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Hanoi to Halong Bay: 6 BEST Ways to Travel 2022

November 28, 2022 - 17481 views

Hanoi to Halong Bay is one of the most popular travel routes in Vietnam, which is really convenient to travel back and forth. With a distance of 170 km and an upgraded transportation system, tourists can easily transfer by different choices. Let's look at the 6 best ways to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay and vice versa to find out the best option for you.

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. Then you can save a lot of time on transportation for a day excursion.

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

  • NO direct flight between Hanoi and Halong Bay
  • Most popular transportation - shuttle bus, from US$ 20/pax/round trip
  • Average transfer time - 2.5 hours (distance 170 km, through the National Highway 5B)
  • Hanoi Old Quarter is the most convenient pick-up point for travelers
  • Over 100 bus companies run over 1,000 round trips per day on this route



Distance and Travel Time

  • Distance: 170 km from Hanoi to Halong Bay
  • Time
    • 2.5 hours via the new National Highway 5B (for 4-wheel vehicles only)
    • 3.5 hours via National Road No 18 (allows all vehicles)

Hanoi to Halong Bay map

Hanoi to Halong Bay map


There are many possible arrivals and departure points, and below is detailed information about some most popular travel routes from Hanoi Old Quarter.

Arrival location Route Distance Travel time
Tuan Chau Pier, Halong New Highway 5B 150 km 2 hours 30 minutes
National Road No.18 145 km 3 hours 10 minutes
Halong International Cruise Port New Highway 5B 155 km 2 hours 30 minutes
National Road No.18 150 km 3 hours 20 minutes
Hon Gai Harbor, Halong New Highway 5B 160 km 2 hours 40 minutes
National Road No.18 155 km 3 hours 30 minutes


If you need to get more detailed information, you can find out from Distance & Travel Time from Hanoi to Halong Bay [Updated]


6 BEST Ways to Travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Means of transportation Travel time Cost/ One way

Shuttle Bus

(Most popular)

3 hours US$ 10 - 15

Luxury Bus

(Most comfortable)

3 hours US$ 20 - 30

Private Car


2.5 hours US$ 80 - 150


(Most venturesome)

3.5 - 4 hours US$ 6 - 8/ day


(Travel like a local)

7 hours US$ 4 - 5


Travel way


Shuttle Bus - Most Popular

Shuttle bus, also considered a 'tourist bus', is the most popular transportation from Hanoi to Halong Bay. There are many types of Hanoi to Halong shuttle buses offering 9 - 45 seats and basic amenities like air conditioners, bottled water, etc. 

  • Duration: 2.5 hours 
  • Cost: ~ US$ 13/ one-way/ person with free pick-up and drop-off in the Hanoi Old Quarter. There will be a surcharge for picking up outside the quarter.
  • 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
  • Best for: Tight budget travelers, Singles & Solo, Backpackers

Shuttle bus - the most popular way

Shuttle bus - the most popular way


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
  • Giap Bat Station - 06 Giai Phong Street, Hoang Liet Ward, Hoang Mai District
  • Gia Lam Station - 09 Ngo Gia Kham Street, Long Bien District

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 money you pay, there is property to go with it.

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

(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 29 - 35 seaters bus Hanoi Old Quarter US$ 28 - 35


Luxury Bus - Most Comfortable

In case you are in search of a more comfortable and high-end service, taking a luxury bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay is the best choice for your trip. Besides basic amenities like complimentary water and air-conditioner, a 9 - 16-seat luxury limousine provides the most enjoyable trip with higher standards. 

  • Duration: 2.5 hours 
  • Cost: ~ US$ 25/ one-way/ person
  • Pros:
    • Comfortable: First-class facilities including free wifi, massage chairs, LCD screen, stereo, automatic doors, etc.
    • Pleasant services: English-speaking and welcoming drivers who can solve some basic problems
    • Straightforward and time-saving transport through the new highway
  • Cons:
    • More expensive than a shuttle bus
  • Best for: Affluent travelers, Families, Seniors

A Luxury bus transfers to Halong Bay

A luxury bus transfers to Halong Bay

How to book a luxury bus?

Not only the bus operators but also many cruise companies offer luxury bus transfers with pick-up and drop-off services. As normal, many travelers choose to book a luxury cruise, which includes a combo transportation package or sometimes free transportation.

For alternative options, take a look at the recommended bus providers as follow:

(Cost per pax/ round way)

Bus operator Bus type Ticket fare (2 ways)
Grouptour 9-seat limousine US$ 36 - 40
Cruise Companies 9-16-seat limousine US$ 40 - 50
BestPrice Travel 9-16-seat limousine US$ 36 - 40

Book Luxury Bus Transfer At BestPrice Travel

Private Car - Best Privacy

You can get a Hanoi to Halong Bay private car through cruise companies or tourist agencies like BestPrice Travel. You will be picked up and dropped off at the predetermined locations by the luxury limousine.

