For most people visiting Hanoi, a trip to Halong Bay is in their plans. Halong Bay is like no other place in the world and many who visit it will tell you they’ve seen nothing like it.
The good thing about it is Halong Bay is only 175 kilometers away from Hanoi. You might be asking how to do I get to Halong Bay from Hanoi?
We have all the options here for you from motorbike, car, minivan, bus, train and organized tour.
Halong Bay is well known worldwide for its blue water and sharp rising limestone islands that appear in all directions. The bay is popular for swimming, kayaking and hiking in the amazing Cat Ba National Park. It is well worth planning a few days at Halong Bay when visiting Vietnam. Now let’s get you to Halong bay from Hanoi!
Mini Bus to Halong Bay
Leaving from Gia Lam Bus Station (Gia Lam location is at the following address: 31 Ngô Gia Khảm Ngọc Lâm, Long Biên Hà Nội, Vietnam) in Hanoi and arriving at Bai Chay Bus Station in Ha Long. Ticket prices start at 120,000 Vietnamese Dong (6 USD), and the ticket can be bought at the bus station.
There are mini 17-seater buses and the trip can take up to five hours since the buses will stop along the way to fill up passengers. Bookaway will have plenty of options for you to book the right vehicle at the right time and the right price especially for you. We have used Bookaway and find it great for the customer reviews and pictures of the vehicles you don’t get on other sites.
Luxury Mini Bus to Halong Bay
The 7 seat luxury mini buses will pick you up from your hotel to take you to Halong Bay. These buses are pure comfort. You will generally get 4 individual leather chairs and a 3 seat bench across the back of the bus. USB chargers, your own air conditioning vent and water supplied for the trip.
The buses usually make one stop along the way for the toilet. When I say toilet it is usually located at some gift shop. The Luxury Mini bus usually takes 2.5 hours to reach Halong Bay from Hanoi
Bus from Hanoi
A standard coach bus is your cheapest Hanoi to Halong Bay option. The bus takes 5 hours to reach Halong Bay with stops for pickup along the way. There are 7 buses a day leaving from My Dinh Bus Station.
Taxi, Grab or Private car
If a taxi or Grab vehicle is more your style then you will be looking to pay around $100 AUD, ($70 USD or 60 Euro) for the journey. The roads are in good condition as you leave Hanoi and head towards the coast of Halong Bay.
If you want a luxury car ranging from 3 seats up to 7 cars will generally be new models and SUV’s that have large trunk room to fit all your luggage. Prices range between $100 AUD ($70 USD and 60 Euro) up to $150 AUD ($105 USD and 90 Euro).
You can search Bookaway.com for various options. Bookaway will have customer reviews, prices and even pictures of the vehicle to make your choice easier.
Rental Car to Halong Bay
You can pick up a rental car in Hanoi at the airport or any other point and drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay yourself.
If you are a solo traveller you may want to experience the open road on the back of a Grab motorbike. The drive from Hanoi to Halong Bay on a motorbike will be fun, adventurous and fast. A Grab bike from Hanoi to Halong will set you back $30 AUD which is around $20 USD.
Seaplane from Hanoi
A fantastic alternative if you can afford it is a seaplane from Hanoi to Halong Bay. This amazing option only takes 45 minutes. The major draw card is the aerial views of Halong Bay from above. There are 2 options for this trip to halong bay
- Flight time 9am. 60 minutes flying time with scenic views, $500 AUD or $350 USD
- 2pm departure. 45 minutes flying time with no scenic views, $280.00 AUD or $220 USD
If you have the spare money the seaplane would be a once in a lifetime experience. We know people who have done this and said it was fantastic. The pictures they had of their journey were just like ones out of a magazine.
Train to Halong Bay
At present no direct trains run from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Instead the closest train to Halong Bay stops at Haiphong Vietnam. This may be convenient if you are planning on staying at Cat Ba Island in Halong Bay. In order to get to Halong Bay area where cruise boats depart and arrive you still need to cover another 50 kilometers
Day Tours to Halong Bay
If public transport or the driving option don’t suit you an organized Hanoi to Halong Bay tour is your best bet. There are many Halong Bay tours running from Hanoi daily. Some of the positives of going on an organized tour can be:
- You don’t have to get to Hanoi train or bus stations
- You can usually organize a pickup and drop off at your accommodation
- You will have a guide that will keep you informed on the journey out to Halong Bay
- Entry tickets to the sights are usually included
- One price for everything
- An organized tour of the sights when you visit Halong Bay
- If you have children you may be able to take some extras for them and then have somewhere to keep the extra bags so you don’t have to carry them around
Halong Bay: 1-Day Cruise
Explore Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay in just one day with this 8-hour itinerary. Take in the breathtaking scenery of the area and benefit from the many years’ experience of your guide. Enjoy a day of swimming, kayaking, eating and taking in the sights of Halong Bay
- Set sail through Ha Long Bay and admire the panoramic views from your boat
- Enjoy a typical Vietnamese lunch of fresh seafood and an assortment of appetizers
- Sail through Lan Ha Bay and marvel at the extraordinary landscapes of the area
- Swim in crystal clear waters
- All taxes, fees and handling charges
- Entrance fees
- Bottled water
- Professional guide
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
Halong Bay, Thien Cung Cave & Kayak with Incredible Cruise
- Cruise amongst the limestone karst formations of Ha Long Bay
- Visit landmark islets such as Burning Incense and the Dog Stone
- Admire the stalactites and stalagmites of Thien Cung Cave (Heavenly Palace)
- Explore the emerald waters by kayak or bamboo boat
- Pick-up and drop off at any hotel in the Old Quarter of Hanoi
- Transportation by modern, air-conditioned bus
- 2 bottles of water per person
- Driver and English-speaking guide
- Seafood lunch
- Entrance fees
- Kayaking or bamboo row boat activities
We hope this gives you all the information you need on how to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay for your trip. It is an amazing experience that can’t be missed.
How to get to Hanoi
Nội Bài International Airport in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. It is also the second busiest airport in Vietnam after Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City. In 2018 the airport handled over 28 million passengers.
Rental cars are available in most towns and at the major airports. You can easily prebook a car and pick it up when you arrive. The highways are in good condition. Just be warned driving in Hanoi won’t be easy as traffic congestion is a real problem.
Buses arrive daily from all parts of Vietnam and Asia. The most popular international route is from Nanging in China and from Luang Prabang in Laos. Buses arrive numerous times a day from the southern cities of Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh and many other locations.
Vietnam has an extensive train network that runs along the coast of Vietnam for Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and on into China. Taking an overnight train is a popular way to travel to Hanoi.
All your train and bus options can be easily searched and indexed on bookaway.com.
Money in Vietnam
The Vietnamese Dong is the official currency. Notes issued are as follows 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, 100,000, 200,000, 500,000₫. ATMs are easy to find in most towns and most of the time will dispense up to 3million Dong at one time.
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About the Author
Mark Wyld is a father, Husband and traveller. Having been to over 30 countries worldwide I think I know a thing or 2 about travelling with kids. I have been writing about travel on our website for the last 4 years and have featured on numerous other websites. When I am not talking, dreaming and planning travel I can be found working in disability support