Our one-month visa-free time was about to get expired so it was time to move forward from Chiang Mai to Da Nang. We have had a really great time in North and South Vietnam a year ago. With that being said, we wanted to see Central Vietnam as well which we didn’t have time in our visa-free 15 days last time. That on our mind, we booked a night bus and two flights in order to get from Chiang Mai to Da Nang.
Let’s dive into details how to get from Chiang Mai to Da Nang. But first, let’s wrap our final days in Chiang Mai together.
Last days before traveling from Chiang Mai to Da Nang
We put plenty of effort towards working during the last week in Chiang Mai. We knew it would going to be a little less productive week when traveling from Chiang Mai to Da Nang. In addition to working, we spend some time in swimming pool on Friday.
On Saturday we went to famous Night Market on Wualai Road. Even though we have been there countless of times before, it still shocks us how many people there can be at the same time during a high traveling season. After foot massage and dinner on Saturday market, we watched the biggest league football game in the whole world, El Clasico. El Clasico is a rival clash between two biggest clubs in the world, Barcelona and Real Madrid in Spanish La Liga. The match itself was a 1-1 draw after the final whistle. It was a fair result eventually and was more than suitable for our small group, even after few drinks, including supporters from both clubs.
On Sunday we rode around southeast part of Chiang Mai with our scooter where we haven’t been that much earlier.
Beginning of the traveling process
During the weekend we also began the process of getting from Chiang Mai to Da Nang. The process includes various different pieces to get done before actually beginning to travel. We had to:
- First, book a flight inside to Vietnam (in our case from Bangkok to Saigon (officially Ho Chi Minh City) in order to know the date when traveling to Vietnam
- Second, book an accommodation from Vietnam to get an address for the e-Visa (approval letter) to Vietnam
- In addition, to apply an e-Visa if you want to stay more than 15 days in Vietnam and want to speed up the process in the airport like we did
- Furthermore, book a night bus (or night train) in order to get to Bangkok where it is cheaper to fly to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
- Finally, book a flight from Saigon to Da Nang
We use Skyscanner in order to compare the best fares of flights. After comparing the fares, we not necessarily choose the cheapest one, but the best package. That means the departure time, price with big backpacks and so on are the most suitable for us.
From our point of view, the best deal for traveling from Chiang Mai to Da Nang is to get a flight from Bangkok to Saigon and from Saigon to Da Nang. And of course a transportation from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.
Tackling the tasks one by one
Next task for our trip from Chiang Mai to Da Nang was to book an accommodation in Da Nang in order to get an address to fill in for Visa application. We have used Hotels.com together with TripAdvisor to find the best hotels and guesthouses within our budget. Hotels.com offers good prices as well as great loyalty rewards enabling us to get one free night after booking 10 nights through their service. And that 10 nights comes fast! When you add TripAdvisor reviews to the table, you can be sure what you gonna get from the place. We can remember only one time at first glance when we haven’t agreed with TripAdvisor. And that was with restaurant reviews in Luang Prabang, Laos.
The Vietnam visa was pretty straight forward as well. You pay a service fee (also known as approval letter fee) $17 per person if you apply eVisa beforehand. You should most definitely do that in order to speed up the visa process at the airport. In addition, you have to pay the stamping fee $25 per person when getting the visa from one of the following airports: Hanoi, Saigon or Da Nang.
Nevertheless, if you’re entering Vietnam by ground, you cannot apply eVisa. The whole visa process will be made during the border crossing. Also, if you’re staying in Vietnam under 15 days (make sure to check your home country status), you don’t necessarily need a visa.
It took few days to get the approval letter to the given email and after printing and filling the correct information with passport picture, we are good to go. At this point, we only needed the night bus or -train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and flight from Saigon to Da Nang.
Almost done with the bookings from Chiang Mai to Da Nang
First I went to Chiang Mai Train Station to check the situation of night trains. As you could guess already, they were full already. Ok, we might have gotten a fan coach but after reading bad reviews on that (getting too hot etc), we decided to choose a night bus instead. It appeared to be a good choice after all. It cost only $30 for two persons enabling us to save one night’s cost of accommodation too.
The flights were $160 for two persons from Bangkok to Da Nang via Saigon. If you compare that fare to the flight from Chiang Mai to Da Nang (approx $300/2), the difference is significant. It makes choosing the correct flight easy for us. The traveling with nightbus isn’t that bad either. One night in Bangkok can be a nice experience too after being over three weeks in Chiang Mai.
Whoa, this post about our travel plans from Chiang Mai to Da Nang became a little bit longer than I first thought. Anyway, I hope you’ll get some valuable information for yourself when figuring out how to travel from Chiang Mai to Da Nang.