Hanoi to Halong Bay: 5 Best Ways to Travel 2024

January 28, 2024 - 32515 views

Thanks to the National Highway 5B (also called Hanoi - Hai Phong Expressway) since the end of 2018, it takes only 2.5 hours to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay with a distance of about 170km. You can easily transfer by different choices.

Let's look at the 5 best ways to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay and vice versa to find out your most suitable option with a complete guide to book.

  • NO direct flight between Hanoi and Halong Bay
  • The average transfer time through National Highway 5B (170 km) is about 2.5 hours
  • The most popular transportation is Shuttle bus, from US$ 20/pax per round trip
  • Seaplane is a new way and amazing experience to explore the Bay
  • Most travellers book the transfer included in Halong Bay cruise package for convenient and cheaper
  • Hanoi Old Quarter is the most convenient pick-up point for travellers

 

Distance and Travel Time

There are two main routes from Hanoi Old Quarter to the centre of Halong City:

  • New Highway 5B via Hai Phong City: Distance 170 km & around 2.5 hours by car
  • National Road 18 via Bac Ninh Province: Distance 200 km & around 3.5 hours by car

A complete guide for first-time travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay

 

How to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay?

There are 5 popular ways from Hanoi to Halong Bay with different transfer times and prices.

The cheapest way is Train, the most luxurious way is Seaplane and the most popular way for travellers is Luxury Bus.

If money isn't a problem, it's highly recommended that you should choose a luxury or private transfer.

Means of transportation Travel time Cost (from) /One way

Luxury Bus

(Most popular)

2.5 hrs

US$ 20 /pax

Book Now

Private Car

(Best privacy)

2.5 hrs

US$ 49 /pax

Book Now

Seaplane

(Most unique)

45 mins

US$ 415 /pax

Book Now

Motorbike

(Most venturous)

3.5 - 4 hrs US$ 6 /day

Local Train

(Like a local)

7 hrs US$ 5 /pax

5 best ways to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay 2024

5 best ways to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay 2024

 

Luxury Shuttle Bus - The Most Popular Transportation

Duration: 2.5 hours

Cost: Around US $15-$25/one-way per person with free pick-up and drop-off in the Hanoi Old Quarter. There will be a surcharge for picking up outside the quarter.

Route: Most buses will drive on the New Highway 5B via Hai Phong City with a pick-up time from 08:00 a.m to 08:30 a.m

Types of bus: A Luxury shuttle bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay offer 9 - 45 seats and basic amenities like air conditioners, bottled water, etc.

Pros:

  • Economical: A cost-effective choice among the best ways of getting to Halong Bay from Hanoi
  • Convenient: Well-equipped amenities combined with good services
  • Direct transfer: Short travel time and direct transfer

Cons:

  • Inflexible in time & schedule: Pick up only between 8:00 a.m and 8:30 a.m

Best for: The shuttle bus is the most popular transportation due to its reasonable price. If you are a solo traveller or a backpacker with a tight budget, this is an ideal choice.

Luxury shuttle bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Luxury shuttle bus - the most popular transfers

 

How to book a shuttle bus?

Hanoi Old Quarter is the most popular pick-up point that every shuttle bus will pass by. Moreover, there are three major bus stops where the majority of local buses leave:

  • My Dinh Station: 20 Pham Hung Street, My Dinh 2, Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi
  • Giap Bat Station: 06 Giai Phong Street, Hoang Liet Ward, Hoang Mai District, Hanoi
  • Gia Lam Station: 09 Ngo Gia Kham Street, Long Bien District, Hanoi

Note: You should learn some simple Vietnamese sentences in case the staff at the station cannot speak English.

Here are the recommended providers of shuttle bus services for you. The average price ranges around US $11 - 15/one-way; however, you should remember how much you pay, there is property to go with it.

(Cost per pax/ round way)

Bus operator Type of bus Pick-up point Ticket fare
KaLong 40-seat sleeper bus My Dinh Station US$ 24 - 30
Kumho Viet Thanh 9-seat limousine or Rosa bus My Dinh Station US$ 28 - 35
BestPrice Travel 9-seat Luxury limousine Hanoi Old Quarter US$ 20

 

Book Through Travel Company - Most Guaranteed Choice

If you want to meet your bus at your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter, you should book through BestPrice Travel to get the most special offer and supportive English travel guidance for you.

