Hoi An Ancient City :: Transport Guide

Get in

By plane:

The nearest airport is in Da Nang, which has frequent connections to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and some flights to Bangkok, Singapore and Siem Reap, Cambodia (for Angkor Wat). A taxi from the airport to Hoi An costs about US$15 thanks to the cartel, but only about half that in the other direction. This is one occasion where haggling to set a fixed price is cheaper than going by the meter. As of November 2009 one traveller reports paying around 250,000 VND while the meter read over 350,000 VND. Air-conditioned Minibus-Taxis cost 5 US$ per person. The ride takes about 45min. A word of caution about flying jetstar, they are frequently up to 8 hours late…many times arriving at Danang from saigon at 2 am. If you arrive late, you should arrange an airport transfer in advance if you don’t want the taxi haggling hassles.

By train:

There is no railway station in Hoi An. The nearest is in Da Nang, which receives several trains a day from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Nha Trang etc. Most travel agents and hotels can book a train ticket for you.

Da Nang Railway Station: 202 Hai Phong, Tan Chinh Ward, Thanh Khe District, TP Da Nang , Phone: (+ 84 511) 3750666. Check train schedule on www.hoian-tourism.com

By bus:

Open-tour buses run daily up and down the coast from Da Nang, Hue (4-5 hours) and Nha Trang (9-10 hours).

There is a public bus from Da Nang bus station to Hoi An bus station (15,000-20,000 dong for locals but foreigners may be refused boarding at this price, around one hour). It passes through downtown Da Nang as well. A xe om from Hoi An bus station to the old town should be around 10 or 15,000 dong.

There are no shortage of travel companies and private buses traveling to and from from Hoi An to destinations such as Hue, Hanoi, Saigon, Dalat and Nha Trang.

By motorbike or taxi:

It is easy to take a motorbike or taxi to and from Da Nang via the Marble Mountains (see below), from where you can catch a train onwards.

By boat:

Traditional ghe nang

Hoi An has a river system stretching hundreds of kilometers – this was the ancient transport network of the Cham Kingdom as they moved goods between the highlands and then through Hoi An and onto China.

Speedboats or traditional ghe nang sailing on the river or sea.

Get around

The centre of Hoi An is very small and pedestrianised, so you will be walking around most of the time. Motorbikes are only banned from the center of town during certain times of day, so keep an eye out for motorized kamikazes, even in the most narrow alleys. However, the city’s government does not allow motorbikes to enter the Old Town on the 14th and 15th of each lunar month. On those evenings, a lot of activities, including traditional games such as bai choi, trong quan, and dap nieu are held in all over the town.

To go to the beach or reach some of the more remote hotels, it is easy and cheap to hire a bicycle (ca. 10.000 VND per day March 2011). Taxis can be found in the middle of Le Loi Street, over the river on An Hoi or called by phone. When busy, taxis may refuse your fare back to your hotel from town if it is too close, opting for larger fares. Arranging a shuttle from your hotel may be a better option although prices can be higher.

Motorbike taxis, of course, are always an option. You can also charter boats for about US$1/hour.

Traffic in Hoi An is minimal, so if you’ve been avoiding getting on a bike in the big cities, small towns and the surrounding countryside like Hoi An are ideal to get used to the road rules.

Get a car to visit My Son early in the morning, about an hour away, or the Marble Mountains, about forty minutes north towards Da Nang.

The old Champa way was to travel by the river system. The rivers of Hoi An cover hundreds of kilometers and offer an interesting & adventurous alternative to travelling by road. Get on a boat and you’ll begin to see a whole lot more of Hoi An and the Delta.

By motorbike:

Rent a bike for US$3 per day (60,000 dong) for a semi-automatic or $5 (100,000 VND) for a fully automatic. The quiet streets are an ideal place to learn. After a few minutes fiddling with gears you’ll be ready to roll. When renting make sure you get a helmet. Take a short ride down to the beach and enjoy the water or travel toward Danang to visit the stunning Marble Mountains. It’s standard practice for the bike to have only enough gas to make it to the next gas station. In addition to gas stations, there are also little hand-operated roadside pumps everywhere; these can be convenient, but they’re more expensive and the quality of the gas is open to question. Gas costs around 22,000 dong/litre and one litre is enough for sightseeing to the beach and back and zipping around town.