Ninh Binh to Halong Bay: Definitive Tourist Guide to Transportation

March 15, 2023 - 20960 views

Among the top destinations in northern Vietnam, Ninh Binh and Halong Bay are relatively close to each other. If both are included in your itinerary, you must definitely check this guide out on Ninh Binh to Halong Bay transport.

Halong Bay and Ninh Binh bear a close resemblance to each other and are under certain comparison among the most striking features. As not world-famous as Halong Bay, Ninh Binh is worthy of more attention to the name “Halong Bay on land”. Sometimes many consider whether to add Halong Bay or Ninh Binh into the itinerary.

However, we will be instructive to make it more apparent to plan your trip to both at once. First of all, the stunning natural beauty and interesting activities make both of the destinations achieve a position in your mind. Not to mention, it is really convenient to get from Ninh Binh to Halong Bay by various means of transportation.

Ninh Binh to Halong Bay

Ninh Binh and Halong Bay are easy to travel back and forth

Let’s get to the point of travel routes and the best ways to travel to Halong from Ninh Binh.

How far from Ninh Binh to Ha Long Bay?

Ninh Binh to Halong Bay distance

  • Distance: roughly 200 km 
  • Transfer time: 3.5 hours

Both set locations in northern Vietnam, Ha Long Bay, and Ninh Binh are roughly 200 km far from each other and take around 3.5 hours to travel by car. The distance can vary depending on different travel routes.

The main roadway is via Hanoi – Hai Phong Expressway, also called CT04 or QL5B, the best way to get to Ha Long. The new highway has a total length of 105.5 km, connecting Hanoi and Hai Phong to Ha Long City. As one of the 6 major planning projects of construction in northern Vietnam, this highway has received a large vehicular traffic flow every day.

Main routes to Halong from Ninh Binh

Ninh Binh to Halong Bay

As mentioned above, you can follow these two main routes transfer between Ninh Binh and Halong:

Route 1: Ninh Binh – Nam Dinh – Hai Phong – Ha Long: Via this route, the distance is approximately 197 km, taking 3.5 hours to drive.

Ninh Binh to Halong distance

The first route from Ninh Binh to Halong Bay

Route 2: Ninh Binh – Hung Yen – Hai Phong – Ha Long: The second route is a bit longer about 220 km but takes a shorter drive of 3.25 hours.

Ninh Binh and Halong Bay distance

The second route from Ninh Binh to Halong Bay

All things considered, both ways share a similar route map but still are designated to meet different needs of traveling. Many drivers take the traffic flow, road quality, and toll fees into account to choose the most appropriate way to get to Ha Long Bay.

Ninh Binh to Cat Ba Island

  • Distance: about 230 km
  • Travel time: almost 4.5 hours

Located in the neighboring of Ha Long, Cat Ba Island is also a popular destination on a Ninh Binh – Halong trip. To get to Cat Ba, you have to transfer from Ninh Binh to Ha Long City via National Route 5B. Upon arrival in Ha Long, it is suggested to take a ferry or express boat to reach Cat Ba by waterway which takes almost one hour to transfer. Or else, you can find other means of transportation to get to Cat Ba Island.

How to get from Ninh Binh to Halong

Thanks to the close distance and flexibility of vehicles, it is effortless to travel from Ninh Binh to Halong Bay. When the airway is impossible, you can choose different means of transportation by roadway and even railways with a stopover in Hanoi.

Keep scrolling down to have a better understanding of these 4 common ways:

Ninh Binh to Halong Bay bus

  • Price: 10 - 15 USD (local bus) and 15 - 20 USD (limousine bus)
  • Duration: 4 - 5 hours
  • Total distance: 200 km

Ninh Binh to Halong Bay bus

Limousine bus brings the most comfortable transfer to customers

Known as the most popular choice to go to Ha Long, you can choose one out of two options: local bus and limousine bus from Ninh Binh. Normally, the bus drivers will collect all of the passengers around Tam Coc, Ninh Binh within 30 minutes then drive. There are many bus providers offering different types of buses and schedules to opt for.

  • The local bus is the most economical way to travel. The bus fares range from 8 - 10 USD per seat for one way transfer. It is usually a kind of 45-seat bus provided with limited and sometimes low-quality amenities. Travel time can be up to 4.5 - 5 hours because of many stops to seek more passengers along the way. You have to go to the bus station to catch one but there is a frequent bus every day.
  • The limousine bus, a kind of tourist bus, is much more convenient than the local bus thanks to its quality of services and direct transfer. Unlike the local bus, the limousine van only stops at fixed places, which reduces the travel time to 3.5 hours. The prices of limousine buses vary from 15 USD to 20 USD, including air conditioners, water bottles, and pick-up/ drop-off services.

You may also like Ninh Binh to Halong Bay Bus: Smart Ways To Save Money


  • Reasonable price and essential amenities
  • Direct transfer with pick-up and drop-off services
  • Slow because of picking up passengers on the way
  • Language barrier especially on the local buses

With the most luxurious limousine bus from BestPrice Travel, you don't need to worry about any problems because of our services and you always be supported with our fluent English-speaking guide.

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Ninh Binh to Halong Bay train

  • Price: 10 – 14 USD
  • Duration: 9.5 hours
  • Total distance: 315 km

Ninh Binh to Halong train

The lowest price transfer from Ninh Binh to Halong

For those who have carsick, a train is an alternative option to a bus and car ride. However, there is no direct train from Ninh Binh to Halong Bay. You have to take 2 trains from Ninh Binh to Hanoi (2.5 hours) and from Hanoi to Ha Long (7 hours).

