Usually, tourists considering a trip from Hanoi to Halong Bay can opt for one among five main means of transportation including:
The travel time from Hanoi to Halong can vary depending on the mode of transportation you choose. All things considered, the whole journey should take from 02 to 04 hours
Perhaps one of the best ways to not only travel economically but also explore the local life and landscapes is to transfer from Hanoi to Halong by motorbike, especially if you are adventurous or currently on a budget.
For rental, it’s relatively easy to spot motorbike stores in the Old Quarter or West Lake area with English-speaking staff or owners which offer various types of automatic, semi-automatic, manual, and touring bikes with monthly, weekly, and daily rental services.
Transferring from Hanoi to Halong Bay on a local bus is also a pretty good option. This may not give you a really private experience but it could be great if you are on a budget or wish to interact with the locals. There are various bus stations in the city center, where you can easily buy a ticket to get on the bus to Halong such as My Dinh, Giap Bat, and Gia Lam. The price may also vary according to the company, but usually, it ranges from 4$ to 8$.
However, apart from not being really private as you may have to travel by 40-50 people on the bus, on weekends or special occasions such as Tet or the independence day, most buses are stuffed with up to 200% of their capacity, which may be a not really pleasant experience. Moreover, the staff of Local Bus can only speak Vietnamese, so if you can not speak Vietnamese, it would be hard to book your ticket. Another minus point is that it may take quite a long time as the buses often stop occasionally on the road to pick up more travelers (even though it is illegal). Also, the bus would drop you off at the Halong Bus Station, so you need to take a cab to your destination in Halong.
One of the best ways to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay is by using Luxury Minibus. The cost for a one-way trip is about 14 $ and it will take about 2.5 hours via the new expressway to get to the destination. The minibus’s interior design is elegant, cozy, and comfortable and you can lay your back down its soft berths, relax and enjoy your wonderful trip to one of the best travel destinations in Vietnam. Free high-speed WIFI and water are also provided, which will guarantee you a satisfying journey. This type of transport is great for family travel as the price is reasonable and there is enough space for even a family of five. However, as the departure time is fixed, you may find it a little tight. Also, as the bus is only available in the city center, you may have to opt for other ways if you want to go straight from the airport.
Another choice of heading to Halong Bay from Hanoi is a Luxury Limousine van. The price is from 12$, which is the cheapest among the 4 options. Usually, it will take 3 hours to get to Halong Bay but it may vary according to the traffic. The van is spacious and comfortable. You can also customize your seat as it can be reclined up to 45 degrees, which will make your journey as pleasant as possible. Rechargeable USB ports, free WIFI, and water are also available. This option is perfect for a large group as there are up to 9 seats and as the van is quite spacious, you will have a great time chatting and interacting with the others. If you travel in small groups, you can also book one or two-seat and share the Van with other travelers, a good way of saving your budget while traveling. However, the van also has several drawbacks including fixed departure time and is available only in the city center.
Transferring from Hanoi to Halong Bay in a private car would also be an excellent choice. Although this type of transport is the most expensive, its service is undoubtedly comparable to its price. There are 3 types of cars that you can choose according to your needs including a 4-seater, a 7-seater, and a Limousine D-car.
There are 2 different routes: One through the national route 18 which may take about 3.5 hours and another through the new expressway which will shorten the transferring up to 1.5 hours. However, you will have to pay an extra 12$ to use the expressway route. Using a private car would be very helpful for travelers who would like to go straight from the airport as this is the only type of transport available for transfer from the airport to Halong. A private car is also ideal for people who value private space as you don’t need to share with anyone. Another advantage of a private car over other options is that you have the flexibility to travel as you’re under no fixed schedule and have the privilege to choose whenever to go. You may also get from Hanoi to Halong Bay by taxi from other taxi companies in VietNam such as Mai Linh, Thanh Cong, or Thanh Nga. These companies, however, don’t support users who speak English, which can cause you difficulty booking your trip. Another minus point is that you may encounter scams as many of the taxi drivers from these companies can overcharge you or intentionally extend the trip by going around over and over to increase the cost.
Traveling in a seaplane from Hanoi to Halong Bay may be a wonderful idea if you don’t mind the price at all. The service is provided exclusively by Hai Au- the only seaplane company in Vietnam offering seaplane service from Hanoi to Halong. See Ha Long Bay with Seaplane[/caption] Not only can you enjoy the beauty of Vietnam’s nature from such an unbelievably high point in one of the most luxurious and comfortable means of transport but also significantly cut down on the time, as it takes only 40’ to travel from Hanoi to Halong. The package also includes 15’ of flying over Halong bay. However, the price is undoubtedly costly as it costs over 105$/adult.