best things to do in Hoi An, Vietnam, yellow wall, blue window and a girl standing

How To Get From Da Nang To Hoi An & How To Spend 3 Days In Hoi An

If you are wondering how to get from Da Nang to Hoi An, then you are in the right place.

Every traveler who comes to Vietnam has the goal to visit Hoi An. Hoi An is without any doubt, one of Vietnam’s most beautiful cities.

Hoi An has an amazing atmosphere, a historic old town that is home to Japanese merchant houses, Chinese temples, a lovely coastline, cute cafes, and restaurants. And how could we forget iconic streets with lampions hanging in the air?

In this article, we will explain how you can quickly get from Da Nang to Hoi An. Furthermore, we outline what to do if you have only 3 days in Hoi An. We will show you all the best things you can do Hoi An, so be ready for some of the most unforgettable times in Vietnam.

Chinese red temple, with girl sitting on the steps with Vietnamese lady in Hoi An, Vietnam
Welcome to Hoi An

ABOUT HOI AN

Once a very important port in Vietnam, Hoi An is today probably the most beautiful town in Vietnam and maybe in the whole region. It has no doubt a charming vibe and to some extent reconciled us with Vietnam.

Now you wonder, why we mentioned reconciled?

Cities in Vietnam are very chaotic, crowded with bustling streets, motorcycles and endless street noise. That’s why strolling around Hoi An is like a dream, and we finally felt like a town with a street that you can walk on without being worried that you will be run over.

two Vietnamese women walking on the street in Hoi An and one women is riding a bicycle.
Just another day in Hoi An

HOW TO GET FROM DA NANG TO HOI AN (AND REVERSE)

If you are traveling around Vietnam and plan to visit Hoi An, you probably need to do it via Da Nang as most long-distance buses crossing Vietnam won’t stop in Hoi An.

An exception is so-called open-tour busses that connect Hoi An to other popular stops such as Hue (direction Hanoi; 4 hours) and Nha Trang (direction Ho Chi Minh City; 18 hours). Check the Sinh Tourist bus company for tickets to either place.

The same holds true for flights and trains. Da Nang is not just the gateway to Hoi An, but also a great stop itself with several awesome places to see.

The connection from Da Nang to Hoi An is quite good due it’s proximity and the fact that Hoi An is so popular:

By car

Although, the best way how to get from Da Nang to Hoi An ( and vice versa) is to organize a transfer via your accommodation before your arrival to arrange it. This should cost around 250.000 Dong one way. This will be cheaper than just hopping into any taxi which could set you back something between 300.000-500.000 Dong. We refrained from such expensive services but heard that Mai Linh or Vinasun taxis are the most trustworthy ones.

By Grab

During our visit in late 2017, the ride-hailing app Grab was working in Da Nang and Hoi An but drivers were scared, and therefore not a reliable option (yet) to catch a flight, train or bus at a certain time. But perfect to get to the beach and back. Now that is probably different and your best shot at transferring from Da Nang to Hoi An safely, sanely and cheaply.

READ MORE: Why you need to use Grab app when traveling in Southeast Asia.

By bus

Local buses from Da Nang (at Le Hong Thuong Street) to Hoi An (at Truong Chin Street) take around 1 hour, should cost 30.000 Dong (with lugagge) and go every half hour. Be aware that bus drivers like to rip off international travelers in the local busses.

An alternative bus operator is Go Travel that operates shuttle busses from town several times a day that cost 80.000 Dong, dropping travelers off at the train station and the airport.

TIP: The bus system in Vietnam is quite good and we usually took buses for all types of distances during our full month cross country trip in Vietnam.

a Vietnamese woman with a bamboo hat carrying a two baskets in Hoi An, perfect trip from Da Nang.
Grocery shopping

HOW TO GET FROM HO CHI MIN TO HOI AN

Since Hoi An doesn’t have its own airport, long-distance bus stop or train station and you will always end up in Da Nang. There are many options on how to get from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) to Hoi An:

  • By Plane: 1h15min
  • With Train: 17-22 hours
  • By Bus: 19-25 hours
  • By Motorbike/Car: 18 hours

HOW TO GET FROM HANOI TO HOI AN?

