CatBa to Phong Nha

Last updated:

Overview Compare via Tam Coc via Hanoi Flight To Stay

How to get from CatBa to Phong Nha

When travelling the 365 km distance from CatBa to Phong Nha, you have 3 options: you can take a bus via Ninh Binh (12.5 hours), a bus via Hanoi (12.5 hours), or an indirect flight via Hanoi (6.5 hours). Rates range from 712,000 VND ($28.50) to 990,000 VND ($39.50).

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus via Ninh Binh12.5 hours738,000 VND ($29.50)Read article for more info

Bus via Hanoi12.5 hours712,000 VND ($28.50)Read article for more info
Flight via Hanoi6.5 hours990,000 VND ($39.50)Read article for more info

There is no direct transport from CatBa to Phong Nha. All transport options include a stop in either Ninh Binh/Tam Coc or Hanoi.

We recommend taking a bus via Ninh Binh. If you take an early morning trip from CatBa, you can enjoy an afternoon exploring the Trang An Complex on a boat. If you have extra time, it will be even better if you can stay here a day or more before going on your way to Phong Nha!

You can also take a bus from CatBa to Phong Nha via Hanoi. If you haven’t been to the capital yet, this will be a great way to spend at least a few hours exploring the Old Quarter. But if you’ve already been to Hanoi, we think a stop in Ninh Binh will be more worth your time.

Taking a flight from CatBa to Phong Nha cuts your travel time in half, but involves several transfers. There is no airport in either of the cities. The most convenient flight would be one from Hanoi to Dong Hoi. From CatBa, you’ll need to take 2 buses to get to Hanoi Airport. And from Dong Hoi, you can take a bus or a taxi to Phong Nha.

Itinerary from CatBa to Phong Nha

CatBa to Phong Nha travelroute map

CatBa to Phong Nha via Ninh Binh by Bus

Duration: 12.5 hours
Cost: 738,000 VND ($29.50)
Duration: 12.5 hours
Cost: 738,000 VND ($29.50)

Taking a bus from CatBa to Phong Nha via Ninh Binh will be more scenic than the alternative route via Hanoi.

Ninh Binh’s province is rich in natural wonders. We highly recommend including this in your itinerary and staying here for a few days. But if you’re short on time, at least spend an afternoon exploring the town of Tam Coc while waiting for your overnight bus to Phong Nha.

Step 1: CatBa to Ninh Binh by Bus + Ferry

Duration: 4 hours
Cost: 313,000 VND ($12.50)
Duration: 4 hours
Cost: 313,000 VND ($12.50)

From CatBa, you can take a combined bus/limo van and ferry to Ninh Binh. Travel time is around 4 hours and ticket prices start from 313,000 VND ($12.50).

There are two main companies operating on this route: The Long Travel (bus) and Discovery Travel (limo van).

The Long Travel departs from The Long Office in CatBa city centre and parks at The Long Hotel in Tam Coc centre.

Discovery Travel leaves from CatBa Swan Hotel in the city centre and arrives at Ninh Binh Central Hotel in the centre of Ninh Binh.

Bus/limo van + ferry schedules from CatBa to Ninh Binh

BusScheduleCosts
Discovery Travel
(to Ninh Binh)
08:00-12:00
12:45-16:45
313,000 VND ($12.50)
Check Bus Tickets
The Long Travel
(to Tam Coc)
08:00-12:30
12:45-17:15
343,000 VND ($13.50)
Check Bus Tickets

Why we recommend making a stopover in Tam Coc

There are 2 arrival points in Ninh Binh: Ninh Binh City and the laidback village of Tam Coc.

Since you’re already making a stop here, we highly recommend that you make the most of it by joining an afternoon boat tour along Trang An River. To do this, take the morning trip of The Long Travel so that you will already be in Tam Coc by noon.

After the boat tour, you can have an early dinner or play pool at Tam Coc Bungalow. From its terrace, enjoy a beautiful view of the limestone landscape — with villagers paddling through the river — and regret you cannot stay here longer.

