We wanted to find the easiest way from Da Lat to Hoi an on a budget and make it kid friendly to keep Miss 5 happy. With a little research, we found the best route for us and want to share it with you.
Da Lat to Hoi An – Options available
Flying directly from Dalat to Da Nang and grabbing a taxi to Hoi An.
A great option for families that need to get to their next port of call at lightening speed. We don’t commit to domestic flights in Asia as we don’t like to be locked it to arrival and departure dates. Having the freedom of arriving in an area and leaving when it’s the right time for us is far more suitable. Purchasing a last minute flight is an option but means you will pay premium dollar. Nothing wrong with that if it suits but for us we wanted to see more of the mountainous area surrounding Da Lat, and we knew we couldn’t achieve that on a plane.
2. Easy Rider Tours
Da Lat is famous for its Easy Rider Tours. Motorcycle touring over several days seeing the best of the area on the back of a bike. Sounds pretty awesome to me.
It’s hard to know who was the original and who is the best Easy Rider. But I think if you connect with a Ride Guide and you feel safe with them, then they are the “Easy Rider” for you. There are many Easy Rider tour companies around and for approximately $100 USD you will experience something very cool.
Having a child of five meant we couldn’t consider the tours unless we hired the more expensive Jeep option. As tempting as it was, we didn’t want to spend close to $1000 USD for the five day tour on this particular Vietnam trip. When we come back in a few years, we are signing up!!
3. Bus to Nha Trang then overnight bus to Hoi An
Taking a bus to Nha Trang from Da Lat, then several hours of downtime to bake in the sun with a complimenting dip in the ocean before taking an overnight bus to Hoi An sounded perfect for us.
We purchased our tickets through our hotel for pure convenience. For $45 USD (that was for 3 of us) we were on our way.
The first leg is roughly a 4 – 5 hour drive. A lovely
mid-size air conditioned comfortable bus picked us up at 8.15 am and was due to arrive in Nha Trang just after lunch.
The drive out of Da Lat was picturesque and lovely just as we had imagined, but the first hour into our trip, our bus driver collided with a motorcyclist’s head on. The poor rider was bruised and battered badly but did survive. Thank goodness.
While we waited for our new transport to collect us, we sat in a quaint little town watching the locals hurl abuse at the bus driver (even though motorcyclist was at fault) and indulged in refreshing drinks and chocolate biscuits to pass the time. It was interesting to see the everyday life of a local who found the ordeal quite eventful.
Once our new bus arrived we were back on our way. The view was beautiful and never at all boring the whole way to Nha Trang.
Arriving into Nha Trang several hours after expected we activated google maps on our phones (super handy when walking places) and found the local beach. A short ten-minute walk later we swam, relaxed and had something to eat before heading back to find our sleeper bus.
The bus station held our bags for us while we were out for a few hours – Super handy
A family tips
Those Sarongs will come in handy for beach towels – Bring them
Along the beach strip, is plenty of beer gardens and restaurants to have a cold drink with some yummy local food. We choose this spot, loved the view, loved the vibe and enjoyed the cold drinks we ordered. Sadly their pushy waiters demanded tips before we even looked like we were finishing as shifts were changing. We left feeling very disappointed.
So a little name and shaming here because managers could see what was happening. We don’t support business’s whom support this practice. It left us rushing not enjoying the rest of our food. We did not experience this anywhere else in Asia.
One public toilet is available at the bus station but no showers. I am sure if you had little ones they wouldn’t mind you giving them a wash in there but they are far from hygienic. The public beach is a much better option.
You can pre-book seats, as the hotel had arranged for us before our arrival. We wanted the bottom three seats on the back row (yup we are rebels). Our bus had a toilet making these seats the only seats right beside it. For us, as a family of 3 meant, we wouldn’t have any neighbours and the space was like our own personal cave. It was great!. (no we couldn’t smell the toilet)
The other seats we love on overnight buses are on the top back row (NOT THE BOTTOM as your legs overhang). On the overnight bus from Hue to Hanoi, we had the whole row to ourselves giving us spread out space. Most passengers were solo or couple travellers, and they were happy to let us have the space to ourselves. Winning!!
A BIG TIP FOR PARENTS
The bus from Nha Trang to Hoi An did not stop for a dinner break. There were 2 or 3 very quick toilet stops, so feed kids before departing and bring snacks for possible hungry tummies.
The ride was smooth, relaxing and very comfortable. Miss C fell asleep within minutes of departing, and I quickly followed. The next morning we were dropped at a local Hoi An hotel around 7 am.
We enjoyed our chosen route from Da Lat to Hoi An and it was kid friendly for us. We got to experience and see beautiful Vietnam scenery that was beautiful. We had a lovely afternoon swimming and lazing in the sun in Nha Trang seeing another part of Vietnam we hadn’t previously seen. We had a nice full night sleep on an overnight bus that delivered us safely to our next destination.
The bus was safe and comfortable, and we recommend for families with smaller children you get lower beds and preferably at the back so you can all be sleeping together. The rest of the bus is in 3 single bunk rows. Be careful though and make sure the bus you are on has beds together along the bottom at the back. Some don’t.
Don’t panic if you cannot pre-book seats. When you check in at the counter on arrival, explain you need the back seats to be next to your child. They will accommodate you and let you get on first to choose.