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How to Travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay in 2024

Are you planning a trip to Vietnam and looking for an extraordinary experience? Look no further than the stunning Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its emerald waters and towering limestone islands. Located just 170 kilometres east of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, Halong Bay is easily accessible and offers a multitude of transportation options. In this article, we will guide you through various ways to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay, ensuring that your journey is seamless and memorable.

This guide will make your trip to Halong Bay as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Here are our options on how to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay.


Halong Bay
Halong Bay

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Why Visit Halong Bay?

If you’re still planning to visit Halong Bay, here are several valid reasons to do so. Halong Bay is certainly worth every minute of your time!

Good to know: Halong Bay has a pollution issue.  We spent 2 nights on Halong Bay which meant we travelled further than if you did on a day cruise or a one-night cruise which took us away from the busy areas and the more polluted areas.

A World Heritage Site by UNESCO

Ha Long Bay was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 for its remarkable natural beauty. In addition, the World Heritage Committee designated Ha Long Bay in 2000 for its exceptional geological and geomorphological importance.

It’s 100% natural.

Halong Bay is one of the most incredible sites in the world because it is entirely natural, with no modifications or artificial elements. Ha Long’s breathtaking karst outcroppings are the result of thousands of years of chemical reactions between limestone and dripping water.

Ecotourism site for those concerned about the environment.

The bay’s steep karst outcrops are not only stunning but also suitable for rock climbing. It’s enjoyable to get off the cruise ship and paddle around the bay in a kayak or rowboat.

Excellent cruise experience on Halong Bay – One Option on available types of cruise ships in Halong Bay

Junk cruise Halong Bay
Junk cruise Halong Bay

A Junk cruise through the wonders of this Bay might last anything from a few hours to a day or even a night or two, but the experience is absolutely remarkable.

Where is Halong Bay?

Map of Halong Bay
Halong Bay Map

Halong Bay is a bay on the North Vietnamese coast. It is inside the province of Quang Ninh, which shares a border with China. The City of Halong is the closest major city.

Tuan Chau Gateway, the Halong Bay cruise terminal, is where most boats and tours set out. It lies on the island of Tun Châu, which with a land bridge you can reach in about 20 minutes from Halong City.

Distance from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Halong Bay is located on the Vietnamese coast, about 163 kilometres (101 miles) from Hanoi.

How to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi 

Halong Bay
Halong Bay


Halong Bay, with its spectacular limestone karsts, tropical rainforest, and exquisite beaches, should not be missed. Fortunately, getting there from Hanoi is a breeze.

Hanoi to Halong Bay by train

Travel Time: 6 hours and 45 minutes

Ticket Price: From 90,000 VND 4 USD per person

Booking: Latest times and transport options

Best for: Budget-conscious backpackers and visitors. If you have the time, this is also a terrific way to appreciate the sights on the road.

Take the train for a more real Vietnamese experience, where you may travel at a leisurely speed as the scenery passes by. This is by far the most affordable way to see Halong Bay.

Bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Travel Time: 2-3 hours

Ticket Price: 100,000 VND to 250,000 VND

Booking: Latest times and prices

Best for: Travellers on a budget

Local buses are not as pleasant as luxury buses, but they are less expensive. A local bus may be a better alternative when travelling on a budget.

The majority of local buses leave from three main bus stations: My Dinh Station, Giap Bat Station, and Gia Lam Station.

Luxury bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Travel Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes – 3 hours

Ticket Price: 400,000 VND to 500,000 VND one way / Pax

Best for: The luxury bus is regarded as one of the most efficient modes of transportation between Hanoi and Halong, as well as vice versa. If you want to be comfortable when travelling, this is the best choice.

Luxury shuttle buses are often 9-seater Limousines and 19-seater Fuso outfitted with upscale amenities.

Hanoi to Halong Bay by private car

Travel Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes – 3 hours

Price: 2,300,000 VND to 4,000,000 VND round trip


Best for Business people, families, and friends travelling together.

Halong Bay
Halong Bay

Hanoi to Halong Bay taxi fare

Travel Time: 2 hours and 30 minutes – 3 hours

Price: 1,500,000 VND to 2,300,000 VND / taxi-one way

Best for: Families with kids or older people and small groups of up to three to six people can use 4-seater cars, while 7-seater cars are better for large groups.

