Transportation Travel Guide

Your Ultimate 2023 Guide from Hanoi to Halong Bay: All You Need to Know

Last updated on
November 23, 2023

The Fastest and Most Affordable Way to Travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay in 2023


Looking to the cheapest and fastest option to get to Halong from Hanoi? You’re in luck! We’ve got the inside scoop on the most popular transport methods, including local bus (coach), shuttle bus, private car (or taxi), seaplane, train, and motorbike.

This 2023 guide offers the latest information to help you find the most popular choices, along with step-by-step booking instructions for each mode of transport. Here is some information to help you plan your trip from Hanoi to Halong Bay:

Halong Bay, located in Quang Ninh Province, is a World Heritage Site. With the introduction of the Expressway, the distance between the two cities has reduced from 180km to just 130km, which has significantly reduced the travel time to only 2.5 hours. 

Distance from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Distance from Noi Bai Airport (HAN) to Halong Bay:

Noi Bai International Airport is located approximately 30 km (19 miles) northwest of Hanoi’s city center, and around 160 km from Halong Bay. This airport is the most popular option for international travelers heading to Halong Bay. You can get to Halong Bay directly from Noi Bai Airport by taking a quick shuttle bus or seaplane transfer. However, there are other options that may be more convenient for foreign visitors, such as Van Don International Airport (50 km away from Halong City) and Cat Bi International Airport (44 km away from the city).

Distance from Hanoi city center to Halong Bay:

The approximate distance between Hanoi city center and Halong Bay is around 130 km and it takes only around 2,5 hours to get to Halong from Hanoi city center with the help of the Expressway. So most travelers spend a day exploring Hanoi before traveling to Halong Bay on the next day.

hanoi to halong bay map

Share this Image On Your Site


While every effort and care is taken in preparing the content of this site, Bhaya Cruises disclaim all warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information in any of the content. All prices listed in this blog post are collected from research on the internet and are meant as a reference only. Actual prices might change at any time. The information in this blog post in no way represents the official prices committed by Bhaya Cruises.

Local Bus (Coach) - The Budget Choice

coach 45 seats


Time: It takes around three hours to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay by local bus, thanks to the new highway. But it can take longer to go around bus stops to pick passengers.

Cost: From approximately 120,000 to 250,000 VND/person (One way trip). For those who travel on a budget, this might be the best option.

How to go from Hanoi to Halong Bay by local bus?

Local bus stations that run Hanoi – Halong City:

  • My Dinh Station: 

Adress: 20 Pham Hung Street, My Dinh 2, Nam Tu Liem District, Ha Noi. (This bus station is around 11km from Hanoi city center and provide a large options of bus operators to Halong.)

  • Gia Lam Station: 

Adress: 9 Ngo Gia Kham Street, Long Bien District, Hanoi. (This is the nearest bus station from Hanoi city center (5.5km) but bus operators to Halong are very rare.)

* Useful Tips: It is not necessary to book online since the local bus ticket are available on site.

Some popular Hanoi - Halong local bus companies

CompanyBus StationFrequencyTicket Price (One way)Hotline
Kumho Viet ThanhMy Dinh Station28 times per day from 5:00 – 18:45120,000 VND(+84) 2435 333 888 / (+84) 968 360 033
Ket Doan Hung DucMy Dinh Station12 times per day from 6:30 – 19:15160,000 VND(+84) 1900 8971 / (+84) 977 355 355
Phuc XuyenMy Dinh Station3 times per day from 5:00 – 21:00240,000 VND(+84) 1900 6799
Duc PhucMy Dinh Station12 times per day from 7:00 – 19:00100,000 VND(+84) 977 266 909
Ka LongMy Dinh Station21 time per day from 6:00 – 22:30200,000 VND(+84) 772 395 395 / (+84) 982 844 799
Dai PhatGia Lam StationDaily at 20:50200,000 VND(+84) 983 472 299

Pros & Cons of Local Bus

  • Affordability: Yes, this option is the cheap and convenient to find coach providers.

Yes, this option is cheap and convenient to find coach providers but it has many disadvantages.