  • By Plane: 1h10min
  • With Train: 18 hours
  • By Bus: 16-19 hours
  • By Motorbike/Car: 20 hours

OTHER DESTINATIONS

We flew in from Nah Trang due to time constraints. But if you would like to have views on Vietnamese iconic landscapes or travel as the locals do, then make sure to take a train at some point in Vietnam. Subsequently, we decided to take a train from Da Nang to Hue, which is further north, as we heard that the views along the train route are breathtaking. We sat on the wrong side but it was still worthwhile.

Hue

  • By bus: 3 hours
  • By car/motorbike: 2.5 – 4 hours
  • With train: 2.5 – 4 hours

Nha Trang

  • By plane: 30 minutes
  • By bus: 10 – 13 hours
  • With train: 9-12 hours
  • By car/motorbike: 13 hours

HOW TO SPEND 3 DAYS IN HOI AN

So you already figured out how to get from Da Nang to Hoi An, now it is time for you to explore this beautiful town. If you are not sure how to spend 3 days in Hoi An, you do not have to worry. In the following section, we will mention all the best things you can do and see in Hoi An.

woman standing in fron of the orange wall full of colourful lanterns in Hoi An.
Can it even get more iconic then that?

Most of the travelers spend around three days in Hoi An, and we have to say that this is a good time frame to see most.

Of course, you can spend even more days in Hoi An as there are so many day trips that you can do:

  • Wander around UNESCO Heritage old town
  • Have a new dress or suit custom made
  • Wander around Hoi An after Sundown
  • Learn how to navigate a bamboo boat
  • Chill at the Hoi An Beach
  • Discover My Son on a day tour
  • Visit Da Nang

DAY 1 IN HOI AN

HISTORIC OLD TOWN OF HOI AN

One of the best things to do in Hoi An is to explore the historical old town. If you already visited Ho Chi Min (Saigon) or Hanoi you know that the traffic situation is terrible there respectively.

And that is why you will love Hoi An. The best thing about Hoi An is that there is an actual city center and we were dying to see it. Coming from Europe we missed “our” traditional city centers and squares so that was definitely something very refreshing for us after a long time in Southeast Asia.

Walking around the historical old town of Hoi An is like being in a museum. This is very understandable as the old town of Hoi An was pronounced a Unesco World Heritage site in 1999.

a blue walls with colourful Chinese lanterns and Chinese signs and a bicycle with a Vietnamese hat.

THE ENTRANCE TICKET TO OLD TOWN OF HOI AN

If you would like to enter the historical old town of Hoi An you need to purchase a ticket.

The entrance ticket costs around 120.000 Dongs and you can visit five heritage sites that include Chinese Assembly halls, temples and pagodas, and several museums. Every time you visit one site, you will get a stamp.

Before you enter the historical old town you will be checked and asked to show your ticket, so make sure you have it on you. There are several booths at the entry points to the old town that sell the tickets.

If you would like to just walk around Hoi An old town without entering any temples and pagodas you probably can skip the ticket. However, officially you need a ticket even for that. Also, why skip those chances if you are already here?

YOUR ENTRANCE TICKETS IS VALID FOR 10 DAYS.

woman with a Vietnamese hat walking on the street of Hoi An, green plants and orange wall, awesome trip from Da Nang

JAPANESE COVERED BRIDGE

The first stop on your journey through the fantastic old town of Hoi An probably will be the Japanese Covered Bridge. This bridge was built in 1590 by the Japanese to link them with the Chinese quarters. You can go in and check out some of the old photographs and read about history.

an old covered bridge in Hoi An Vietnam
Japanese Covered Bridge

There is a small room and from the window, you will have a view out on the water. The Japanese Bridge is definitely one of the most iconic sites in Hoi An, and make sure to also come here at night.

ASSEMBLY HALL OF THE FUJIAN CHINESE CONGREGATION

This building was at first an assembly hall but in the 17th century, there were six families that fled to Hoi An from China. And after some time this hall was transformed into a temple to worship of Thein Hau. Thein Hau is a famous figure and you might hear a story of how she rescued a ship during a storm.

