How to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi – detailed instructions 2023

The question: How to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi has now been solved thanks to the construction of a new highway. The travel time has been significantly reduced to just 2.5 hours, making it an accessible and appealing trip for visitors. There are numerous ways to make this journey, each with its unique appeal, and the most suitable choice will depend on your individual preferences and circumstances. Here’s a comprehensive guide detailing various transportation options for how to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Keep in mind that the cost of living can be influenced by individual circumstances and lifestyle choices. It’s always advisable to research current information and consult local resources or atlanta cost of living calculators for more accurate and up-to-date estimates.

Halong Bay is a majestic landscape

Hanoi to Halong Bay map
Nestled in the province of Quang Ninh, Halong Bay finds its global reach via several access points. Noi Bai International Airport, situated just 30 kilometers (or roughly 19 miles) from the heart of Hanoi, is traditionally the most frequented gateway for international tourists making their way to Halong Bay. However, more suitable alternatives have recently emerged for overseas visitors, including Van Don International Airport, located 50 kilometers from Halong City, and Cat Bi International Airport, merely 44 kilometers from the city.

The usual itinerary for travelers involves spending a day soaking up the rich culture of the capital, followed by a journey to Halong Bay on a subsequent day.

How far away is Halong Bay from Hanoi?

Nevertheless, with the completion of a new highway towards the end of 2018 and the onset of 2019, the distance between Hanoi and Halong has been considerably reduced from 175 kilometers to 125 kilometers. This modern infrastructure has led to a notable decrease in travel time from the capital to Halong, now merely 2-2.5 hours by car, as compared to the previous 4-hour journey.

This development proves particularly advantageous for time-bound travelers, who can now feasibly undertake a day trip to Halong Bay from Hanoi and return on the same day.

Get inspired and plan your perfect travel adventure by referencing the comprehensive Halong Bay Cruise Guide for an unforgettable journey through the stunning landscapes of Halong Bay.

Hanoi to Halong Bay: How to Travel 2023

Shuttle bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Cost: 350,000 VND – 500,000 VND for a one-way trip per person, assuming your pick-up and drop-off points are within Hanoi’s Old Quarter. 

Ideal for: It’s an excellent choice for those who are mindful of their budget and wish to minimize travel time.

Varieties of Shuttle Buses:

The options range from budget-friendly to luxury buses. The majority of these buses utilize the 5B Hanoi – Halong Highway, ensuring the journey only takes around 2.5 – 3 hours. The typical departure times from Hanoi’s Old Quarter are between 8 am and 9 am.

The private car from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Duration: Approximately 2.5 – 3 hours.

Cost: Expect to pay between 2,300,000 VND and 4,000,000 VND for a round trip.

Ideal for: Those who value privacy and comfort during their journeys, such as business travelers, families, and groups of friends.

To arrange a private car service from Hanoi to Halong Bay, you can make your reservation through cruise operators or travel agencies. Alternatively, you can book a private taxi. The private car service offers door-to-door pickup and drop-off at locations mutually agreed upon. Although this is the most convenient option, it is also the most expensive way to travel to Halong Bay.

Public bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Duration: Roughly 2-3 hours.

Cost: 100,000 VND to 250,000 VND per person for a one-way ticket.

Ideal for: Those seeking a cost-effective mode of transport. Although local buses may provide a different level of comfort and convenience than shuttle buses, they are a less expensive alternative. If you’re traveling on a tight budget, this could be your best option.

Bus stations in Hanoi for Halong Bay:

The majority of local buses heading to Halong Bay depart from three main bus stations: My Dinh Station, Giap Bat Station, and Gia Lam Station.

Seaplane from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Duration: 60 minutes

Cost: Between 4,100,000 VND and 9,000,000 VND, or roughly 175 to 385 USD per person.

Ideal for: Wealthy travelers and couples who wish to enjoy a unique aerial view of the bay.

You can get to Halong Bay from Hanoi by Seaplane

Opting for a seaplane is a unique and exciting mode of transportation from Hanoi to Halong Bay. This is also the quickest way to reach your destination. In addition to a swift journey, you will be treated to breathtaking aerial views of the bay. 

Train from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Duration: 6 hours and 45 minutes

Cost: 94,000 VND or about 4 USD per person

Ideal for: Backpackers or tourists on a strict budget. If you have the time to spare and would like to enjoy the scenic journey, this could be your best option.

The railway between Hanoi and Halong Bay has recently been reopened, providing tourists with an additional mode of transport. If you’re looking to soak in the local Vietnamese experience, consider traveling by train. As you travel at a leisurely pace, you can enjoy the passing landscape. 

Motorbike from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Duration: Approximately 3.5 – 4 hours

Cost: Between 118,000 VND and 164,000 VND, which equates to around 5 – 7 USD

Ideal for: Adventurous travelers and independent backpackers

If you’re seeking an adventure and value flexibility in your travel times and routes, you might want to consider renting a motorbike to drive to Halong Bay. There are numerous locations in Hanoi where you can rent a motorbike for a reasonable daily fee. You can ask for assistance at your hotel or get in touch with motorbike rental centers directly.

Recommended Hanoi to Halong Bay Cruise

Opting for a Halong Bay cruise that departs from Hanoi and returns back to the city is a popular choice among travelers. This offers a safe and convenient way to explore both Hanoi and the remarkable Halong Bay.

What you can look forward to:

  • Experiencing the highlights of Halong, Lan Ha, or Bai Tu Long Bay, which include stunning caves, quaint floating villages, untouched islands, and clear, sandy beaches.
  • Participating in relaxing onboard activities such as Tai Chi sessions, Vietnamese cooking classes, night squid fishing, Happy Hour, and sunset parties.
  • Enjoying an overnight stay in comfortable accommodations equipped with top-notch facilities.
  • Indulging in delectable onboard meals featuring Vietnamese and European cuisine.


Cruise  Why choose? Price from
Paradise Grand Voted as the most classy destination for the elite 7.150.000 VND
Paradise Elegance Top 5 best cruises in the world 7.150.000 VND
Paradise Sails A first luxury boutique cruise ship with 16 cabins 4.900.000 VND
Paradise Peak A 5-star Ha Long Bay cruise with jacuzzis and meal and butler services provided in private cabins. 11.150.000 VND

Why wait any longer? Book Halong Bay Cruise Luxury with Paradise Vietnam now and elevate your travel experience to new heights!

Paradise Vietnam Cruise 

Local Tips for Various Traveler Types

For Affluent Travelers and Couples

For those who are not budget-constrained, taking a seaplane from Hanoi to Halong Bay provides an unparalleled experience. This mode of transport, while the most expensive, offers breathtaking aerial views of the bay and is the fastest way to get there. 

For Small Groups and Families

When traveling with a group or family, safety, especially for children, becomes a top priority. In such cases, hiring a private car is the best option. Depending on the number of passengers, various car sizes are available. 

For Solo and Budget Travelers

For those traveling solo or on a tight budget, the most cost-effective way to journey from Hanoi to Halong Bay is by either a shuttle bus or a local bus. These modes of transport will get you there in about 2.5 – 3 hours each way. 

Don’t hesitate to embark on this journey once you’ve familiarized yourself with how to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi. Revel in the experience and create memories that will last a lifetime. If you require additional information or wish to reserve a well-appointed luxury cruise, Paradise Vietnam is at your service. Reach out to us, and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.