The biggest benefit of this instant, on-demand mode of transportation is that it saves time. Without stopping, the whole trip could take up to 2.5 hours. On the other hand, other ways of getting around take about 3.5 hours. Taxis are usually easy to use. It picks you up at your door and makes sure you have the utmost privacy.

Hanoi to Halong Bay by bike

Travel Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes – 4 hours

Price: 118,000 VND to 164,000 VND ~ 5 – 7 USD

Best for: Solo backpackers and adventure travellers.

There are several locations in Hanoi where you may hire a motorcycle for as little as 118,000 VND per day. You may seek assistance from your accommodation or directly contact motorcycle rental companies.

Day Tour to Halong Bay from Hanoi

With a day cruise and round-trip transportation from Hanoi, you can save time and see the beauty of Ha Long Bay. Once you get to the bay, you will have plenty of time to explore its various caves and rock formations. You can also choose to kayak or ride in a bamboo boat.


  • Kayak into Luon Cave and then hike to Ti Top island.
  • Indulge in a scenic ride on a shuttle bus as it transports you along the new roadway.
  • Spend 5 hours sailing across Halong Bay and taking in the sights.
  • Explore the area’s most interesting and beautiful caverns.
  • Enjoy a relaxing seafood lunch while cruising.

Cruise Options for Halong Bay

Don’t book the cheapest cruise – what you pay is what you get. Read all the reviews first.

Overnight Cruises – 2 day 1 night Halong Bay

  • Experience the limestone karst rock formations of Ha Long Bay with different amazing shapes: Dog, Head, Duck, Swan and Fighting Cock
  • Enjoy kayaking in emerald water or bamboo boat at Luon Cave area
  • Impress yourself with a spectacular view of the whole bay from Titop Island
  • Visit Surprise Cave – the largest one of Ha Long Bay
  • Participate in a short cooking class where you can make Vietnam spring roll

2 Night/3 day cruise Halong Bay

  • Marvel at the fascinating natural wonders of Ha Long Bay and Lan Ha Bay
  • Enjoy leisure time to relax or go swimming, snorkelling, and fishing
  • Stay in a private suite with a balcony on a scenic cruise experience
  • Learn about Vietnamese culture and customs through interactive activities
  • Visit famous sights such as the dark and bright.caves, Ba Trai Dao, and Viet Hai



There are many options on how to get from Hanoi to Sapa.  We have travelled in a luxury bus to board our Emeraude cruise for 2 nights/3 days. Emeraude Cruises is part of the TMG Group – a local Vietnamese travel company.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Halong Bay and we hope that you do too!

General Travel Information – Halong Bay

Air Asia, the budget carrier, has flights to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Nha Trang from many Asian cities.

Do You Need a Visa?

Vietnamese visas can be obtained online.


World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world.

Looking for longer tours to Halong Bay?

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Travel smarter and safer with products from our To Travel Too Travel Shop.  If you are looking for the latest luggage, guidebooks or travel accessories we have you covered with over 800 travel products to choose from.

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Looking for more destinations to travel to in Vietnam?

Visit Mai Chau

Visit Sapa

How to spend a weekend in Hanoi

Where to stay in Hanoi


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Pinterest Hanoi to Halong Bay

In conclusion, travelling from Hanoi to Halong Bay offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience for both locals and tourists alike. Whether opting for a cruise or independent travel, there are various transportation options available that cater to different preferences and budgets. Exploring the stunning limestone karsts, vibrant floating villages, and pristine beaches of Halong Bay is a must-do adventure when visiting Vietnam. By following the tips mentioned in this article, travellers can make their journey from Hanoi to Halong Bay seamless and memorable. So pack your bags, embrace the Vietnamese culture, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable expedition through one of the world’s most breathtaking natural wonders.



Thanks for stopping by and welcome to To Travel Too – Australia’s top Baby Boomer lifestyle and travel blog, with an international worldwide audience in mind, run by the married couple, freelance writers and full-time travellers Jane and Duncan Dempster-Smith. Come with us as we explore the world. Our two mantras that we live by are 'chase time not money' and 'age is no barrier when it comes to travel'.

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