  • Language Barrier: The local stations’ staffs barely communicate in English, so it will be more practical if you have prepared some common Vietnamese phrases for tourists related to the travel journey.
  • Time and Extra-cost Consuming: Local bus stations are located far from the Old Quarter so if you stay there, you may need to catch a transit vehicle to get to the bus station. Then, the traveling time is up to 4 hours since the bus goes around to fill up passengers.

If you don’t want to worry about all the hassle of buying ticket and take extra transport to go between stations, the shuttle bus option below might be a better choice.

Shuttle Bus- A Convenient Means Of Transportation


Time: Approximately 2.5 hours (including 15 minutes of rest stop)

Cost: The cost of a one-way shuttle bus ticket from the Old Quarter to Halong center or Tuan Chau harbour is from 180,000 to 300,000VND, depending on types of shuttle bus and operators.

Check out Bhaya’s best Halong Bay cruise from Hanoi.

How to go from Hanoi to Halong Bay by shuttle bus?

* Useful Tips: If you’re planning to book a cruise, you can inquire with the agent or cruise operator about their shuttle bus service, which is more affordable than booking shuttle bus separately. In general, it will be great because you don’t have to worry about pick-up and drop-off troubles. 

  • From Hanoi to Halong: The bus will pick you up early at around 8 to 9 AM at your hotel in the Old Quarter on request and take you to the cruise center at Tuan Chau Harbour.
  • From Halong to Hanoi: After your cruise trip, the shuttle bus will wait outside the cruise center and take you back to Hanoi.

Types of Shuttle Buses for Hanoi to Halong Bay Travel

  • Standard Shuttle Buses: These shuttle buses come in various passenger capacities, including 16-seater minivans, 29-to-30-seater buses, 35-seaters, and 45-seaters. They offer a comfortable and budget-friendly travel option.
  • Luxury Shuttle Buses: If you prefer a more upscale and private experience, you can opt for luxury shuttle buses. These often include 9-seater Limousines and 19-seater Fuso vehicles equipped with high-end amenities for a premium journey.
  • Cruise Company Shuttle Services: Many cruise companies in Halong Bay provide their own shuttle services. These services are designed to conveniently pick up and drop off tourists at specific destinations, ensuring a seamless transition to your cruise adventure.

Popular shuttle bus companies

CompanyDaily Pickup TimeHanoi OfficeHotlineOne Way Price
Luxury Trans Vietnam7:00 – 14:0083/383 Tam Trinh, Hoang Mai District, Hanoi0938 887 586From 255,000 VND
Ha Long Travel LimousineEvery hour from 4:00 – 20:00 1. 107 Pho Vong, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi1900 0381From 260,000 VND
Trung ThanhEvery hour from 6:00 – 21:00166 Co Linh, Long Bien District, Hanoi0966 896 896 / 02033 756 756From 260,000 VND
Van Don XanhEvery hour from 5:00 – 22:00228A Vo Chi Cong, Tay Ho, Hanoi02033 991 991 / 02033 777 666 / 1900 2640From 260,000 VND
Hoang PhuEvery 30 minutes from 3:00 – 21:0042 Vo Chi Cong, Tay Ho District, Hanoi0983 244 078 / 1900 1085From 240,000 VND
Cua OngEvery hour from 5:00 – 22:00 4 Bat Su, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi0983 227 788 / 0901 217 788From 240,000 VND
Duy KhanhEvery hour from 5:00 – 20:00 No information1900 9442From 240,000 VND
Daily LimousineEvery hour from 6:00 – 15:00 78 Tran Nhat Duat, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi1900 1224 / 0971 576 555From 250,000 VND
Phuc Xuyen Every hour from 5:00 – 21:00 55 Duong Dinh Nghe, Cau Giay District, Hanoi1900 6799From 260,000 VND
VIP Anh HuyEvery 30 minutes from 3:30 – 21:0026 Lang Ha, Dong Da District, Hanoi0911 863 919From 230.000 VND

How to Book an Online Shuttle Bus to Halong from Hanoi?

  1. Visit the website
  2. Choose Hanoi as your departure city and Halong as your destination.
  3. Select your departure date for a one-way ticket or add your return date for a round-trip ticket.
  4. Click the “Search” button to view a list of shuttle bus providers, including departure times, coach stations, available seats, and ticket prices.
  5. Choose the schedule that suits your needs and click the “Book” button to proceed to the payment process.

