Hanoi to Halong Bay: 6 Best Ways to Travel 2024

March 27, 2024 - 34051 views

How to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay? Which transfer options are the best for budget travelers, group tourists,...? In this guide, let BestPrice Travel find out the most suitable way for you.

  • NO direct flight between Hanoi and Halong Bay
  • The average transfer time is about 2.5 hours
  • The most popular transport is luxury shuttle bus, from US$ 20 /one-way /pax
  • Seaplane is the fastest and most interesting way to get to the Bay
  • Most travelers book the transfer with Halong Bay cruise for better price and convenience
  • Hanoi - Halong train line has been indefinitely closed

It usually takes about 2.5 hours to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay by land, as the terrestrial distance between them is approximately 170 km. The exact distance and travel time could vary according to your departure and destination spots.

>> Please check for different routes and distances at Distance & Travel Time from Hanoi to Halong Bay [Updated 2024]


How to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay? 

The most common way to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi is by luxury shuttle buses. Besides, other vehicle options include private cars, seaplanes, motorbikes and trains.

Transports Price Best for

Public Bus

US $4 - $10 /one-way /pax


Solo travelers

Shuttle Bus

US $20 - $25 /one-way /pax

Budget travelers

Senior travelers

Halong cruise passengers

Private Car

Contact BestPrice Travel

US $50 - $110 /one-way/ pax

Family with kids

Group travelers 

Business travelers


Book Now at BestPrice Travel

US $350 - $450 /one-way /pax 

Couple tourists

Affluent traveler 


US $7 - $15  /day

Adventure seekers



US $4 /one-way




1. Travel by Luxury Shuttle Bus - The Most Popular Transportation

Time: 2 - 2.5 hrs 

Price: US $20 - $25 /one-way /pax (350,000 to 500,000 VND /pax). 

Capacity: 9-seater, 17-seater, 19-seater

Pick-up point:  The Old Quarter 

Pick-up time: 7:00 - 8:30

The most efficient vehicle from Hanoi to Halong Bay in terms of budget and comfort is luxury shuttle buses, because they are: 

Widely affordable:  A 2-hour shuttle bus journey to Halong Bay would cost you only US $20 - $25 per passenger, which is reasonable for all types of travelers;

Luxury Shuttle Buses Are Recommended For All Types Of Travelers

Luxury shuttle buses are recommended for all types of travelers

Highly comfortable: Luxury shuttle buses only carry a limited number of passengers and would offer leather reclining seats, massage chairs, free WiFi,... during the trip;

Halong Luxury Shuttle Buses Offer Greater Comfort Than Local Buses

Halong luxury shuttle buses offer greater comfort than local buses

Be tailored for cruise tours: Buses booked with Halong cruise packages would take you straight from your hotel to the pier without delay. 


How to book a luxury shuttle bus? 

For Halong cruise passengers, booking shuttle buses with cruise packages would be the optimal way.

To book shuttle buses separately, opting for travel agencies would provide you with adequate customer services, high insurance and sometimes special offers. 

Currently, BestPrice Travel are providing Halong Bay shuttle buses with the price from US $20 /one-way /pax. For details, feel free to contact us.

Book Luxury Bus Transfer At BestPrice Travel

>> For further information about how to book shuttle buses, please go to Hanoi to Halong Bay Luxury Shuttle Bus: Schedule & Price 2024.


  • All luxury shuttle buses offer free hotel pick-up within Hanoi Old Quarter. If you stay outside the area, surcharge may apply.
  • Please bring backpacks or carry-on luggages along, as rooms for luggages on luxury shuttle buses are quite limited.


2. Transfer by Private Car - Best Privacy & Convenient

Time: 2 - 2.5 hrs

Price: US $50 to $110 / one-way/ pax (1,200,000 to 2,500,000 VND)

Capacity (driver included): 4-seater, 5-seater, 7-seater

Pick-up/ drop-off point/ time: Up to passenger

Going by private car is among the most recommended Hanoi to Halong Bay options, as it provides a high level of privacy and convenience. Particularly, a private car journey to Halong Bay could offer you: 

Flexibility in pick-up time and point: Unlike shuttle buses, private cars could pick you up anywhere, at anytime you want; 

Private space for families and friends: Especially, for families or groups with kids and a great amount of luggage, opting for private cars would be a good idea.

