How to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay | Best way to travel 2024

From the vibrant streets of Hanoi to the mesmerizing vistas of Halong Bay, every step reveals a new layer of Vietnam's charm, promising an adventure that goes beyond the map. Let's dive into the details of “How to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay!

1. Hanoi to Halong Bay distance & travel time

Hạ Long is a famous tourist city in the northern part of our country, approximately 165 km from Hanoi.
The travel duration from Hanoi to Halong Bay varies depending on the chosen mode of transportation, averaging between 3.5 to 4 hours.
Presently, the Halong-Haiphong expressway is in operation, effectively reducing the distance between Haiphong and Halong by 25 km. Consequently, if you embark on your journey from Hanoi using this route, you can expect to reach Halong in just about 1.5 to 2 hours.

6 best ways to travel

2. How to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay by bus - The most popular

The bus is considered a familiar and the most economical means of transportation to Halong Bay.
vietnam local bus 

  • Cost-Effective: Taking a bus is often one of the most budget-friendly options

  • Regular Departures: Buses operate on a regular schedule with multiple departures throughout the day

  • Local Experience: Buses are commonly used by locals

  • Central Departure Points: Buses typically depart from central locations in Hanoi, such as the Old Quarter


  • Travel Time: The bus journey can take around 2 to 3 hours, which might be longer compared to other modes of transportation like private cars or flights.

  • Limited Luggage Space

  • Potential Delays: Buses may be subject to delays due to traffic or unforeseen circumstances

Price: from $5 to $9 per person for a one-way trip
How to book
Booking a bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay can be done through various methods:
Online Booking Platforms: Visit the official websites of bus companies operating on the Hanoi to Halong Bay route. Many companies have their online booking systems.
Bus Terminals: Visit Hanoi's major bus terminals, such as My Dinh Bus Station or Gia Lam Bus Station, where you can purchase bus tickets directly from the ticket counters.

>>> Halong bay tour include bus transfer

2. How to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay by Luxury bus - the most comfortable

Opt for these tourist bus routes as they are managed by travel companies, ensuring a comfortable and convenient experience throughout your journey.
limosine bus 01 

  • Comfortable Seating: Luxury buses typically offer spacious and comfortable seats

  • Amenities: These buses often come equipped with amenities such as air conditioning, Wi-Fi, entertainment systems,...

  • Direct Drop-Off: Luxury buses may have specific drop-off points in Halong Bay, ensuring a more convenient arrival at your desired location


  • Higher Cost: The luxury bus option is generally more expensive compared to standard or budget alternatives

  • Limited Departure Times: Luxury buses may have fewer departure times throughout the day

Price: from $10 to $14 per person for a one-way trip
How to book
Most luxury bus companies offer online booking through their official websites. Visit the website of the chosen company, select your departure and arrival locations, choose your preferred date and time, and follow the instructions to complete the reservation.
Book through Travel Agencies in Hanoi


3. How to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay by Car - Best Privacy

Traveling by a private car or renting one is another choice for travelers.

  • Flexibility and Independence: Traveling by car provides the utmost flexibility, allowing you to set your own pace and make stops at points of interest along the way

  • Private Space: You have the entire vehicle to yourself or your group

  • Customizable Routes: You can create a personalized itinerary, choosing specific attractions to visit


  • Cost: Renting a car or hiring a private driver can be more expensive

  • Traffic and Road Conditions: Hanoi's traffic and road conditions may be challenging, particularly for those unfamiliar with local driving norms

  • Parking Challenges: Finding parking, especially in crowded areas, is hard

Price: from $90 to $120, depending on the days you rent.
How to book
If you're staying at a hotel in Hanoi, inquire at the front desk about car rental services to Halong Bay. Some hotels collaborate with car rental companies or can recommend reliable options.
Otherwise, you should research local car rental agencies in Hanoi.


