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Getting to Phong Nha from Da Nang
If you are wondering how to get to Phong Nha from Hoi An, here is the detailed guide for you. From Hoi you first need to reach Da Nang, which is the nearest city. Similarly, the nearest big city to Phong Nha is Dong Hoi.
The distance between Da Nang and Dong Hoi is 270 km. There is a direct bus connectivity from Da Nang to Phong Na by sleeper buses as well as regular sitting buses. Alternatively, you can get to Dong Hoi from Da Nang by night train.
Travel from Da Nang to Phong Nha by Train
The nearest railway station to Phong Nha is Dang Hoi. And there are several daily trains between Da Nang and Dong Hoi. There is even a night train from Da Nang to Dong Hoi, which starts at 2300. The train takes around 5 hours for the journey. This is the train I took to reach Da Nang.
The Reunification Express starts from Da Nang at 11 PM reaches Dong Hoi at 5 in the morning. There are two other trains to get to Dong Hoi from Da Nang, but both of them are at odd hours.
One train timing from Da Nang to Dong Hoi is at 18:40 and it arrives at 1 AM in Dong Hoi. The second train is at 3 AM from Da Nang and arrives at 9:15 AM in Dong Hoi.
Which seat is the best and the cheapest in Vietnam Train? Is hard sleeper berth good?
As budget backpacker to Vietnam, I will advise you to take the hard sleeper top berth for the cheapest prices. The hard sleeper berth is very comfortable with A/C and a ‘soft’ mattress to sleep on. I guess hard doesn’t really mean ‘hard’ in Vietnam train. The fare for the hard berth in Vietnam train from Da Nang to Dong Hoi is around 350,000 VND.
Vietnam Train Travel Tip: There is no need book a train ticket through travel agent, you can simply walk to the ticket window and purchase one right before the journey. Great thing is that the counter remains open till quite late (at-least till 11 as it was open till my night train from Da Nang) and again opens early around 6 AM.
With the exception of the Tet festival there is no need to book ticket in advance. As there are enough trains and enough seats for everyone.
Minibus from Da Nang to Dong Hoi
Da Nang: Departs every 15-30 minutes from 04:30-07:15, then 11:15-13:30. Costs 110,000-120,000 dong. Night bus departs at 21:00 and costs 140,000 dong. Dong Hoi to Phong Nha is about an hour of journey.
To recognize the bus look for “Da Nang – Phong Nha” written on the front. 250,000VND in bus
Da Nang to Dong Hoi by Public Bus
To get to Dong Hoi from Da Nang, I will advise you against taking a public bus as it’s unpredictable, less frequent and very uncomfortable compared to the train.
There is only one direct bus from Da Nang to Phong Na scheduled at about 1 PM. The total journey from Da Nang to Phong Na takes around 6 hours, and you will reach Phong Na at 7 PM. The same bus returns to Da Nang from Phong Na next day at 05:30 A.M.
Da Nang to Dong Hoi by Flight
Guess what, the tiny city of Dong Hoi has its own airport! The Dong Hoi Airport connects it to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Good thing is that the Dong Hoi airport is served by the two low cost airlines, VietJet and Jetstar.
Travel from Dong Hoi Airport to Phonga Nha – bus, taxi
From Dong Hoi airport, easiest option is to get to Phong Nha (45 km distance) is by taking a taxi or calling your hotel for the transportation.
The cheapest way for a backpacker is to take the public bus from Dong Hoi Airport to Phong Na. Simply, come out of the terminal until you reach the main road, take a right turn and you will find B4 bus stop just there. From here you can catch the Dong Hoi to Phonga Na bus.
Last but not the least, if you don’t mind going through Dong Hoi town, take a taxi from the airport to Dong Hoi city and catch the public bus from there. Consider this option as the distance between the airport and Dong Hoi city center is only 7 k.m. This is very handy if you are looking to hire a motorbike from Dong Hoi to Phong Nha.
Dong Hoi to Phong Nha by minibus
You can also take a minibus from Dong Hoi to Phong-Nha which will cost around VND 35000/- for a ticket. The mini bus is quite frequent and has services every hour with the last bus at 17:30.
Travel from Dong Hoi to Phong Nha by Bus
Catch the bus from near the Ben xe dong hoi, the bus station, which is conveniently located in the city center and about 2 km from the Dong Hoi railway station.
Or take the bus from Trang Hang Dao street, from the railway station street take a right and walk till your reach the circle, you are now on Trang Hang Dao street. Keep going and you will reach the bus station, the bus leaves from outside the main bus station.
Look for the bus route no. B4 (goes via airport), this is the bus you need to take to get to Phong Nha.
Dong Hoi to Phong Nha Bus Timing
The first bus is at 05.20, then at 06.00, 07.10, and 08.00; after which it’s every hour until the last bus at 17.00. The bus passes the airport and takes the high way to Phong Nha from there, so if you are arriving by flight taking this bus is a good choice.
You can identify the bus stops in Dong Hoi quite easily as they have a blue sign (common to all bus stops in Vietnam) with a picture of a bus and the route no. B4. The bus is bit slow as it has many stops along the route; it takes about 1.5 hours to reach Phong Na from Don Hoi by bus.
Travel from Dong Hoi to Phonga Na by Taxi
If you in a mood of splurging, take a taxi, it costs only a 300,000 VND ($13 US). Now compare this with 30k bus fare from Dong Hoi to Phong Na, 10 times!