  • 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 types of car (4, 7, or 16-seat), length of excursion (1, 2, or 3-day), or your pick-up/ drop-off locations.
  • 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
    • Unnecessary charges
  • Best for: Couples, Families with kids, Groups of friends, Business travelers

Private cars for who wants a private space

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 - A New Experience

You should bear in mind that there is no direct flight from Hanoi to Halong Bay. If you are looking for a mesmerizing way to explore Halong, a seaplane could be a one-of-a-kind 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)
  • Pros:
    • Fastest way: Private, fast, and up-to-date with complimentary Wi-Fi and the 4G Internet availability
    • Professional staff: Professional tourism 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: The most credible and exclusive seaplane provider to ensure your safety and valuable experience
  • Cons:
    • Extravagant
    • Not suitable for people with heart attack and acrophobia
  • Best for: Wealthy tourists, Couples, Active travelers

Breathtaking view from 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)

Moreover, you can refer to these 3 seaplane tours with BestPrice Travel:

  1. Hanoi - Halong Bay Cruise with Seaplane 2 days
  2. Combo: Orchid Cruise + Seaplane from Hanoi 3 days
  3. Hanoi - Halong Bay Seaplane Flight
  • 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 travelers. 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 - Most Venturesome

Alternatively, getting to Halong Bay from Hanoi by motorbike can bring you a more adventurous experience during your vacation.

  • Duration: 3.5 hours - 4 hours, which is quite flexible and up to you
  • Cost: ~ US$ 6 - 8/day for motorbike rental
  • 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
    • Unexpected scams while renting a bike
  • Best for: Independent backpackers, Adventure seekers, Young adults, Nature lovers

Travel to Halong from Hanoi by motorbike

A traveler takes a photo to keep his motorbike traveling memories with his fellows


How to book a motorbike?

If you are in Hanoi, there are some motorbike rental centers 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

Traveling by train to Halong Bay from Hanoi is the slowest and safest way, due to the authentic experience it brings you. It can be a great opportunity to admire and enjoy the stunning scenery on both sides of the railway.

  • Duration: ~ 7 hours
  • Cost: ~ US$ 4/one-way/person
  • 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
    • Inconvenient
    • Extra transport fees
  • Best for: Culture vultures, Budget-conscious travelers, Singles & Solo, Backpackers

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

  • Website: dsvn.vn
  • Phone: 1900 6469


Yen Vien Station (Hanoi) - Halong Station

  • Departure time: 4:55 am
  • Arrival time: almost 12:00 pm

Halong Station - Yen Vien Station (Hanoi)

  • Departure time: 1:45 am
  • Arrival time: 08:30 pm


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


>> In general, there are 6 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 to Hanoi

Halong - Hanoi 

Transportation from Halong Bay to Hanoi Old Quarter 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.

In case 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 - Ninh Binh 

The province of Ninh Binh, also known as "Halong Bay on Land," is a must-see destination for anybody traveling 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.

  • Hanoi - Ninh Binh distance: 95 km
  • Halong - Ninh Binh distance: ~ 200 km
  • Halong - Ninh Binh 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 - 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.

>> You can check the fare of each transportation from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island here.


Cat Ba - 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).

>> You can check the ticket fare to traverse around Cat Ba Island and Halong Bay here.

Hanoi Cat Ba Island Halong Bay

Take a Cat Ba Island cruise to get to Halong Bay


Recommended Hanoi to Halong Bay Cruise

Many travellers choice to take a Halong Bay cruise from Hanoi then back to Hanoi after cruise. It's a convenience and save 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.

Join an overnight cruise in Halong Bay

Join a cruise in Halong Bay

Recommended cruises


Why book?


Mon Cheri

Best seller cruise 2022

US$ 170

Scarlet Pearl

Best modern luxury ship

US$ 178

Peony Cruise

Best cruise in Lan Ha bay

US$ 147

Paradise Elegance

Best service for 5-star ship

US$ 168

Heritage Binh Chuan

Best luxurious boutique cruise

US$ 186

Orchid Cruise

Best value luxury cruise

US$ 183

Capella Cruise

Best onboard activities

US$ 193

Get The Best Cruise Deal At BestPrice Travel


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 traveling 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.

The top-recommended for Backpackers is shuttle bus

The top recommended for backpackers is a shuttle bus

For Families with kids and Groups of friends

Top choice: Private car

When traveling 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 travelers

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 and it is the most important and major factor that affects 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 travelers

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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