How to get from CatBa to Phong Nha?
When travelling the 365km distance from CatBa to Phong Nha, you have 3 options: you can take a bus via Ninh Binh (11 hours), a bus via Hanoi (14 hours), or an indirect flight via Hai Phong (7.5 hours).
Bus via Tam Coc or Hanoi or Flight via Hai Phong?
|Bus via Tam Coc||13.5 hours||920,000 VND ($40)||Read article for more info|
|Bus via Hanoi||14 hours||680,000 VND ($29.50)||Read article for more info|
|Flight via Hai Phong||8.5 hours||1,975,000 VND ($85)||Read article for more info|
As far as we know, there are no direct tickets from CatBa to Phong Nha. Given the long journey, we recommend making a stop for one or more days in Hanoi or Ninh Binh/Tam Coc.
Ninh Binh province is a beautiful area and has a lot to offer. That’s why we recommend staying here for at least one or a few days.
How to travel this leg in one day
Does this not fit into your schedule? Book the earliest bus and ferry ticket to Ninh Binh and take a night bus or train leaving between 21:00-23:00 from Ninh Binh to Phong Nha. This way you can still spend a beautiful afternoon on a boat in the Tam Coc or Trang An river. Read below for more details.
Another option is to book a combined bus and ferry ticket to Hanoi and continue by train or bus to Phong Nha. We recommend taking the bus from Hanoi because the bus brings you directly to Phong Nha. When you take the train, you first have to go to Dong Hoi and take a bus or taxi from there to Phong Nha.
Itinerary from CatBa to Phong Nha
Bus via Tam Coc
- Cat Ba
- 4 hours
- Ninh Binh
- 7 hours
- Phong Nha
Bus via Hanoi
- Cat Ba
- 4 hours
- 10 hours
- Phong Nha
Flight via Hai Phong
- Cat Ba
- 1h 15min
- Hai Phong Airport
- 6 hours
- Dong Hoi Airport
- 1 hours
- Phong Nha
CatBa to Phong Nha via Tam Coc by Bus
Duration: 11 hours
Cost: 575,000 VND ($24.50)
We recommend booking a combined bus and ferry ticket from CatBa to Tam Coc and the night bus to Phong Nha. You can also take the night train, but this will arrive in Dong Hoi, which is still another hour away from Phong Nha.
Even better, book the ticket with the earliest departure time so you can still spend your afternoon in Tam Coc. After having spent your afternoon on the Tam Coc river, you can take the night bus or train to Phong Nha.
Step 1: CatBa to Tam Coc by Bus + Ferry
Duration: 4 hours
Cost: 280,000 VND ($12)
You can choose from at least 4 companies operating this route, with tickets starting at 280,000 VND ($12). Note that the earliest ferry leaves at 7:30 and it takes 4-5 hours to reach Tam Coc.
Since you arrive in the early afternoon you will still be able to do a boat tour on the Tam Coc River. This boat leaves from the center of Tam Coc, which is only a 1-minute walk from the drop-off point. After the boat tour, you can have dinner or play pool at Tam Coc Bungalow. From the terrace, you will see the villagers paddling back from work through the Tam Coc River. Enjoy this beautiful view over the gorgeous limestone rocks, while sipping away your cocktail. And regret you cannot stay longer here…
Note: Tam Coc is a little village in Ninh Binh province and about 15min from Ninh Binh city. If you stop in Ninh Binh city, note that there is not much to do here and you will be further away from all the attractions. Conclusion: If you decide to spend your afternoon at one of these two places, make sure it is Tam Coc.
Visit the page from CatBa to Ninh Binh for more information on this route.
Step 2: Ninh Binh to Phong Nha by Bus
Duration: 7 hours
Cost: 295,000 VND ($12.50)
After you’ve had dinner in Tam Coc, you can take a night bus that will bring you straight to Phong Nha. Travel time is at least 7 hours and costs 295,000 VND ($12.50).
You can also take a night train, but this will only bring you up to Dong Hoi. From there, you still need to take 1-hour bus or taxi ride to reach Phong Nha.
See the page of Ninh Binh to Phong Nha for more details.
CatBa to Phong Nha via Hanoi by Bus
Duration: 14 hours
Cost: 680,000 VND ($29.50)
We recommend booking your bus ticket from Hanoi to Phong Nha online. If you wait till you arrive in Hanoi, you have the risk that the bus will be fully booked. The bus will leave around 18:00-19:00 from Hanoi and will drop you between 3:00-6:00 in Phong Nha.
Step 1: Cat Ba to Hanoi by Bus + Ferry
Duration: 4 hours
Cost: 220,000 VND ($9.50)
We recommend booking a combined bus and ferry ticket with a departure in the morning.
Daiichi Travel has the earliest departure time at 7:30 and arrives in Hanoi at 11:30. Later options are also available, but if there is some delay you might miss your bus or train. Keep in mind that it is not uncommon for ferries in Asia to be delayed or canceled because of the rough ocean. This sometimes gets worse during the day.
Visit CatBa to Hanoi for more information.
Step 2: Hanoi to Phong Nha by Bus
Duration: 10 hours
Cost: 300,000 VND ($13)
When you book your bus tickets from Hanoi to Phong Nha online, you can choose among four bus companies. These buses leave between 18:30 and 19:00.
Visit Hanoi to Phong Nha for more tips on this route.
Cat Ba to Phong Nha via Hai Phong by Flight
Duration: 8.5 hours
Cost: 1,975,000 VND ($85)
The closest airport to CatBa is Hai Phong, but there are no direct flights from CatBa to Phong Nha. The only option you have is to take an indirect flight from Hai Phong to Dong Hoi, which takes around 6 hours. The cheapest flight will still cost you 1,745,000 VND ($75) and it would be a shame if you miss this flight when the ferry is delayed.
From CatBa to Hai Phong, it takes around 1h 15min and tickets start from 230,000 VND ($10).
If you really want to fly, it is better to fly from Hanoi. Visit the page from Hanoi to Phong Nha for more information.
My favourite places to stay in Phong Nha
Thanks to the great hospitality of the family, this homestay will feel like your home. After a day of trekking you can take a dive in the pool or sit back and relax with a Netflix movie. The homestay is located right in front of the bus stop in the center of Phong Nha. Rooms with mountain views already start from $21,- including an outstanding breakfast!
Bonus: Free cancellation policy till the last day!
Want a more unique experience? The interior of Phong Nha Rustic Home creates a real rustic feel which makes you feel one with nature. It's located outside the city center, but you can use their free-bicycle rental to explore the National Parks or get to the center. Rooms start from $24.
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