Train travel within Vietnam is actually possibly the best option for domestic travel, apart from flying. Intercity trains in Vietnam are quite comfortable, although they are very slow. Local trains are less comfortable and even slower! The best thing about train travel in Vietnam is that at almost all times of the day and night you will find food vendors getting on and off the train, selling inexpensive and tasty Vietnamese dishes. If you have never experienced train travel in Southeast Asia, then give it a try, it can be quite an experience.
Da Nang Station forms part of the Vietnamese Unification train System. This service operates up to seven times a day between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. This is quite a slow journey, which can take over 15 hours from start to finish, although obviously shorter when departing from Da Nang. Schedule arrival and departure times can shift, and are seldom adhered to, expect delays and confusion, but this is part of the charm.
There are also a few local trains scheduled each day, and these head to destinations such as Hue. These trains are slow and often uncomfortable, if you enjoy luxury travel these trains will not be for you.
Many budget travelers who are exploring the country of Vietnam will arrive in the City of Da Nang by bus. There are two bus stations within Da Nang. Firstly the large Da Nang Intercity Bus Station which is located over towards the west of the city, around three kilometers from the center, and the local bus station which is almost right next door.
The main bus routes which incorporate the City of Da Nang run from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, which also stops at Hue, Lang Co, Quang Ngai, Tuy Hoa and Nha Trang. Seven buses are schedule to run each day and it is advisable to book tickets in advance, as they fill up fast. The buses are fairly comfortable and are air conditioned, but the journey can be slow going simply due to the state of some of the roads they have to travel.
The local bus station which is located around 200 meters from the Intercity Bus Station is the place to catch buses to more local destinations such as Hoi An. Most of these buses are not air conditioned and can become very full. Definitely not recommended for people travelling with small children.
Although most people arrive in the City of Da Nang by plane, bus or train, there is another, more romantic option. It is possible to catch a boat into Da Nang. The local seaport is very close to the city center and there are quite a few options for people who would like to enjoy a more relaxing journey on the water.
Firstly, there are cruise liners which regularly stop at the Da Nang Seaport as part of their itinerary. It can be possible to book just a short passage on one of the liners, departing from one of their previous stops. This is especially true during low season, as there are often empty cabins.
Many of the local Vietnamese coastal towns operate a limited ferry service to Da Nang (and other locations along the coast). These are very inexpensive but offer nothing in terms of luxury and comfort. If you are travelling as a family group do not even consider this option, these boats are used by cheap transport by the local Vietnamese people. However, if you enjoy a challenge and want to experience something new, then these ferries are an entirely valid travel option.
For most people visiting the City of Da Nang, the Da Nang International Airport (DAD) will be their port of arrival. This is a modern airport, with every facility travelers will be used to back in the western hemisphere, although it is quite a small airport. The airport is located close to the city center, making transfers from the airport to a local hotel very quick and inexpensive.
Da Nang International Airport is primarily a domestic airport serving other major cities within Vietnam including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Pleiku, Da Lat, Hai Phong and Nha Trang. Vietnam Airlines is the main domestic carrier. Some international connections are available, although the options are quite limited. The main international routes are operated by Silk Air into Siam Reap and Singapore, as well as charter flights into many cities in China.
Due to the limited international travel options most people will arrive at Da Nang International Airport following an international flight which landed in either Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh. This is a fairly short domestic flight.
Airport transfers are quick and easy from Da Nang International Airport. Simply step outside and take your pick from the dozens of metered taxis which will be waiting close to the arrivals area.