Private Cars Offer Passengers Freedom And Flexibility In Schedules

Private cars offer passengers freedom and flexibility in schedules

How to book a private car? 

Like shuttle buses, private cars could be booked with Halong cruises, which cruise passengers can take into consideration. 

To book private cars separately, you could contact travel agencies and provide your information. Currently, BestPrice is offering private car transfer from US $49 /one-way / pax. For more details, please feel free to contact us.

Book Your Transfer At BestPrice Travel

  • Besides car fare, you may have to incur toll fee which would be around US $16 - $40 (400,000 VND - 1,000,000 VND);
  • In addition to common capacities, private cars that can carry up to 16 passengers are available with fares of about US $100 - $200 /pax (2,000,000 VND - 5,000,000 VND)


3. Take a Seaplane from Hanoi to Halong - Amazing Experience

Time: 60 minutes (45-min transfer + 15-min sightseeing flight) 

Price: US $350 - $450 /one-way /pax (4,100,000 VND - 9,000,000 VND) 

Capacity: 3 - 12 passengers (800 kg in total)

Pick-up/ drop-off point: Noi Bai International Airport to Tuan Chau Marina

Taking a seaplane is the fastest plus most interesting way to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi. It would allow you: 

Reduce travel time to one-quarter: For only 45 minutes, you can get straight to Tuan Chau Marina from Noi Bai International Airport; 

Enjoy Halong Bay bird-eye view: The seaplane would take you around Halong Bay for 15-minutes, which would be the most mesmerizing experience during your whole trip.

Seaplanes Provide The Quickest And Most Interesting Way To Get To Halong Bay From Hanoi

Seaplanes provide the quickest and most interesting way to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi

How to book a seaplane?

The only supplier of seaplanes is Hai Au Aviation. You can either contact the brand or book through BestPrice Travel. Alternatively, you could purchase Halong Bay cruise combos with seaplane transfer.

Book Your Transfer At BestPrice Travel

  • 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, so you can request a charter flight, if traveling in pairs. 
  • Passengers of size OVER 110 kg will get pax overweight charges to purchase a second seat.


4. Travel from Hanoi to Halong by Motorbike - Most Venturesome

Time: 3.5 - 4 hours

Motorbike rental: US $7 - $15  /day (150,000 VND - 300,000 VND) 

Route: Highway No.18

If you are an adventure seeker, getting to Halong Bay from Hanoi by motorbike will be a thrilling, off-the-beaten-track experience during your vacation. On riding a motorbike, you will have a chance to enjoy: 

Adventurous journey: You can get to areas that may not be accessible by buses or cars, visit local villages, and truly immerse yourself in mesmerizing and peaceful mountain areas.

Cost-saving trip: With a total cost of US $100 for motorbike rental and fuel, you can enjoy a 3 - 4 day trip to Halong Bay and back;

Get To Halong Bay From Hanoi By Motorbike Would Be An Adventurous Experience

Get to Halong Bay from Hanoi by motorbike would be an adventurous experience

How to rent a motorbike? 

There are some motorbike rental centers in Hanoi such as AZ Motorbikes, Happy Zip Motorbikes, Tigit Motorbikes Hanoi, etc. that you can take into consideration:

Providers Contact/ 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

451 Hong Ha street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi

Tigit Motorbike Hanoi

+84 386 518 481

No.10, alley 603, Lac Long Quan street, Tay Ho district, Hanoi

Note: In addition to daily rental, many motorbike providers in Hanoi offer discounted weekly or monthly rentals.


Hanoi to Halong Bay motorbike routes

Route 1: Hanoi - Bac Ninh - Ha Long

  • Distance: 155 km
  • Time: 3 hours

From Hanoi, move toward Vinh Tuy bridge. After crossing the bridge, ride along Ngoc Lam street to Bac Ninh province.

In Bac Ninh, 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

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.


  • On renting a motorbike, you will have to leave a sum of money as a deposit (around US $500 - $1000) or hand in a copy of your passport;
  • After taking the motorcycle, remember to ask for its insurance and ownership paper (copied version). 
  • 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) or on a motorbike tour to avoid getting lost.


5. Get to Halong Bay from Hanoi by Public Bus - The Cheapest Way

Time: 2 - 3 hrs  

Price: US $4 - $10 /one-way /pax (100,000 to 250,000 VND /pax). 