  • Ninh Binh to Hanoi train

There are 5 turns departing daily from Ninh Binh Train Station to Hanoi Railway Station. The earliest train departs at 3:20 am and the latest one departs at 4:50 pm. You can choose a hard/soft seat or a sleeping berth at the price range from 2 to 10 USD.

  • Hanoi to Halong train

The train from Hanoi to Halong offers fewer choices with only a hard seat available. Additionally, it takes almost 7 hours to travel to Halong from Hanoi via railway. It is the reason why Hanoi to Halong train is undesirable for tourists. If you want to seek the local experiences of the Vietnamese railway, the train will be an interesting option.


  • The safest way with a minimum risk of accidents
  • Scenic sightseeing and local experiences
  • The slowest and non-direct route
  • Uncomfortable, uncleanliness, and the crowds


Ninh Binh to Halong Bay private car/ taxi

  • Price: 170 - 260 USD/ round trip
  • Duration: 3.5 hours
  • Total distance: 200 km

Ninh Binh to Halong private car

Get your private trip with private car service with BestPrice Travel

A private car must be the most comfortable way to get from Ninh Binh to Ha Long Bay. Due to the individual trip, a private car costs around 170 USD for a 4-seat car, 190 USD for a 7-seat one, and 230 USD for a 16-seat minivan on a round trip. The price has already included water bottles, fuel, highway tolls, parking fees, and fees for drivers. The other expenditures like entrance fee, tour guide, etc. are not mentioned.

Note: You should choose the number of car seats that are larger than the number of people in your group because it allows room for your luggage. For example, the 4-seat car is suitable for 2 - 3 passengers, the 7-seat car is for 5 passengers, and the 16-seat car is for 10 passengers.


  • The fastest way & pleasant services 
  • Proactiveness & privacy
  • Experienced and English-speaking drivers
  • The most expensive way 

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private car ninh binh - halong

Ninh Binh to Halong Bay motorbike

  • Price: 7 - 10 USD/ bike/ day
  • Duration: 5 - 6 hours
  • Total distance: 200 km

Ninh Binh to Halong motorbike

The motorbike ride gives an adventurous experience to get to Halong

For those addicted to two-wheel adventures, driving a motorbike from Ninh Binh to Halong Bay should be listed on the bucket list. This way offers the most satisfying experiences to explore the local life and rustic landscapes in the countryside. A motor ride takes around 5 - 6 hours via QL1A - QL10 - QL18 Route towards Bach Dang and Bai Chay, Halong City. Following this route, you can avoid highways and toll fees that allow motorbikes to access. The cost varies from 7 to 10 USD per day for a rental bike, not to mention the fuel cost. Make sure you opt for high-quality vehicles to ensure safety on the way.


  • An economical way to get to Halong Bay from Ninh Binh
  • Flexible itinerary without the time constraint
  • Perfect for adventurers to conquer the beautiful road
  • Dangerous and challenging due to the traffic and terrains in Vietnam
  • Not for those who have unhealthy conditions and a motorbike license
  • The risk of accidents and unexpected cases on the way

Book a transfer from Ninh Binh to Ha Long via BestPrice

Despite the activeness, booking on your own costs time and effort to choose the best one. Not to mention, you will be possible to all unpredictable cases. On account of this, it is wise to book a transfer from Ninh Binh to Halong Bay through a local travel agency.

Ninh Binh Halong tour package

Book a tour package to visit both Ninh Binh and Ha Long Bay

Then, all you have to do is find a reliable company to count on. This is what a travel agent is for: booking transfers, following the schedule, handling troubles, and especially giving advice to choose the best vehicles. Beyond transportation, they offer a great collection of Ninh Binh tours and Halong cruise packages with detailed itineraries and budget prices. Subsequently, you should book a Ninh Binh - Halong tour package that covers most of the travel costs and expenses. You can choose either an arranged tour or a tailor-made one to meet your needs.

To sum up, getting to Halong Bay from Ninh Binh is never struggling even though you are a first-timer. Hope this guideline is informative for you to travel back and forth easily. 

You might also look for Hanoi to Halong Bay transfer route.

Nhung Dang

(Image source: Internet & BestPrice Travel)

Questions & Answers (6)

Ask a Question

I'm looking for some viewpoints in Ninh Binh which offer photo worthy opportunities. Do you have any recommendations? thanks in advance


Hi! For the best view in Ninh Binh, you should come to Mua Cave and Tam Coc.

1 Reply

Which means of transport above offers the best sightseeing experience?


Hi! The train is unavailable at present; so you can choose between the shuttle bus, private car, and motorbikes which are quite the same, just different from price, convenience, and safety, nothing to compare about the sightseeing experience. On the other hand, if you are seeking for the best option for sightseeing, you should return to Hanoi from Ninh Binh, and book a seaplane to get to Halong Bay. 

1 Reply

Where can I buy a local bus ticket? Does the bus have toilet or will they stop at any station on the way?


You can buy local bus tickets at any bus station; however, as bus stations are usually so crowded and you may get scam, it isn't recommended to use the local bus. You should use the shuttle bus instead. Also, the bus will stop at stations on the way for you to go to the restroom.

If you want to book transfer from Ninh Binh to Halong, please call: +84904699428.

1 Reply

Could you recommend some Ninh Binh - Halong tour packages for me? Thank you


Hi! Please check our suggestions for Ninh Binh - Halong tours below:

For more package tours to Halong Bay: CLICK HERE

1 Reply

How many options for limousine bus transfer and how much? Please mail back to me for more information


Hi! There aren't many options for limousine bus transfer from Ninh Binh to Halong and it's usually around $14/pax. You can find more information here: Ninh Binh to Halong Bay Bus: Schedule & Price. Also, please check you email, we sent you a quotation for the bus. Thank you.

1 Reply