Logistics - Hue to Hoi An to HCMC
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Aug 19, 2012 2:17 PM Last Post By: malvolio
Aug 17, 2012 9:53 AM
I am planning my trip to Vietnam / Cambodia in November and as part of my itinerary, am hoping to visit Hue, Hoi An, My Son and the Marble Mountains before flying out to HCMC.
To do this, it seems like I have a few options:
1. Travel from Hue and visit Marble Mountains before arriving at Hoi An, spend a few nights in Hoi An including a day trip to My Son, and fly out to HCMC from Hoi An;
2. Travel from Hue straight to Hoi An, arrange day trips to My Son and Marble Mountain, and then fly out from HCMC from Hoi An, or
3. Travel from Hue to Hoi An, spend time there including day trip to My Son, back track to Da Nang where I can visit Marble Mountain and fly to HCMC from Da Nang
I'm happy to hire a driver for a day if needed (how easy is it to hire a car for a day?), or take the bus.
Your collective wisdom would be appreciated!
Aug 17, 2012 4:49 PM
Unless you can flap your wings and fly, you'll have to find another solution: there's no airport in Hoi An. There's one in Danang, about 30 clicks away, and there are cheap JetStar flights from there to HCMC.
Number 3 seems like the most practical. Marble Mountain is close to Danang and so, as I mentioned, is the airport.
I like taking motorbikes everywhere. It's cheaper and faster.
There's a Hue/Hoi An bus that's probably the best way to go.
Aug 17, 2012 5:08 PM
2There is no airport in Hoi An. To fly anywhere (or take a train) from Hoi An you will need to go to Da Nang as it has both an airport and a railway station. Hue also has both an airport and a railway station.
So your options 1 and 2 as set out in your post are not feasible unless at the end of your stay in Hoi An you go to Da Nang. Actually there is little difference between your three proposals anyway. What order you do things in may well depend a bit on the weather as November is part of the wet season on the central coast of VN.
Remember there is a train trip between Hue and Da Nang that is worth the time as the scenery is quite something - the train goes over the Pass whereas buses tend to go through the tunnel. However it's only good in clear weather so you could wait till you get to Hue to decide what way you will travel on to Hoi An. Hiring a car to travel between Hue and Hoi An is also an option and you can ask to go over the Pass which is slightly more expensive than the quicker, more direct route through the tunnel.
Other people on this thread like Da Nang but I don't care for it particularly. However it has a very interesting Cham Museum which you might find worth a visit since you are going to My Son.
Aug 17, 2012 5:36 PM
Aug 17, 2012 7:19 PM
4Thanks. I guess I was hallucinating when I saw flights from Hoi An - HCMC :)
@maureenm - thanks for the insight on the the trip between Hue and Da Nang. Definitely want to go over the Pass so the train or car sounds like the way to go. If I were to take the train to Da Nang, I guess on arrival I would need to hire a car for the last part of the journey to Hoi An. And with that, that gives me a bit of flex to detour to Marble Mountain before arriving in Hoi An.
@malvolio - can you elaborate on the appeal of Da Nang over Hue? I had planned on spending 2 days in Hue and skipping over Da Nang (other than a transport hub).
Finally - a stupid question if I may - what's the best way to hire a car / moto? Just haggle at the train stations? Arrange through my guesthouse?
Aug 17, 2012 8:28 PM
My only experience with Hue it was dirty and touristy. The cyclo drivers and the touts are a pestilence.
Danang is just a pleasant city, the locals (Danangutans?) are friendly. Not much to see though, compared to Hue.
Moto guys will just solicit you. Make sure you've agreed on a price before you get on the back.
There's probably a better way to find a driver than through the guesthouse, but I don't know what it is.
Aug 17, 2012 9:07 PM
6Taxi from Da Nang station to Hoi An is also a possibility. Mai Linh drivers are usually there and that is usually a reputable company.
And I should have written branch for Viet Nam, not thread. Some regulars on this branch like Da Nang but I am not one of them. Unlike malvolio I love Hue - I would not have lived here for 4+ years if I didn't. I think that the tombs of the Emperors are much more interesting than most travel books suggest. The cyclo drivers don't worry me any more as I have regular cyclo and taxi drivers and the others all know that. And I see few touts but I appreciate how annoying they can be with their persistence.
Aug 17, 2012 11:22 PM
7I did My Son and the Marble Mountain in a day trip from Hoi An on the back of a motorbike, its a great way to see the countryside. flexible and easily doable in a day (no even an early start). Motorbike should be $8 - 10 including driver.
Aug 18, 2012 2:23 AM
8Right question, I am living in Hue and nice to help you
the best choice is option 1 Hue - Da Nang - marble mountain - Hoi An - My Son - Da nang - fly out HCMC
you don't to make a return Danang, it waste much time without having time to seeing other place.
In November it is sometimes cold, stayingin danang and relax on beach cannot so have more night in HoiAn, walking , shopping and make tailor is a good choice than
1 day to visit My Son in morning, afternoon walk visit hoi an town. You can ride bike to Tra Que vegetable village &be a farmer, go to market and learn cooking class
In Hue city you can make 1 day to visit Citadel and mausoleum of Kings
You should have a private car with a driver, you can stop in place you like such as Hai Van pass, Lang Co beach, marble Mountain, cham museum. if take bus you cannot stop these places
Aug 18, 2012 3:41 PM
Aug 18, 2012 5:02 PM
10Interesting how people see things differently. Hue is my favorite city in SE Asia. I was just thinking a few hours ago about the ride from the airport into the city on a rainy day - magic ... passing fields, French blockhouses, mossy temples and tombs, people, markets .... Hue, the city of my dreams.
Aug 19, 2012 3:03 AM
11Hue "The cyclo drivers and the touts are a pestilence."
In Hue on a cyclo tour, you are almost guaranteed to be told your time is up when you are the furthest away from you starting point and told to pay more. Jump off, say thank you and enjoy the 2-3k walk back. That part of the trip is a bonus.
Hue is great . Don't miss the brass cauldrons.
My Son is questionable if it is worth it or not. I was the first there at about 8am and it was very atmospheric. By the time we were leaving 20-30 buses had arrived and the dancing started. I don't know how atmospheric it would be walking with the crowds.
Aug 19, 2012 11:01 AM
Aug 19, 2012 2:17 PM
My experience was almost exactly the opposite. I didn't need or want a tour, but since I had injured my foot and was limping badly, there was a poor-boy parade of optimistic cyclo-drivers following me around, chirping "cyclo, cyclo" like a flock of demented birds.
Eventually, I gave in and picked the most pathetic-looking driver, gave him a 100,000 đồng note and told him to just go.
The old guy gamely drove me around Hue for an hour, told me about his brother who lived in what he called Oahu but from the references to the Clintons I finally figured out was Arkansas. He wheezed and puffed over every slight rise in the road but I became more and more uncomfortable, sitting there like a pasha, making the tiny senior-citizen haul me round. When I couldn't take the white-liberal-Western-middle-class whatever anymore, I just hopped out of the cyclo, gave the gave another 50,000 đồng, and hurried back to my hotel on foot.
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