Thanks to recent road works, getting to Ha long Bay or Ha Long City is so much easier than it used to be. The most common departure cities are Hanoi and Hai Phong. Both of which have her own international airports and a complex of highway that connects to Halong Bay.
Hanoi is approximately 165 kilometers from Halong Bay. So a road trip between these destinations will take travelers around 3.5 – 4 hours. There are a few different ways to move from Hanoi to Ha long Bay. Most popular ones are by coach, by cruise’s bus, or by private car.
Hanoi to Halong Bay highway 2018 launched
Updated October 2018: A new highway connecting Hai Phong and Ha long Bay is now put to use. Which will reduce travel time from Hanoi to Ha long Bay to 2.5 hours. Some cruise buses use this express way and charge extra fee, some still use the old highway with travel time 4 hours. If you take a private car, you may request to use the new highway and pay the toll fee (it depends on the number of guests in your group).
Hanoi to Halong Bay by Motobike
For adventurous, budget travelers who wish to explore local life and scenery, there is no better way than driving a motorbike from Hanoi to Halong. There are different routers for you to choose:
Hanoi – Bac Ninh – Halong: Find 1A Highway-> Take exit Hanoi-Haiphong highway-> Continue onto Highway Hà Nội – Hải Phòng/QL5B/ĐCT04-> Take the exit toward Bạch Đằng Bridge-> Continue onto Hạ Long – Hải Phòng Highway
New Highway: Hanoi – Hai Duong – Halong: From Hà Nội – Hải Phòng/QL5B/ĐCT04 Highway to Nội Bài – Hạ Long/Đại Yên/QL18 Highway.
If your Halong Bay Overnight Cruise at Tuan Chau Island. At the roundabout on QL18 Highway, take the 1st exit onto Tuần Châu
Hanoi to Halong Bay Bus
Perhaps the easiest and the cheapest way to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay is to book a cruise tour that includes two-way transfer. With a cruise package, travelers don’t have to worry about the transfer anymore because they will be picked up and dropped off by the cruise’s mini bus which is quite safe and comfortable.
Hanoi to Halong Bay by private car
If you do not want to share the trip from Hanoi to Halong Bay with strangers or wish to be totally flexible of your schedule, a private car is your best option. Whether you are a busy businessman on holiday or go on a vacation with your family, a private transfer will ensure the best privacy for you.
Booking a private car through your travel agent is undeniably the most comfortable way to get to Halong Bay. Currently, as the service industry becomes more and more flourished in Vietnam, it is easy to contact with a travel agent and book your own private car. However, the service quality is surely commensurate with the price, it means that the more comfortable you get, the more expensive you have to pay.
Hanoi to Halong Bay by local bus
For those who travel on a budget, this is an attractive option as it costs as low as 100,000 VND (less than $5). This means of transport usually has a lot of seats (the 45-seat type is quite common). It took only 3 hours to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay by bus, thanks to the new Highway. Sometimes it took longer since local bus have to go around bus stops to pick their customers.
If you want a premium to luxury bus (7-9 seats, air-conditioner, wifi…), there are also variety of options for you to choose. Of course, the price could be double or triple comparing with a budget bus.
Hanoi to Halong Bay by seaplane
In 2014, a new type of tourism in Halong Bay – Vietnam Seaplane Tour – was officially launched by Hai Au Aviation. With this package, travelers will be transferred between Hanoi and Ha Long Bay by Hai Au seaplane (45 minutes for each route). It will be your once in a life time experience as you have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a scenic tour to admire panoramic view of Halong Bay from a height in Hai Au seaplane. The scenic tour will last during 15 minutes. This is undeniably the most wonderful option for travelers who have a generous budget.
To book seaplane, you can contact directly with the company that operates the seaplane Hai Au Aviation
Hanoi to Halong Bay by train
There is a only one train that go directly from Hanoi to Halong Bay with the ticket fare about $4.5/person. The train departs from Yen Vien Station in Hanoi go to Halong City Station at 4.55 am & returns at 13:50 pm every day.
For those who only have a day to visit Halong, the long traveling time of 6 hours by train is definitely not a good choice.
From the Halong station, you will need to catch a taxi to get to the city center so that will add to the cost. On the other hand, if you do not mind the long traveling hours and love the sound of the train whistle, this safe means of transport can offer you a lovely view of scenery along the way.