OPENING TIMES: 7 AM- 5.30 PM

QUAN CONG PAGODA TEMPLE

Another beautiful site that you need to visit during your three days in Hoi An (included in your Hoi An pass) is the Quan Cong Pagoda Temple. We were surprised how quiet it is here. It is definitely a big change comparing to the busy streets of Hoi An. Start your tour in the inner courtyard where you can admire the extravagant Confucian temple.

red Chinese temple with green plants, red lanterns and black vase praying statue.

TAKE PHOTOS WITH COLORFUL WALLS

If you already read some other blog posts from me, you know that I love colorful walls. I am pretty much obsessed with looking for unique walls, colorful houses painted in pastel colors.

Same as in colorful Cartagena, or Guatape (Colombia), Hoi An has many beautiful spots that are perfect for taking photos and brightening your Instagram feed. Or just to have pretty photos 🙂

a woman standing in front of the yellow wall with yellow lanterns and blue window in Hoi An, perfect trip from Da Nang.

GET A TAILORED DRESS OR A SUIT

Vietnam, in particular, is famous for tailor shops and many travelers have their dress or suits custom made. These items are definitely affordable and a unique souvenir to bring home from your trip. Additionally, most likely you are the only one who has exactly that piece and no one else.

HOI AN MARKET

If you would like to see how locals are getting their products, including veggies, fruits, herbs, and meat, then come to Hoi An Market. It is usually very busy and if you are not used to, you might experience some culture shock here. If we are honest with you, after 2 weeks in Vietnam we were looking for more quiet places.

colourful lanterns at night in Hoi An old town
Colourful lanterns at night in Hoi An old town

However, during your 3 days in Hoi An make sure to visit the Hoi An market at night. Hoi An is very famous for its iconic lanterns. And exactly after the sundown, you will see them everywhere twinkling at night.

EXTRA TIP: The night market opens around 5 PM and last about 10 PM

EASY DAY TRIPS FROM HOI AN

DAY 2 IN HOI AN

Despite that the historical part of Hoi An will keep you busy for days, that’s not all that this marvelous town has to offer. There many excellent activities that you can do from Hoi An. Here are some ideas for several day trips from Hoi An.

HOI AN BEACH

Can you imagine that Hoi An has access to some of the best beaches in Vietnam? We didn’t know either. It was so refreshing after 3 days of wandering around Hoi An to relax on the beach. An Bang Beach is a 4km stretch of sand, and here you can also rent a beach chair and look for a nice bar to enjoy a cocktail.

And yes, bring your swimwear with you because Hoi An beach is not crappy at all.

We wrote a full guide on how to easily visit Hoi An Beach, so have a look before you go.

Beaches in Vietnam don’t suck. If you are looking for a great tip on the best island in Vietnam then check out the Con Dao islands. We wrote a comprehensive guide on how to easily get to Con Dao islands.

CHAM ISLANDS

If you have more days to spare definitely check out Cham Islands that you can reach from Hoi An. The main island Hon Lao is where you can go for a snorkeling trip. However, check out Bai Lang or Bai Huong for an ultimate peaceful paradise.

We, unfortunately, we had not time to go there, but if we ever come back to Hoi An, we will definitely go.

EXTRA TIP: You can only visit during March to September as in these months the weather is calm and so the waves.

COOKING CLASS AND BOAT TOUR

If you are looking for another awesome day trip from Hoi An, then you need check some great cooking classes that you can combine with a boat tour.

If you are a fan of Vietnamese cuisine, here you can learn about how locals are preparing their meals using freshly grown herbs and veggies.

With this tour, you will learn how to navigate the impossible bamboo boat on Thu Bon River, which is very typical for Vietnam. We have seen these boats in Mui Ne, and if you are heading there, then make sure to check our guide.

blue boats on the beach with two Vietnamese locals and one boy playing in the sand

Learn HOW TO MAKE TRADITIONAL PHO in this cooking Class

For Vegetarians, make sure to check 6-Hour Vegetarian Cooking Class Tour

DAY 3: DAY TOUR TO MY SON

Once you are in Hoi An, you need to visit another World Heritage Site called My Son. My Son is located 55 km from Hoi An in the valley of Hon Quap. My Son sanctuary is a Buddhist sacred place similar to Angor Wat (Cambodia) or Ayuthaya (near Bangkok).