Alternatively, if you’re just passing through Ninh Binh, take the Discovery Travel limo van that departs at noon. This will take you only up to Ninh Binh City, where you won’t have much to do, but you can use the few hours of waiting time by having an early dinner.

Visit our page on CatBa to Ninh Binh for more info.

Step 2: Ninh Binh to Phong Nha by Bus

Duration: 8.5 hours
Cost: 425,000 VND ($17)
Duration: 8.5 hours
Cost: 425,000 VND ($17)

Only night buses operate from Ninh Binh to Phong Nha. Travel time is 8.5 to 11 hours, depending on which bus you take. Ticket prices start from 425,000 VND ($17) for a sleeper bunk.

The good thing about these buses is that they travel overnight — you can sleep throughout the journey and wake up at the national park.

You can choose from two bus companies: Queen Cafe and Grouptour. Queen Cafe departs from Ninh Binh Central Hotel in Ninh Binh city centre. Grouptour leaves from its headquarters in Tam Coc centre.

Both buses park at Central Backpackers Hostel in Phong Nha town centre.

Bus schedules from Ninh Binh to Phong Nha

BusScheduleCosts
Queen Cafe
(from Ninh Binh)
20:30-05:00425,000 VND ($17)
Check Bus Tickets
Grouptour
(from Tam Coc)
19:15-05:15
19:25-06:25
522,000 VND ($21)
Check Bus Tickets

You can also take a night train from Ninh Binh, but this will only bring you up to Dong Hoi. From here, you will still need to take a 1.5-hour bus or 1-hour taxi 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: 12.5 hours
Cost: 712,000 VND ($28.50)
Duration: 12.5 hours
Cost: 712,000 VND ($28.50)

Taking a bus from CatBa to Phong Nha via Hanoi is a good option if you’re looking to spend a few hours in the capital. The waiting time for your connecting transfer will allow you to explore the Old Quarter and its busy streets.

This route takes around the same time as the bus via Ninh Binh — around 12.5 hours.

Step 1: Cat Ba to Hanoi by Bus + Ferry

Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 275,000 VND ($11)
Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 275,000 VND ($11)

Good Morning Cat Ba and Daiichi Travel operate several bus trips from CatBa to Hanoi daily. This includes a short ferry ride, but your tour operator takes care of the transfers so you won’t have to worry about anything.

Ticket prices start from 275,000 VND ($11) and travel time is around 3.5 hours.

Keep in mind that it is not uncommon for ferries in Asia to be delayed or cancelled because of the rough seas. See below our recommended bus schedules that will give you ample time to catch your connecting bus or train in Hanoi.

Good Morning Cat Ba departs from CatBa Oasis Bungalows in the city centre and parks at its office in Hanoi, about 1 km north of Hoan Kiem Lake.

Daiichi Travel departs from its headquarters in CatBa centre and arrives at its Hanoi office, just a few metres north of Hoan Kiem Lake.

Bus + ferry schedules from CatBa to Hanoi

BusScheduleCosts
Good Morning Cat Ba08:30-12:00
12:15-15:45
275,000 VND ($11)
Check Bus Tickets
Daiichi Travel07:30-10:30
09:00-12:00
12:30-15:30
320,000 VND ($12.50)
Check Bus Tickets

PRO TIP: Have an early dinner in Hanoi or buy a meal for takeout before boarding your connecting bus. You’ll have a lot of good food choices in the city. The buses going to Phong Nha stop for a dinner break, but oftentimes the driver does not pick a good place to eat.

Visit our guide for travelling from CatBa to Hanoi for more information.

Step 2: Hanoi to Phong Nha by Bus

Duration: 9 hours
Cost: 437,000 VND ($17.50)
Duration: 9 hours
Cost: 437,000 VND ($17.50)

Buses bound for Phong Nha depart from Hanoi in the early evening. Travel time is 9 to 11 hours, but all buses travel overnight so you can sleep for the most part of the journey.

