Ha Long Bay’s spectacular limestone islands and islets make it one of the must-see destinations in Vietnam.
If you’re planning to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay, here’s my transportation guide and some tips to help you plan an enjoyable trip.
Hanoi to Halong Bay Bus
- The price for one way bus ticket starts at $10.22
- Duration: 2.5 hours ~ 3 hours
One of the most affordable options to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay is by bus. Depending on your departure location, the trip can take between 2.5 to 3 hours.
There are many bus companies that offer this route, including Phuc Xuyen and Luxury Transport.
I took a minivan from Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem to Halong Bay’s Bai Chay. The journey took about three hours, but the van was comfortable, and I had a great view of the Vietnamese countryside.
The bus dropped me off at Bai Chay, where most hotels and restaurants are located. If you’re planning to take a day cruise, it’s best to book the earliest bus or minivan from Hanoi to Halong Bay to make it to the cruise on time.
How to book a bus ticket from Hanoi to Halong Bay?
You can easily buy bus tickets online with Baolau. The price for a one-way ticket starts at $5, and there’s usually a bus leaving every 30 minutes.
Enter your desired day of departure, and you will find a fully detailed day schedule from all providers.
Hanoi to Halong Bay by car
If you’re traveling with a group, you can consider taking a private car from Hanoi to Halong Bay. It’s a more comfortable and convenient option, but it can be more expensive. I’d recommend taking a train or bus if you’re traveling solo. You can book a private car with Di Chung Taxi or Cat Ba Express.
Hanoi to Hai Phong Train and Bus
- Duration: 1.8 hours (train) + 1.2 hours (bus)
- Cost: 164,000 VND (~$5)
Another option is to take a train from Hanoi to Hai Phong Railway Station and then a bus from Hai Phong to Halong Bay. This option takes about 1.8 hours by train and 1.2 hours by bus. You can book train tickets online with Baolau or 12go.
- Hanoi train station: 120 Lê Duẩn, Hoàn Kiếm District, Hà Nội
- Hai Phong train station: 75 Lương Khánh Thiện, Ngô Quyền District, Hải Phòng
- Hai Phong bus station Niem Nghia: 275 Trần Nguyên Hãn, Lê Chân, Hải Phòng
Hanoi to Halong Bay Flights
If you’re looking for a unique experience, you can also take a seaplane from Hanoi to Halong Bay with Hai Au Aviation. The 12-seater Cessna Caravan offers incredible views of Halong Bay’s 1,600 islets from above and thrilling water takeoffs and landings.
Why fly from Hanoi to Halong by seaplane?
- Once-a-life-time experience
- Time-saving: only 45 minutes
- Experiencing incredible views of Halong from above
Tips for traveling from Hanoi to Ha Long Bay
Once you arrive at Tuan Chau Marina, you can easily find a variety of day cruises available for exploring Halong Bay. Most cruises offer options for kayaking, visiting floating fishing villages, and exploring caves. It’s a good idea to book your cruise in advance, especially during peak tourist season, to ensure availability.
If you’re interested in spending more time in Halong Bay, you can also book an overnight cruise. This will give you the opportunity to explore more of the bay and its attractions, such as Cat Ba Island and the Van Don Island district.
When visiting Halong Bay, it’s important to be mindful of the environment and the impact of tourism on the area. Avoid littering and respect the natural beauty of the bay. Many tour operators are also committed to sustainable tourism practices, so consider choosing a company that prioritizes responsible tourism.
Halong Bay tour from Hanoi
If you’re not a fan of traveling to Halong on your own, several tour companies offer Halong cruise trips from Hanoi.
A one-day trip usually covers bus transport from Hanoi to Halong and vice versa, including a Halong cruise trip exploring Thien Cung cave and Kayaking activities.
If you join a 2-day 1-night or 3-day-2-night tour, you can experience more activities such as visiting a fishing village and caves, joining a cooking class, watching the sunrise, fishing squids at night, etc.
There are many scam tours in Hanoi, so we recommend booking tours online with trusted companies.
Return from Halong Bay to Hanoi
You can take a bus or a train from Ha Long to Hanoi on the way back.
The earliest bus starts at 6 am, and there’s a bus every 30 minutes. It takes 2 to 4 hours depending on the transport providers.
For train travel, from Halong Railway station, passengers can catch a daily train at 13:50. The journey takes 6 hours and 41 minutes and arrives at Yen Vien Railway station in Hanoi at 20:31.
Traveling from Hanoi to Halong Bay is easy and affordable. Whether you choose to take the bus, train, or private car, there are plenty of options available to suit your needs and budget. And once you arrive in Halong Bay, you can enjoy the stunning scenery and unique experiences that this UNESCO World Heritage Site has to offer.