Hanoi to CatBa

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Overview Compare Bus Limo Van Train To Stay

How to get from Hanoi to CatBa

Cat Ba is a biodiverse island along Vietnam’s northeast coast. The largest of the islands in Halong Bay, Cat Ba has experienced a boom in tourism in recent years.

It boasts of a rugged karst landscape dotted with spectacular limestone cliffs, sandy beaches, lakes, grottoes, and waterfalls. Popular activities include kayaking and rock climbing, as well as just lounging by the beach and waiting for the sunset at Cannon Fort.

Most tourists visit Cat Ba as a part of a tour from Hanoi. But we highly recommend doing a DIY trip to the island. This way you can travel straight to other beautiful destinations down south after exploring Cat Ba, instead of going back with your tour group to Hanoi.

3 ways to get from Hanoi to CatBa

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus3.5 hours275,000 VND ($11)Check Bus Tickets
Limo Van3.5 hours353,000 VND ($14)Check Van Tickets
Train4 hours295,000 VND ($11.50)Check Train Tickets

There are 3 ways to travel the 150 km distance from Hanoi to CatBa: a 3.5-hour bus, a 3.5-hour limo van, or a 4-hour train. Fares range from 275,000 VND ($11) to 353,000 VND ($14). Note that all options include a ferry ride from Hai Phong to CatBa.

The combined bus & ferry is a convenient and affordable option to get from Hanoi to CatBa. Your tour operator will take care of all your transfers, some even offer free hotel pick-up and drop-off. Fares start from 275,000 VND ($11) for the 3.5-hour journey.

Taking a combined limo van and ferry is the most luxurious, but of course, also the most expensive way to get from Hanoi to CatBa. Combined ticket prices start from 353,000 VND ($14).

There’s also an option to travel by train and ferry from Hanoi to CatBa, but there are no combined tickets available. You’ll have to take a train from Hanoi to Hai Phong, transfer to a taxi to Pha Binh Harbour, and then hop on a ferry to CatBa. Total prices start from 295,000 VND ($11.50).

TIP: Want to visit Halong Bay instead? Check out this route overview from Hanoi to Halong Bay or book a Halong Bay boat cruise including pick-up starting from 1,150,000 VND ($46).

Itinerary from Hanoi to CatBa

Hanoi to CatBa travelroute

Hanoi to CatBa by Bus

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

Taking a combined bus and ferry from Hanoi to CatBa is very convenient. With this option, you’ll only need to book a combined ticket and your tour operator will take care of everything for you.

Your itinerary will look like this:

  • Step 1: Take a bus from Hanoi to Hai Phong.
  • Step 2: Transfer to a ferry from Got Pier to Cai Vieng Port.
  • Step 3: Go back to your bus, which will then take you to Cat Ba Town.

There are at least 4 companies operating combined bus & ferry rides from Hanoi to CatBa. These are Good Morning Cat Ba, Cat Ba Express, Daiichi Travel, and Full Moon Party.

We recommend travelling with Good Morning Cat Ba as they not only have the cheapest rates, but they also offer free hotel pick-up and drop-off.

Combined ticket prices start from 275,000 VND ($11) and the journey takes around 3.5 hours.

Departure and arrival station

Different bus companies have varying departure and arrival points, normally in their own offices in Hanoi and CatBa.

We recommend booking with a company that already offers free hotel pick-up and drop-off. This way, you won’t have to worry about finding your way to and from the designated bus stations.

Bus schedules from Hanoi to CatBa

Bus OperatorScheduleCosts
Good Morning Cat Ba
+ free pick-up & drop-off
07:30-11:00
10:30-14:00
14:00-17:30
275,000 VND ($11)
Check Bus Tickets
Cat Ba Express07:30-11:00
14:00-17:30
321,000 VND ($12.50)
Check Bus Tickets
Daiichi Travel08:00-11:00
14:30-17:30
321,000 VND ($12.50)
Check Bus Tickets
Full Moon Party*
+ free pick-up & drop-off
07:30-11:30
10:30-14:30
14:00-18:00
258,000 VND ($10)
Check Bus Tickets
*COVID-19 UPDATE: The last time we checked (July 2022), Full Moon Party is unavailable. Please check the provided link to see if anything has changed.

It’s best to pre-book your tickets online beforehand for guaranteed seats. BookAway is our preferred booking website for its top-notch customer service.

Another option is to buy your ticket from one of the local agencies or hotels in Hanoi.

Hanoi to CatBa by Limo Van

Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 353,000 VND ($14)
Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 353,000 VND ($14)

Looking for a more comfortable way to get from Hanoi to Cat Ba? Limo vans operating this route are very spacious and luxurious. Apart from plush seats, some also offer charging ports and blankets for the ride. But of course, those perks come with an extra cost.

Rates for a combined limo van and ferry ride from Hanoi to CatBa start from 353,000 VND ($14). Travel time is around 3.5 hours.

