Situated approximately 340 kilometers apart, the journey from Hoi An to Phong Nha may be a long but very manageable one. Phong Nha is brimming with natural beauty, a mishmash of complicated cave networks, historic mountains, winding lakes, and green jungles. A ‘must-see’ destination in Vietnam, yet until recently Phong Nha was something of an undiscovered gem. So, why has it recently become so popular? due to the establishment of Phong Nha Ke Bang park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.
Hura Car explores the varied ways to urge from Hoi An to Phong Nha (and vice-versa) during this article. As varied as they’re exciting, we knock all the available options, including a 70-minute seaplane trip, a nine-hour train, and a two to three-day motorbike adventure. The scope of attractions on the way to Phong Nha is huge!
Why Visit Phong Nha
This stunning landscape maybe a 1,233 km² protected area in north-central Vietnam bordering the Hin Namno Reserve in Laos. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003, the park is home to the oldest mountains in Asia, formed approximately 400 million years ago. Its most famous cave is Son Doong, the most important subside the planet, discovered only in 2009! The park is additionally renowned for its beautiful underground rivers and rich wildlife including tigers, black bears, and elephants. It should be said that the parks are quite just an area of utmost beauty. It holds many important historical and cultural relics like sections of the Ho Chi Minh Trail and Tam Co Cave (Eight Girls Cave).
Phong Nha is that the perfect place to immerse yourself within the exotic nature of Vietnam. Leaving the overly busy, tourist-filled cities behind.
About Phong Nha
Phong Nha lies directly between Hanoi and Hoi An, 500km south of the nation’s capital and 340km north of Hoi An. It wont to be one of the country’s poorest regions, and while tourism has aided the local economy, its development and growth are still very slow. this is often partly thanks to Phong Nha’s major role within the American War, used as a staging point for the Ho Chi Minh Trail and training ground for the North Vietnamese Army.
As a consequence of this, Phong Nha was the target for extensive aerial bombing by the Americans. Russian and Chinese involvement added to the present destruction, supplying anti-aircraft artillery to the Vietnamese to counteract American aggression. Phong Nha was one of the worst affected areas during the conflict and sadly an outsized number of unexploded ordnance (UXOs) remain today, causing harm and distress to the local population.
However, Phong Nha remains a secure place to go to and its lack of bars, restaurants, or hotels as compared to other tourist hotspots is refreshing. The Phong Nha Ke Bang park may be a symbol of pride for the entire of Vietnam.
Quick Guide Hoi An to Phong Nha
- Commercial Flights
While the seaplane may be a rapid thanks to getting from Hoi An to Phong Nha, an equivalent can’t be said for taking a billboard flight. While flying from Da Nang to Dong Hoi is technically possible, Dong Hoi only receives flights from Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. this suggests you’ve got to form an outsized detour to those cities before you’ll arrive in Phong Nha. Therefore making this journey is somewhat impractical when there are many other more convenient options available.
- Bus from Hoi An to Phong Nha
The bus is that the hottest option for going to Phong Nha from Hoi An. Unfortunately, there are not any direct buses, so you’ve got to vary in Hue (about four hours into your journey). However, this won’t cause you any problems as your bus operator shows you to the subsequent bus.
Recently there are complaints about bus companies like Camel Travel and Queen Cafe arriving in Phong Nha much later than expected. Sometimes even dropping people off in Dong Hoi (which is 45km away!).
Travel Guide:: There have recently been reports of buses not leaving until they need enough passengers on the bus to form the trip worth their while. Be prepared for a few delays
- Bus Operators – Hanh Cafe and Sinh Tourist
For this reason, Hura Car recommends booking your journey through Sinh Tourist or Hanh Cafe. These are both well-known operators that run buses throughout the day. you’ll buy a ticket for the complete journey to Phong Nha for 280,000 VND (12 USD) if you visit the Hanh Cafe office in Hoi An. This bus departs at 7.30.a.m and 13.30.p.m. On arrival in Hue, you continue your journey with Hang Thanh (a partner organization) who drop you off in Phong Nha five hours later. Two separate tickets are required when buying online. Find tickets from Hoi An to Hue and from Hue to Phong Nha.
Sinh Tourist offers an equivalent route with departure times from Hoi An to Hue at either 8:30 a.m. or 13:45.p.m. Find tickets here.
The journey from Hoi An to Phong Nha takes six and a half hours by car. a personal car is that the fastest, most luxurious, and cozy thanks to making this journey. Having your driver gives you the advantage of direct pick-up and drop-off at your hotel at whatever time suits you. It also minimizes any potential stress as it is a simple A to B journey, with no changes mid-way.
The price depends on how large a car you would like, but expect to pay around 3,300,000 VND (142 USD) for a four to 7 seater car. This price includes petrol, road tolls, and parking fees but excludes lunch and entrance fees to any attractions you stop at along the way.