Additional Information: Bhaya’s shuttle bus service operates daily, connecting Central Hanoi to Tuan Chau Marina in Halong Bay. The bus offers hotel pickup in Central Hanoi and drops you off conveniently at the Bhaya Center, which is located just a short walk from our cruise port.

>>> Don’t miss the opportunity to check out Bhaya’s Best Halong Bay Cruises From Hanoi for an exceptional experience for your Halong Bay adventure.

Pros & Cons of Shuttle Bus Options

  • More Comfortable & Convenient: Shuttle buses offer a higher level of comfort and convenience compared to local bus with smaller seating capacities. They typically have more spacious seating and amenities like air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, and complimentary water bottles.
  • Suitable for Families & Groups: Shuttle buses are an excellent choice for families and groups, as they provide more comfort and space for passengers to relax during the journey.
  • All-Inclusive Service: Shuttle buses often include services like air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, USB charging port and complimentary water, making the journey more pleasant. Additionally, you won't have to worry about purchasing separate vehicle tickets or arranging additional transportation to the port.
  • English Communication: Shuttle bus drivers usually have basic English language skills, reducing potential language barriers and making it easier for travelers to communicate.
  • More expensive compared with local bus or motorbike.
  • Unable to fully enjoy the landscape like riding a motorbike.

Private Car - The Utmost Privacy

private car

Time: Approximately 2.5 hours


When hiring a private taxi, prices range from 2,400,000 VND to 5,000,000 VND for a round trip depending on the car capacity (4-seater to 16-seaters car).

However, if you opt for Grab car (taxi app), the fare is around  1,600,000 VND to 1,900,000 VND for a one-way trip.

Private car services to Ha Long Bay are an excellent choice for business travel or small group of travelers, including business professionals, families, and groups of friends seeking privacy and comfort during their journey.

You can book this service through travel service providers, travel agents, or opt for a private taxi.

Additionally, Grab car services offer a convenient and affordable on-demand transportation option. To book a Grab car, you simply need to download the Grab application on your phone and make a reservation when you’re ready to go. This makes it a great choice for those who value flexibility.

If you prefer traditional taxi services, there are several reputable taxi brands in Hanoi to choose from:

Hanoi Transfer Service Companywww.hanoitransferservice.com16A Ly Nam De st, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi0912 358 282
Green Lion Buswww.greenlionbus.com5 Gia Ngu st, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi0984 709 669
Mai Linh Taxiwww.mailinh.vnHCM City1055
Taxi Thanh Ngawww.taxithanhnga.vnNo.8 OBT4, X1, Bac Linh Dam, Hoang Mai District, Hanoi0989 215 215

Seaplane - The Stunning Panorama of Halong Bay


Time: From 45 minutes to 1 hour

Cost: Hai Au Aviation is the first and only business in Vietnam that operates the commercial seaplane service in Vietnam. The cost for a one-way trip from Noi Bai Airport to Tuan Chau Marina is 9,000,000 VND, while the round-trip fare costs 16,000,000 VND. The child fare under 2 years old is 500,000 VND/one way ticket/child and 1,000,000VND/roundtrip/child.

Tired of spending half a day stuck in traffic on a shuttle bus?

Consider a delightful alternative – taking a seaplane directly from Noi Bai Airport to Halong Bay.

With just 45 minutes of flying time, you can embark on a quick, comfortable, and luxurious journey. It’s the perfect solution for travelers seeking an efficient and enjoyable experience.

Traveling by seaplane you will get an amazing view of Halong from above, which a normal transfer or cruise cannot provide.

To book seaplane, you can contact directly with Hai Au Aviation – the company that operates the seaplane. 

Bhaya Cruises also does offer a combo package with seaplane transfer and cruise at very affordable price. 

Train - For A Slow But Safe Ride (Update 2023: Hanoi-Halong Train service discontinued due to low ridership)

Train hanoi to halong bay

Time: It used to take about 7 hours to travel from Hanoi (Yen Vien Station) to Halong Bay (Halong City Station).

Cost: Approximately 90,000 VND

(Update: The Yen Vien – Pha Lai – Ha Long – Cai Lan railway project is currently on hold as per the Government’s Resolution No. 11/NQ-CP, issued on February 24, 2011.)

