Hoi An: How to get there?

Hoi An might not be so easily accessible like the other tourist attractions in Vietnam, yet getting to the town is itself a terrific journey, read on to find out why.

Hoi An offers more than its scenic streets and phenomenal weather. Its proximity to the greater city of Danang and further North to Hue makes Hoi An a perfect base for vacationers and business travelers alike. On its own, Hoi An is a walkable 60 sq km (23 sq miles) – a pedestrian and bike-friendly ancient town. Each of its neighborhoods offers an authentic mix of arts, shopping, dining, and entertainment.

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Hoi An – A World Heritage Site

If you are already in Vietnam, it is easy enough to travel overland to Hoi An (by car or train) but there are also good deals with low-cost airlines, such as Ryan Air (it flies both to Pisa and Bologna). Depending on whether you want to visit other destinations in Vietnam, you should also consider traveling by train as it is very convenient. Read the articles below for further details on the various ways to get to Hoi An and embark on your wonderful adventure to this beautiful ancient town!

1. Fly from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city to Danang

Flying to Danang is the popular option for many tourists who want to get to Hoi An. Photo: Pascal Renet.

Please note that Hoi An is not easily accessible to international travelers. This is because the nearest airport is the Da Nang International Airport (DAD). And it will operate very limited international flights, with exceptions to flights from Bangkok, Singapore, Siem Reap, Hong Kong and monthly charter flights from China. This seemingly-disadvantage actually prevents the town from being too crowded, making it an ideal destination to truly determined travelers.

Most visitors to Hoi An are required to hop on a plane from their home country to Hanoi or HCMC and then another to Danang. From here you can either choose to head to the town either by bus, by taxi or by motorbike. This route is recommended for anyone who would like to do a triple-destination trip to the central region of Vietnam which allows the chance to explore 3 exciting destinations of Hue, Danang and Hoi An.

Domestic air fees can be as low as $9 and as high as $85. It would be much cheaper if you make your booking 1-3 months prior to departure day, preferably during low seasons which fall somewhere from October to February. However, don’t bet on the last-minute fire sales of unsold seats. There will always be chances of all tickets being sold out very early during the months of the Lunar New Year and the summer holiday.

2. Take a train from Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh city to Danang

Traveling to Hoi An by train is safe and can allow for good sightseeing across the region. Photo: Flickr 

Similar to the flying option, there is no direct train connection to Hoi An. In order to get to Hoi An, travelers will take a train from the Hanoi Railway station (taking 16 hours) or from the Saigon Railway station (taking 18 hours) to the Danang station. 

Most train cabins come with air conditioner and comfy seats, allowing for a pleasant sightseeing experience. Trains will depart daily, but it’s best to book your seat in advance to get the best price. And of course, beware of the holiday seasons when the local people go back to their home town, thus train tickets are sold out very soon.

(To be continued)

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