How To Get From Hanoi to Halong Bay?
To be fair, we think booking a boat cruise (including pick-up from Hanoi) is the best way to explore Halong Bay’s islands.
There is only one reason we would want to travel to Halong Bay independently. That would be to enjoy the magnificent view from Bai Tho Mountain, or better known as Poem Mountain in Google Maps.
If you decide to travel the 175km distance from Hanoi to Halong Bay independently, you have quite a few options. You can either take the bus, train, taxi or opt for the more luxurious choice of limo van or even a seaplane. Travel time ranges from 2 hours 30 minutes to 7 hours.
You can also now travel to Halong Bay via plane to Van Don Airport. However, there has yet to be a direct flight coming from Hanoi to Halong Bay. You will first have to make a stopover in Ho Chi Minh. Right now, we don’t recommend this option. But let’s hope they open direct flights for this route soon!
|Bus||3.5 hours||335,000 VND ($14.50)||Check bus tickets|
|Train||7 hours||80,000 VND ($3.50)||Check train tickets|
|Taxi||2.5 hours||1,700,000 VND ($73)||Reserve a taxi|
|Flight||45 min||4,200,000 VND ($181)||Check flights|
|Helicopter||55 min||10,200,00 VND ($440)||Check flights|
What you can expect from Halong Bay
Halong Bay is dubbed as one of the World Heritage Sites. It’s filled with multiple towering limestone islands and is quite a scene to take in. In the Halong Bay area, you can enjoy activities such as scuba diving, rock climbing, hiking or even kayak expeditions. Halong Bay is a destination that shouldn’t be missed on your list when traveling to Vietnam.
The best way to enjoy the breathtaking views over the scattered islands and limestone rocks is with an overnight boat cruise. You can opt to travel to Halong Bay independent, but you can also book a boat cruise from Hanoi.
Boat cruises around Halong Bay
We recommend to book a boat cruise incl. transport from Hanoi as you will have more choices and tours are often cheaper in Hanoi than tours sold by agencies in Halong Bay.
See here our 2 favourite tours from Hanoi to Halong Bay:
Want to have a broader choice of tours? Check out Halongbaytours for more boat cruises around Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay (Cat Ba).
View itinerary from Hanoi to Halong Bay
- 2-3 hours
- Halong Bay
- 7 hours
- Halong Bay
- 2-3 hours
- Halong Bay
- 45 mins
- Halong Bay
Hanoi to Halong Bay by Bus
Duration: 3h 30min
Costs: 335,000 VND ($14.50)
From Hanoi, there are plenty of buses leaving for Halong Bay. And thanks to the construction of the newly-opened Halong – Hai Phong Expressway, you can now reach Halong Bay around 2 hours faster than before.
If you take the bus, the fastest time you can reach Halong Bay from Hanoi is via Kumho Viet Thanh, which takes 3h 30min. Rates start at 165,000 VND ($7.10). You can also choose from 2 other well-known bus companies and see their schedules below.
Each bus company has its own designated departure and arrival points so check in advance to save money on booking. If the pick-up and drop-off points are far from your accommodations in Hanoi and Halong Bay, you might end up paying more money on taxi rides.
If that is the case, you can also consider taking a more expensive limo van that will allow you to travel door-to-door.
|Kumho Viet Thanh||06:00-09:30|
|3h 30min||165,000 VND ($7.10)|
|Ab Vietnam Travel||08:00-12:00||4h||220,000 VND ($9.50)|
|Rosa Eco Bus||07:30-11:30||4h||510,000 VND ($22)
+ free pick-up
Limo Vans to Halong Bay
If you prefer to travel in style but don’t want to pay the price of a taxi, you can also book a luxurious van ride from Hanoi to Halong Bay.
