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How to get from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, by bus, train, car, or air. The best ways to travel to Ho Chi Minh from Hoi An.
Ho Chi Minh is about 930Km south of Hoi An by road and is the largest city in Vietnam. The fastest way to get from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh City is of course, a direct flight between the two isn’t possible, Hoi An has no airport. You’d need to travel to Da Nang, the closest airport and train station to Hoi An. The flight time from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh is about 1.5 hours. There are cheaper and arguably nicer and more eco-friendly ways to make the journey south to Ho Chi Minh.
Unfortunately flying to Ho Chi Minh isn’t direct, neither is the train, both journeys have to start in Danang. You can, however, book a bus/train/taxi combination to get you directly from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh. We’ll tell you how. We’ll also tell you where to stay in Ho Chi Minh on arrival.
To quickly compare transport options between Hoi An, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh, and book them, go to this site. But scroll down and watch our video on Vietnamese transport options before you book!
Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh was the old capital of South Vietnam during the American war. Back then it was called Saigon and the center of the city is still referred to as Saigon.
Hoi An is a small UNESCO listed city located along a river just south of the DMZ and Da Nang, Vietnam’s third-largest city. Few people visit Vietnam without visiting Hoi An and getting from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An can be done in a variety of ways. Some ways are better than others.
I made a short video on your options on this route a bit further down the page and in this post we look at the best ways of getting from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh, by air, rail or road.
Please check and double-check all information for yourself, this post is intended as a guide based on personal experience and opinion and these routes, prices, and options could potentially change.
Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh by Shuttle/Private Car
This is an expensive, luxury way to travel from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh, but it is possible. You can book a car, van (minivan or minibus), or taxi for a private trip from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh
Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh Video
Take a look at our video above, it shows you what the sleeper trains, buses, and road options are actually like on the Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh route, including how to get from Hoi An to Da Nang. This will be necessary if you choose to travel to Ho Chi Minh by train or fly.
There are three main options to take getting from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh. Bus, plane or train. They all have their good and bad points and with the journey distance of over 800+km you want to pick the right one for your needs.
The plane and train both depart from Da Nang which is 30 km north of Hoi An. Buses will go to direct to Ho Chi Minh from Hoi An saving you the trouble of catching a taxi or another bus journey into Da Nang.
Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh by Air
Flying is the quickest way to get between the two cities but Hoi An does not have its own airport. You’ll need to fly from nearby Danang airport to Ho Chi Minh.
Both airports are very close to the centres of their respective cities so you won’t be losing too much time getting to airports.
Use our Skyscanner tips to find the cheapest flight. Flights between DaNang DAD (Hoi An) and Ho Chi Minh SGN (Saigon) are available on VietJet,VieTravel Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, Bamboo Airways and Air Asia, the flight time is 1 hour 25 to 1 hour 49 minutes. For best prices and times check Skyscanner or 12GoAsia here. Prices at time of writing were around $80 Au, $50-60 US or 1,800 VND.
Da Nang (DAD) is an international airport so it benefits from great connections across numerous airlines. The two big ones being Vietnam airlines which is one of my favourites, and Air Asia.
If you are booking a long way in advance you can get some really cheap deals. Flights may even be cheaper than the train. Vietnam Airlines has special deals for under $30 USD if you’re not looking at the last minute.
The train is usually about half the price of a flight from Hoi An (Danang) to Ho Chi Minh, but prices do fluctuate. You can look at prices and options on this journey here.
From Hoi An to Da Nang Airport
The journey from Hoi An to Da Nang airport is about 30-40 minutes in a taxi or Grab car. The cost is approximately 400,000 to 500,000 Vnd depending on where in Hoi An you are staying.
You can book a private transfer in advance, from the airport to Hoi An, here. This site is also a very good place to book all of your Hoi An activities and tours, at a guaranteed price, with no haggling and hassle.
You can also take the public bus from Hoi An bus terminal (just outside the Old Town) to Da Nang. This is the cheapest way to travel for solo travellers, but for a group or family, a Grab car or taxi will be affordable.
UPDATE: The yellow bus (public bus) was not running between DaNang and Hoi An (latest update April 2023), you will need to book a transfer or car. We have checked this.
Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh by Train
The railway network is my favourite method of travelling in Vietnam and it doesn’t disappoint. The train station in Saigon is close to District 1 where most people will stay. A short taxi or Grab ride that will only cost a few dollars gets you to the train station in Da Nang.
The train (Reunification Express) will take you from Danang to Saigon train station.
The journey is approximately 17 hours and there are numerous trains that run either during the day or overnight.
Vietnam Railways is run by the Vietnamese government and they do a good job of running the trains. The company I use to buy our tickets online is 12goasia.
Booking this way allows you to pay for and print your tickets before you leave home.
There are 4 classes on the trains, hard seat, soft seat, hard berth, and soft berth. The hard seats are wooden benches and not recommended for a journey of this length.
The soft seats are good but not private in any way. The hard berths have 6 bunks, 3 each side.
The soft berth has 4 bunks in one room and is perfect for a family of 4 like ours. All have a/c except the hard seat carriages.
We found the washroom facilities on the sleeper train between Da Nang and Saigon to be good and clean, others have complained about blockages and poor housekeeping.
The price for a soft berth was between $65 USD and $70 last time we travelled, depending on which train you catch. Book train tickets and compare prices here on 12GoAsia. (link opens in a new tab)
All prices are quoted in USD but if you buy directly in Vietnam they will charge you in Dong, the Vietnamese currency. Online the price and charge will be USD.
The difference between hard and soft berth is only a few dollars and even between the soft seat and soft berth no more than $10. For the price, I’d recommend the soft berth so you have some privacy and electrical sockets and a/c while you travel.
