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How to get from Phong Nha to Hoi An
When travelling the 340 km distance from Phong Nha to Hoi An, you have 3 choices: you can take the train (8 hours), the bus (8 hours), or a private transfer (6.5 hours). Fares range from $15 (360,000 VND) to $185 (4,380,000 VND).
A better option: take the bus from Phong Nha to Hue and then continue via motorbike to Hoi An.
3 ways to get from Phong Nha to Hoi An
|Train||8 hours||$17 (402,000 VND)||Check train tickets|
|Bus||8 hours||$15 (360,000 VND)||Check bus tickets|
|Private Transfer||6.5 hours||$185 (4,380,000 VND)||Book a private transfer|
To start with, we do NOT recommend travelling straight from Phong Nha to Hoi An. A better option is to split your journey into two by first travelling from Phong Nha to Hue. Stay here one night and then rent a motorbike to drive from Hue to Hoi An over the Hai Van Pass.
If you don’t want to ride a bike, we recommend taking the train. The train goes along the same route and offers almost the same views, so you will still catch a glimpse of the beautiful Hai Van Pass. Note that this is not a direct train, you will need extra transfers to get to and from the train stations.
An advantage of the bus is that they depart from the main street in Phong Nha and also drop you off close to the centre of Hoi An. The disadvantage is that buses take a different route through a tunnel so you will miss this route’s scenic highlight.
Do you prefer a private transfer? Rates start from $185 (4,380,000 VND) for a 3-seater car from Phong Nha to Hoi An. Larger vehicles are also available for larger groups.
Travelling the Hai Van Pass by motorbike
The Hai Van Pass is one of the highlights of central Vietnam and is often compared to the ‘Great Ocean Road’ in Australia. There are several companies offering motorbike rental with a pick-up in Hue and drop-off in Hoi An. This includes transport of your luggage with their own van to Hoi An.
Phong Nha to Hoi An by Train
Travelling by train from Phong Nha to Hoi An includes several transfers: a bus or taxi from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi, a train from Dong Hoi to Da Nang, and then a minivan or taxi from Da Nang to Hoi An.
Taking the train might involve some more steps, but at least you will still get a view of the famous Hai Van Pass. This is a 21km mountain pass overlooking the sea from Hue to Da Nang. The bus, on the other hand, goes through a tunnel so you won’t see any of it during your journey.
Although travelling the Hai Van Pass by motorbike will be the most exciting, the train ride between Dong Hoi and Da Nang (step 2) will still reward you with magnificent scenery.
Below we will explain which steps to take when travelling by train.
Step 1: Phong Nha to Dong Hoi Railway Station by Bus
From Phong Nha, you can get to Dong Hoi in two ways: via a 1.5-hour bus for $2.10 (50,000 VND) or via a 1-hour taxi with rates from $17 (400,000 VND).
If you’re on a budget, you can catch the bus from the main street in Phong Nha. Just allow some extra time so that you don’t miss your desired train. The bus drop-off point in Dong Hoi is a 15-minute walk or a short taxi ride for $1.70 (40,000 VND) to the railway station.
If you’re taking the 06:00 train from Dong Hoi, you’ll have to take a taxi to the train station because buses aren’t available yet at that time.
For bus schedules and more details, see our guide for Dong Hoi to Phong Nha.
Step 2: Dong Hoi to Da Nang by Train
From Dong Hoi station, there are 4 direct trains operating daily between Dong Hoi to Da Nang. We recommend taking one of the trains leaving in the morning so you can fully appreciate the beauty of Hai Van Pass.
Ticket prices start from $8 (197,000 VND) for a soft seat. Travel time is around 5.5 hours.
Train Schedule from Dong Hoi Railway Station to Da Nang Railway Station
|SE3||06:00-11:33||$8 (197,000 VND)|
Check Train Tickets
|SE1||08:11-13:36||$9 (216,000 VND)|
Check Train Tickets
Step 3: Da Nang Railway Station to Hoi An by Minivan
From Da Nang Railway Station, you can take a 1-hour minivan or taxi to Hoi An.
A minivan ticket costs around $6.50 (155,000 VND), and you can take a minivan as long as you arrive at the train station between 07:00 and 21:00. As for the taxi, fares start from $18.50 (440,000 VND).
Visit our page for Danang Railway Station to Hoi An for more info.
IMPORTANT: Cheap local buses used to operate from Da Nang to Hoi An. But the last time we checked (February 2023), these were no longer available. Some drivers try to take advantage of this situation by luring tourists to take overpriced taxis. This is why we recommend that you pre-book your minivan or taxi online through BookAway, which offers fixed rates and comfortable cars.
Phong Nha to Hoi An by Bus
The bus is a direct way to travel from Phong Nha to Hoi An, but isn’t as scenic as taking the train. Most buses take the Hai Van Tunnel, which means you’ll miss the amazing views from Hai Van Pass.
If you still want to take a bus from Phong Nha to Hoi An, you can choose from two companies: Grouptour and Queen Cafe.
Bus ticket prices start from $15 (360,000 VND) and the journey takes around 8 hours.
Departure and arrival station
Both Grouptour and Queen Cafe depart from the Central Backpackers Hostel along the main street in Phong Nha.
Grouptour parks at Hoi An Luxury SSB, while Queen Cafe arrives at its own headquarters in Hoi An. You can find both along Ton Duc Thang Street, some 1.5km north of the Old Town.
Bus schedules from Phong Nha to Hoi An
|Grouptour||04:00-12:00||$17 (400,000 VND)|
Check Bus Tickets
|Queen Cafe||04:30-12:30||$15 (360,000 VND)|
Check Bus Tickets
Hung Thanh is another direct bus operator for this route. However, we don’t recommend travelling with them because they get bad reviews. These include overloading, rude staff, and dirty buses. If you still want to travel with Hung Thanh, you can book a ticket through Phong Nha Locals.
Phong Nha to Hoi An by Private Transfer
You can also take a private transfer from Phong Nha to Hoi An. The advantage of this is that you can travel door-to-door. It is also the fastest option at 6.5 hours.
Of course, all these luxuries come with a price. Rates for a 3-seater private transfer from Phong Nha to Hoi An start from $185 (4,380,000 VND). You can also get an 8-seater minivan for $245 (5,840,000 VND).
We recommend booking your private ride through BookAway, which offers spacious cars that come with professional drivers.
Our favourite places to stay in Hoi An
HaLo HomeStay - Budget Friendly
HaLo Homestay is an incredible budget option. You won’t quite believe the standard of the rooms for the price you’re paying. They’re large, modern and very clean. The owners serve a delicious breakfast and will do everything they can to guarantee you a perfect stay. They even have free bikes for you to use. From the homestay you can reach the Old Quarter or beach within 5 minutes.
Double rooms from: $11
Flame Flowers Homestay - Mid Range
Expect a warm welcome when you arrive at Flame Flowers Homestay. The owners feel like family from the moment you meet them. Guests have been known to extend their stays here as they just can’t face leaving. The spacious rooms provide you with everything you need – a good nights sleep and ultimate comfort!
Double rooms from: $25
Vina Beach Pool Villas - Mid Range
Dreaming of a luxurious retreat right next to the beach? Vina Beach Pool Villas tick all the boxes. There’s a relaxing pool, lush gardens and it’s only steps away from the beach. And after a hard day of relaxing, their super comfortable beds offer the best nights sleep. On top of that, the owners can’t do enough to ensure you have an unforgettable stay.
Double rooms from: $40
Routes from Hoi An
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