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Bus or train to Sapa

Halong bay is located 170 km away from Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam to the Northeast. Normally, it may take 3-4 hours to get there from Hanoi depending on your type of transport, routes and traffic conditions.

(picture of halong and text: How to get from Hanoi to Halong”)

After a few wonderful days spent exploring the fantastic capital city of Hanoi and living like a local, it was time for a change of scene. Located 320 kilometers away from the northeast of Hanoi, Halong is the place where tourists could opt for a variety of activities, ranging from swimming in the bay’s emerald green water, getting around the bay on a kayak expedition or exploring its breathtakingly beautiful landscape on a sea cruise.

Route from Hanoi to Halong bay

If you want to travel from Hanoi to Halong  by road, you can choose between two options, either the normal road or the new Expressway( often with toll but can save up to 1-1.5 hour).

Travelling by air is also a possible option as there are companies offering seaplanes from Hanoi to Halong. (depart from Noi Bai International Airport to Tuan Chau Harbour)

Transportation

Usually, tourists considering a trip from Hanoi to Halong can opt for one among five main means of transportation including  motorbike, local bus, limousine run by tourist company, private car and seaplane.

In this post, we would like to provide some specific information of these five types of transport so that you could choose the best one according to your preference.

Hanoi to Halong By Motorbike

Perhaps one of the best ways to not only travel economically but also explore the local life and landscapes is to drive a motorbike from Hanoi to Halong, especially if you are an adventurous or currently on a budget.

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There may be several routes to choose, but here are our recommendations for you:

    • 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

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.

Here are a number of motorbike rental shops in Hanoi for reference:

Motorbike Rental StorePhoneAddressWebsite
Bon Bon Motor

 0855 222 555

No. 246 Ton Duc Thang Street, Dong Da District, Hanoi

Bon Bon  Motor

Hanoi Motor Tour

092 829 00 00

No. 37, Alley 167, Tay Son Street, Dong Da District, HanoiHanoi Motor Tour
James Hanoi motorbike

092 829 00 00

No. 37, Alley 167, Tay Son Street, Dong Da District, HanoiJames Hanoi Mortorbike 
Rent a bike Hanoi

090 439 24 23

No. 15a, Alley 12, Dang Thai Mai Street, Tay Ho District, Ha NoiRent a bike Hanoi

The price may vary from store to store (often $5-50/trip). However, travelling by motorbike may require a license not to mention many other problems you may have to face such as traffic accident ( the traffic condition in Hanoi is pretty bad) and getting lost. Also, there are not many things to see during the trip. If you’re looking for a good scenic route that offers wonderful side view, this route can not live up to your expectations.

Hanoi to Halong By Local bus

Travelling 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.

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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$.

Bus StationAddressRoute(s)
My Dinh Bus Station

20 Pham Hung Street, My Dinh 2, Nam Tu Liem, Ha Noi city

My Dinh – Cam Pha – Quang Ninh

My Dinh – Cam Pha – Bac Ninh – Hon Gai

My Dinh – Mong Duong – Cam Pha – Quang Ninh

My Dinh – Bai Chay

My Dinh – Cam Pha – Bai Chay

My Dinh – Mong Cai

Nước Ngầm Station

No 1, Ngoc Hoi Road, Hoang Liet Ward, Hoang Mai Dist

Nuoc Ngam – Cam Pha – Quang Ninh

Giáp Bát Station

No.6, Giai Phong Str, Hoang Liet Ward, Hoang Mai Dist, Hanoi

Giap Bat – Cua Ong

Yên Nghĩa Station

Highway 6, Yen Nghia Ward, Ha Dong Dist, Hanoi

Yen Nghia – Cam Pha – Cua Ong

Gia Lâm StationNo.9, Ngo Gia Kham Str, Long Bien Dist, Hanoi

Gia Lam – Mong Cai

Gia Lam – Tien Yen

Gia Lam – Bai Chay

Gia Lam – Cam Pha

However, apart from not being really private as you may have to travel with 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 travellers (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

Hanoi to Halong by Luxury Minibus (7-seater van)

One of the best ways to travel to Halong is using Luxury Minibus. The cost for a one-way trip is about 17 $ and it will take about 2.5 hours via the new expressway to get to the destination.

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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.

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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.