4. How to get from Hanoi to Halong bay by Seaplane - A new experience

Traveling from Hanoi to Halong Bay by seaplane offers a unique and scenic experience.
Halong bay by Seaplane 

  • Time Efficiency: Seaplanes offer a faster mode of transportation compared to other options

  • Luxurious Experience: Seaplane travel provides a luxurious and exclusive experience

  • Avoid Road Traffic: By flying, you can avoid potential traffic congestion on the roads


  • Cost: Seaplane travel is generally more expensive

  • Limited Schedule: Seaplane services may have limited schedules and frequencies

  • Weather Dependence: Flights may be affected or canceled in adverse weather conditions, potentially disrupting travel plans

Price: It could range from approximately $200 to $225 USD per person for a one-way journey.
How to book
Go to the official website of the selected seaplane operator and use the online booking system to check the availability of flights and review the schedule.


5. How to get from Hanoi to Halong bay by Motorcycle - The most adventurous

With the mode of transportation being a motorbike, travelers can choose between two main routes:
Route 1, approximately 155km long: Hanoi - Sai Dong Intersection - Bac Ninh, following National Highway 18 to Pha Lai – Chi Linh - Dong Trieu - Uong Bi - Halong.
Route 2, approximately 160km long: Noi Bai Airport - Bac Ninh, taking National Highway 18A to Pha Lai - Sao Do - Dong Trieu - Uong Bi - Halong
motobike in vietnam

  • Scenic Routes: Motorcycling provides an immersive experience

  • Affordability: Motorcycling is often a cost-effective mode of transportation

Weather Sensitivity: Riders are more exposed to weather conditions, and sudden changes in weather can affect the comfort and safety of the journey
Limited Comfort: Long-distance motorcycle rides may lead to discomfort and fatigue, particularly if road conditions are challenging.
Price: around $10 to $10/ day
How to book
Similar to some transportation above, you can reach out to local travel agencies or tour operators in Hanoi that may provide motorbike rental services. They can assist with the booking process and offer additional travel advice.


6. How to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay by train - Travel like a local

Traveling by train provides a local experience, allowing you to witness the changing scenery and connect with the culture.
vietnam train 

  • Cost-Effective: Train travel is often more budget-friendly

  • No Traffic Concerns: Avoid potential traffic congestion on the roads, especially during peak travel times

  • Scenic Views: Enjoy picturesque views of the Vietnamese countryside during the train journey


  • Travel Time: The train journey may take longer compared to other modes

  • Less Flexibility: Unlike private transportation, trains operate on fixed schedules, offering less flexibility for spontaneous changes to your itinerary

  • Limited Direct Routes: There might be limited direct routes to Halong Bay, requiring transfers or additional travel arrangements

Price: Around $6 to $10 USD per person for a one-way trip
How to book
Go to the official website of Vietnam Railways ( to check the train schedules and book tickets. The website has an English version for international travelers.
Additionally, you can go directly to the train station if you are staying near this place.

>>> Best things to do in Halong bay

Some tips for travelers
Before traveling, you should keep these notes in mind:
Plan your trip well in advance, especially during peak seasons. This includes booking transportation, accommodations, and any activities you plan to do in Halong Bay
Be mindful of the weather conditions
Pack essentials such as comfortable clothing, sunscreen, insect repellent, a hat, and any necessary medications

1. Is it worth visiting Halong Bay?
Absolutely, a visit to Halong Bay is worth the journey. The bay is not just beautiful; it's also rich in history, with floating villages and ancient caves to explore. Whether you're into relaxing, exploring, or learning about culture, Halong Bay has something for everyone.
2. What is the most popular way to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay?
One of the most popular ways to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay is by bus or limousine. These two options typically offer a comfortable and convenient place for both locals and tourists. The journey takes around 2.5 to 3 hours, providing a scenic route through the Vietnamese countryside.
3. How to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi airport?
You can arrange for a private transfer or rent a car directly from the airport. Additionally, some companies offer shuttle bus or shared transfer services. These are usually more budget-friendly options and may take a bit longer as they make stops to pick up other passengers.
4. Should I book the tour or go by myself?
Choosing between booking a tour or traveling independently to Halong Bay depends on your travel preferences. A tour will ensure convenience, with organized transportation, accommodation, and guided activities while independent travel provides flexibility.

author hoan
My name is Hoan and I come from Hanoi, with more than 10 years working in the tourism industry (both as a tour guide then tour operator). I am very proud to say that I can give you the best advice for your trip to beautiful Vietnam.

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