For those planning to join a Halong cruise, it is highly recommended that you book the transfer together with a cruise package for smooth pick up and drop off.

Contact Us

 

Private Car - Best Privacy & Convenient

Duration: 2 – 2.5 hours to transfer from Hanoi Old Quarter and Halong City via the new highway

Cost: US$ 104 – 195/ round trip, depending on the type of car (4, 7, or 16-seat), length of excursion (1, 2, or 3-day), or your pick-up/ drop-off locations.

Route: You will be picked up and dropped off at the predetermined locations by the luxury limousine.

Types of car: You can get a 4 - 16 seat private car from Hanoi to Halong Bay through cruise companies or tourist agencies like BestPrice Travel.

Pros:

  • Flexible: Adjustable schedule and easy-to-control itinerary
  • More adorable: The lower price is due to the cost-sharing for group members
  • More private: The best privacy and convenience in your own space

Cons:

  • High-cost: From US$ 104 for the lowest price
  • Unnecessary charges: Toll fee, surcharge if you arrive too late, driver tips (optional)

Best for: Due to its flexibility, this private vehicle is suitable for various types of travellers such as couples, families with kids, groups of friends, and business travellers

Hanoi to Halong Bay private car

Private cars for those who want their own space

How to book a private car?

BestPrice Travel is confident to provide cheap private car service from US$ 80/pax/one way with full comfort and privacy for you.

Car type One way 2 days 3 days
4 seats (max 2) US$ 94 US$ 120 US$ 145
7 seats (max 4) US$ 103 US$ 132 US$ 170
Minivan (max 8) US$ 133 US$ 164 US$ 210

* The prices may change according to the price change of petrol and on holidays

* The quotation not included the toll fee

Let's Book Private Transfer At BestPrice Travel

 

Seaplane Hanoi to Halong Bay - Amazing Experience

Duration: Only 45 minutes (additional 15 minutes for sightseeing)

Cost: US$ 350 – 450/ one-way/ person (the airfare can vary depending on the season and time of day)

Route: You will be transferred from Noi Bai International Airport to Tuan Chau Marina

Types of plane: Seaplane (You should bear in mind that there is no direct flight from Hanoi to Halong Bay)

Pros:

  • Fastest way: Private, fast, and up-to-date with complimentary Wi-Fi and the 4G Internet connection
  • Professional staff: Excellent services with experienced and well-trained staff who speak English fluently
  • Spectacular view: An extraordinary way to admire the spectacular aerial views of Halong Bay
  • Out-of-the-world: Most credible and exclusive seaplane provider to ensure your safety and valuable experience

Cons:

  • Extravagant: High price due to the exclusive and top-notch services
  • Not suitable for people with heart attack and acrophobia

Best for: If you are looking for a mesmerizing way to explore Halong, a seaplane could be a one-of-a-kind experience, but this way is only suitable for wealthy tourists, couples, and active travellers because of its high cost and health requirements.

Hanoi to Halong Bay seaplane

Breathtaking bay view from the seaplane

 

How to book by seaplane?

  • Seaplane suppliers: Hai Au Aviation is the only provider of Hanoi to Halong Bay seaplane
  • Scheduled flight: 45 minutes 
  • Scenic flight: 15 minutes
  • Departure port: Noi Bai International Airport - Counter E09, Lobby E, Terminal 1, Noi Bai International Airport, Hanoi
  • Arrival port: Tuan Chau Marina - Villa T7 Tuan Chau Commercial Urban Area, Tuan Chau Ward, Halong City, Quang Ninh Province

Hai Au Aviation offers a 45-minute scheduled flight from Hanoi to Halong Bay and a 15-minute scenic flight for sightseeing over thousands of awe-inspiring islets and rock formations. The seaplane departs from Hanoi Airport to Tuan Chau Marina, which is near the cruise port in Halong Bay.

