Hanoi to CatBa

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How to get from Hanoi to CatBa?

The distance between Hanoi to CatBa is 156 km. The road distance is 125 km.

How do I travel from Hanoi to CatBa without a car? The best way to get from Hanoi to CatBa without a car is to take the bus or train which takes 3-4 hours and costs $9.50 – $15.50.

2 ways to get from Hanoi to CatBa

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus3.5 hours220,000 VND ($9)Check bus tickets
Train4h excl transit time360,000 VND ($15)Check train tickets

Taking the bus from Hanoi to CatBa Island is much easier and also a faster option than taking the train. Another advantage is that the bus picks you up in the Old Quarter in Hanoi and brings you straight to the center of CatBa Island.

When you travel by train, you have to take the train to Hai Phong, a taxi to the ferry station and a ferry from Hai Phong to CatBa. The journey by train takes about 3 hours more compared to taking the bus if you include the transfer time. We only recommend this option if you are already on the train from another destination to Hanoi. In that case, you can take another train from Hanoi to Hai Phong.

TIP: Want to visit Halong Bay instead? Check out this route overview from Hanoi to Halong Bay or book a Halong Bay boat cruise incl pick-up starting from $39.

Itinerary from Hanoi to CatBa

Hanoi to CatBa travelroute
Bus icon

Hanoi to CatBa by Bus

Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 220,000 VND ($9)

A combined bus and ferry ticket from Hanoi is a very convenient option and saves you the hassle of arranging a ferry ticket and getting to CatBa town.

The most common route for the combined bus ticket is Hanoi – Dinh Vu (Hai Phong ferry station) – Cai Vieng – Cat Ba Town.

We recommend travelling with CatBa Express since they offer the most luxurious buses. The company receives very good reviews and they operate with new buses (Feb 2017) which include free wifi and USB chargers.

Another option is to buy your ticket from one of the local agencies or hotels in Hanoi. These tickets include the bus ride from Hanoi to Hai Phong Harbour and the ferry ticket to CatBa Island. They also include a bus ride to CatBa town when the ferry doesn’t stop at the harbour next to the main street.

Although a combined ticket from a local agent might be a bit cheaper, their buses offer less comfort and often take longer than the buses of CatBa Express or any bus you book with BookAway. Another advantage of buses booked online is that they pick you up at your hotel when you are staying in the Old Quarter of Hanoi and drop you off at your hotel in CatBa.

Bus Schedule from Hanoi to CatBa

Cat Ba Express
+ free pick-up & drop-off
325,000 VND ($13.50)
Buy Your Bus Tickets
Good Morning Cat Ba
+ free pick-up & drop-off
270,000 VND ($11.50)
Buy Your Bus Tickets
Daiichi Travel
+ free pick-up & drop-off
220,000 VND ($9)
Buy Your Bus Tickets
Orient Travel
+ free pick-up & drop-off
230,000 VND ($9.50)
Buy Your Bus Tickets

Train from Hanoi to CatBa

Duration: 4 hours excl transit time
Cost: 360,000 VND ($15)

We advise taking the bus from Hanoi to CatBa since this saves you the hassle of arranging a ferry ticket and switching between operators. But if you really prefer to take the train, you have 3 steps to follow. Take the train from Hanoi to Hai Phong, go to Hai Phong Harbour by taxi, and then take the ferry to CatBa Island.

Step 1: Hanoi to Hai Phong by Train

Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 70,000 VND ($3)

There are 4 trains leaving daily from Hanoi to Hai Phong. We advise taking a train that leaves before 12:00 since the last ferry to CatBa island leaves at 16:00.

Train Schedule from Hanoi to Hai Phong (Soft seat)

TrainScheduleSoft seat
HP106:00-08:2570,000 VND ($3)
Buy Your Train Tickets
LP309:28-12:0070,000 VND ($3)
Buy Your Train Tickets

Step 2: Hai Phong to Pha Binh Harbour by Taxi

Duration: 10min
Cost: 50,000 VND ($2.15)

Pha Binh Harbour is a 10-minute taxi ride or 20-minute walk from the railway station in Hai Phong. In front of the railway station, you can find a taxi which brings you for about 50,000 VND ($2.15) to Pha Binh Harbour.

Make sure to agree on the price and the right harbour before you leave! The taxi should bring you to Pha Binh Harbour, which is 4km from the railway station (10min). Some will try to scam you and bring you to Dinh Vu harbour, which takes almost one hour by taxi.

From Dinh Vu Harbour, you also find ferries leaving for CatBa almost every hour, but these ferries only go to the north-east of Cat Ba and not to the central ferry port. This means you have to take another bus (45min) to CatBa town. When you book this ticket, make sure the bus ticket is also included.

See below the options for the different harbours.

Step 3: Pha Binh Harbour to Cat Ba by Ferry

Duration: 45min
Cost: 240,000 VND ($10)

You can buy a ticket for the hydrofoil ferry at Pha Binh/Benh Binh ferry station. This ferry brings you in 45 minutes to CatBa Town.

Be aware that the ladies who want to sell the ferry tickets might overcharge you or put you on a different boat. This doesn’t mean you cannot buy from them, but just check the current price at the ferry desk before you purchase a ticket.

The normal rate is 240,000 VND ($10) but in the low season, these tickets sell for 180,000 VND ($7.50).

Ferry from Pha Binh (or Benh Binh)

  • Cat Ba Island Resort & Spa 9:00, 13:00, 16:00
  • Mekong Hoang Yen 8:45
  • Hadeco 9:00, 13:00, 15:00

Tickets cost 180,000 VND ($7.50) to 240,000 VND ($10) and the ferry takes about 45min. The ferry station in CatBa Town is located on the main street of CatBa where you also find most accommodations.

If you want to save some money, you can also buy a ticket from one of the companies below. These companies bring you from Pha Binh/Ben Binh to Din Vu by bus, then with the ferry to Cai Vieng, and from this harbour in CatBa with a bus to CatBa town. This is often a cheaper option, but ferries run less regularly, times can change without notice and the journey takes much longer.

Ferry from Din Vu Harbour

Van Tai Cat Ba

  • Cost: 150,000 VND ($6), duration: 1.5 hours
  • Departure times: 8:30, 10:30, 13:30, 15:30

Hoang Long

  • Cost: 120,000 VND ($5), duration: 1.5 hours
  • Departure times: 9:00, 14:30

Thong Nhat – local slow boat

  • Cost: 110,000 VND ($4.70), duration: 2 hours
  • Departure times: 12:00, 12:30

When you book a bus or a ferry from Dinh Vu Harbour, you will probably end up on the North-East side of CatBa. From here you have to take another bus to CatBa Town. It depends on your ticket if this bus ride is included or not. Otherwise, you also have to arrange a bus or ask around for a taxi(bike).


Explore the best places to stay in Cat Ba


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