can be quite a hassle, but taking the bus will save you a lot of money compared to flying. The entire journey from Hoi An to Pakse should take about 11 hours if the buses pass through the Bo Y Border.
Expect to pay about $16 for this journey. If in some cases they try to charge you more, your total spending on bus tickets should never exceed $20 for this trip.
Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.
Ela is a storyteller, content producer, solo traveller and a mermaid-in-training. When she’s not in front of her laptop, you will find her barefoot and living her best tan on some island in the Philippines… Or exploring the depths of its seas as a budding freediver. An island girl at heart, she’ll be happy anywhere there is sea, sand, sun and coffee.