Coming from Hanoi’s French Quarter, Hoi An’s 15th to 19th-century architecture is a delight. In this Old Town, you will find a mix of Japanese and Chinese influence brought by merchants to this once major port. Make sure to walk further than the crowded tourist spots to get a better feel of local life in Hoi An.
The distance from Hanoi to Hoi An is about 800km and is easiest to travel by flight. When you decide to fly, you need to fly from Hanoi to Da Nang, from where you can continue by shuttle bus or taxi to Hoi An. Flying takes about 3.5 hours, including transfers, while the bus and train take roughly 17 hours.
Taking the train is also a good alternative option to flying. It is quite a long journey at 17 hours, but you will save a night on accommodation when you take the sleeper train. Tickets start at $37.50 for a bed in a 4-berth cabin.
If you are on a strict budget, you can also take the bus for as low as $15.50. But bear in mind that travelling by bus is not as safe and comfortable as taking the train, especially for such long journeys.
To reach Hoi An by flight, you have to book a ticket from Hanoi to Da Nang. Da Nang Airport is 45 min from Hoi An and it is easy to get there by shuttle bus. The flight from Hanoi to Da Nang only takes 1h 20min.
From Hanoi center, you can take a shuttle bus to the airport for about 1 hour and costs 40,000 VND ($1.80). See Hanoi Airport for more details.
Step 1: Hanoi to Da Nang by Flight
Duration: 1h 20min Cost: 745,000 VND ($32)
Bamboo Airways and Jetstar offer cheap flights starting from 745,000 VND ($32). You have to book at least several weeks in advance to get this rate. Otherwise, expect to pay around 900,000 VND ($39).
PRO-TIP: Use the free N26 debit card to avoid the extra fees charged by your bank. This N26 debit card is becoming very popular among travellers, because they don't charge any fees on payments in foreign currencies (most banks charge 3%-5%). New members can order one for free on the N26 website
Step 2: Da Nang Railway Station from Hoi An by Bus
Duration: 45min Cost: 20,000 VND ($1)
From Da Nang railway station, you can reach Hoi An center via a 45min public bus ride.
A note on travelling with Hey Travel, the company receives mixed reviews – from very bad to very good. We have received a complaint that they sometimes leave people behind when they are overbooked. Also, their drivers can drive too fast. However, there have also been some reviews saying they had a good experience.
Think hard if you really want to take a chance with Hey Travel buses. In case you do, you can book a seat via BookAway.
You think you can only find good banana pancakes in Thailand? Wait till you get them for breakfast at HaLo HomeStay. This homestay has it all: The high-end standard of a hotel combined with the family feeling of a homestay. The owners serve a lovely breakfast and will do everything to get most out of your stay. You can explore Hoi An with their free bicycle rental and reach the Old Quarter or beach within 5 minutes.
When Halo Homestay is already fully booked, there are still several other great options to stay in Hoi An. Flame Flowers Homestay is one of them. Expect a very warm welcome from the owners. They will feel like family from the moment you meet them.
Looking for a more luxurious experience right next to the beach? This little villa is within walking distance from the beach and is a perfect place to stay when you want to escape from the busy city life. Chill at the beach, relax at the pool and have a great night of sleep in a comfy bed.
The online activity platform Klook offers many tours in Hoi An at great prices. I used it now for a couple of times and had great experiences. And the prices are often even lower than when you book with a local travel agent!
And most important, by booking the activity in advance, you avoid the problem of fully booked tours.