Motorbike - The Adventurous Choice

Rent a Motobike

Time: From 3.5 hours to 4 hours

Cost: From 120,000 VND/day for underbones and from 220,000 VND/day for moto scooters.

Renting a motorbike requires payment of a deposit and rental fee. The rental shop usually asks for a copy of your passport. If they ask for your original passport, it’s advisable to negotiate as you may need it for other purposes

For adventurous, budget travelers who wish to explore local life and scenery, there is no better way than driving a motorbike from Hanoi to Halong.

How To Rent A Motorbike in Hanoi?

Renting a motorbike in Hanoi is a simple process. There are many rental stores in the Old Quarter and West Lake area that offer English-speaking staff and owners.

Duration: Depending on the duration of your stay in Vietnam, you can choose from monthly, weekly, or daily rental services.

Types of motobike: These shops provide a wide range of motorbikes, including automatic, semi-automatic, manual, and touring bikes from well-known brands such as Honda, Yamaha or Suzuki.

Recommended motorbike rental shops in Hanoi:

  • 13535 Motorbike Rental
  • Happy Zip Motorbikes Rental & Sale
  • Phung Motorbike
  • Tigit Motorbikes

Motobike routes from Hanoi to Halong

Option 1: Hanoi – Bac Ninh – Halong Bay (155km)

To get from Hanoi to Halong Bay, follow these directions: Take 1A Highway and then exit onto Hanoi – Hai Phong Highway. Continue on this highway until you see the exit for Bach Dang Bridge. Take this exit and then continue on Halong – Hai Phong Highway until you reach Halong Bay.

Option 2: New Highway: Hanoi – Hai Duong – Halong (170km)

To get to Halong Bay using the new highway, follow these directions: From Hanoi – Hai Phong/QL5B/ĐCT04 Highway, take the Noi Bai – Halong/Dai Yen/QL18 Highway and continue on it until you reach Halong Bay.

If your cruise departs from Tuan Chau Island (where most Halong Bay cruises start), turn onto Tuan Chau at the roundabout on QL18 Highway.

Pros & Cons of Motorbike Option

  • Affordability: If you're looking for an affordable way to explore Vietnam and enjoy its stunning landscapes, then driving a motorbike might be a great option for you. The daily rental and gasoline costs are quite reasonable, and you can start your journey whenever you want.
  • Flexibility: It provides the freedom to explore at your own pace and on your own terms, no matter where you are. For free spirits who love to travel, this is a cheap and convenient choice.
  • Safety Precautions: Traveling by motorbike in Vietnam can pose safety risks, so it's crucial to be well-prepared and have good riding skills.
  • Navigational Hurdles: Getting lost is common, especially if you're new to Vietnam, which can make navigation a bit tricky.
  • Weather-Related Uncertainties: Sudden heavy rain or unexpected breakdowns can disrupt your journey, even if you've diligently checked the weather forecast.
  • Time and Fatigue: A 3-hour drive can be time-consuming and tiring, which may not be ideal for all travelers.

*Useful Tips:

  • If you choose to travel by motorbike, it’s essential to select a reliable bike and wear proper protective gear. While local traffic officers usually don’t impose strict regulations, wearing a helmet and obeying traffic signals is essential to avoid any potential issues.
  • A map and an internet-connected phone for navigation are valuable tools.
  • Traveling with a friend is advisable for support in case of emergencies.
  • Please be aware that, as a foreign visitor, you lack a Vietnamese driving license, making it technically illegal to operate a motorbike.

Getting from Hanoi to Halong Bay: Your Travel Options Summary


Select the best option that suits your travel style and budget when heading from Hanoi to Halong Bay.