Bus fares start from 437,000 VND ($17.50) and you can choose from two companies: Queen Cafe or Grouptour.

Queen Cafe leaves from its office in Hanoi’s French Quarter. Grouptour departs from Hanoi SSB, some 600m north of Hoan Kiem Lake.

Both companies park at Central Backpackers Hostel in Phong Nha.

Bus schedule from Hanoi to Phong Nha

BusScheduleCosts
Queen Cafe18:00-03:00437,000 VND ($17.50)
Check Bus Tickets
Grouptour17:45-05:45
18:00-06:00
487,000 VND ($19.50)
Check Bus Tickets

Visit our page for Hanoi to Phong Nha for more tips on this route.

Cat Ba to Phong Nha via Hanoi by Flight

Duration: 6.5 hours
Cost: 990,000 VND ($39.50)
Duration: 6.5 hours
Cost: 990,000 VND ($39.50)

We don’t really recommend taking a flight from CatBa to Phong Nha.

First, there are no airports in both cities. Second, with all the transfers, you won’t really get to save a lot of time by taking a flight. Third, taking a flight is the most expensive option and we don’t think it’s worth all the hassle.

Do you still want to take a flight from CatBa to Phong Nha? Read on for a step-by-step guide.

Step 1: CatBa to Hanoi by Bus & Ferry

Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 275,000 VND ($11)
Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 275,000 VND ($11)

First, you will take a combined bus & ferry from CatBa to Hanoi. It’s best to depart in the morning so that you’ll have ample time to catch your flight.

Travel time is around 3.5 hours. Rates start from 275,000 VND ($11) and you can book your tickets online beforehand through BookAway.

Check Bus Tickets with BookAway

Step 2: Hanoi to Hanoi Airport by Bus

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

From Hanoi city centre, the best way to get to Noi Bai Airport is via Express Bus 86. This bus departs from Hanoi Railway Station and makes several pick-up stops near the Old Quarter before going on its way to the airport.

A ticket costs 45,000 VND ($1.80) for the 1-hour journey.

Check out our page for Hanoi Airport for more transport options.

Step 3: Hanoi to Dong Hoi by Flight

Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 620,000 VND ($24.50)
Duration: 1 hour
Cost: 620,000 VND ($24.50)

From Hanoi, you will then take a flight to Dong Hoi Airport, the nearest airport to Phong Nha. This flight takes around 1 hour.

Airfares range from 620,000 VND ($24.50) to 780,000 VND ($31). It’s best to book your flight well in advance as prices can go beyond 1,100,000 VND ($44) during the busy season.

Check Flights on Skyscanner

SIDE NOTE: The closest airport to CatBa is actually in Hai Phong, but there are no direct flights from here to Dong Hoi. All flights still make a layover in Hanoi and are triple the price, with fares from 1,800,000 VND ($72).

Step 4: Dong Hoi to Phong Nha by Bus/Taxi

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

From Dong Hoi Airport, you can take either a bus or a taxi to Phong Nha. Travel time is about 1 hour.

The bus is the cheaper option at around 50,000 VND ($2). Buses are available every day from 05:30-17:00. You can hail them from the main road outside the airport, just find the B4 bus stop. This bus will drop you off along the main road in Phong Nha.

Taxis are also available at the airport. Taxi fares range from 400,000 VND ($16) to 500,000 VND ($20).

For more details, check out our page for Dong Hoi to Phong Nha.

Our favourite places to stay in Phong Nha

Thao Nguyen Homestay

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!

Read More

 

Phong Nha Rustic Home

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.

Read More

 

More routes to Phong Nha

Dong Hoi to Phong Nha

Hanoi to Phong Nha

Hoi An to Phong Nha

Hue to Phong Nha

Ninh Binh to Phong Nha

More routes from CatBa

CatBa to Hanoi

CatBa to Ninh Binh

CatBa to Sapa

Most popular routes in Vietnam

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

Was this post helpful?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 3

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Your feedback is very valueable to us

How we can improve this post?

1.2K views