Capacity: 40-seater, 45-seater, 47-seater

Pick-up point: My Dinh station 

Pick-up time: Up to bus providers

The most cost-saving way to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi is by public bus, as this type of vehicle only takes you a maximum of US $10 for the whole journey. It is particularly suitable for backpackers or solo travelers whose main concern is budget. 

In fact, most Halong Bay public buses are sleeper buses, so you could opt for night ones to save time.

Most Halong Public Buses Are Sleeper Buses Suitable For Night Journeys

Most Halong public buses are sleeper buses suitable for night journeys

How to take a public bus?

The common pick-up point of Halong Bay public buses is My Dinh station, so the optimal way to take a bus is to get straight to the station and buy tickets through the ticket office.   

Below are some popular public bus operators and their schedules for you to take into consideration:


Bus fares


Pick-up time

Hung Duc

Contact: 02485898333

~ US $8 /pax

(200,000 VND)

Morning: 6:30, 7:50, 8:45, 9:45, 10:50, 11:40

Afternoon: 13:30, 15:10, 15:50, 16:30

Evening: 17:45, 19:15

Dai Phat

Contact: 0983472299

~ US $10 /pax

(250,000 VND)

Morning: 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 6:50

Afternoon: 16:00

Evening: 20:50, 22:00

Ha Long Limousine

Contact: 19000381

~ US $10 /pax

(240,000 VND)

One transfer every hour from 05:00 - 08:00

Phuc Xuyen

Contact: 19006799

~ US $10 /pax

(240,000 VND)

From 02:30 to 19:00 daily

Ha Vy Limousine

Contact: 0969255255

~ US $8 /pax

(200,000 VND)

From 04:30 to 07:00 daily

My Dinh Station Is The Common Departure Spot Of Halong Public Buses

My Dinh Station is the common departure spot for Halong public buses

  • Most buses would let you alight at Bai Chay Station in Ha Long city
  • On special occasions (Tet holiday, etc.), the number of passengers is such that some buses exceed its capacity, making it crowded and uncomfortable.


6. Local Train - Travel Like a Local

Things you need to know: Normally, you can purchase train tickets online or at the ticket office at Hanoi station. However, the train line from Hanoi to Halong has been indefinitely closed since 2020, which means no train is available now. For further updates about this, you can contact Vietnam Railways.

Time: 7 hours

Price: US $4 /one-way /pax

Pick-up/ drop-off point: Hanoi station - Halong station

Taking a local train to Halong Bay from Hanoi would bring you a long and nostalgic journey, in which you could:

Enjoy scenic views from cabins: You would have a chance to enjoy both mountain and sea views from your cabin’s window;  

Get to know how traveling is like in the 80s: Rail travel in Vietnam is low-tech, slow and informal. Most facilities such as stations, platforms,... have remained since the last centuries.

Inside A Cabin Of Hanoi To Halong Train

Inside a cabin of Hanoi to Halong train


Have you decided how to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay yet? If not, let’s take a look at each vehicle’s pros and cons presented in the infographic below.

Hanoi To Halong Bay 6 Best Ways To Travel

Summary of Halong Bay transports’ pros and cons


The Reverse Way: Halong Bay to Hanoi

If you have no further plans but return to Hanoi from Halong Bay, it is highly recommended that you (bus, flight passengers) purchase a two-way transfer ticket in advance. For cruise passengers, it would be wise that you book two-way transfers by private car or shuttle buses with Halong cruise tours.  

To get from Halong Bay to Noi Bai International Airport, you can opt for private cars or seaplanes as they could take you straight to the airport. 


If you have time and interest, it would be better to drop by Ninh Binh midway. This province, also known as “Halong Bay on land”, is home to hundreds of limestone cliffs and riverine landscapes. Here, you can spend 1 to 2 days sightseeing before getting back to Hanoi. 

