Escorted Vietnam Cambodia Tours

How to Get to Halong Bay: How Do I Get from Hanoi to Halong Bay?

Halong Bay is one of the premier destinations in Vietnam. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place of outstanding natural beauty with over 1,600 islands, islets, and towering karst formations that soar out of the emerald waters. Conveniently close to Hanoi, getting there is easy. It’s definitely one of the best tour places in Vietnam you don’t want to miss.

Where Is Halong Bay Located? How Far Is Halong Bay from Hanoi?

Halong Bay lies in the Gulf of Tonkin along the northeastern coast of Vietnam. The bay extends 120 km along the coast and encompasses an area filled with beaches, limestone islands, and floating villages. Despite being in the north of Vietnam, the sea moderates the climate, and Halong Bay enjoys mild to hot temperatures all year round.

Hanoi is roughly 170 km to the west. Many tourists enter Vietnam from Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport. Traveling east from there, Ha Long City is the gateway to Halong Bay. For time not spent on a cruise of the bay, the city has a wide range of excellent hotels, restaurants, and markets.

The Most Cost-Effective Way to Reach Halong Bay from Hanoi Is by Taking a Shuttle Bus (about 3 hours)

Shuttle buses are the simple and inexpensive way to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Public buses travel to Ha Long City usually taking 4-5 hours. Dedicated shuttle buses to Halong Bay, known as the ‘tourist bus’ take only three hours. The shuttle buses are more comfortable and compact, usually having 9-16 seats. They are equipped with amenities like wifi and complimentary water, and the drivers often speak some English.

Shuttle services like Ha Long Travel Limousine, Tam Bao Anh Limousine, and Hoang Phu Limousine offer door-to-door service. You can be picked up from the airport or hotel and dropped off at your cruise embarkation point or hotel in Ha Long City. Buses are available all day, with more departures in the mornings. Tickets cost between 10 and 15 USD.

The comfotable shuttle bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay

The Most Scenic Way to Reach Halong Bay from Hanoi Is by Riding a Motorbike (about 4 hours)

Renting a motorbike and driving from Hanoi to Halong Bay is a chance to see the scenery in the region. When driving yourself you have the flexibility to explore and stop at any interesting places.

It takes 4-5 hours depending on the route. The shortest route is from Hanoi to Halong Bay via Bac Ninh. The route is almost completely along two highways, making it easy to avoid getting lost. Another common option is via Hai Duong. This route goes through Hai Duong city and Nam Sach Town and has more opportunities to explore and find interesting sites.

Many bike rental shops can be found in Hanoi Old Quarter. Reputable motorbike companies like Motogo, Bon Bon Motor, and Hanoi Motor tour allow you to pick up a bike in Hanoi and drop it off in Halong Bay. Rentals cost around 5-10 USD per day.

An exciting motorbike tour from Hanoi to Halong Bay

The Fastest & Unique Experience to Reach Halong Bay from Hanoi Is by Seaplane (about 45 minutes)

The fastest way to transfer to Halong Bay is by seaplane. Seaplanes take off and land on the water, and fly at a low altitude so you can get amazing bird’s eye views of the landscapes. It only takes 45 minutes to get there by seaplane, and it’s a safe and exciting trip.

Hai Au Aviation is a reputable seaplane tour company with a fleet of modern Cessna planes. Planes leave from Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi and arrive at Tuan Chau Marina in Halong Bay. One-way tickets start from 330 USD for adults, and 197 USD for children 2 or younger.

Travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay by seaplane

The Slowest but Cheapest Way to Get Halong Bay from Hanoi Is by the Train (about 7 hours)

Taking the train in Vietnam is a very local experience that is inexpensive, but often slow. Tickets for the train line from Hanoi to Halong Bay cost 4.5 USD. The journey from Yen Vien Station in Hanoi to Halong Train Station takes around 7 hours.

Direct train service from Hanoi to Halong bay on the single daily train 20. 50501 is currently suspended. The closest train currently in service goes to Haiphong. There are four trains daily from Hanoi to Haiphong. Tickets cost 17.3 USD, and the trip takes around 2.5 hours. From Haiphong, a shuttle to Halong Bay takes 2 hours and costs 10 USD. A taxi or private car takes only 45 minutes and costs 30-45 USD.

Hai Phong train station

The Most Recommended Way to Get Halong Bay from Hanoi Is to Travel with

Traveling with is the best way to remove any hassles, and travel exactly how you want. Our Halong Bay tours whether just to Halong Bay or as part of a longer tour of Vietnam include private van transfers from Hanoi. The van will pick you up from wherever you are, and take you right to your destination in Halong Bay. You can relax and enjoy the scenery while traveling in comfort and safety.

More Tips for Halong Bay Tour

1. The dry season, particularly October to November and March to April, is the best time to visit Halong Bay. The skies are clear and the waters calm for smooth sailing and good visibility.
2. Visiting during the rainy season from May to September can be a budget-friendly option, but heavy rainfall can reduce visibility and there is a chance that cruises will be delayed or canceled due to rough waters.
3. Halong Bay cruises offer 2 days / 1 night, and 3 days / 2 nights options. Longer cruises let you explore more of the islands and out of the way places in the bay.
4. Summer clothes and sun protection are best for the cruise, but bring a light jacket or sweater as evenings can be cool.
5. Bring cash in local currency for small purchases.
6. If you’re not going on a cruise, or spending more time in Ha Long City, check out the great beaches like Bai Chay Beach, or Tuan Chau Beach. 


Halong Bay is a popular destination for international and Vietnamese tourists so there are many convenient options for getting there from Hanoi. Shuttles are the fastest and most convenient, but driving a motorbike or taking a seaplane can add more adventure to the journey.

Traveling us will let you fully personalize your experience and relax in the knowledge that we’ll take care of all the details. So feel totally free to contact us for further information now!

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