How To Get From Phong Nha to Hue?
Hue in central Vietnam is a treat for history buffs. Explore the Imperial City, cruise down Perfume River, or sample an Imperial Banquet. As the former national capital and seat of the Nguyen Dynasty, Hue is the best place to get to know Vietnam’s last imperial family.
The best way to travel the 215km distance from Phong Nha to Hue is via bus. This bus journey takes 3 hours and costs $6.50. You can also travel by train but this takes 4.5 hours and tickets start from $8.
Taking the bus from Phong Nha to Hue is far easier than taking the train. If you take a direct bus, you can reach Hue in as fast as 3 hours and tickets are easily available online.
An extra plus is that there is a bus that makes a stop at the Vinh Moc Tunnels and Ben Hai River. Visiting the Vinh Moc tunnels is a very interesting experience that we definitely recommend. Unfortunately, you cannot book DMZ bus tickets online.
Phong Nha doesn’t have its own railway station. The closest railway station is in Dong Hoi, which is 1-1.5 hours away. Also, keep in mind that Hue railway station is not in the center. For this reason, we recommend to travel this distance by bus instead.
|Bus||4.5 hours||150,000 VND ($6.50)||Check bus tickets|
|Train||4.5 hours||180,000 VND ($8)||Check train tickets|
View itinerary from Phong Nha to Hue
- Phong Nha
- 3 hours
- Phong Nha
- 1 hour
- Dong Hoi Railway Station
- 3 hours
Phong Nha to Hue by Bus
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 150,000 VND ($6.50)
There are several direct buses from Phong Nha to Hue. But we recommend booking with the DMZ bus, which stops at the Vinh Moc Tunnels and Ben Hai River.
See here an overview of the options:
|DMZ (with stop)||06:00-13:00||7h||500,000 VND ($22)|
|Queen Cafe||04:30-07:30||3h||150,000 VND ($6.50)|
|Hey Travel||04:00-07:00||3h||170,000 VND ($7.50)|
|Hung Thanh||04:00-08:00||4h||150,000 VND ($6.50)|
|15:00-20:00||5h||250,000 VND ($11)|
Departure from main street in Phong Nha at 6:00 and arrives in Hue around 13:00. This bus stops at the Vinh Moc Tunnel and Ben Hai River. Cost already includes entrance fees and a local guide.
You can book this DMZ bus by sending an email to email@example.com.
Departs 04:30 from Central Backpackers Hostel in Phong Nha and arrives 07:30 at Queen Cafe Bus Stop in Hue.
Departs 04:00 from Nam Anh Hotel in Phong Nha and arrives 07:00 at 15 Duong Van An in Hue.
Departs 04:00 from the main street in Phong Nha, in front of Thanh Phat Hotel. Arrives at 8:00 in Hue.
Tan Nhat bus
Departure from Visitors Center in Phong Nha at 15:00 and arrives at 20:00 in Hue. Their schedule is not always consistent.
Phong Nha to Hue by Train
Duration: 4.5 hours
Cost: 180,000 VND ($8)
Dong Hoi train station is 40km south of Phong Nha and takes 1.5 hours by bus or taxi from Phong Nha.
The railway station in Hue is a 10-min taxi ride or 30-min walk to the Hue city center.
Step 1: Phong Nha to Dong Hoi Railway Station by Bus
Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Cost: 60,000 VND ($2.60)
From Phong Nha, you can catch a local bus for 60,000 VND ($2.60) from the main street to Dong Hoi. The drop-off point in Dong Hoi is a 15-minute walk or a short taxi ride for 25,000 VND ($1.10) to Dong Hoi railway station.
You can also arrange a taxi for about 500,000 VND ($22) from Phong Nha straight to Dong Hoi railway station.
See from Dong Hoi to Phong Nha for the bus schedule and more details.
Step 2: Dong Hoi to Hue by Train
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 120,000 VND ($5.50)
We recommend to take train SE7, which leaves at 16:23 in Dong Hoi and arrives at 19:51 in Hue. With this option, you can still use the local bus to reach Dong Hoi railway station.
Another great advantage of this departure time in the afternoon is that you can still visit the Phong Nha cave in the morning.
See the suggested options below:
|SE1||07:57-10:47||2h 50m||120,000 VND ($5.50)|
|SE7||16:23-19:51||3h 28m||120,000 VND ($5.50)|
|SE5||19:30-22:23||2h 53m||120,000 VND ($5.50)|
My favourite places to stay in Hue
Hong Thien Ruby Hotel offers great value if you don't want to spent too much on an accommodation. Excellent breakfast, good location and friendly staff. What do you need more? Single beds incl. breakfast from $16 and double rooms from $24.
Another hotel that offers great value for money is Hotel La Perle. This eco-friendly hotel is located in the same area and also offers an outstanding breakfast plus fresh fruit all day long! Double rooms start from $24.
Want to treat yourself? The experience you get a Cherish Hue Hotel would cost you over $100 in a Western country, but here it won't cost you more than $42! The staff is super professional and a breakfast buffet like this is hard to find anywhere else! The hotel also has a spa where you get a 30% discount as a guest and you can get a massage or other treatment for very reasonable prices.
Things to do in Hue
The online activity platform Klook offers many tours in Hue 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.