After a few too many bumpy bus rides we decided to mix it up and take the train from Hue to Hoi An.
Hoi An doesn’t have a train station, so we had to take the train from Hue to Da Nang, then jump on a local bus from Da Nang to Hoi An.
We chose the train specifically for its scenic route. Hugging the ocean as it makes it way over the Hai Van Pass.
Boarding The Train
The train station was only a 20 minute walk from our accommodation in Hue. So the day prior to our journey we went to the station and got ourself some tickets.
The tickets cost us 70,000 VND per person, this included ‘soft seats’ in an air-conditioned carriage.
Our train was scheduled to leave Hue station at 9.30am and we were advised to be at the station 30 minutes before hand. After waking up and rushing around we arrived at the station at 9am, we gathered our snacks for the journey and sat down to wait.
The train was late. Over an hour late. We boarded the train, found our seats, and settled in for the journey.
The seats were surprisingly comfortable. The air-con was great. And the ride was a million times better than taking the bus!
Over The Hai Van Pass
About an hour into the journey we started to ascend, up, over and around the mountains.
The Hai Van Pass also known as ‘Ocean Cloud Pass’ is rated as one the most beautiful ocean view, mountain top roads in the world.
The views were stunning!
Probably the most scenic train ride I have ever taken. Passing small villages and remote isolated beaches we hugged the coastline the whole way to Da Nang.
The train took roughly 3 and a half hours, but it felt like we were on that train for no time at all.
This train journey is really a must do!
It beats the bus that’s for sure!
Arriving in Da Nang
We arrived into Da Nang and went in search of our little yellow number 1 bus to take us to Hoi An.
As with every and any form of transport in Asia upon arrival you are instantly dropped off into an army of eagerly awaiting taxi drivers.
These taxi drivers tried telling us that the bus to Hoi An doesn’t run anymore.
It is still running, always has and always will. Just walk straight past them and out of the train station.
The stop to catch the number 1 bus isn’t far at all. Turn left as you leave the station, follow the road till it turns left again, and you’ll be at one. They’re well sign posted and easy to spot.
We waited at our stop for about 10 minutes till the bus was in view. Wave your arms like a mad man to signal the driver as he gets closer and he’ll stop.
The busses are hard to miss, they’re bright yellow and have ‘Hoi An’ written all over them. There’s no set schedule but they run roughly every 20 minutes.
The ride to Hoi An takes just under an hour. We saw online before we took this trip that it should cost 25,000 VND. The conductor on our bus asked for 30,000 VND. Usually we’re ones to make sure we’re getting the right price, but for 5,000 VND (16p) we took it on the chin and payed our ‘tourist tax’.
The bus drove through Da Nang beeping at tourists, picking up as many people as possible before hitting the open road.
We were dropped off at the bus station only a km or so outside Hoi An.
Just a short walk from the Old Town.
So There You Have It, Hue to Hoi An
For 100,000 VND (£3.13) per person you can’t really beat it.
The trip was stress free and as scenic as they get!
We highly recommend taking the train over busses in Vietnam. They’re a lot more comfortable and just generally nicer.
If you can try to pay at the train station. Looking online the prices seem higher than what you’d you pay in person. Just note they do book up fast, so if you can do this in advance that’s a big plus!
We have to go back over the Hai Van Pass in a few weeks as we carry on up north.
I think next time we’ll take some motorbikes!
Have you had ridden the pass on a bike? If so we’d love to hear about it in the comments as we plan our own trip soon!