Phong Nha to Hanoi

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How to get from Phong Nha to Hanoi

Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi is a vibrant mix of heritage and modernity.

At Hanoi’s heart is the Old Quarter, a favourite tourist destination bustling with cozy hotels, old residential buildings and neighbourhood cafes. Composed of 36 streets, just walking around this area will reward you with many amazing discoveries.

Hanoi’s must-visit sites include Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Temple of Literature, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, and the 19th-century Gothic St. Joseph’s Cathedral. Munch on street food, lounge at one of their many coffee shops, and stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake.

3 ways to get from Phong Nha to Hanoi

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus9 hours281,000 VND ($11)Check bus tickets
Train12 hours860,000 VND ($34.50)Check train tickets
Flight3 hours865,000 VND ($34.50)Check flights

The only direct option when travelling the 500 km from Phong Nha to Hanoi is by bus. This bus journey takes 9 hours and costs around 281,000 VND ($11). Alternative options include a 12-hour train and a 3-hour flight – both depart from Dong Hoi, located 40 km from Phong Nha.

We recommend taking the night bus from Phong Nha to Hanoi. The bus is the most convenient and cheapest option. What we like about the buses for this route is that they take you straight from Phong Nha city centre to Hanoi’s Old Quarter.

Taking the night train is another good option, but requires an extra bus or taxi ride from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi Railway Station. That makes the total travel time take about 12 hours. Although more expensive than the bus at 860,000 VND ($34.50), a bed on a night train is much more comfortable.

You can also take a flight but we don’t recommend this since you will lose a large part of your day on travelling. With a flight from Phong Nha to Hanoi, you’ll have to travel 1-1.5 hours to and from the airports. Including the waiting time for your flight, the journey can easily take at least 6 hours.

TIP: If you decide to travel by plane from Phong Nha to Hanoi, please consider including a carbon compensation fee to reduce your impact on the environment.

Itinerary from Phong Nha to Hanoi

Phong Nha to Hanoi travelroute

Phong Nha to Hanoi by Bus

Duration: 9 hours
Cost: 281,000 VND ($11)
Duration: 9 hours
Cost: 281,000 VND ($11)

At least 3 companies offer overnight sleeper buses from Phong Nha to Hanoi. These are Camel Travel, Full Moon Party and Queen Cafe.

With a sleeper bus, you’ll get a standard sleeping bunk, usually with a blanket as well as drinks and snacks. Bus fares from Phong Nha to Hanoi start from 281,000 VND ($11). You can pre-book a sleeper bus ticket through BookAway.

If you’re looking for more comfort for the 9-hour journey, you can also get a limousine cabin sleeper with Hung Long. Tickets are more expensive at 680,000 VND ($27), but you’ll also get a nicer bed as well as curtains for privacy.

You can book a VIP ride from Phong Nha to Hanoi via Baolau.

Departure and arrival station

Buses depart from various hotels along the main street in Phong Nha.

In Hanoi, they arrive at their own headquarters, mostly located just a few minutes walk to Hoan Kiem Lake. Only Camel Travel and Hung Long park a bit outside of the city centre, about 3 km south of the Old Quarter.

Bus schedules from Phong Nha to Hanoi

BusScheduleCosts
Camel Travel21:00-06:00286,000 VND ($11.50)
Check Bus Tickets
Full Moon Party21:00-06:00281,000 VND ($11)
Check Bus Tickets
Queen Cafe20:30-05:30462,000 VND ($18.50)
Check Bus Tickets
Hung Long
(Limousine Cabin)
18:30-03:50680,000 VND ($27)
Check Bus Tickets

Hung Thanh is another bus operator for this route. However, we don’t recommend travelling with them because they get bad reviews. These include overloading, rude staff, and dirty buses. If you still want to travel with Hung Thanh, you can book a ticket through Phong Nha Locals.

Phong Nha to Hanoi by Train

Duration: 12 hours
Cost: 860,000 VND ($34.50)
Duration: 12 hours
Cost: 860,000 VND ($34.50)

When taking the train from Phong Nha to Hanoi, you first have to get to Dong Hoi Railway Station. This station is located about 40 km south of Phong Nha.

If you decide to take the train, we recommend picking one that travels overnight from Phong Nha to Hanoi. This way, you don’t lose a full day on the journey. You also get to have a good night’s sleep and even save one night on accommodation.

Step 1: Phong Nha to Dong Hoi Railway Station by Bus

Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Cost: 50,000 VND ($2)
Duration: 1-1.5 hours
Cost: 50,000 VND ($2)

From Phong Nha, you can take the local bus to Dong Hoi for just 50,000 VND ($2). Bus 4 departs from Phong Nha city centre every hour from 06:00 to 17:00. There’s a catch though, this bus stops at the Central Bus Station, located about 1 km from Dong Hoi Railway Station.

This means that from the bus drop-off point in Dong Hoi, you’ll still need to walk for about 15 minutes or take a short taxi ride to the train station.

If that is too much hassle for you, you can also just take a direct taxi from your hotel in Phong Nha to Dong Hoi Railway Station. Rates start from 400,000 VND ($16) for the 1-hour taxi journey.

For a more detailed guide, do check out our page on Dong Hoi.

Step 2: Dong Hoi to Hanoi by Train

Duration: 10.5 hours
Cost: 810,000 VND ($32.50)
Duration: 10.5 hours
Cost: 810,000 VND ($32.50)

There are 4 to 5 trains operating daily from Phong Nha to Hanoi via Dong Hoi. Most of these trains travel from early evening to morning the next day. Travel time is 10.5 to 12.5 hours.

This gives you plenty of time to go through your photos and maybe update your Instagram before enjoying a nice sleep at your train cabin. The sunrise in Hanoi will welcome you the next morning!

