How to travel from Hue to Hoi An on different routes

Hue City and Hoi An are two famous destinations in Central Vietnam. Luckily, the routes from Hue to Hoi An, and vice versa, have beautiful scenery and attractions to visit while traveling.

In Hue City, you will feel the peaceful atmosphere of the ancient imperial palaces. With its elegant beauty, this city is a source of creative inspiration for famous Vietnamese painters. The poetic Perfume River flows slowly through the city center in its simple beauty and creating romantic features for this region.

Hue Imperial Palace
The Imperial Palace in Hue City – Photo: Vietnamdrive

The next one is Hoi An, 130 km from Hue City and 35km from Da Nang International Airport. Hoi An City has beautiful beaches, the rustic Thu Bon River, and a unique ancient town with a traditional lifestyle in well-preserved old houses. You can join many exciting activities in Hoi An or relax in the elegant resorts on An Bang beach for a week.

1. The shortest distance from Hue to Hoi An

Hue to Hoi An driving distance on the shortest roads is 125km. It takes an average of 2 hours and 45 minutes by car, driving mainly on the national highway 1. You have to go through 3 tunnels of Phu Gia, Phuoc Tuong and Hai Van Passes, and 2 road-toll stations. Only road tolls cost 145,000VND per way for a small sedan car.

If going up the Hai Van Pass, the journey is longer, but the view is nicer, and you will not have to pay a toll. Although you may save road tolls, the car spends more gasoline and you may find the drive more difficult.

Hue to Hoi An Map with the shorest route:

>> You may want to check the closest airport to Hoi An City for your journey.

2. Interesting routes from Hue City to Hoi An and vice versa

2.1. Travel on the railway route

No trains go directly from Hue to Hoi An City. The trains just come from Hue Train Station to Da Nang City and vice versa. Thus, you need a transfer from Danang train station to Hoi An when travelling by train from Hue City.

train from hue train station to da nang
A trains go from Hue Train Station to Da Nang. ©Vietnamdrive

The total time to travel by train for this distance is 4 – 5 hours on average. You need more time to wait at the train station, at least 30 minutes in advance. The real-time for a train moving from Hue to Da Nang City is 2.5 hours, and nearly a one-hour drive from Da Nang train station to Hoi An City or vice versa.

Although the train is slow and takes more time, you can:

  • Enjoy nice natural scenery because the trains run on the curve rails near the mountains and ocean with beautiful views.
  • Experience how to travel on the Vietnamese trains is.
  • Get a low price to travel to Hoi An from Hue City, and vice versa.
waiting for the train to go from Hue
Many guests are waiting for the train. ©Vietnamdrive

When traveling by train between these two cities, you may pay attention to:

  • You should buy train tickets in advance. Travel agents in Hue, Hoi An, and other cities in Vietnam can help you to buy the tickets easily.
  • You should check the departure time of trains carefully; because you need to come to the train station at least 30 minutes before your train departs.
  • To move from your hotel in Hue city center to the train station is very close. Thus, it is convenient to get a taxi. To avoid scams, the taxi cost for this drive is an average of 3 USD.
  • When you come to Danang Train Station that is the closest station to Hoi An, you need to hire a car to transfer to Hoi An City. Renting a car is cheaper than using a taxi because this distance is a long drive. Booking a private car is strongly recommended to welcome you and go fast.

The nearest train station to Hoi An is in Da Nang city, you can find the time of trains from Hue to Da Nang Station.

2.2. Three other options travel between Hue and Hoi An on the windy roads by car

You can choose other routes from Hue romantic city to Hoi An and vice versa for your journeys. It depends on your time and favorite travel style, you will select a suitable way suggested below.

If you do not have time and just need a direct transfer, then you will select the shortest distance as we mentioned above.

And, here are the interesting routes for you who want to explore beautiful settings of nature and culture of Central Vietnam.

Option 1: Coastal drive Hue to Hoi An via QL49

The coastal drive from Hue Imprial City to Hoi An is considered as one of the most beautiful drives in Central Vietnam. This route takes you through the unique combination of rural, mountainous, and coastal settings.

This drive is not the shortest way, but you have a chance to see the pictureque landscapes along the coasts, and life in the countryside.

Hai Van Pass
Great views from the top of Hai Van Pass. ©Vietnamdrive

Option1: Quick look at this route: Hue City – QL49 – Thuan An Beach – Tu Hien Bridge – Phuoc Tuong Tunnel – Lang Co Beach – Hai Van Pass – Linh Ung Pagoda – Marble Mountains – Hoi An Ancient City. Please pay attention to this route: it is harder and longer to drive than the shortest one, so your journey can cost more. A suggestion is that please mention this diving clearly with your travel agent when you book this transfer to avoid surprising you for an extra charge later.

Map of the route from Hue to Hoi An via QL49:

You will have a lot of chances to stop for nice photos at the beaches of Thuan An and Lang Co Bay.