  • Email: sales@bestpricetravel.com
  • Hotline: +84 904 699 428 (WhatsApp, Viber)
  • Remember to bring your passport to check-in.
  • Be at least 30 minutes before departure time for the check-in procedure.
  • Each passenger is allowed 7 kg of free luggage (not applicable for infants). There will be a surcharge for excess luggage.
  • A flight requires a minimum number of 4 passengers, which doesn't fit couples and solo travellers. In this case, you can request a charter flight.
  • A seaplane ride to Halong Bay allows a maximum capacity of 12 passengers.
  • Passengers of size OVER 110 kg will get pax overweight charges to purchase a second seat.
  • Make sure that you have good health conditions without heart attack and acrophobia.

 

Motorbike - The Most Venturesome

Duration: 3.5 hours - 4 hours, which is quite flexible and up to you

Cost: ~ US$ 6 - 8/day for motorbike rental

Route: You can choose your own route through Highway No.18 or Highway No.183

Types of bike: There are various motorbike types from diverse scooters to semi-automatic bikes for you to rent at the motorbike rental centres.

Pros:

  • Adventurous: An unforgettable adventure especially for those who love nature and real-life experiences
  • Proactive: A proactive and low-cost way to travel on two wheels
  • Sightseeing: Great chance to behold the stunning mountains, captivating beaches, and other beautiful sightseeing on the way
  • Unforgettable: Precious memory to share with your travel mates

Cons:

  • Dangerous: Depend on the traffic and roadway facilities
  • Unexpected scams while renting a bike

Best for: If you are an independent backpacker, adventure seeker, young adult, or nature lover - getting to Halong Bay from Hanoi by motorbike will bring you an adventurous experience during your vacation.

Travel to Halong Bay from Hanoi by motorbike

Takes a photo to keep motorbike travelling memories

 

How to book a motorbike?

If you are in Hanoi, there are some motorbike rental centres such as AZ Motorbikes, Happy Zip Motorbikes, Tigit Motorbikes Hanoi, etc. that you can consider a rental.

Provider Address

AZ Motorbikes

(+84 984 916 785)

No. 55, Alley 76/35 An Duong Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi

Happy Zip Motorbikes

(+84 924 715 678)

No. 449 - 451 Hong Ha Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

Tigit Motorbikes Hanoi

(+84 386 518 481)

No. 173 Hoang Hoa Tham Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi

 

How to travel by bike?

Route 1: Hanoi – Bac Ninh – Ha Long

  • Distance: 155 km
  • Time: 3 hours

Follow the route from Hanoi, get to Sai Dong crossroad Highway No.5 (for about 10km), then via 23 km on Highway No.1, arrive at Bac Ninh province.

After that, follow Highway No.18 for about 122 km to respectively reach Pha Lai, Sao Do, Dong Trieu, Uong Bi, and eventually Ha Long.

 

Route 2: Hanoi – Hai Duong – Ha Long

  • Distance: 170 km
  • Time: 3 - 3.5 hours

Compared to the former one, this route is much longer (about 170 km), but more convenient.

From Hanoi, you can get to the county of Nam Sach, Hai Duong through Highway No.5B, then follow Highway No.183, to reach Halong.

  • Be well-prepared before your motorbike trip to Halong Bay from Hanoi: motor-driving license, good driving skills, full gasoline, and other essentials.
  • When renting a bike, you will have to put down a sum of money as a deposit and hand in a copy of your passport (sometimes your flight information)
  • If you are required to provide your original one, try to negotiate as you may need your passport sometime
  • After taking the motorcycle, remember to ask for its insurance and ownership paper (copied version).
  • Make sure that your motorbike is in good condition, fill up the gas, and carefully check your bike whether there is any problem.
  • Remember to bring along the essential kit: a map, water, some clothes, extra gas, a raincoat, etc.
  • It is highly recommended that you go with friends (4 - 10 people) to avoid getting lost and to help each other in case some problems occur during the trip.

 

Local Train - Travel Like a Local

Duration: ~ 7 hours

Cost: ~ US$ 4/one-way/person

Route: The train to Halong Bay from Hanoi will depart from Yen Vien Station at 4:55 a.m to Halong Station at 12:00 p.m.