Rates for a 4-berth sleeper from Dong Hoi to Hanoi start from 810,000 VND ($32.50).

It’s best to confirm the train schedules and even book your tickets beforehand to make sure you don’t miss your desired train. You can do this via Baolau.

Trains depart from Dong Hoi Railway Station and arrive at Hanoi Train Station, located 2 km southwest of the Old Quarter.

Train schedules from Dong Hoi to Hanoi (Sleeper berth)

TrainScheduleSleeper berth
SE418:30-05:00937,000 VND ($37.50)
Check Train Tickets
SE219:21-05:40963,000 VND ($38.50)
Check Train Tickets
SE1221:42-10:05810,000 VND ($32.50)
Check Train Tickets

The prices indicated above are for 4-person cabins from Phong Nha to Hanoi. There are also 6-bunk cabins available, but they may be too cramped. Choosing a seat, although much cheaper, doesn’t make much sense, you are better off taking a bus.

Phong Nha to Hanoi by Flight

Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 865,000 VND ($34.50)
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: 865,000 VND ($34.50)

The third option is to fly from Phong Nha to Hanoi via Dong Hoi. The disadvantage of this option is that you first have to take a bus or taxi from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi Airport and then another bus from Hanoi Airport to the city centre.

When you include the waiting time for your flight as well as the time it takes to check-in and get your luggage, you’re already looking at a 6-hour journey. We think taking a flight is too much hassle considering you can just take a direct bus.

Do you still want to take a flight from Hanoi to Phong Nha? See the step-by-step guide below.

Step 1: Phong Nha to Dong Hoi Airport by Bus/Taxi

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 50,000 VND ($2)
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 50,000 VND ($2)

When travelling from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi Airport, you can take either a bus or a taxi for 1 hour.

The bus is quite convenient and affordable. Just catch Bus 4, which departs from the main road in Phong Nha and drops you off just outside the airport. A ticket costs only 50,000 VND ($2).

Bus 4 operates daily from 06:00 to 17:00 with an hourly interval. Note that it has no definite schedule and if you miss the bus for the hour, you’ll have to wait a while for the next bus.

If you’re short on time, you can also take a taxi from Phong Nha to Dong Hoi Airport. Rates range from 400,000 VND ($16) to 500,000 VND ($20) when you hail a taxi from the street. You can also pre-book your ride via BookAway for 576,000 VND ($23).

Book a Private Transfer with BookAway

See our page on Dong Hoi for more info.

Dong Hoi to Hanoi by Flight

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 770,000 VND ($31)
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 770,000 VND ($31)

Direct flights are available daily from Dong Hoi to Hanoi. These are operated by Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways.

Airfares range from 770,000 VND ($31) to 980,000 VND ($39) when you book your tickets well in advance. We also recommend regularly checking Skyscanner for the cheapest rates, as you can sometimes book this route for as low as 660,000 VND ($26.50).

The flight time takes around 1 hour.

Check Flights on Skyscanner

Step 3: Hanoi Airport to City Centre by Bus

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 45,000 VND ($1.80)
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 45,000 VND ($1.80)

From Hanoi Airport, you can conveniently get to the city centre by taking Express Bus 86. A ticket costs only 45,000 VND ($1.80) and travel time is about an hour. Inform the driver beforehand where your hotel is located so he can drop you off at the nearest bus stop.

Express Bus 86 makes several drops near the Old Quarter before making its final stop at Hanoi Railway Station.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi from Hanoi Airport to the city centre with rates from 230,000 VND ($9).

Visit our page on Hanoi Airport for more transport options.

Where to travel next?


Hanoi to Sapa: 6-9 hours

Explore the rice fields in Sapa

Hanoi to CatBa: 3.5-4 hours

Enjoy the stunning views of the karst mountains

Hanoi to Ninh Binh: 2-3 hours

Paddle through the Tam Coc or Trang An river while passing karst mountains and rice fields

Hanoi to Hoi An: 3-17 hours

Enjoy the great atmosphere of Hoi An with a mixture of Japanese, Vietnamese and French influences

 

Our favourite places to stay in Hanoi

Nova Luxury Hotel

Just landed in Hanoi? In this hotel, you will get the best night of sleep you had since ages. The friendly staff will give you a warm welcome and serve a wonderful breakfast buffet the next morning! Located in the middle of the center, but completely isolated from all the noise.

Double rooms with city view from: $42

Read More

   Activities

Visiting Halong Bay


For many travellers, Halong Bay is one of the highlights of Vietnam. The stunning landscape and breathtaking views over the limestone rocks look almost unreal!

To experience Halong Bay in the best way, you can book a boat cruise departing from Hanoi. Organized tours departing from Hanoi are often cheaper than tours sold by agencies in Halong Bay and another advantage is that you don't need to organize your transport to get there.

We recommend to book your boat tour online to get the best prices and be certain that you book with a trusted company. I already spoke to many travellers who booked boat trips from a random agency on the street and were very disappointed by the service and conditions of this boat.

See here our recommendtion of well-rated boat cruises

*Both tours include free pick-up and drop-off in Hanoi.

Want to have a broader choice of tours? Check out Halongbaytours for more boat cruises around Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay (Cat Ba).

 

More routes to Hanoi

Hanoi Airport

Sapa to Hanoi

CatBa to Hanoi

Ninh Binh to Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

Hoi An to Hanoi

Hue to Hanoi

Halong Bay to Hanoi

Ha Giang to Hanoi

More routes from Phong Nha

Phong Nha to Hoi An

Phong Nha to Hue

Phong Nha to Ninh Binh

Halong Bay to Hanoi

Hanoi to Halong Bay

Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh

Hanoi to Sapa

Ho Chi Minh to Hanoi

Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An

Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc

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