Tickets start from 335,000 VND ($14.50) and it takes only 2h 30min to get to Halong Bay. The price indicated already includes free pick-up and drop-off services. To book this comfortable van ride, click on the button provided above and proceed to the ‘minivan’ section.
|Luxury Transports Company||08:30-11:00||2h 30m||370,000 VND ($16) + free pick-up and drop-off|
|AB Vietnam Travel||06:00-09:00|
|3h||395,000 VND ($17.50) + free pick-up and drop-off|
|Vietnam Tourist||08:00-11:30||3h 30m||370,000 VND ($16) + free pick-up and drop-off|
|Green Lion Bus||08:00-12:30||4h 30m||335,000 VND ($14.50) + free pick-up and drop-off|
Hanoi to Halong Bay by Train
Duration: 7 hours
Costs: 80,000 VND ($3.50)
Traveling by train is the cheapest option to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay. You can buy a ticket for as low as 80,000 VND ($3.50).
However, this journey lasts 7 hours and there is only one trip daily which departs at 04:55 from Yen Vien Station in Hanoi, northeast of the city center. You will reach Halong Bay area at 11:45. The train station in Halong is situated east of Bai Chay.
Be informed that the train bound for Halong only has hard seats. It may not be the most comfortable way to travel. Still want to take the train? Check the button below to book your train ticket to Halong Bay.
Hanoi to Halong Bay by Taxi
Duration: 2h 30min
Costs: 1,700,000 VND ($73)
Taking a taxi is the best option when you are traveling in a group.
The perk of booking a taxi for the journey is that it brings you end-to-end which means you do not have to worry about getting a transfer to your hotel in Halong.
The price for a vehicle starts at 1,700,000 VND ($73) with pick-up and drop-off at any hotel for both ends of the route. This vehicle can seat up to 5 passengers and it takes about 2h 30min before you reach Halong Bay.
Luxury Transports Company also offers rideshare if you’re looking to save some money but prefer a car ride over a van. It’s about 340,000 VND ($15) per person. The meeting place is at Tonkin Coffee in the city center. The drop-off point is at the Hotel Murong Thanh in the city center of Bai Chay.
Hanoi to Halong Bay by Seaplane
Duration: 45 min
Costs: 4,200,000 VND ($181)
Have some money to splurge? Then this option just might be what you’re looking for to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay.
Hai Au Aviation offers the option to book a seaplane ride. The plane ride is short at just 45 minutes but the aerial view of the bay area is absolutely breathtaking! It’ll make the fare totally worth it.
For a plane ride that doesn’t include a tour, tickets start at 4,200,000 VND ($181). In summer, they have 4 flights that depart daily at 9:00, 12:30, 14:30, and 16:00. They have a different schedule in winter.
Planes depart from Hanoi Airport and arrive at the Tuan Chau Marina (southwest of Bai Chay), the starting point of most Halong Bay cruises.
To book this adventure, visit their website.
Gia Lam to Halong Bay by Helicopter
Costs: 10,200,00 VND ($440)
You can also take a helicopter from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Helicopters depart from Gia Lam Airport, located a little east of the city center in Hanoi. The price for the helicopter ride starts at 10,200,000 VND ($440), one-way.
There are trips departing Hanoi on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9:00.
Check the website of Vietnamhelitours to book your tickets.
My favourite places to stay in Hanoi
Looking for a room in the middle of the Old Quarter? Ancient Lane Hotel offers very clean rooms nicely decorated with ancient attributes. The hosts Thuy and Tuan will make sure you'll have a great stay!
Double room from: $28
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
Visiting Halong Bay
Halong Bay and Cat Ba are one of the highlights of Vietnam. From both locations, you can make beautiful boatrips and cruise through the beautiful landscape filled with karst mountains.
You can opt to travel to Halong Bay by bus. but also book an organised tour including transport from Hanoi. We recommend to book a boat cruise incl. transport from Hanoi as you will have more choice and tours are often cheaper in Hanoi than tours sold by agencies in Halong Bay.
Tours sell as cheap as $39 for a day-trip and $132 for a 2D1N cruise.
See here our 2 favourite tours from to Halong Bay:
*Both tours include free pick-up and drop-off in Hanoi.
If you have a few extra days to spend, you can also visit Lan Ha Bay from Cat Ba. But if you are short in time, Halong Bay is definitely a better option.
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