Hue, Da Nang and Hoi An are 3 famous tourist cities in Central Vietnam that we’ve been visiting recently. During our trip we gave a try to a sightseeing bus from Hue to Hoi An that not only transferred us between two cities but also let us visit places like Lang Co Beach, Hai Van Pass and Marble Mountains.
Sightseeing Bus Tickets
You can easily book a one-way transfer by a bus from Hue to Hoi An for a really low price (less than 240,000 VND) and visit many interesting places on the way. Tickets for the sightseeing bus can be conveniently booked here: Hoi An Sightseeing Bus Day Tour from Hue.
This is full review and an exact itinerary of our recent bus transfer from Hue to Hoi An.
08:25 Pick up at the hotel in Hue City
The bus company asked us to wait at the hotel lobby at 8:00. However, the bus wasn’t on time as the staff just showed up at our hotel in Hue City for pick up 25 minutes later. The bus was picking up other passengers around the city before coming to us as we were almost the last who got on this bus.
We were transferred by an air-conditioned bus with a driver and guide. The bus was not full and had more space so it was more comfortable than we expected.
Once everyone got on the bus, we started our trip from Hue to Hoi An.
08:50 Thanh Toan Bridge
Our first destination was Thanh Toan Bridge, which is just a short drive from Hue City.
Thanh Toan Bridge is an ancient bridge in Thanh Toan Village, about 8 km east of Hue City center. The bridge was built during the reign of the Nguyen Dynasty and now is more than 200 years old. Thanh Toan Bridge is a tile-roofed bridge of special structure that crosses a canal flowing from the beginning to the end of the village.
Around the village, you can see a peaceful rural landscape. The guide let us explore the area for a while. In the area before the bridge, there are several food stalls where you can grab some snack.
09:06 Leaving from Thanh Toan Bridge
After a short visit at the bridge, we continued our trip to the next destination. On the way we passed by farms and houses along flooded fields.
10:30 Lang Co Beach
We arrived at the resort nearby Lang Co Beach. The bus left us at the resort to explore the beach independently.
Lang Co Beach is located about 70 km from Hue and 30 km from Da Nang City. This beach with a sloping sea, fine and clean sand, and great moderate waves was voted as one of top 30 most beautiful bays in the world.
Everyone just went to the beach to take some photos as we didn’t have enough time for swimming or soaking under the sun.
The bus came to the resort to pick us up. A couple of tourists didn't go with us further as they asked the resort to arrange taxi for them. Most probably they wanted to have more time to explore the area and in fact this place is not far from Da Nang City.
10:50 Hai Van Pass
The bus continued the journey vie the windy Hai Van Pass. Hai Van Pass is one of the world’s most scenic mountain roads where you can admire the views of green forests in contrast to the blue sky and the ocean.
Hai Van Pass is about 20 km long mountain pass that reaches up to 500 m high above sea level and cuts across Bach Ma Mountain Range that runs into the sea between Thua Thien-Hue province in the north and Da Nang city in the south and is part of Truong Son Mountain Range.
Nowadays Hai Van Pass is mostly used for tourists since the main traffic runs through a tunnel at the base of the mountain so we saw many tourist cars and buses stopping for taking photos along the way.
11:18 Hai Van Gate
We made a stop at the ancient gate on the top of Hai Van Pass known as “Hai Van Quan” or Hai Van Gate. This place is a very popular attraction so it was full of tourists so finding a calm spot to admire the excellent view wasn’t that easy.
Hai Van Gate was built in 1826 by King Minh Mang of the Nguyen Dynasty as part of the complex of defensive structures to protect the imperial city of Hue.
11:50 Leaving Hai Van Gate
As soon as all people got back on the bus, we continued our journey through the immense scenery of mountains and ocean along the way to Da Nang.
We reached Da Nang City, where several passengers were dropped off at their hotels, but most of us were heading to the next destination.
12:55 Marble Mountains
We arrived at Marble Mountains also called Ngu Hanh Son or Non Nuoc Mountains that are located southeast of Da Nang.
Marble Mountains are famous for an unusual landscape of 5 limestone mountains rising on a coastal sandy beach. These five mountains are called Kim Son, Moc Son, Thuy Son, Hoa Son and Tho Son as they are named after the five elements.
The entrance fee of Marble Mountains is 40,000 VND per person and it was not included in the price of our trip. The fee must be paid only if you are going up on the mountain. Here you have a choice to climb the stairs or take the elevator. As our time at Marble Mountains was very limited, we decided to use the elevator and were charged another 15,000 VND per person for the way up. If you want to go down by the elevator as well, you need to buy another ticket that costs the same. The walk back down is easy and various statues and structures can be seen on the way.
On the top of this magnificent mountain you can see a variety of nice examples of religious architecture such as an age-old pagoda, temples and statues surrounded by green forests. Numerous caves and viewpoints are also found there. It is possible to climb to the summit of the mountain to see the view of the whole city.
At the foot of the mountain, next to the parking lot, you will find the Stone Sculpture Village as this area is famous for these crafts.
13:40 Leaving Marble Mountains
We left Marble Mountains after spending around 50 minutes there and continued the trip to Hoi An.
14:00 Hoi An
We arrived at Hoi An and the bus dropped off us right at the front door of our hotel not far from Hoi An Ancient Town as scheduled.
However, if you will be staying at the hotel inside the ancient town, you will be dropped off at the place that is nearest to your hotel but you will need to walk the rest of the way as the bus can’t get into the ancient town.
As our transfer from Hue to Hoi An was mixed with sightseeing on the way, it took us about 6 hours. As the distance between Hue and Hoi An is 140 km, normally it takes about 3-4 hours for a direct transfer without stopovers.
We booked a bus from Hue to Hoi An and it was not only transfer service. Our transfer has become a day tour and it was actually a good way to travel between the cities.
The sightseeing bus made short stops at 4 attractions along the way. Some visited spots on the way, such as Thanh Toan Bridge and Lang Co Beach, are nice but nothing special. Hai Van Pass is an amazing road offering stunning scenery that is a must-see when visiting central Vietnam. The Marble Mountains was a highlight and we regretted a little that we didn't have enough time to see it all and had to rush. However, it was worth a visit.
There was a simple friendly guided explanation along the road. The drive was safe and stable. We only had an issue with the pickup at hotel in Hue as it was really late but at the end of the day it was not a big deal since we arrived in Hoi An on time.
All in all, it was a great journey. We would recommend taking this sightseeing bus as it's totally worth the price, especially when you are travelling on a budget and want to experience as much as you can.
If you would like to travel faster, there are many other transportation options for getting from Hue to Hoi An.
Consider making as stop in Da Nang as this coastal city not only has wonderful beached but also plenty of tourist attractions.