Although there are mostly ruins you will see some remains of an ancient the Kingdom of Champa city. There in total around 70 temples and My Son is an eternal rest of Kings and princesses of the Cham civilization.

Our hotel Thanh Van 1 Hotel in Hoi An organized a day trip to My Son, for us which was very convenient as we were picked and dropped at the hotel. We also had a guide and lunch included in the tour. If you would like to get there on your won you can rent a motorbike.

Hoi An to My Son Half-Day Cycling Tour

ENTRANCE FEE: 100 000D

woman in a blue dress walking from the orange glowing building in My Son, near Hoi An

DAY TRIP TO DA NANG

If you haven’t been yet, you need to visit Da Nang. Da Nang is located only 30 km away from Hoi An and the fastest growing city in Vietnam (not sure if that’s a good things).

You can definitely spend a day, but if you have more time in Vietnam, then we would recommend coming here for 1 or 2 nights. There are many things which you can do, such as checking out nearby waterfalls, Marble Mountains, wandering around the city and much more.

GETTING AROUND HOI AN

The best way how to get around Hoi An is to walk, which we enjoyed very much. It is not very common that you can freely walk around a town in Vietnam. But still, you need to make sure to watch out for occasional scooters. However, the old town has many pedestrian streets. You can also rent a bike and bike around town and go to nearby sites, like Hoi An Beach or some rice fields.

EXTRA TIP: There are many hotels in Hoi An, that also offer free bikes, so make sure to check it out and take advantage of that possibility.

black bicycle standing in front of the white wall with orange bricks and yellow bag in the basket in Hoi An, perfect trip from Da Nang
The only transport that you need in Hoi An

BEST TIME TO VISIT HOI AN

The best time to visit Hoi An is from February to June, especially if you want to avoid hot temperatures and still have enough sunshine per day. If you would like to hit the beach, then definitely come in June or July, as the temperatures are higher and there is not much rain.

Hoi An has two seasons, dry and wet season. We would definitely suggest avoiding October from November as these months get the most of rainfalls. And there are days where the streets are literally underwater and you can swim there. No joke!

The coldest months with temperatures from 19 till 24 are in the months from November till January.

We recommend avoiding any public holidays as it will be very likely crowded.

BEST RESTAURANTS IN HOI AN

Hoi An is such an amazing town and has many opportunities for culinary experiences. Coco box was our absolutely favorite bar and we spent here quite some time. They have tasty smoothies and most importantly incredibly good coffee. Their ingredients such as veggies and fruits come from a nearby farm.

coco box restaurant in Hoi An, with bamboo chairs and a view on fruits.

If you would like to have a great view on the Tu Bon river then make sure to come to Hong Phuc. We had great pizzas there and this beautiful view.

woman sitting at the table and looking out, three lanterns hanging in the air in Hoi An, perfect trip from Da Nang

ADDRESS: Hong Phuc: 2, Nguyễn Thái Học, 98 Bạch Đằng

WHERE TO STAY IN HOI AN

The best area to stay in Hoi An is definitely as close as possible to the old town. We stayed in Thanh Van 1 Hotel and we totally loved it. We had a very tasty breakfast and the staff helped us with getting our train tickets from Da Nang to Hue. Of course, there are more hotels in Hoi An, so have a look here what you like and fits your budget.

CHECK ALL THE HOTELS IN HOI AN

We hope that we helped you with figuring out how to get from Da Nang to Hoi An and that you will enjoy this magical Vietnamese town.

If you are planning to visit, then make sure to pin our guide on HOW TO SPEND 3 DAYS IN HOI AN to read it later

DISCLAIMERPlease note, that some of the links mentioned above are affiliate links and we will earn a little percentage of the sale if you purchase through our links at no extra cost to you. This helps us to keep our website running. We highly appreciate your support.

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About the author
Since I was little I always wanted to see the world. Travel to new places, get to know new cultures, see how other people live. I love beaches and I love discovering tropical destinations. That is why, together with my partner Nico, we created this blog to share with you the most beautiful beaches and stunning holiday destinations which we visited during our travels.

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