Hanoi to Halong By 9-seater Limousine Van

Another choice of heading to Halong is Luxury Limousine van. The price is 16$, which is the cheapest among the 4 options. Usually it will take 3 hours to get to Halong 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 others travellers, a good way of saving your budget while traveling.

However, the van also has several drawbacks including fixed departure time and being available only in the city center.

Type of carLuxury Minibus (7-seater van)9-seater limousine van
Number of VIP seat

(seat which has more leg-space)

2 VIP seat in the middle

4 VIP seat in the middle

Capacity

5 person

9 person

Price

$17/seat

$16/seat

Suitable for

Medium group traveller (4 to 5 pax)

Big group traveller (8-9 pax) and Small group of traveller (1 -2 pax)

Hanoi to Halong by Private Car

Transferring 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 with 9 seats.

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A 4-seater would be suitable for 2 passengers as a seat would be spared for the luggage and another for the driver. The price is 70$.

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Minus one seat for the luggage and another for the driver, a 7-seater would be perfect for 5 passengers and the price is 80$.

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For bigger groups, choosing a Limousine D-car would be ideal as it can deliver up to 7 passengers excluding one seat for the luggage and another for the drivers. The price is 115$.

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 of 12$ to use the expressway route.

Using a private car would be very helpful for travellers who would like to go straight from the airport as this is the only type of transport available for transferring from the airport to Halong. Private car is also ideal for people who value private space as you don’t need to share with anyone. Another advantage of 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 look 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 you 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.

CompanyContact Number
CP Taxi

(+84) 024 3826 2626

Mai Linh

(+84) 24 3833 3333

Thanh Cong

(+84) 24 3628 2828

Thanh Nga

  (+84) 24 3821 5215

Note: If you would love to go straight from the airport but find private car too expensive, it’s possible to use a mix of private cars and Limousine car. Specifically, you will be delivered from the airport by our private car to the city center and then take the Limousine car from city center to Halong.

Hanoi to Halong By Seaplane

Travelling in a seaplane 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.

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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.

Tips: Getting from Hanoi to Hanoi by Joinning in an organized tour

One of the good tips for cutting travel cost is to join in an organized cruise tour. This tour includes round-trip transferring ( from Hanoi to Halong and vice versa), 6-hour  cruise on Halong bay, swimming on the beach, climbing up the mountain for better view, visiting Surprising Cave, Kayaking boat, all from a 5-star reviewed travel company with 2 cruise ships : Dragon King cruise and Wego Halong cruise. Everything is within one day.

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The price for this all-in-one tour is 45$ if you travel in a group of fewer than 4 and 43$ if you travel in a group of from 5 to 8. You may need to pay an extra of 4$ if you wish to travel back using the expressway to save time.

If you only intend to visit halong for a day, the transfer cost by Limousine Van would cost you $34 USD for 2-way ticket. In the One day cruise tour option, with the amount of $45 USD, you can enjoy a 2-way transfer by bus between Hanoi and Halong, plus a 6-hour tour around Halong. 

This option is very ideal for travellers who would like a one-day travel trip or want to find a convenient option as this already includes both transferring from Hanoi to Halong and returning back to Hanoi.

To sum up, you can compare and contrast both pros and cons of each type of transfer with the table below:

Type of transferPriceDurationProsConsWay of bookingSiutable for
Motorbike

$5 – $50

3.5 hours

Sightseeing

Dangerous

Rent a motorbike

Advance motor-driver

Local bus

$7.5/seat

3 hours

Cheapest

Uncomfortable

 Get to the local Bus Station

Travel on a budget

Luxury Minibus

$17/seat

2.5 hours

Perfect fit for a family of 5

Fixed Schedule

Online Booking

Family of 4

Limousine Van

$16/seat

2.5 hours

Luxury Leather seat

Fixed Schedule

Online Booking

Big travel group or couple

Private Car

$75

2 hours

Can pick-up outside the Old Quarter

On demand Schedule

Online Booking

Couple/Family

Seaplane

$105

1 hour

Can enjoy Halong Bay from above

Most expensive 

Online Booking at seaplane.vn

Couple/Single

Join in a tour

$45

2.5 hours

Visit All Halong’s spot in 1 day

Fixed Schedule

Online booking

Family/Couple/Single

Hopefully you have found the right means of transportation for your trip to Halong. For more Halong information, please check:

>>Top recommended Home-stay in Sapa

>>How to rent a mortorbike in Sapa

>>Lao Chai – Ta Van Village

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