Departure and arrival station

Like the bus, there is no one specific departure and arrival station for limo vans. They usually depart from their office in Hanoi and park at their corresponding office in CatBa.

Limo Van Schedules from Hanoi to CatBa

Limo Van OperatorScheduleCosts
Group Tour Company08:00-11:30
10:30-14:00
12:30-16:00
14:30-18:00
353,000 VND ($14)
Check Bus Tickets
Cat Ba Express
+ free pick-up
07:45-11:15439,000 VND ($17.50)
Check Bus Tickets

Hanoi to CatBa by Train

Duration: 4 hours
Cost: 295,000 VND ($11.50)
Duration: 4 hours
Cost: 295,000 VND ($11.50)

It is really more convenient to just take a combined bus/limo van and ferry from Hanoi to CatBa. These save you the hassle of booking ferry tickets and finding your way to ferry ports.

But if you really prefer to take the train, know that you’ll have to make several transfers. You are to take the train from Hanoi to Hai Phong, hop on a taxi to Pha Binh Harbour, and then transfer to a ferry bound for CatBa Island.

Step 1: Hanoi to Hai Phong by Train

Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 85,000 VND ($3.40)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 85,000 VND ($3.40)

There are 4 trains operating daily from Hanoi to Hai Phong. The first trip departs at 06:00 and the last trip leaves at 18:47.

If you want to arrive on CatBa Island on the same day, make sure to take a train that departs before noon. Otherwise, you’ll miss the last ferry bound for CatBa, which departs at 15:50.

Only soft seats are available with fares from 85,000 VND ($3.40). Trains depart from Gia Lam Railway Station, located 5 km northeast of the French Quarter in Hanoi.

You are to get off at Hai Phong Railway Station, situated 2 km south of Pha Binh Harbour.

Train Schedule from Hanoi to Hai Phong (Soft seat)

TrainScheduleSoft seat
HP106:00-08:2585,000 VND ($3.40)
Check Train Tickets
LP309:56-12:0085,000 VND ($3.40)
Check Train Tickets
LP515:47-18:00105,000 VND ($4.20)
Check Train Tickets
LP718:47-20:55105,000 VND ($4.20)
Check Train Tickets

Step 2: Hai Phong to Pha Binh Harbour by Taxi

Duration: 10 minutes
Cost: 50,000 VND ($2)
Duration: 10 minutes
Cost: 50,000 VND ($2)

Pha Binh Harbour is a 10-minute taxi ride or 20-minute walk from the railway station in Hai Phong.

To get a taxi, just hail one outside of the train station. Rates start from 50,000 VND ($2) to Pha Binh Harbour. Make sure to agree on a price and the right harbour before you leave!

Some will try to scam you and bring you to Dinh Vu Harbour, which takes about 30 minutes by taxi.

Why we don’t recommend taking a ferry from Dinh Vu Harbour

There are no direct ferries from Dinh Vu to CatBa Island. This route requires several transfers and can be very complicated. Your itinerary from Hai Phong Railway Station will look like this:

  • Step 1: Take a 30-minute taxi to Dinh Vu Harbour.
  • Step 2: Hop on a 45-minute ferry to Ninh Tiep Pier.
  • Step 3: Transfer to a 30-minute bus to Got Harbour.
  • Step 4: Take a 20-minute ferry to Cai Vieng Port.
  • Step 5: Finally, take a 45-minute bus to CatBa Town.

Total travel time takes around 3 hours. Looks exhausting, right? This is why we highly recommend departing from Pha Binh Harbour. From here, you only need to take 1 ferry, which will bring you directly to CatBa Town. Read on for more details!

Step 3: Pha Binh Harbour to Cat Ba by Ferry

Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 160,000 VND ($6)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 160,000 VND ($6)

There are 7 ferries operating daily from Pha Binh Harbour to CatBa Town. What we like about these ferries is that they will take you straight to the island’s town centre, where most hotels are located.

The first ferry departs as early as 05:45, while the last trip leaves at 15:50. Travel time is 1-1.5 hours, depending on which ferry you take.

Ticket prices for a ferry from Pha Binh Harbour to Cat Ba Island start from 160,000 VND ($6).

Ferries depart from Pha Binh Harbour, sometimes also called Benh Binh. Again, we recommend departing from this port as this is the most convenient route to CatBa.

Ferries dock at CatBa Pier, which is just within walking distance from many hotels in town.

Ferry Schedule from Pha Binh Harbour to CatBa

Ferry CompanySchedulesDurationCosts
CatBa Island7x a day from
05:45 to 15:50
1.5 hours160,000 VND ($6)
Check Ferry Tickets

We recommend pre-booking your tickets online through Baolau for guaranteed seats. This will also save you the hassle of dealing with touts, who often try to sell tickets at a higher price.

 

Our favourite places to stay in Cat Ba

Booking.com
   

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