Halong Bay to Ninh Binh: 

  • Distance: 206.6 km  
  • Transfer options:
Transport Travel time



Shuttle bus

3 - 3.5 hrs

US $15 - $20 /pax

Private car

2.5 - 3 hrs 

US $70 - $100 /pax

Ninh Binh to Hanoi: 

  • Distance: 94.3 km
  • Transfer options:
Transport Travel time



Shuttle bus

2 - 2.5 hrs

US $10 - $12 /pax

Private car

2.5 - 3 hrs 

US $60 - $90 /pax


2 - 2.5 hrs

US $4 - $8 /pax

>> Please check out some Ninh Binh Tours & Day Trips  


Alternative Route: Hanoi - Cat Ba - Halong 

Instead of getting straight from Hanoi to Halong Bay, you could divide the route into two smaller ones: Hanoi - Cat Ba, Cat Ba - Halong Bay, which would allow you to: 

Explore Cat Ba Island: Located only 20 km from Halong Bay, Cat Ba features limestone karst and beach sceneries that are as impressive as the bay area’s; 

Experience Vietnamese maritime transfer: Local, high-speed waterway transports such as ferries, speedboats and hydrofoils are provided en route.

If you opt for this route, you can take buses, cars or trains from Hanoi to Hai Phong, then take ferries, speed boats or hydrofoil from Hai Phong to Cat Ba and Cat Ba to Halong. 

>> Please check the details to traverse from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island and Cat Ba Island to Halong Bay here


Recommended Hanoi to Halong Bay Cruise

Many travelers 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.

Cruises Prices /pax

Mon Cheri Cruise

US $175 - $278

Scarlet Pearl Cruise

US $168 - $316 

Peony Cruise

US $149 - $290

Orchid Classic Cruise

US $186 - $992 

Sena Cruise

US $144 - $280


Local Tips for Various Traveler Types

For Backpackers and Self-travel Tourists

  • Opting for shuttle buses would be time- and cost-efficient.
  • It would be helpful to learn some Vietnamese in advance, as you will have to interact with the local staff during the trip.
  • On purchasing bus tickets, paying ahead through travel agencies or booking websites would protect you from scams.  

For Families with Kids and Groups of Friends

  • Private transfer by car is the best option
  • For under-2-year kids, please choose pickup/ dropoff time that matches your kids’ sleep schedules.
  • Prepare child’s car seats in advance as they would not be provided on Halong Bay private car. 

For Couples and Opulent Travelers

  • Private cars or seaplanes are recommended choices
  • If not staying in Hanoi, you should book cars or seaplanes from Noi Bai Airport to Halong Bay in advance.

For Senior Tourists

  • Shuttle bus or seaplanes would offer great comfort
  • To avoid motion sickness, please take a Promethazine pill 30 - 60 mins before getting on buses
  • Please choose buses with suitable capacities


FAQs for traveling from Hanoi to Halong Bay

  1. How to get from Hanoi Airport to Halong Bay? 

To get to Halong Bay from Noi Bai International Airport, taking a private car is the most recommended option. If you are not in Vietnam and want to have a private car pick you up after landing, you could contact a travel agency and provide your information. 

  1. Do private cars have baby’s car seats? 

Normally, baby’s car seats are not provided for passengers on private cars. If you have kids, it would be necessary to prepare one in advance. 

  1. Are children allowed to take a seaplane? 

Yes, children are allowed on seaplanes with their parents or guardians. Particularly, 

  • Children from 2 years and above: 100% Adult Fare
  • Children under 2 years: US $50/ one-way/ child (500,000 VND) 
  1. Do Hanoi to Halong Bay routes have rest stations/ service areas?

Yes, if traveling to Halong Bay by land vehicles, you would go through Highway 5B and 18. On the way, you can stop by the following spots to take a rest, buy fuel and other things:

Highway Rest areas Address


(shuttle buses, cars)

V52 rest station

Km 52, highway 5B, Hoang Dieu commune, Gia Loc district, Hai Duong province

PK77 rest station

Km 77, highway 5B, Quoc Tuan commune, An Lao district, Hai Duong province



Thanh Quan 99 rest station

km 43 + 190, highway no.18, Hoang Tan ward, Chi Linh city, Hai Duong province

Hai An gas station

Km 10, highway no.18, Pho Moi town, Que Vo district, Bac Ninh province 

  1. Where do Halong Bay cruises start from? 

Currently, there are 2 official ports for Halong Bay Cruises, including Tuan Chau Marina and Halong International Cruise Port. From Hanoi, you can get to one of the ports (depending on each cruise) by private cars or seaplanes, then start your trip there.

Find The Best Cruise At BestPrice Travel

Above are the most recommended ways to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Hope you find the most suitable one. In the event of any further questions, please contact us through our website or hotlines. We would be glad to help you plan your unforgettable trip to Vietnam.

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Questions & Answers (18)

Ask a Question

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


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

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


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

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?


@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

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?


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

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


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