How to Get to Halong Bay
This part of planning can be confusing because there is a wide range of options from Hanoi to Halong Bay.
There’s a bus line connecting from Hanoi and Halong Bay. They are approximately 160 kilometers away from each other, which takes about 3 hours. From the bus station, it takes about 15 minutes to Taun Chau’s ferry boat to Cat Ba or 40 minutes to a specific boat station (at the end of Khe Cha Street). It will take about 2 hours to reach the island of Cat Ba.
Here are the multiple ways to reach Halong Bay;
It will take 45 minutes to take a Seaplane flight from the Noi Bai Airport to Halong City. It’s a fabulous experience with aerial views across the countryside and water landing at the Tau Chaun’s Island Marina.
You can extend the flight for an extra 15-minute scenic tour over the bay, which gives you a bird’s eye view, which allows you to have a bird’s eye view up to 300 above sea level for beautiful jade green waters and the thousands of limestone karsts.
There is no direct route from Hanoi to Halong Bay, so expect to have an adventurous ride. You must first go to Gia Lam either through bus or train and then take the train to Ha Long.
Vietnam Railways is the official train line and can cost up to 70,000 VND for a regular seat. The ticket can be booked via their official website or at the Yen Vein Train Station. You should expect cancellations and train delays without notice.
From Gia Lam Bus Station in Hanoi to the Bai Chay Bus Station of Hai Long, it costs around 120,000 VMD (6 USD), and you can get the ticket at the bus station. It has 17 seats, and the trip can take around 5 hours because the buses stop along the way to fill up passengers.
Tip: To get to Gia Lam, take bus #34 for 5,000 from these bus stops: Hai Ba Trung, Van Mieu, Bac Co, Nha Hat Lon, or Choung Duong. Make sure to wait for the bus where the traffic is flowing north or east. Otherwise, you might end up on the other side of the city.
From the My Dinh Bus Station, buses traveling to the Bai Chay Station costs 100,000 VMD. They are faster, larger, and more comfortable than the 17 seat buses in Gia Lam. City Bus #34 also stops at the My Dinh Bus Station, which is the opposite route of going to Gia Lam.
If you’re planning to explore Cat Ba Island, you should expect to leave at 10:00 AM to reach Halong because the last ferry leaves at 3:00 PM.
No matter what form of transportation you take, you’ll find a safe route from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Make sure that you book your tickets early, as you don’t want to wait hours for the next ride. By following these tips, we hope that you have a great experience at Halong Bay.