Do not forget to take a few minutes at Tu Hien Bridge where the lagoons and ocean join each other, creating great views of this estuary.

After that, we drive over the Hai Van Pass, Ocean-Cloud pass (on dry days), where the sea meets clouds. Standing on the top of the pass, you will have a chance to enjoy a large perfect photo of Nature and you can also visit some bunkers left from the war.

Continue following the coasts to Linh Ung Pagoda, which is one of three famous religious sites with a tall lady-Buddha statue. From this location, you can see the vast sea and the panorama of Da Nang City.

After that, explore the Marble Mountains, a series of large marble outcrops that acquired mythical significance over the centuries. The caves of the Marble Mountains have many sacred Buddhist shrines.

statue in cave in marble mountain
A Buddha statue in Tang Chon Cave in the Marble Mountain. ©Vietnamdrive

The final destination is your hotel in Hoi An City.

Option 2: Hue to My Son Sanctuary via Highway 1 (QL1A), then Hoi An

The route from Hue to My Son Sanctuary and then stopping at Hoi An gives you historical images and the beautiful countryside of Central Vietnam with large rice fields on the way.

Option2: Quick look on this route: Hue City – Lang Co Bay – Hai Van Pass – My Son Sanctuary – Hoi An City.

Please note that My Son Holy Land is not located between Hue and Hoi An, so the duration for traveling and visiting can be up to 8 hours, estimated on average 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.

My Son Holy Land Vietnam
My Son Holy Land – Photo: Vietnamdrive

From Hue City, you drive on National Highway 1A through the countryside with rice fields, mountains, the lagoons, and the passes.

Stop taking pictures of Lang Co Bay, which is one of the best thirty bays in the world. The trip will go over Hai Van Pass (if it is dry, it is nice). It is so good to have a cup of coffee in the cloud that is a wonderful experience.

Then, we continue following QL1A then the new road to head to My Son Sanctuary.

Taking a rest after a long drive will help you re-enrich energy. If you feel hungry, a bowl of My Quang (Quang noodles) is a good choice.

Start visiting the old temples and towers of My Son Holy Land. The time is recommended to spend from 1 to 1.5 hours exploring their beauty. After this, you will drive to your accommodation in Hoi An to relax.

If you want to check the price for the driving route with a private car, please contact us to get the correct rate for your group! Do not forget to mention your group size and date to travel! Thank you!

Option 3: The moutainous route to Hoi An from Hue City via DMZ and QL14

The mountainous route to travel between Hoi An and Hue City can be considered as the longest distance to travel during 2 days, because you visit tourist sites at the old Vietnam DMZ and move on QL14.

Option 3: Quick look at this route: Hue – Hien Huong Bridge – Vinh Moc Tunnels – Khe Sanh – Dak Rong Bridge – QL14 – Hoi An.

Map from Hue to Hoi An to travel on QL14:

Day 1: Hue City to Vinh Moc Tunnels in Quang Tri

Start traveling from Hue City to head to the north and visit historical sites left in the old DMZ belonging to Quang Tri Province, Vietnam.

You can stop at:

  • Vinh Moc Tunnels, where many local people lived underground to escape from bombs,
  • Hien Luong Bridge and the Ben Hai River that was the border separated this country into two parts during the Vietnam War (1954- 1975), and
  • Khe Sanh Combat base, which is on the top of the hill of Truong Son Range. This base was a vital location where the US Army used to control a wide range of the 17th Paralleled border.

Spend one night at the village near Khe Sanh. In this area, you cannot find luxury services, but it is a different way to explore the local lifestyle, meaning poor travel for today.

Khe Sanh Combat Base
The guests relax to drink coffee at Khe Sanh combat base. Photo: Vietnamdrive

>> You may want to check another Hue to Hoi An trip within 2 days.

Day 2: Drive to Hoi An on QL14

This driving route goes through the mountains. From this distance, you can see the minority groups living in the forest and silt houses.

Highway 14, also called Highway 14A or QL14, starts from Km 0 at Da Krong Bridge (Da Krong District, Quang Tri Province) to Km 980 + 000, which is the intersection with Highway 13 at the junction of Chon Thanh town (Chon Thanh district, Binh Phuoc Province). There are many sections of National Highway 14 coinciding with Ho Chi Minh roads. QL14 runs through the territories of Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue, Quang Nam, Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, and Binh Phuoc Provinces.

Highway 14, the second-longest highway in Vietnam – after Highway 1A, becomes the arterial road linking the provinces along the Truong Son Mountains, and connecting the Central Highlands with the North Central and Southeast of Vietnam.

For this journey, you just drive a short part of Highway 14A to the part of Quang Nam Province. Then, turn to Hoi An City.

Despite driving on the short distance of QL14, the total drive of this day is about 300 km. Thus, most of the time is in the car to see the green mountains, and short time to stop for photos on the roads.

Each route to Hoi An from Hue City can give you various experiences.

Let’s choose one that suits you the best!

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    About the author

    The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.