The 940km journey from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An is best travelled by flight. This plane journey takes 3.5 hours and tickets already start from $29. Other options include taking the train (17 hours) and the bus (24 hours).
Flying from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An is the fastest option and is sometimes even cheaper than taking the train. Since Hoi An does not have an airport, you have to fly to Da Nang first. From here it is less than one hour to Hoi An city center.
When taking the train, you have to book a train from Ho Chi Minh to Da Nang. We do not recommend this option since travelling by traindoes not offer any advantage over flying. The journey takes roughly 17 hours by train and is even more expensive than booking a flight.
On a tight budget? The bus is the cheapest option. But it saves you very little money and we don’t think that’s worth losing a day travelling and risking your safety on a long bus journey.
Step 1: Ho Chi Minh City Center to Ho Chi Minh Airport by Bus
Duration: 1-1.5 hours Cost: 40,000 VND ($1.80)
Ho Chi Minh Airport is located 45 minutes from the city center. We recommend taking the shuttle bus (also called the airport bus) to the airport. Tickets only cost 40,000 VND ($1.80) and the buses offer a good level of comfort.
We do not recommend to travel this long distance by bus since it will be a really long and exhausting journey. Note that you will also need to buy 2 tickets as the journey will be split into 2, but with the same company.
If you still want to cover this distance by bus, we recommend to travel with The Sinh Tourist. Futa Bus also operates on this route but it often receives bad reviews.
The recommended bus of Sinh Tourist leaves from Ho Chi Minh at 7:00 and arrives in Nha Trang at 18:30. In Nha Trang, you have a 30-min stopover to buy food and stretch your legs after this long 11.5-hour bus journey.
The second bus leaves at 19:00 from Nha Trang. This journey takes another 11h 45min and arrives at 06:45 in the morning in Hoi An.
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.