About the ride from Da Lat to Da Nang
If you’ve got plans to travel in Vietnam’s central highlands, then prepare yourself for a really big adventure. Southern Vietnam is all about the countryside and bound to register with fans of late-night markets and lesser-known cultural cities, such as Da Lat (also known as Dalat).
There are three ways to get from Da Lat to Da Nang – one quick way and two not-so-quick ways.
The lengthy overland options are by sleeper bus, which takes 17 hours and 30 minutes or by train, which takes around 18 hours – including a change at Thap Cham or Nha Trang.
Bus travel in Vietnam is a great way to see the countryside and a good chance to meet fellow travelers. Trains allow you to see even more of the country and meet local people along the way. Trains also have different ticket prices depending on whether you’re in a sleeper seat or cabin.
If you want to know how far it is from Da Lat to Da Nang, the total distance is 458 kilometers (284 miles).
The sleeper bus has reclining seats to make it easier to rest as you travel through the night. The seats on the Futa Bus service, for example, recline to a practically horizontal angle. Seats in other buses won’t recline quite so far, and conditions can be pretty cramped, especially after 17 hours.
The WiFi connection on this stretch is pretty patchy. However, it does exist… at times. Be sure to bring along things to do without an internet connection. Card games, journals, phrasebooks; that type of thing.
All the buses making the journey to Da Nang from Da Lat are air-conditioned. They’ll also be very clean and well maintained. It’s a safe ride, although a long one. Best to close the curtains, put on your headphones, sit back and rest.
Rest stops are a good time to take a break, stretch your legs and have a chat with your fellow travelers. There will be plenty of stops, although not always in picturesque locations. Think highway service stations and canteens rather than patchwork rice paddies and mountain streams.
One of the best things about sleeper buses is that you’re saving your hard-earned Vietnamese Dong for something more interesting.
The price of a bus ticket starts from as little as US$14. That’s a pretty good deal for traveling practically the length of Vietnam from north to south.
The speediest mode of transport from Dalat to Da Nang is to fly. It only takes an hour.
However, it’s going to cost double what you’ll pay for a seat on the overnight bus. So, if you’re on a tight budget, flights may not be for you.
One of the benefits of flying to Da Nang is that you’ll arrive feeling pretty refreshed. It’s only an hour in the air and planes are very modern and well-maintained. Three recommended airlines are Vietjet Air, Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways. They all offer economy options.
What to see when traveling from Da Lat to Da Nang
Although the bus from Dalat to Da Nang drives through the night, there will still be plenty of daylight to see some classic Vietnamese countryside scenes. Bamboo forests, rice fields and rural roadside villages will give you a sense of Vietnam outside the tourist havens. It’s a good chance to appreciate an authentic side of life that you’ll miss if you opt to fly.
Capturing the sunset and the daybreak are certainly times to stay awake for. Although, if you’ve just managed to drop off after a night of fractured sleep, setting your alarm for sunset may be the last thing on your to-do list.
Much of this route hugs the South China Sea coastline. Some of the white sand beaches, especially as you ride from Da Nang to Hoi An, will really tempt you to try and stop the bus for a photo-op.
Some road trip experiences can be quite hair raising if you’re not used to driving in Southeast Asia. The stretches of road on this route can be rather busy with traffic. Best advice is to shut your eyes and trust your driver.
Flying doesn’t have the same level of scenic or white knuckle thrills that a bus tour can offer. But that’s probably a good thing, right? So grab a window seat anyway and watch the world whizz by beneath you.
How to get from Da Lat to Da Nang
- Taking a bus from Da Lat to Da Nang
Bus ticket prices start from US$14, and the trip, including rest stops, takes about 17 hours and 30 minutes in total.
You’ll also save money on overnight accommodation.
- Taking a train from Da Lat to Da Nang
Although there isn’t a direct train from Da Lat to Da Nang, you can still travel to Nha Trang from Da Lat by train and then take a connecting sleeper train.
Alternatively, you can take the train via Thap Cham station. The whole journey will take around 18 hours.
- Flying from Da Lat to Da Nang
The Da Lat to Da Nang flight takes just an hour in the air, but you will need to be at the airport at least an hour before the departure gates open. Ticket prices aren’t costly; you’re looking at around $31 for an economy seat with Vietjet Air.
Flying is the most efficient and quickest way to travel from north to south Vietnam. Although you won’t really get to appreciate the country in its entirety, you’ll arrive at your destination feeling relatively refreshed and ready to explore.