When travelling the 700km distance from Ninh Binh to Hoi An, you have 3 options: you can take the train (15 hours), a flight (6 hours), or the bus (13.5 hours). Fares range between $17 and $30.50.
The closest railway station from Hoi An is Da Nang. We recommend taking the evening train from Ninh Binh which arrives in the morning in Da Nang. From Da Nang railway station, you can continue by public bus to Hoi An center.
It will be a long journey, but at least you can have a good sleep. And when you are not tired, you’ll finally have time to update your travel book or go through the pictures from your trip.
If you don’t want to travel for such a long time, then you can also book a flight from Hanoi to Da Nang. Ninh Binh does not have an airport, so you have to travel to Hanoi first. Although the costs can be as low as taking the train, travelling by flight will involve a lot of transfers.
The advantage of the bus is that it brings you directly from Ninh Binh to Hoi An. The disadvantage is that travelling by bus in Vietnam is less safe. It will also save you some money, but keep in mind that the sleeper trains offer much more comfort.
From Hanoi Airport, there are several flights leaving for Da Nang every day. Tickets start from 440,000 VND ($19).
The indicated price of 710,000 VND ($30.50) is an estimation of the costs including transport from and to the railway station and airport.
See here an example itinerary:
Ninh Binh Railway Station
Hanoi Railway Station
90,000 VND ($3.90)
Hanoi Railway Station
40,000 VND ($1.80)
Da Nang Airport
440,000 VND ($19)
Da Nang Airport
Hoi An center
140,000 VND ($6)
Including transit time, this option can take over 6 hours. For this reason, we recommend staying the night before in Hanoi. Or take the night train from Ninh Binh to Da Nang instead. In the end, the trains take almost the same time as flying when you exclude the night.
You can book a direct bus from Ninh Binh to Hoi An online for as low as 395,000 VND ($17). Another option is to book via a local agency in Tam Coc or Ninh Binh.
However, we do not recommend travelling by bus for this route since it is a long and exhausting journey. The train offers more comfort and is also much safer.
If you still want to travel by bus, you can see their schedules below. Note that Hey Travel departs from Ninh Binh city center while The Long Travel departs from Tam Coc. They both arrive at Hoi An city center.
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.