Pros:

  • Sightseeing: An ideal chance to enjoy the scenic views and take some excellent photos for your travel collection
  • Local: An authentic travel experience in Vietnam to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere
  • Budget: The cheapest and safest means of transportation compared to the roadway

Cons:

  • Time-consuming: ~ 4 hours slower than other means of transportation
  • Inconvenient: Non-direct transfer, hustle & bustle crowds
  • Extra fees: 2-way transport between your location and the train station

Best for: Travelling by train is the slowest but safest way, due to the authentic experience it brings you. If you are a culture vulture, budget-conscious visitor, solo traveller, or backpacker, it can be a great opportunity for you to admire and enjoy the stunning scenery on both sides of the railway.

Hanoi to Halong Bay train

If you want to travel like a local, pick a train

 

How to book a train ticket?

There is only one way to take a train from Yen Vien Station, located northeast of Hanoi, to Halong Station, situated east of Bai Chay City. The total travel time is 6 hours and 45 minutes.

Station Distance (km) Departure (am)
Yen Vien Station 0 4:50
Bac Ninh 18 5:40
Bac Giang 38 6:15
Dong Trieu 107 9:20
Uong Bi 132 10:40
Halong Station 164 11:50
  • Provider: VIETNAM RAILWAYS
  • Website: dsvn.vn
  • Phone: 1900 6469

>> In general, there are 5 popular ways to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi. However, shuttle buses and private cars are the best choices thanks to the convenience and experiences.

 

 

 

The Reverse Way: Halong Bay to Hanoi

Halong to Hanoi 

Transportation from Halong Bay to Hanoi often takes the same route. Booking round-trip tickets from shuttle bus companies and private automobile transfer firms will ensure a hassle-free trip if you already have a clearly defined travel itinerary.

If you head for Hanoi Airport, the most convenient ways include the shuttle bus, luxury bus, and private car. In addition, the seaplane is also a great way to travel from Hanoi Airport to Halong Bay, and vice versa.

 

Halong to Ninh Binh 

The province of Ninh Binh, also known as "Halong Bay on Land," is a must-see destination for anybody travelling through northern Vietnam. Ninh Binh is home to hundreds of limestone cliffs and picturesque riverine landscapes that resemble the scenery of Halong Bay. More unusually, Ninh Binh is home to numerous stunning Buddhist temples and rice fields that can be explored.

  • Distance: ~ 200 km
  • Travel time: 3.5 hours
  • One-way transfer range: US$ 10 - 25 (limousine, train, or motorbike)
  • Private transfer cost: US$ 100 - 150

Halong to Ninh Binh route map

Halong to Ninh Binh route map

 

An Alternative Route: Hanoi - Cat Ba - Halong

Hanoi to Cat Ba Island

  • Distance: 170 km
  • Transfer time: 2 hours by roadway & 0.5 hours by ferry transfer

Following the same highway to Halong Bay, you can get to Cat Ba Island from Hanoi in different ways: shuttle bus, private car, motorbike, and train.

>> Please check the fare of each transportation from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island here

 

Cat Ba to Halong

  • Distance: 20 km
  • Transfer time: 30 - 45 minutes

Located in the South of Halong Bay, you can take one of three ways from Cat Ba Island ferry to Tuan Chau Harbor: ferry (1 hour), speed boat (30 minutes), and high-speed hydrofoil (10 minutes).

>> Please check the ticket fare to traverse around Cat Ba Island and Halong Bay here

Travel from Hanoi to Cat Ba and Halong Bay

Take a Cat Ba Island cruise to get to Halong Bay

 

Recommended Hanoi to Halong Bay Cruise

Many travellers choose to take a Halong cruise from Hanoi and then back to Hanoi after the cruise. It's a convenient and safe way to explore both Hanoi and Halong Bay.

What to expect

  • Admire the best of Halong, Lan Ha, or Bai Tu Long Bay, including caves, floating villages, pristine islands, crystal beaches, etc.
  • Relax onboard with a Tai Chi session, Vietnamese cooking class, night squid fishing, Happy Hour, sunset party, etc.
  • Stay overnight in decent accommodations and excellent facilities 
  • Enjoy sumptuous on-board meals of Vietnamese and European cuisine

From only US$ 169/pax for a 1-night and from US$ 313/pax for a 2-night cruise with a transfer from Hanoi for a deep exploration.