For more information about this feature, read our article on Hoi An’s private cars and transfer services.
- Train from Hoi An to Phong Nha
Taking the train maybe a slightly more complicated operation as there’s no railway station in Hoi An or Phong Nha. this suggests while it’s still possible to require the train, you would like to separate your journey up into various stages. First, you would like to urge to Da Nang railway station, via shuttle, taxi, or local bus. This journey takes about 45 minutes and is comparatively cheap, approx 20,000 VND (0.90 USD) if you’re taking the bus.
The train from Da Nang to Dong Hoi takes six hours. It costs 247,000 VND (11 USD) for a soft seat or 317,000 VND (14 USD) for a sleeper berth.
Travel Guide:: Take train E10, departing at 10:03 a.m. and arriving at 4:04 p.m. as this lines up with the last two public buses to Phong Nha for the day.
After arriving at Dong Hoi railway station take a taxi to Dong Hoi bus terminal. this is often a short distance away and will only cost 25,000 VND (0.8 USD). Once at the bus terminal you’ll (finally!) board the bus to Phong Nha. This last leg of your trip should take approximately an hour and a half and price 35,000 VND (1 USD).
Travel Guide:: Take a Grab or FastGo where possible. These are Asia’s Uber! you merely book through the app – they’re a fraction of the value of other taxis!
- Motorbike from Hoi An to Phong Nha
If you’ve got time to spare and need an opportunity to ascertain all the varied attractions on the way to Phong Nha this is often another great transport option. Traveling at your own pace, you’ll take in several of Vietnam’s hidden gems, vibrant history, and diverse landscapes. it’s a way more personal experience, which you’ll, of course, tailor to your own needs and timeframe.
However, this ride isn’t for the faint-hearted or inexperienced. It’s approximately 337 km from Hoi An to Phong Nha, along busy highways and or steep winding mountain roads. That’s tons of inauspicious driving!
While you’ll technically drive the entire route during a day it’s inadvisable. the best thing about this drive is that the beautiful photo opportunities at each turn, rushing your drive doesn’t allow you to form the foremost of this. you’ll even be exhausted once you arrive! Instead, Hura Car recommends spacing this massive journey out over two to 3 days, allowing yourself to possess the foremost comfortable and enjoyable experience.
If biking to Phong Nha is of interest to you, inspect our article on motorbike rentals in Vietnam for more information.
- Da Nang or Hoi An to Phong Nha via Motorbike Tour
For those seeking the adventurous route to Phong Nha, Onyabike’s three-day motorcycle trip is that the place to seem. The tour travels through several of Central Vietnam’s most breathtaking and historic scenery, from the Hai Van Pass to Khe Sanh and therefore the Vinh Moc Tunnels. As this is often a pillion trip, you sit back and luxuriate in the ride with highly experienced guides at the wheel (although riding yourself is an option for knowledgeable riders). The bikes also are something quite special, the Royal Enfield Himalayan 410cc will get you there and in some style. this is often a premium trip with one of the simplest companies in Vietnam and costs 12,500,000 VND (543 USD). The tour is often booked in either direction and Onyabike does have the choice to drive the bike yourself. determine more and book here.
- Ho Chi Minh Road Route from Hoi An to Phong Nha
This is the longest but most panoramic route from Hoi An to Phong Nha. Head inland immediately, exiting Hoi An via the QL14, which is a component of Ho Chi Minh Road. Skirt the Laos Border, weaving through the spectacular forests, river valleys, and mountains until you reach Khe Sanh. From here, continue on the Ho Chi Minh Road/QL15 the rest of the thanks to Phong Nha. This route takes an absolute minimum of two days. it’s certainly tougher but offers an authentic adventure ride!
Before embarking on this journey, we recommend you conduct thorough research. On both these routes, accommodation, restaurants, petrol stations, and ATMs are few and much between. It’s best to mark where these places are before you allow them to avoid being caught short.
Travel Guide:: make certain to possess phone data and a working sim just in case you run into an emergency
Which travel option you select to urge from Hoi An to Phong Nha depends on some time and budget restrictions. If you’re trying to find an exciting new experience, the motorbike or seaplane options are an incredible way of seeing hidden parts of Vietnam.
The most affordable option is that the bus. It provides an easy way of going to Phong Nha if you’re in a hurry or budget-conscious. However, while the train maybe a slightly more complicated way of going to Phong Nha it’s still an economical option.
If you’re traveling with a large group or family, sharing the prices of a personal car may end up being great value for money. additionally to offering an excellent amount of flexibility and luxury.
Regardless of how you get to Phong Nha from Hoi An, you certainly won’t regret your visit to at least one of Vietnam’s relatively hidden, breathtaking gems.