There is a private company that offers luxury carriages that are attached to the normal trains. These need to be booked separately and are only on certain trains. At the time of writing they only go from DaNang heading north to Hanoi or from Ho Chi Minh as far north as Nha Trang The cost for this service isn’t cheap but from all accounts is worth it if you have some spare money floating around. Time-wise it is connected to the Vietnamese rail trains so it will get you there at the same time as a normal train. Trains and service change constantly, please check current information for yourself.
Getting From Hoi An to Danang Train Station
You can catch a local bus, taxi, private transfer, Uber or Grab, the distance is approximately 25 Km. We have a full post on how to get from Danang to Hoi An here. Book you private transfer vehicle here, shared minibuses are cheaper and you can also book these (and all Hoi An tours) on this site.
Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh by Bus
Anyone that has caught buses in Vietnam will have their fair share of stories to tell. While not so fast or aggressive in their driving as in neighbouring countries, buses in Vietnam rely on the horn and the road rules are more of a guide than a fixed law. The bus from Hoi Anto Ho Chi Minh is the only direct route, skipping Danang.
The buses can be amazing if you get the right one. Semi-flatbed luxury with two decks isn’t uncommon. Unfortunately, there are also some pretty ordinary buses so it pays to shop around and actually see what bus you are buying your ticket for.
A lot of the travel agents in Vietnam sell tickets from north to south or vice versa but people have complained of the buses getting worse the further you go due to the swapping of tickets and companies. We did it this way 20 years ago but I’d recommend only booking as far as each stop today. You won’t save much more with a whole-way ticket and it gives you options when buying each ticket.
Buses depart Hoi An very close to the Old Town, near the White Rose restaurant. This street does flood, so they may depart elsewhere. Buses may not run on Tet, and prior to the TET holiday, they will be very full.
Pham Ngu Lao, in district 1 Saigon is where most of the tourist buses will leave from and arrive to. This is also where most of the tourist accommodation is located. Countless agencies will be able to sell you tickets and it will normally be cheaper going to these than buying from your hotel.
Departures run throughout the day including through the night and the vast majority of buses will head to Hanoi as the final destination. Make sure that your bus is going to Hoi An and not Da Nang. Even if they say it will stop there it’s not uncommon for people to be dropped off at the intersection with the A1 and have to make their own way into town. Make sure the sign on both the ticket and bus state Hoi An.
Most buses will drop you within walking distance of Hoi An Old Town but won’t go across to Cam An or An Bang beach. It’s a short taxi ride to cover the 5 km to the beach.
Tickets normally cost about $40 USD for the tourist bus from Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An. A local bus would be cheaper but I’d not recommend doing over 800 km on one.
Best Way from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh
I’ve always loved train travel and here in Vietnam, it doesn’t disappoint. The soft berth cabin was great for our family of four including a triathlon bike which I could fit under the bottom bed. The A/C kept the heat down and I love waking up to a new destination rolling by the window. With food available to buy onboard or the option to bring drinks and food with you, you’ll never go hungry. For me, this is the only way to travel long distances in Vietnam.
Younger travellers may prefer to save the $20 and get the bus but remember that Vietnamese are rarely 6 foot plus and broad in the shoulder. That combined with the constant weaving and horn blowing and it’s easy to see why you won’t arrive refreshed. We have a friend who takes valium to get her through these journeys ( not recommended by us).
If you’re time poor then take the plane but with all the hassle of checking in and fluid limits bags etc I won’t rush to fly when the distance isn’t big and other options are available. Cost-wise it rarely works out cheaper than the train which being overnight isn’t going to eat into too much time. If you want to know how to get further north to Hue from either Danang or Hoi An, have a read of my post on doing that here.
Arrival in Ho Chi Minh from Hoi An
Ho Chi Minh’s Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport (IATA code SGN) is the busiest airport in Vietnam and is located roughly 4 miles, 6 km south of the city centre (District 1). You can take a taxi or bus into the city from the airport. There is a Metro link that should be open soon.
The train station in Ho Chi Minh is located in District 3 of Ho Chi Ming City. You can walk to district 3 from District 1, or catch a taxi which should only cost you a few dollars.
Where to Stay in Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh has accommodation options at all price points, from hostels to guest houses, homestays, resorts, and luxury all-inclusive hotels. We recommend you book in advance and know where you’d like to stay.
We recommend you stay in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh for convenience, to be near the nigh walking street (night market) and to have plenty of affordable food options nearby. This is the backpacker or traveller area of Ho Chi Minh. The guest houses around here are mostly modern and very nice.
For a more luxury stay, in a better hotel, look at Ben Thanh Retreats Hotel, also in District 1.
Onward Travel From Ho Chi Minh
Vietnam has a huge area to the south and southwest of Ho Chi Minh that a lot of tourists wish to see. From the Mekong Delta to coastal towns and luxury islands off the coast. You can also travel overland to Cambodia from Ho Chi Minh.
Phu Quoc is one such destination in Vietnam that is making its presence felt internationally. A beautiful island that can be reached by road and boat. If you’re in a hurry you can fly there in under an hour. Have a look here at some great ways to head south out of Ho Chi Minh.
Whichever route or transport option you pick, enjoy your trip from Hoi An to Ho Chi Minh. I hope we were able to make your journey easier to organise. It’s my job, as a travel blogger, to get my family around the world. I’ve kept them safe for 6 years of travel and I’m more than happy to help you too. Want to go look at our complete Vietnam Travel Guide & Blog page? There is a lot of content on our site about Vietnam, we lived there, in Hoi An, for 6 months and have travelled the full length of the country several times. We hope to be back in Vietnam very soon, it’s a great place to visit and Vietnamese food is some of the best in the world!