 

Recommended Cruises

Here's the price of the best Halong Bay cruises 2024

Cruise Ship Why Book? Price from
Mon Cheri Cruise 5* Bestseller cruise 2024 US$ 175
Scarlet Pearl Cruise 5* Best modern luxury ship US$ 186
Peony Cruise 4.5* Bestseller cruise in Lan Ha Bay US$ 149
Orchid Cruise 5* Best luxury traditional boat US $183
Sena Cruise 4* Best 4-star boat in Lan Ha Bay US $146

 

Local Tips for Various Traveler Types

For Backpackers and Self-travel tourists

Recommended vehicle: Shuttle bus

The best method to go to Halong Bay from Hanoi if you're travelling alone and on a tight budget is to take a shuttle bus (costing between US$ 14.12 and US$ 18.50/round trip) or a local bus (around US$ 9.25 - US$ 18.50/round trip).

One way, the entire transit duration ranges from 2.5 to 3 hours. Driving a motorbike is another option, however, it is not strongly advised. It will take around 4 hours, but the beautiful landscape along the route will be worth it.

Top recommended for backpackers is a shuttle bus

Top recommended for backpackers is a shuttle bus

For Families with kids and Groups of friends

Top choice: Private car

When travelling in groups or with families, other people are usually present, and the protection of the youngsters is given great consideration. Therefore, renting a private car with a range of capacities based on the number of people is the best option. It takes 2.5 - 3 hours and costs between US$ 92.50 and US$ 140.76/one-way to get there.

Hanoi to Halong for Families With Kids

The private car is best for families with kids

 

For couples and opulent travellers

Best suggestion: Seaplane

The most amazing way to travel is by seaplane, which is strongly advised if money is not an issue. Depending on the tourist season, the cost per person ranges from US$ 164.89 to US$ 361.95.

 

For elder tourists

Best recommendation: Luxury bus

From the age of 50, you should consider your health conditions before choosing any way to travel. Nothing can be compared with your health right now; it is the most important and major factor affecting your choice of transportation to get to Halong Bay. 

Luxury buses are high-quality cars (which is very important for your travel safety) and comfortable with a large space inside.

Hanoi to Halong Bay for elderly

The luxury bus is best for elder travellers

Taking everything into account, consider what you expect during the travel time as each means of transportation listed above is perfect for a particular demand. Hope you find out how to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay and go exploring with BestPrice Travel.

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Questions & Answers (18)

Ask a Question
15/05/2023

Hello, Is the train from Hanoi to Halong still closed? Will it be open in June ? Thank you very much

Reply
1
15/05/2023
@Doug:

Hi! The Hanoi - Halong train is still closed and it seems like will be closed permanently or until the government has a plan to upgrade it.

At present, the best way for traveling between Hanoi - Halong is the luxury shuttle bus. If you want to book, please contact us through email: sales@bestpricetravel.com or Whatsapp: +84904699428.

Thank you so much.

1 Reply
31/03/2023

Is it possible to get to Halong by train without getting ripped off as a tourist?

Reply
1
31/03/2023
@may:

Hi! The train is temporarily closed. You should get to Halong by shuttle bus or luxury bus. You can book in advance with us through email: sales@bestpricetravel.com and then enjoy a worry-free trip.

1 Reply
22/03/2023

I want to go from Da Nang to Halong bay so is it better to stay in Hanoi for a day or two then book a cruise OR just fly to Hanoi and go straight on to a cruise?

Reply
1
25/03/2023

@Nigel Walsh:

Hi, if you stop by Hanoi before taking a cruise, we recommend you take a city tour and explore the capital. Moreover, the Halong Bay cruise from Hanoi often starts in the morning, so you should spend at least one night in Hanoi.

1 Reply
21/03/2023

I'm in HCM City and planning to travel to Halong Bay. I'm wondering if is there any way to transport directly from HCM to Halong?

Reply
1
22/03/2023
@Sana:

You can take a flight to Cat Bi Airport and take a private to Halong, that'll be faster than go from Hanoi.

1 Reply
16/03/2023

Is there any motorbike tour available to Halong Bay? I'd love to enjoy the adventure but the more the merrier.

Reply
1
22/03/2023
@jess:

Hi Jess, we don't have motorbike tours to Halong Bay at the moment. Because the safest and fastest way is by bus. If you love to discover on the bike, it's highly recommended to hire one.

1 Reply