TypeOne Way FareDurationIdeal forProsCons
Local Bus (Coach)120,000 - 250,000 VNDAbout 3 hoursBudget travelersAffordable fares. Great for budget-conscious travelersLimited English communication. Additional time to reach the bus station
Shuttle Bus180,000 - 300,000 VND About 2.5 hoursSmall families and groupsComfortable and convenient. Suitable for groups. All-inclusive services Slightly higher cost than local buses
Private Car / Grab Car800,000 - 2,500,000 VNDAbout 2.5 hoursBusiness travelers, small groupsComfort and privacy. Affordable with Grab carPrivate car can be more expensive. Less scenic than motorbikes
SeaplaneFrom 8,000,000 VND45 minutes - 1 hourLuxury travel with stunning viewsQuick and luxurious. Breathtaking aerial viewsHigh cost
TrainNot available Not available Not available Not available Not available
MotorbikeFrom 120,000 VND3.5 - 4 hoursAdventurous, budget travelersAffordable and flexible. Explore at your own paceSafety precautions required. Potential navigation challenges. Weather uncertainties

Tips for Traveling from Hanoi to Halong Bay

For Independent Travelers and Backpackers:

If you’re a solo traveler or on a tight budget, the most cost-effective way to reach Halong Bay from Hanoi is by taking a shuttle bus. The journey takes 2.5 to 3 hours one way. 

Alternatively, you can choose to ride a motorbike, which offers a scenic route but takes around 4 hours.

For Small Groups and Families:

Traveling with a group or family prioritizes safety, especially for children. In this case, it’s recommended to rent a private car, accommodating different group sizes.

For Wealthy Travelers and Couples:

For those with no budget constraints, the ultimate way to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi is by seaplane to admire the stunning panoramic beauty of Halong from the sky.

FAQs for Traveling from Hanoi to Halong Bay

Q: What’s the best way to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay?

A: The ideal way to travel from Hanoi to Halong Bay depends on your preferences and budget. Options include public buses, shuttle buses, private cars, motorbikes, and seaplanes. Shuttle buses are popular for convenience and affordability.

Q: What’s the fastest way to reach Halong Bay from Hanoi?

A: The quickest road travel options are shuttle buses and private cars, offering direct routes with no stops. For a luxurious experience, consider a seaplane journey from Noi Bai International Airport.

Q: Should I take train from Hanoi to Halong Bay?

A: Train service between Hanoi and Halong Bay is currently suspended due to low ridership. Explore other transportation alternatives.

Q: How much does it cost to get from Hanoi to Halong Bay?

A: Round-trip public transportation from Hanoi to Halong Bay costs approximately 360,000 VND. Private transportation options are pricier, with round-trip costs around 1,600,000 VND.

Q: Should I book my transfer directly with car companies or through travel agencies?

A: It’s recommended to book through travel agencies. This often provides better pricing, schedules, and guaranteed seats. Additionally, it simplifies communication during emergencies.

Q: How long should I spend at Halong Bay?

A: The duration of your stay in Halong Bay depends on your preferences and budget in Vietnam. A 2-3 day stay in Halong Bay is recommended for a relaxed and immersive experience with time to explore attractions and activities.

Q: Can a day trip from Hanoi to Halong Bay be possible?

A: Yes, you can enjoy a day trip to Halong Bay. Purchase a round-trip ticket via shuttle bus, luxury limousine, or a travel agency’s car for easy access. Explore various routes and outstanding attractions in just 3 hours.

We hope that you can find the best way to get to Halong Bay from Hanoi after reading this post.

More Halong Bay Travel Guide

The Ultimate Guide For First Time Travelers

If you are planning a trip to Halong Bay while feeling lost and overwhelmed with all the blog post and information that roam the vast internet world about Halong Bay and beyond, this ultimate travel guide will give you everything you need to know to plan your perfect trip to Ha Long Bay.


Halong Bay Weather: Best time to visit

This post will give you pros and cons for each season of weather in Halong Bay, so you can easily to choose the best time to visit that most suitable with your schedule, budget, etc. Also, there will be instructions what you can do in case of your cruise tour get canceled due to bad weather.


Halong Bay vs. Ninh Binh: Which one is better?

Halong is already very well-known internationally thanks to its status as a World Heritage Site while Ninh Binh is much more underrated despite its fascinating beauty. If you are wondering whether to take a cruising trip or visit the paddy fields, read on for more information.

Recommended Cruise Packages

2 Days 1 Night Halong Bay Cruise on Bhaya Classic

⚡From US$338/ 2 adults
Most Popular Choice

3 Days 2 Nights Luxury Cruise with The Au Co

⚡From US$877/ 2 adults
Unique Cruise Program

Overnight Premium Cruise plus Seaplane flight

⚡ From US$1,350/ 2 adults
All Transfer Included


Comments are closed.