Private transportation vehicle.

The Best Way to Get from Hanoi to Halong Bay for First-Time Travelers

‍As a first-time traveler to Halong Bay, you will need to know about transportation options to get there. Should you choose a public bus or shuttle bus of cruise package, or enjoy a flight by seaplane? You can find all the information in this article.

Transportation Options from Hanoi to Halong Bay

  • Distance: 150km
  • Route: Hanoi – Highway 5B – Halong Bay
  • Time: 3 hours

In the past, travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay takes at least 4 hours on the road but thanks to the highway, the travel time now between Hanoi and Halong Bay is just 3 hours by shuttle bus or only more than 2 hours by private car.

Driving to Halong Bay is fast and convenient from Hanoi. Most visitors will choose to use shuttle bus service with pick up at hotels in Hanoi Old Quarter, which would be available on a cruise package for both 1-day cruise, 2-day cruise, and 3-day cruise.

If you plan to visit Halong Bay with a free and easy package, you can use a public bus or private car to fit your travel plan.

Transport passengers by limousine.
Transport passengers by limousine.

Hanoi to Halong Bay Transfer by Shuttle Bus

  • Travel time: 2.5 hours -3 hours (excluding hotel pick-up/drop-off). There would be a short break on the way about 20 minutes.
  • Pick-up/Drop-off time at hotels: 30-45 minutes
  • Type of bus: Limousine bus or van
  • Route: Hanoi – 5B highway – Halong
  • Pick up from Hanoi at 08:00 – 08: 45 AM. Arrive Halong Bay at 11: 30 – 11:45 AM
  • Drop off: 14:30 – 15:00 in Hanoi

One of the most popular and convenient options for first-time travelers is to take a shuttle bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay. This option is often included in cruise packages and offers an affordable way to reach your destination. The journey takes around 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on traffic conditions.

There are different types of shuttle buses available, but the most popular ones are the limousine vans. These vans provide a comfortable and spacious ride, ensuring a pleasant journey. The pick-up from hotels in Hanoi Old Quarter usually occurs between 8 AM to 9 AM, so you’ll have plenty of time to catch your bus and start your adventure in Halong Bay.

Bai Tho Junks offers limousine buses for cruise packages at 25 US$/per person, you can get more information here: https://baithojunks.com/transportation-hanoi-to-halong-bay/

Shuttle Bus
Shuttle Bus

The interior seat of limousine bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Hanoi to Halong Bay Transfer by Private Car

For those seeking a more convenient and tailored experience, a private car transfer is the way to go. With a private car, you’ll enjoy door-to-door service and have the flexibility to create your own itinerary. The travel time is similar to the shuttle bus option, around 2.5 to 3 hours.

While this option offers more comfort and personalization, it does come at a higher cost. Prices for a private car transfer range from $80 to $120 for a four-seat car, one-way. However, if you value convenience and want to make the most of your time, the extra expense may be well worth it.

Private transportation vehicle.
Private transportation vehicle.
Private transportation vehicle.
Private transportation vehicle.

Hanoi to Halong Bay by Seaplane

If you’re looking for the fastest and most luxurious option, consider a seaplane transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay. This mode of transportation takes only 45 minutes for the scheduled flight, offering a breathtaking aerial view of the bay. However, it’s important to note that this is also the most expensive option, with prices ranging from 4,100,000 VND to 9,000,000 VND (US$178 – US$391).

For those who are willing to splurge, the seaplane experience is truly unforgettable. Imagine soaring above the stunning landscape of Halong Bay, taking in its natural beauty from a unique perspective.

If you do not join a flight from Hanoi to Halong Bay by seaplane, you can also consider joining a scenic flight (15 minutes) to enjoy Halong Bay from the sky.

Seaplane to Halong Bay
Seaplane to Halong Bay

Hanoi to Halong Bay by Public Bus

If you’re on a tight budget, the cheapest option to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay is by taking a public bus. Tickets range from 100,000 to 250,000 VND (US$4 – US$10), making it an affordable choice. However, keep in mind that public buses are less comfortable than other options and may take longer approximately 3 to 4 hours.

One thing to consider when choosing the public bus option is that you’ll need to navigate between bus stations or meeting points for pick-up. This can be a bit challenging for first-time travelers, but with a little research and preparation, it can still be a viable choice.

Limousine bus Hanoi - Halong Bay
Limousine bus Hanoi – Halong Bay

Hanoi to Halong Bay by Train & Motorbike

While taking a train or motorbike from Hanoi to Halong Bay is technically possible, it is not recommended for first-time travelers. The train journey takes longer, and the motorbike option is not as safe or convenient as other means of transport. It’s best to choose one of the previous options mentioned for a smoother and more enjoyable travel experience.

Travel to Ha Long by motorbike.
Travel to Ha Long by motorbike.

Noi Bai Airport to Halong Bay

If you’re arriving at Noi Bai Airport and need to get to Halong Bay, there is only one option to arrange a private car transfer, which offers convenience and saves you time to arrive at Halong Bay on time for cruise check-in.

Alternatively, if you’re departing from Halong Bay and need to get back to the airport, you can take advantage of the shuttle bus provided by Bai Tho Junks. This bus will take you from the Halong Bay port to Noi Bai Airport, with an estimated arrival time of 3:00 pm. It’s a convenient option for those who want to ensure they reach the airport on time for their return flight.

Private vehicle.
Private vehicle.

Itinerary Planning

If you’re traveling to Halong Bay from the South of Vietnam, you have the option to take a flight to Van Don Airport or Cat Bi Airport. From there, you can arrange a private car transfer to Halong Bay, which takes only one hour. This is a great option for those who want to minimize travel time and maximize their time exploring Halong Bay.

Another option to consider is getting to Halong Bay from Ninh Binh. You can first travel from Hanoi to Ninh Binh, either by train or shuttle bus, and then take a shuttle bus from Ninh Binh to Halong Bay. This option is particularly convenient if you plan to visit Ninh Binh before heading to Halong Bay and want a seamless transition between the two destinations.

Transport passengers by limousine.
Transport passengers by limousine.

Final Thoughts

As a first-time traveler to Vietnam. If you’re looking for convenience and affordability, the shuttle bus option is highly recommended. For those who value comfort and customization, a private car transfer is the way to go. If you’re willing to splurge for a unique experience, consider a seaplane transfer. And if you’re on a tight budget, the public bus option is the most economical.

For more information on transportation options and to plan your trip from Hanoi to Halong Bay, contact our travel specialists at Bai Tho Junks for more details.

Private vehicle.
Private vehicle.

 

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