I know, I know ANOTHER blog post about train travel. We thought we would put together a post about our experience getting from Hue to Hoi An via train/bus because when we were researching it was something that was lacking, especially the change in transport once you get off the train in De Nang. Many people opt for the ease of the plane journey from Hue to De Nang or even a long bus journey, but for us the train was kinder to our budget.
Overall our journey was pretty seamless from Hue. The first part of our journey was a 3 hour train journey through the dangerously beautiful Hai Van Pass to De Nang, and to be honest we couldn’t have asked for a better experience. The train arrived 10 minutes late, but when is anything on time in SE Asia? We found our coach and seats easily and were overjoyed that we had comfy seats that reclined, next to a window with room overhead for luggage AND trolleys of food and drinks coming up and down every hour. This was 2nd class and we were extremely interested to see what 1st class would have looked like.
The journey felt short and sweet which was probably helped by the stunning views. The route from Hue to Da Nang follows the costal route of the lusciously green Hai Van Pass which we couldn’t take our eyes off. Even the rain made it more mysterious and fascinating. There was a very enthusiastic local man who told us about the ‘pretty pictures’ coming up so we were prepared to take some pictures. We are so glad he warned us because we didn’t even know it was coming.
Once through Hai Van Pass Da Nang isn’t far away and the train conductors let us know when we needed to get off as the announcements were all in Vietnamese. There were a fair few travellers who were getting off at the same spot too.
When you get off the train from De Nang you have three options, you can either take a taxi, take the local bus or order a private car in advance. Just so you know, the prices a dramatically different. For a taxi or private car you are looking at between 200,000-300,000 VND. However, the local bus is only 30,000 VND.
The bus stop for the local bus -nicknamed the ‘yellow bus’ due to its colour- is located a short (10-15 mins) walk away from the train station. These are the directions that we took to get us there:
After walking out of the station, walk straight down the road directly in front of the station, Hoang How Tham, keeping to the left hand side. You will then reach the road Le Duan. You will need to turn left, but before you do cross over the road so that you are on the right hand side going up Le Duan. Keep walking up the road until you reach 155 Le Duan and this is where your bus stop will be!
You will see a yellow bus coming your way (every 20/30 mins) so wave it down and hop on. It only cost us 30,000 VND but we have heard that other people have previously been charged either 40,000 and or 50,000 VND because of a fictional ‘tourist tax’. The journey to Ha Noi is only about an hour and the seats are pretty comfy. The bus drops you off just outside of the center of Hoi An Town so keep that in mind as you can either take a taxi from the bus station or walk the 15 mins into town.
We hope this will help some of you with your travels and offer you a simple and cheap alternative to flying and long bus journeys.